University Catalogues

Psychology (PSY)

PSY 200 Pioneers in Psychology     (3 credits)

Context and Perspectives: Scientific Inquiry
Formerly PS 210 and NAS 361

This course focuses on applied psychology. The following major perspectives of psychology will be investigated in the context of the dominant social and historical events and trends of the 20th century: functionalism, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, humanism, cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology, socio-cultural psychology and neuropsychology. Our scientific explanations and predictions about human behavior have been partly shaped by world wars, cold wars, culture wars, societal upheavals, scientific discoveries and information/communication technologies. In the end, we are still left with the question, "What is it that makes us uniquely human?"

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

PSY 205 Adult Development and Aging     (3 credits)

Formerly PS 250 and NAS 364

This course explores biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces that shape young, middle, and late adulthood. Topics include: researching adult development and aging, neuroscience and development, physical changes, longevity, person-environment interactions, attention and memory, intelligence and creativity, social judgement, personality, mental health, relationships, work and recreation, and dying and bereavement.

Typically Offered: Once a year

PSY 210 Dynamics of Personality     (3 credits)

Formerly PS 252 and NAS 374

This course investigates the development and stability of those traits and behaviors that remain fairly stable over time and make each human being unique. The biological and genetic inheritance of the individual is examined as it is shaped over time by various external and internal processes, including family dynamics, culture, social influence, individual self-concept and perception, and ongoing adjustment to situational challenges. Theories of personality are incorporated in a practical way to lend insight into the complexity of human uniqueness. The personality issues that influence behavior in the world of business, including cross-cultural sensitivity, achievement, entrepreneurship, relationship building and leadership, are explored.

Typically Offered: Every two or more years

PSY 215 Abnormal Psychology     (3 credits)

This course is not eligible for the pass/fail option.
Formerly PS 388 and NAS 388

Understanding human behavior and the human mind is an important part of life. One-third of Americans have some kind of mental disorder and 15 percent have a major disorder. Managers spend up to 80 percent of their time communicating with others, so recognizing and understanding mental problems is essential. It is just as critical in our private lives. This course will introduce students to the study of abnormal human behavior. Topics covered include research methodology and experimental design, psychotherapy, developmental disorders, substance abuse, stress and health, sexual and gender disorders, schizophrenia, sleep and eating disorders, depression, disorders of personality and impulse control, and anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder. Attention is paid to the way that disorders differ among various age groups, racial and ethnic categories, and across gender. Emphasis is placed on applying psychological concepts to everyday personal and interpersonal challenges.

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

PSY 230 Positive Psychology     (3 credits)

Context and Perspectives: Culture, Change, and Behavior
Formerly PS 266 and NAS 366

This course focuses on the major theories and psychological principles of human adjustment across the life span, including self-concept, development, motivation, stress and anxiety. It also considers human values in relation to interpersonal relationships, and examines intellectual and emotional resources for personal change and growth.

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

PSY 235 Social Psychology     (3 credits)

Context and Perspectives: Culture, Change, and Behavior
Formerly PS 311 and NAS 372

This course investigates the shared human experience studying the impact of interaction with other individuals, groups and the social context upon individual thinking, emotions and behavior. It focuses on the application of social scientific research to practical situations, including social influence, interpersonal perception, attitude changes, persuasion and prejudice. The course content is also practically applied to relevant topics in the world of business, including leadership, influence, group and team interaction, consumer behavior and decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

PSY 240 Cross-Cultural Psychology     (3 credits)

Context and Perspectives: Race, Gender, and Inequality
Formerly PS 275 and NAS 375

This course will examine the cultural similarities and differences of individuals and groups from various parts of the world in order to understand their behaviors, thoughts and feelings as they experience the world. Much of the information will be based on quantitative and qualitative research and anecdotal materials to assist the learning process. The following is among the many topics to be discussed: alternative conceptions of intelligence, female/male views on culture, individualism versus collectivism, worldview of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals, nonverbal aspects of language, direct versus indirect communication, social consequences of bilingualism, common experiences of immigrants and refugees, overt versus covert racism, white privilege, racial identity development, causes of health disparities, and understanding culturally similar and different individuals.

