Course Descriptions


100. Introduction to Psychology

An introduction to the science of behavior and mental life, ranging from biological foundations to social and cultural influences on behavior (and including most of the subjects suggested by other psychology course titles). Laboratory experiments and exercises provide hands-on experience. Psychology 100 or Psychology 200 is a prerequisite for all other psychology courses. Four Credits -- Staff -- Both Semesters

200. Research Methods

A beginning study of experimental and research methodology in contemporary psychology. Specific examples from different areas of psychology are used to teach the student basic concepts and methods of observation, measurement, hypothesis formation, experimental design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation and generalization. Laboratory experiments provide hands-on experience. Four Credits -- Motiff, Shaughnessy, Jarvis -- Both Semesters

225. The Exceptional Child

Same as Education 225.

230. Developmental Psychology

An introduction to theories, research methods, and findings related to intellectual, linguistic, emotional, perceptual, social and personality development during the life-span, with emphasis on childhood and adolescence. All students will participate in a field placement or other practical experience. Four Credits -- Dickie, Ludwig, Trent-Brown, VanderStoep -- Both Semesters

265. Theory and Practice of Helping

Helping skills are essential to conducting an effective interview, whether the interview takes place in counseling, social work, nursing, personnel work, or the ministry. The course presents concepts and methods and teaches skills that are designed to help the student develop specific competencies in helping relationships. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. For psychology majors only. Two Credits -- Motiff -- Spring Semester

280. Social Psychology

The scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. Topics include aggression, conformity, persuasion, prejudice, and interpersonal attraction. Data collection and analysis are part of the laboratory experience. Prerequisites: sophomore standing and Psychology 100. Four Credits -- Evans, Inman

281. Faith Seeking Justice: An Encounter with the Power of the Poor in the Voices of Latinas

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the liberating character of Base Christian Communities in Mexico, especially as that liberating character is voiced by Latinas. The course meets on campus for one week and in Mexico for two weeks. Three Credits -- May Term

290. Supervised Study in Psychology

Designed to give the psychology student an opportunity for first-hand learning experience in laboratory settings or in a field placement (HelpLine) under the supervision of a faculty member. It is the student's responsibility to obtain prior approval of the project from his/her faculty supervisor. May be repeated for credit but no more than four credits may be applied to the 18-credit psychology minor. Pass/Fail credit only. Prerequisites: Psychology 100 and permission of the instructor/supervisor. One or Two Credits -- Staff -- Both Semesters

295. Studies in Psychology

An experimental lecture or seminar course designed as a one-time or trial offering. May be repeated for credit, but no more than four credits may be applied to the 18-credit psychology minor. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Two or Three Credits -- Staff

305. The Psychology of Latino Children

This course is designed to explore the development of self-identity, particularly the ethno-cultural component of Latino children's identity, and the influence of the development of self-identity on children’s cognitive development and their school experiences. This course will take an interdisciplinary approach and will include readings from selected resources in the fields of cross-cultural, social-developmental, educational, and cognitive psychology, as well as sociology, cultural diversity, and fiction and non-fiction literature. The course will involve active learning pedagogy. Two Credits -- Jarvis -- Alternate Years

310. Practical Aspects of Memory

A study of topics in memory including a selective overview of memory research. Practical aspects of memory covered in the course include autobiographical memory, eyewitness and expert witness testimony, and recovered memories. The prevailing theme and goal of the course is for students to build a bridge between their knowledge of memory based on their personal experience and the body of knowledge based on psychological research. Four Credits -- Shaughnessy -- Alternate Years

320. Physiological Psychology

An introduction to the physiological bases of behavior. Research findings and methods will be emphasized regarding the neural processes underlying brain function and behavior. Four Credits -- Motiff -- Both Semesters

335. Adult Development and Aging

A study of research and theory about human development during the post-adolescent years, with emphasis on the issue of continuity versus change in the various stages of life. Special attention is paid to the problems and challenges of late adulthood. Prerequisite: Psychology 230. Two Credits -- Ludwig -- Alternate Years

340. Cognitive Psychology

An introduction to the major topics in cognitive psychology and the mental processes of perception, attention, memory, imagery, knowledge representation, categorization, problem solving, language, decision making, and reasoning. Tbeories dealing with these issues will be reviewed with an emphasis on current research findings and applications. Includes laboratory experience. Four Credits -- Jarvis -- Spring Semester

350. Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Course applies psychology to the workplace. An introduction to the major topics including personnel selection and evaluation, organizational dynamics (groups, power, teams, cooperation, competition, and communication), and human factors (evaluating the work environment). Course contains psychological theories, research, and practical applications (involving interviews and data analysis). Prerequisites: Psychology 100 or permission of instructor. Math 210 recommended. Complements a Business Major. Four Credits -- Inman

365. The Helping Relationship: Principles and Skills

A seminar-workshop discussing principles and practicing skills involved in helping others. Persons intending to be psychologists or social workers or to help others as ministers, physicians, teachers, etc., will find a theoretical framework in which to view their helping functions and skills in a systematic manner. A psychological perspective for functioning paraprofessionals is emphasized. The course requires permission of the instructor and is held off campus. Four Credits -- Motiff-- May Term

370. Behavior Disorders

An introduction to the study of behavior disorders. Includes investigation into symptomology, research, and common syndromes, and a survey of therapeutic techniques. Strongly recommended: PS 320. Three Credits -- Witvliet-- Both Semesters

380. Psychology of Women

This course helps students recognize that women have historically been excluded from defining theory and research in psychology and remedies this bias by 1) providing a feminist critique of existing theories, research and methods, 2) exploring current scholarship on women, and 3) connecting psychology with women's lives in their diversity and particularity, and in issues of race, class and sexual orientation. Women's lives are viewed as valid for serious study and discussion. Two Credits -- Dickie -- Spring Semester

390. Research Laboratory in Psychology

A psychology laboratory course designed to provide students with hands-on experience with an actual, ongoing research program. Its main purpose is to prepare students for graduate school. Students will be assisting a professor with his/her research and thus be learning by doing. Students must submit an application (available in the departmental office) no later than noon on the Friday before registration. Pemission slips (required) will be distributed at 3:00 p.m. that same day. Prerequisites: Research Methods (PS 200) and permission of the instructor. It is strongly recommended that the course be taken no later than during the junior year. This course may be taken only once. Four Credits -- Staff -- Both Semesters

395. Studies in Psychology

An experimental lecture or seminar course designed as a one-time or trial offering. May be repeated for credit but no more than four credits may be applied to the 18-credit psychology minor. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Two Credits -- Staff

410. Clinical Psychology -- Therapy and Assessment

This course will introduce the student to the major topics in clinical psychology. The most influential psychotherapies will be studied, including their theoretical background and applications. Research regarding therapeutic effectiveness will be discussed. In addition, the conceptual, statistical, legal and ethical issues involving assessment of personality and intelligence will be examined. Prerequisite: Psychology 370. Four Credits -- Roehling, Witvliet

420. Health Psychology

This course is taught in a seminar format and investigates how psychological factors affect aspects of health and illness. A biopsychosocial model is used to examine issues in: (1) health behaviors and primary intervention, (2) stress, illness, and stress reductions, (3) the management of pain and discomfort, and (4) the management of chronic and terminal illness. Prerequisite: advanced psychology major, or advanced pre-medical student, or advanced nursing student, or advanced kinesiology major. Two Credits -- Motiff -- Fall Semester

490. Special Studies

This program affords an opportunity for the advanced psychology student to pursue supervised projects of his or her own choosing beyond the regular course offerings. The project may take on one of three forms: 1) the scholarly treatment of a particular topic using the library; 2) laboratory research; 3) a field placement combining study and an appropriate work experience with an organization or a professional person. All three project types can be done in various combinations, on or off campus. To be eligible for the course the student must have a faculty sponsor, a specific topic in mind, a reasonable background in related course work, good independent study habits, initiative and high motivation. If the project is data-collecting research, prerequisites are Psychology 200 and 390. Special Studies credit requires departmental approval of a formal proposal to be submitted prior to registration. The number of credits and whether the course is taken for a grade or on a pass-fail basis are subject to departmental approval. The course may be repeated but no more than four hours of credit in this course may be applied to the psychology minor requirement of 18 credits. Credits to be Arranged -- Staff -- Both Semesters and Summer

494. Topical Seminar

A student- or faculty-initiated seminar on a special topic in psychology. Intended for students of demonstrated maturity, as usually indicated by upperclass standing. May be repeated for credit, but no more than four credits in 290, 295, 395, 490, 494, 495 and 496 may be applied to the 18-credit psychology minor requirement. Prerequisite: permission of seminar instructor. (Examples of previous offerings are: Mental Retardation, Human Sexuality, Motivation and Personality, Psychology of Language, and Psychology of Religion.) Two Credits -- Staff

495. Advanced Studies in Psychology

An experimental lecture or seminar course designed for a one-time or trial offering. Intended for students of demonstrated maturity, as usually indicated by upperclass standing. May be repeated for credit, but no more than four credits may be applied to the 18-credit psychology minor requirement. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Two Credits -- Staff

496. Psychology Internship

A closely supervised practical experience in a professional setting for upperclass psychology majors. The experience can include observing, assisting, assuming regular duties, or pursuing a special project. The general guideline for credit is 3 hours per week (for a semester) for each one hour of credit. This course may be repeated for credit but no more than four credits may be applied to the 18-credit psychology minor. Prerequisite: departmental approval. Pass/Fail credit only. Internship opportunities for psychology students are also available through the Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington semester programs. Credits to be Arranged -- Staff -- Both Semesters

Requirements for a major or minor in psychology are available.