Catalog 2020-2021


Teaching Faculty

Professors Bonebright, Penner, Peszka (chair), Templeton, and Zorwick
Associate Professor Kennedy
Assistant Professor Merrick
Instructors Battle, Hawkins, and R. Sanders


Major in Psychology

10 courses distributed as follows:

  • PSYC 290   Statistics*
  • PSYC 295   Research Methods** 
  • 2 courses from Cluster A, at least one of which must have a laboratory:  
              PSYC 165 Comparative Animal Behavior in the Tropics (w/Lab) 
              PSYC 220 Brain and Behavior
              PSYC 260 Human Sexuality
              PSYC 280 Introduction to Psychopharmacology
              PSYC 300 Comparative Animal Behavior (w/Lab)
              PSYC 310 Social Neuroscience (w/Lab)
              PSYC 319 Cognitive Psychology
              PSYC 320 Cognitive Psychology (w/Lab)
              PSYC 323 Human Memory
              PSYC 330 Learning
              PSYC 335 Sensation and Perception
              PSYC 355 Evolutionary Psychology
              PSYC 360 Behavioral Neuroscience (w/Lab)
              PSYC 366 Behavioral Endocrinology
    • 2 courses from Cluster B:  
                PSYC 230 Social Psychology
                PSYC 240 Childhood and Adolescence
                PSYC 245 Adult Development and Aging
                PSYC 255 Stereotyping and Prejudice
                PSYC 283 Industrial-Organizational Psychology
                PSYC 352 Social Cognition
                PSYC 370 Personality
    • 1 course from Cluster C:  
                PSYC 400 Psychology of Gender
                PSYC 415 Psychology Practicum
                PSYC 425 History and Systems
                PSYC 480 Advanced Research
                PSYC 497 Senior Seminar
    • 3 electives from psychology listings at any level
    • A minimum of 4 of the 10 courses must be at the 300-level or above.

    * PSYC 290 Statistics is a prerequisite for PSYC 295 Research Methods
    **PSYC 295 Research Methods is a prerequisite for most other laboratory courses in the department.


    Senior Capstone Experience

    The Senior Capstone Experience for the psychology major consists of successful completion of a Cluster C course and the Major Field Test (MFT) in Psychology, which is intended as an assessment device for senior psychology majors. It consists of 140 multiple-choice items covering the major areas of psychology. The examination is normally taken during the spring semester of the senior year. The grade for the Senior Capstone Experience is based on the student's score on the Psychology MFT.

    Minor in Psychology


    Six courses in psychology, of which three must be at the 300-level or above.


    PSYC 415  Psychology Practicum  does not count toward the minor.

    Program Course Listings

    The courses for this program are organized into the following categories:

    General Topics Courses

    PSYC 110

    Introduction to Psychology

    An introduction to the scientific study of behavior and its underlying cognitive and biological processes. Students who have already taken two or more psychology courses at the 200-level or above are not allowed to take this course.

    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 185

    Sleep & Dreaming

    This course covers basic psychological principles by applying them to the study of sleep and dreaming. Students will combine hands-on experiences (e.g., keeping a wake-sleep diary, observing a night in a sleep lab) with theoretical readings and discussion on topics such as, what is sleep, measurement of sleep, circadian rhythms, sleep hygiene, sleep disorders, sleep deprivation, and dream theories.

    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 190

    Social Psychology in Film

    This course covers current theory and empirical research in Social Psychology and uses popular films to provoke thought and analysis over this theory and research. Students learn about basic topic areas in Social Psychology (stereotypes, obedience, person perception, aggression, persuasion, etc.) by reading articles and discuss these readings in the context of films associated with each major topic area.

    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 270

    Community Psychology

    This course examines the theory and application of community psychology through lecture and discussion as well as experiential learning. Students examine all aspects of the psychological health and well-being of the community and its members. Assignments focus on social issues (justice, sexuality, gender, religion, etc), public health, cultural awareness, policy and its psychological impact.

    PSYC 290


    Descriptive and inferential techniques for analyzing research data. Factorial analysis of variance, Chi square, nonparametrics, and experimental design.