Typically Offered: Once a year

PSY 245 Gender Psychology     (3 credits)

Context and Perspectives: Race, Gender, and Inequality
Formerly PS 333 and NAS 378

The goals of this course are for students to gain a better understanding of the development of men and women, and the psychological issues involved in understanding the way they operate in the world today. The course will explore in some depth several theoretical stances of gender development and psychology; students will gain a better understanding of how that impacts upon them as men and women. This course will focus the common issues that come in the professional and personal life. The course will compare and contrast gender-influenced behavior between women and men. It will explore alternatives to the old problems between genders, and find new ways to deal with each other because of new levels of understanding the course will generate.

Typically Offered: Once a year

PSY 250 Health Psychology     (3 credits)

Context and Perspectives: Scientific Inquiry
Formerly PS 340 and NAS 368

This course studies psychology as a health science. It examines the applications of the theories and methods of psychology to healthcare, health maintenance and health-related behaviors. Beginning with a formulation of mind and body as an integrated system rather than as two separate systems, it seeks to examine the role of behavior in the prevention, onset, and course of illness and disease. Many chronic illnesses are related to lifestyle, and current research in weight management and dietary change, smoking cessation, substance use and abuse and stress management will be examined. Applications of psychology in the treatment of many disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and chronic pain, will be presented. Ultimately, this course is about the empowerment of individuals to take charge of their own health status and wellness, and about some of the tools and strategies currently in use to accomplish this task.

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

PSY 255 Human Relations in Health Care     (3 credits)

Formerly PS 341 and NAS 365

This course will acquaint students with theories that illuminate human relations patterns and practices in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Students will receive practice in the formal analysis of communication problems that manifest in pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, group practices and institutional settings. Participants will be taught to recognize elements of successful versus dysfunctional dynamics in healthcare organizations. An understanding of contemporary practices and trends in healthcare organizations will be provided. An introduction to interventions as well as methods of human relations training will be covered. This course will provide insight into using psychological theories and skills necessary for effective interpersonal relations among professionals in the healthcare industry. An emphasis will be placed on refining oral, written and visual presentation skills necessary for effective teamwork in healthcare organizations.

Typically Offered: Every two or more years

PSY 260 Understanding Learning Differences and Disabilites     (3 credits)

Context and Perspectives: Race, Gender, and Inequality
Formerly PS 276 and NAS 376

In this course we will investigate the nature of learning differences/disabilities, how they are diagnosed, the strategies and techniques used to manage them, and how they affect the education and lives of people with learning disabilities as well as their relationships with family members, friends, and colleagues. We will study a range of different types of learning disabilities and differences (such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder and autism spectrum disorder) and explore how they affect the individual in a variety of social contexts. We will explore the intersections of social factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation with disabilities and learning differences. We will also investigate how these differences affect the individual’s sense of self and identity and explore the types of communication and workplace challenges that may emerge.

Typically Offered: Once a year

PSY 265 Psychology of Self     (3 credits)

Context and Perspectives: Culture, Change, and Behavior
Formerly PS 380 and NAS 380

This course is structured as an interactive, theme-oriented group class exploring life choices in the struggle toward personal autonomy. The topics include choosing a personal style of learning; reviewing childhood and adolescence and autonomy; maintaining a healthy body and wellness; managing stress; love, intimate relationships, gender roles and sexuality; work and relaxation; loneliness and solitude; death and loss; and choosing one's meaning in life. Student discussion is a must to explore the above topics.

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

PSY 300 Child Psychology     (3 credits)

Formerly PS 240 and NAS 362

This course focuses on the world of the child from birth through adolescence. Emphasis is placed on the sequence of development during this period. While normal developmental patterns and preventive aspects are central, the student investigates some areas of psychopathology, play therapy, familial influences and prenatal care.