    Quantitative Studies QS
    PSYC 295

    Research Methods (w/Lab)

    Introduction to the procedures psychologists use to study behavior, cognition, and emotion. Students evaluate, design, conduct, and present research. With laboratory. Prerequisite: Psychology 290

    Psychology 290
    PSYC 312

    Human Aggression

    The course examines theories and research providing a framework for understanding human aggression. Both situational and personal factors that mediate aggressive behavior are reviewed. Specific topics include methods of research, environmental antecedents of aggression, mass media’s influence on aggression, and aggression as a personality trait. The application of research to reduce human aggression and associated violence is considered. Prerequisites: Junior standing or higher

    Junior standing or higher
    PSYC 340

    Psychological Assessment

    An introduction to the major psychological assessment techniques and the psychometric principles on which they are based. Topics include test construction, intelligence testing, and personality assessment; broader social issues related to psychological testing are also considered. Prerequisite: PSYC 295

    PSYC 295
    PSYC 341

    Moral Emotions

    This course examines what it means for an emotion to be moral. It discusses the controversy over the dimensions that determine whether or not an emotion is moral, as well as the outcomes of these emotions for the self and for others. It also considers specific emotions and weighs the evidence for and against each as a moral emotion. This includes accepted moral emotions such as guilt and shame, emotions considered to be both moral and amoral such as anger and disgust, and emotions considered to be amoral such as sadness and hate.

    PSYC 351

    Health Psychology

    The course focuses on psychological approaches to health and disease. Using the biopsychosocial approach, topics include changing health habits, coping with stress, dealing with pain, and treating health problems. Prerequisite: one psychology course, Junior standing

    one psychology course, Junior standing
    PSYC 365


    Examination of the history of emotion research, as well as related topics such as psychological well-being, physical health, culture, and decision-making. Introduction to research methods in the field.

    PSYC 367

    Psychology and Law

    This course surveys research and theory in social justice and legal psychology. It addresses various controversies in the law, including jury selection, jury decision-making, police interrogations and confessions, use of lie-detector tests, eyewitness testimony, repressed and recovered memories, and the role of psychologists as expert witnesses. Prerequisite: PSYC 295 or consent of instructor

    PSYC 295 or consent of instructor
    PSYC 385

    Abnormal Psychology

    An overview of the main psychological disorders, focusing on the major scientific theories of their etiology and treatment. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    Junior or Senior standing
    PSYC 397

    Theories of Psychotherapy

    This course examines the major theories of psychotherapy, including cognitive, psychoanalytic, behavioral, extistential-humanistic, family systems, eclectic approaches. The class also addresses topics such as the overall efficacy of psychotherapy, the body of research that compares the various therapies, and the methodological challenges that confront psychotherapy researches. Prerequisites: PSYC 385

    PSYC 385
    PSYC 490

    Psychology: Special Topics

    An in-depth examination of major topics within the discipline. The content and format of this course vary according to the interests of students and faculty. Prerequisite: consent of instructor is recommended

    consent of instructor is recommended
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    Cluster A Courses

    PSYC 165

    Comp Animal Behav-Tropics (w/Lab)

    An introduction to the diversity of animal species and animal behavior in tropical environments. This course examines behavior and biodiversity from an evolutionary, developmental, genetic, and social context. Observation, hands-on research, lecture, and classroom discussion will address how animals in the tropics face various adaptive problems, like finding food, finding mates, caring for offspring, avoiding predators, living in a group, and interacting with humans. Course is taught during the summer semester in Costa Rica. Laboratory course. Cross-listed as BIOL 165.

    Global Awareness GA
    Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 220

    Brain & Behavior

    An introduction to the scientific study of the brain and how we use it to think about and behave in the world. Special focus will be placed on the physiological and biological mechanisms that underlie behavior, the evolution of the brain and behavior, and how the brain interacts with our environment to produce behavior. Topics may include evolution and genetics, the structure and function of the nervous and endocrine systems, emotion and motivation, consciousness and awareness, learning and memory, and social behavior.

    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 260

    Human Sexuality

    A contemporary, cross-disciplinary examination of human sexuality and sexual behavior in an evolutionary, physiological, reproductive, social, and cultural context. Topics include but are not limited to mate choice, attraction and love, emotion, and parental care. Prerequisite: PSYC 220; Sophomore standing or higher

    PSYC 220; Sophomore standing or higher
    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 280

    Introduction to Psychopharmacology

    Psychopharmacology is the study of drugs that affect the brain and behavior. This course begins with an overview of neural communication, neurotransmitter systems, and the basic principles of pharmacology. These fundamental concepts are used to understand the actions of drugs that are used to treat psychiatric disorders as well as drugs of abuse. Topics vary, but may include antipsychotic drugs, antidepressant drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens.

    PSYC 300

    Title Unavailable

    PSYC 310

    Title Unavailable

    PSYC 319

    Title Unavailable

    PSYC 320

    Title Unavailable

    PSYC 323

    Human Memory

    In depth examination of current theories and research on human memory: processes involved in encoding, storage, and retrieval of information from the past. Topics include working memory, recall and recognition, forgetting and memory distortions, memory without awareness, prospective memory, metamemory, memory disorders, and applied issues in memory (e.g., eyewitness testimony, education). Prerequisites: two psychology courses

    two psychology courses
    PSYC 330


    The course uses a behavioral and experimental approach to examine basic forms of learning. Content covers both theory and experimental methodology, maintaining a critical eye toward empirical evidence to support theoretical interpretations. The basic principles of learning are described first, followed by examples of ways in which these principles have been applied. Prerequisite: one psychology course

    one psychology course
    PSYC 335

    Sensation and Perception

    Examination of sensory systems and perceptual processing of external stimuli and their relation to psychological and behavioral processes. Particular emphasis is placed on the nature of the visual system, and comparisons are made to other special senses.

    PSYC 355

    Evolutionary Psychology

    Examination of the evolutionary basis of human behavior, focusing on how natural selection has shaped the social, cognitive, developmental, and emotional processes of humans. Topics include mating strategies, altruism and cooperation, parental care and family relations, theory of mind, neuropsychology, and language. Prerequisites: PSYC 220

    PSYC 220
    PSYC 360

    Behavioral Neuroscience (w/Lab)

    The anatomical, physiological, and chemical bases of normal and abnormal behavior are considered, followed by the close examination of specific areas in neuroscience such as motivation, feeding, consciousness, and learning. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: PSYC 295 or biology laboratory course

    PSYC 295 or biology laboratory course
    PSYC 366

    Behavioral Endocrinology

    Behavioral Endocrinology is the interdisciplinary study of how hormones, the brain, and behavior interact. This course begins by examining what the endocrine system is and how it functions. The principles of endocrinology are explored in the context of numerous behaviors relevant to humans and other vertebrate animals. Topics vary but may include sex differences, homeostasis, parental and social behaviors, stress, and affective disorders. Primary literature is used to fuel discussions, written assignments, and presentations.

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    Cluster B Courses

    PSYC 210

    Developmental Psychology

    Overview of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of humans throughout the lifespan.

    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 230

    Social Psychology

    The influence of interpersonal processes on individual behavior. Methods of research, conformity, attribution, prosocial behavior, attitudes, impression management, environmental factors, and ethics in research. Small group research activities.

    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 240

    Childhood and Adolescence

    Overview of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of humans through adolescence.

    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 245

    Adult Development and Aging

    Overview of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of humans throughout adulthood.

    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 255

    Stereotyping & Prejudice

    This course examines the psychological basis of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. It discusses the psychological processes at play for both those who hold stereotypes and prejudice and those who are the targets of prejudice and discrimination. It also discusses issues of stereotyping and prejudice in real world contexts, specifically focusing on race-based and gender-based stereotyping.

    Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
    PSYC 283


    This course examines the application of psychological science to workplace issues facing individuals, teams, and organizations. Topics include methods of research, job analysis, employee selection, training and motivation, job attitudes, communication, group processes, leadership and power, and organizational structure and development.

    PSYC 352

    Social Cognition

    This course provides an introduction to research in social cognition. Social cognition is the study of the cognitive underpinnings of social behavior and the ways in which we think about ourselves, other people, social groups, and our social worlds. Prerequisite: PSYC 230

    PSYC 230
    PSYC 370


    An overview of the major theories of personality with special focus on contemporary personality theory and research.

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    Cluster C Courses

    PSYC 400

    Psychology of Gender

    Examination of the biological, social, and psychological differences and similarities of females and males, with a focus on the nature/nurture debate within the field. Prerequisites: PSYC 290 and PSYC 295 or consent of instructor; junior or senior standing

    PSYC 290 and PSYC 295 or consent of instructor; junior or senior standing
    Undergraduate Research UR
    PSYC 415

    Psychology Practicum

    A service-learning course that enables students to obtain practical experience in education or services-oriented community organizational and institutions. Class meetings include discussions of students' work experiences and selected readings. Prerequisite: junior standing and consent by instructor

    junior standing and consent by instructor
    Professional and Leadership PL
    PSYC 425

    History and Systems

    Historical roots of contemporary psychology, including the systematic positions of early psychologists. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing

    junior or senior standing
    PSYC 497

    Senior Seminar Psychology

    Discussions of current and classic controversies in psychology. Contemporary theoretical and research trends, critical assessment of readings, student-guided discussions, and independent analyses of major topics. Content changes annually as a function of faculty interests within the discipline. Prerequisite: PSYC 295

    PSYC 295
    PSYC 480

    Topics: Advanced Research

    A course designed to provide students with hands-on experience with an actual, ongoing research program. Students participate in the ongoing research program of an instructor and thus learn by doing. Instructor, and thus content, will rotate. Course may be repeated for multiple credits. Prerequisites: PSYC 295 and consent of instructor

    PSYC 295 and consent of instructor
    Undergraduate Research UR
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