Typically Offered: Every two or more years

PSY 310 Minds, Machines, and the Future of Work     (3 credits)

Formerly PS 201 and NAS 384

According to a growing consensus, as the abilities and applications of artificial intelligence and automation expand in the coming decades, the role of the human worker will transform. Yet what precise roles will humans and machines play in this new landscape? This course will explore this question from a basic and applied cognitive psychological perspective, asking whether and how tasks such as developing expertise, making crucial decisions, and solving problems are likely to be distributed across humans and machines in the workforce of the future. To answer this question, we will critically apply cognitive psychological principles and methods both to tasks executed by human experts in a range of fields and to current artificial intelligence technologies. Can or will machines accurately and effectively perform activities such as tax accounting, detection of hate speech, and legal reasoning? What is or will be the role of humans in the workforce of the future?

PSY 315 Cyber Psychology     (3 credits)

Context and Perspectives: Culture, Change, and Behavior
Formerly PS 325 and NAS 390

This course examines the influences of information technology on human behavior. Current literature and the results of recent research will be analyzed to demonstrate these influences. Issues of interpersonal communication, personality, cognitive and social development, addiction and perceptual behavior will be addressed in depth.

PSY 330 Nonverbal Behavior and Judging Others     (3 credits)

Formerly PS 351 and NAS 370

How do we communicate nonverbally and how do we use nonverbal information to form impressions and make judgments of others? This course is designed to introduce students to the basics of nonverbal behavior and how it influences our interpersonal interactions. The course will introduce students to research on various nonverbal cues, including gesture, touch, gaze, appearance, and facial and vocal cues. In addition, making judgments of others based on their nonverbal behaviors is a ubiquitous part of our interpersonal interactions. The second half of the course will explore how we perceive others, with a particular emphasis on first impressions and the role of gender and culture in these perceptions. We will also debunk the myths of lie detection. Throughout the course, examples and activities will focus on the application of nonverbal behavior in healthcare and business settings.

Typically Offered: Once a year

PSY 350 Environmental Psychology     (3 credits)

Formerly PS 305 and NAS 382

This course will explore the rapidly growing field of environmental psychology focused on understanding the interactions between human behavior and both the natural and built environments. The American Psychological Association defines these fields as: "Natural Environment environmental psychology explores human responses to natural and technological hazards, conservation psychology, and place preference. Built Environment environmental psychology examines environmental perception and cognition, environmental design, city planning, sustainable development, and place preference in regard to man-made environments."

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

PSY 355 Behavioral Health: Natural Disaster Zones     (3 credits)

Formerly PS 306 and NAS 383

This course will explore the behavioral health issues, proactive preparedness measures, intervention strategies and the associated implications for governing agencies, business, and the insurance industry. The course will introduce the unique behavioral trauma characteristics for children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. Concepts from social psychology will be applied to understanding community psychological identity disruption.

Typically Offered: Once a year

PSY 360 Sports Psychology     (3 credits)

Formerly PS 230 and NAS 385

This course involves the study of athletes and sport using concepts and theories from psychology. Topics include the development, personality and emotional life of the athlete, as well as performance enhancement issues such as arousal regulation, attention, motivation, control of cognition, relaxation techniques, coaching and counseling. The course applies fundamental concepts of general psychology to the subspecialty of sports.

Typically Offered: Once a year

PSY 399 Experimental Course in Psychology     (3 credits)

Experimental courses explore curriculum development, with specific content intended for evolution into a permanent course. A topic may be offered twice before it becomes a permanent course. Students may repeat experimental courses with a different topic for credit.

Typically Offered: As needed

PSY 401 Directed Study in Psychology     (3 credits)

Directed Study topics must be submitted for approval by instructor, chair and associate dean of Arts and Sciences.

Typically Offered: As needed

PSY 402 Seminar in Psychology     (3 credits)

The course permits small-group study of selected topics by advanced students. (May be repeated for credit.)

Typically Offered: Every two or more years

PSY 415 Special Topics in Psychology     (3 credits)

This course examines a different theme or themes in each semester related to psychology. Topics may include healthcare, human and organizational behavior, and other topics selected by psychology faculty.

PSY 421 Internship in Psychology     (3 credits)

An internship provides students with an opportunity to gain on-the-job experience and apply principles and issues raised in the academic discipline to a work environment. Students are required to attend pre-internship workshops sponsored by the Center for Career Services, meet regularly with a faculty advisor, and develop a final paper or special project.

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring