The material on this page is from the 1995-96 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.


Professors Wagner, Chair, Moyer, Bradley, and Kelsey; Associate Professor Nigro; Assistant Professors Low, McCormick, and Lopes

The courses in psychology have a twofold purpose. For the liberal-arts student with a general interest in the field, the aim is to present the fundamental facts, principles, and applications of modern psychology. For the student who wishes to specialize in psychology or related fields, the necessary background is offered in subject matter, methods, and techniques for critical and systematic study on the student's own initiative and as preparation for graduate work.

A major consists of at least nine courses in the field. Psychology 360 may count as only one of these courses. All majors are required to complete successfully: Psychology 218 and 261 (by the end of the junior year); two of the following: 303, 313, 315, 333, 341, 370 or 376; and two of the following: 301, 305, 318, 345, 355, 363, 380 or 381. Students thinking about off-campus study should note that Psychology 218 and 261 are offered in both semesters. Students considering graduate work in psychology are encouraged to write a thesis (457 and/or 458). Students interested in an interdisciplinary major program, particularly with biology, sociology, or other social sciences, should initiate discussions with the Chairs of the appropriate departments during the sophomore year.

All majors must (a) write a senior thesis or (b) pass a comprehensive examination. A thesis may be written during the first and/or second semester of the senior year. Topics for theses must be approved by the Department. For fall-semester and two-semester theses: (1) students register for Psychology 457; (2) proposals must be submitted by Friday of the second full week of classes (September 22, 1995). For winter-semester theses: (1) students register for Psychology 458; (2) proposals must be submitted by the second Monday in November (November 13, 1995). Candidates for the honors program are invited by the Department from among those seniors conducting two-semester thesis projects who have shown a high degree of initiative and progress by the end of November of the fall semester. The faculty thesis advisor must assure the Department that the student's work is of honors caliber and is progressing satisfactorily before the Department will invite the student.

The comprehensive examination requirement may be fulfilled by attaining a score of 500 or better on the Advanced Psychology section of the Graduate Record Examination. The GRE must be taken on or before the February test date of the senior year. Students are advised to take the GRE at least once before the February test date. Students who have taken but do not pass the GRE by the deadline may fulfill the requirement by passing a departmental comprehensive examination scheduled during the Short Term of their senior year.

General Education. The following sets are available: Psychology 101-202, 101-210, 101-211, 101-230, 101-240, 101-250, 101-363. If Psychology 101 has been waived, any pair of the aforementioned 200-level courses may constitute a set. The quantitative requirement may be satisfied through Psychology 218. A student may request that the Department approve a two-course set not currently designated.

101. Introductory Psychology. A general course intended to introduce the student to the study of behavior in preparation for more advanced work in psychology and related fields. Fundamental psychological laws and principles of human behavior are examined in the light of the scientific method. Prerequisite for all other courses in the Department. Enrollment is limited to 100. Mr. Moyer, Mr. Wagner. F W

202. Human Sexuality. The course is an introduction to issues of human sexuality. Some of the topics covered include sexual anatomy and physiology, sexual behaviors and life-styles, and sexual health. Human sexuality is discussed from psychological, biological, and cross-cultural perspectives. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Open to first-year students. Not open to students who have received credit for Psychology s25. Enrollment is limited to 50. Ms. McCormick. F

210. Social Psychology. A study of people in social settings. Topics covered include group composition and structure; conformity; self-identity; interpersonal attraction; and attitude formation and change. Theoretical principles are applied to such social phenomena as social conflict, sex-role behavior, competition, and leadership. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Open to first-year students. Enrollment is limited to 50. Mr. Wagner. F

211. Psychology of Abnormal Personality. The course introduces the fundamentals of personality and abnormal psychology. Topics include a variety of personality theories, the trait debate, physiological factors which may shape personality, assessment of personality and psychopathology, approaches to personality research, and application of theory to psychopathology. Readings include Freud, Erikson, Rogers, and topics in abnormal psychology. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Open to first-year students. Enrollment is limited to 50. Ms. Low. F

218. Statistics and Experimental Design. A laboratory course in the use of statistical methods for describing and drawing inferences from data. Experimental and correlational research designs are studied by analyzing computer-simulated data for numerous problems. Topics covered include sampling theory, correlation and regression, t tests, chi-square tests, and analysis of variance. Prerequisites: Psychology 101 and any 200-level psychology course. Enrollment is limited to 30. Mr. Bradley. F W

230. Cognitive Neuroscience. The human brain is a fascinating system in terms of its structure and function. The main questions addressed in the course are: How are brain structure and organization related to how people think, feel, and behave? Conversely, how are thoughts and ideas represented in the brain? Although these questions are examined from a variety of research approaches, the main one is the study of brain-damaged individuals. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Enrollment is limited to 50. Ms. McCormick. W

240. Developmental Psychology. A comprehensive introduction to current thinking and research in developmental psychology. Topics include attachment, cognitive development, language acquisition, play, socialization, and moral development. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Open to first-year students. Enrollment is limited to 50. Ms. Nigro. W

250. Motivation and Emotion. The course examines the mechanisms involved in activating and directing behavior and in forming emotions. Analysis includes evaluation of the role of physiological, environmental, and cognitive variables in mediating the following behavioral processes: hunger, sex, aggression, arousal, reward, stress and psychosomatic diseases, choice, achievement, and consistency. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Open to first-year students. Enrollment is limited to 50. Mr. Kelsey. F

261. Research Methodology. This course provides comprehensive coverage of the major methods used in psychological research, with special emphasis on experimental design. Students receive extensive practice in designing, conducting, analyzing, and interpreting the results of research studies, and writing reports in APA style. Prerequisite: Psychology 218. Enrollment is limited to 15 per section. Staff. F W

301. Visual Perception. The course examines perceptual phenomena at several levels of analysis, ranging from the physiology of vision to the cultural determinants of perception. Topics covered include color vision, the perceptual constancies, depth perception, perceptual adaptation, visual illusions, perceptual organization, and form perception. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or written permission of the instructor. Mr. Bradley. W

303. Health Psychology. This course introduces health psychology from a biopsychosocial perspective. The course first describes the theoretical underpinnings of the biopsychosocial model, and the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology. The course then reviews the current research on stress, coping and illness, and stress-management techniques. Research on psychosocial contributors to heart disease, cancer, chronic pain syndromes, and other illnesses is reviewed, along with implications for prevention and treatment. Prerequisite: Psychology 211, or 250, or 333, or 363, or permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to 50. [Ms. Low].

305. Animal Learning. The course examines historical and recent trends in animal learning. Lecture and laboratory topics include classical and operant conditioning, cognitive processes, and biological constraints on learning. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Recommended background: Psychology 250 or Biology 262. [Mr. Kelsey].

313. Advanced Personality Theory. An in-depth analysis of five or six different theorists, including Freud, Jung, and Rogers. This course proceeds through discussion of primary sources and includes a comparison and critique of the theories based on their personal and social relevance. Prerequisite: Psychology 211 or permission of the instructor. Mr. Wagner. F

315. Body Image and Eating Disorders. This course examines the ways in which physiological and social forces affect the formation of body image and lead to the development of eating disorders in increasing numbers of young American women. The course explores reasons why these forces are different for women and men. The course considers several perspectives including physiological, sociocultural, feminist, and psychodynamic. Prerequisites: Psychology 261, and either 210, or 211, or 240. Enrollment is limited to 15. Ms. Lopes. W

318. Advanced Topics in Statistics. A laboratory course in the use of advanced statistical methods for analyzing data. Multiple regression and correlation, curvilinear regression, complex analysis of variance, and post hoc statistical methods are covered. Students learn to use statistical packages and specialized computer programs for analyzing data. Prerequisite: Psychology 218 or the equivalent. [Mr. Bradley].

333. Advanced Topics in Abnormal Psychology. A consideration of contemporary categories of abnormality from several points of view: psychoanalytic, biological, and cognitive-behavioral. Additional topics include differential diagnosis, treatment methods, and legal issues related to mental illness. Prerequisites: Psychology 211 and 261, or permission of the instructor. Ms. Low. W

341. Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology. A seminar that examines the concepts and methods of developmental psychology. Topics include infant perception, language learning, aggression and altruism, the concept of risk, and the cultural contexts of development. Students do projects in local settings, such as child-care facilities. Prerequisites: Psychology 240 and 261. [Ms. Nigro]. F

345. The Environment and the Developing Brain. This course involves the study of how signals from the prenatal and postnatal environment interact with genetic events to shape the development of the brain. The course explores the consequences of variation in neural development for behavior through studies of environmental perturbations in people and experimental animals. Course material is drawn from many disciplines (e.g., embryology, developmental neuroscience, neuropsychology). Prerequisite: Psychology 230, or 240, or 363, or permission of the instructor. Alternates annually with Psychology 355. [Ms. McCormick]. F

355. Behavioral Endocrinology. Behavioral endocrinology is the study of the relationship between hormones and behavior. Seminars explore topics such as the involvement of hormones in sexual behavior, in the regulation of feeding, in mechanisms of stress, and in cognition. Laboratories involve research projects in the field and focus on the development of a variety of research skills. Prerequisite: Psychology 363. Not open to students who have received credit for Psychology 381 in winter semester 1993. Alternates annually with Psychology 345. Ms. McCormick. F

360. Independent Study. Study by an individual student guided by a single faculty member. Proposals for independent study must be discussed with the faculty member and approved by the Department before the beginning of the semester in which the study is undertaken. Staff.

363. Physiological Psychology. The course is an introduction to the concepts and methods used in the study of the physiological mechanisms underlying behavior. Topics include an introduction to neurophysiology and neuroanatomy; an examination of sensory and motor mechanisms; and the physiological bases of ingestion, sexual behavior, reinforcement, learning, memory, and abnormal behavior. Laboratory work includes examination of neuroanatomy and development of surgical and histological skills. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Recommended background: Psychology 230, or 250, or Biology 101. Mr. Kelsey. F

365. Special Topics. Offered from time to time for small groups of students working with a faculty member on specialized projects or experiments. May be taken more than once for credit. Permission of the instructor is required. Staff.

370. Psychology of Women and Gender. This course takes a critical look at psychology's theories and findings about women and gender. Students examine topics such as menarche, mothering, and menopause from a variety of perspectives; the ways that race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and age modify women's experiences are considered. The utility of psychological knowledge for effecting social change is explored. Prerequisite: Psychology 261 or WS/AAS/ACS 250. This course is cross-listed with the Program in Women's Studies as a core course. Ms. Nigro. F

376. Psychology of Social Conflict. This course considers the bases and consequences of social conflict and its resolution, from interpersonal to cultural and political conflict. Topics may include escalation of conflict, ethnic and international conflict, negotiation, third-party intervention, and building community and peace. Prerequisites: Psychology 210 and at least three courses in psychology, or permission of the instructor. [Mr. Wagner]. F

380. Social Cognition. Every day we characterize and evaluate other people, endeavor to understand the causes of their behavior, and try to predict their future actions. This course examines these social judgments and the cognitive processes upon which they depend. Topics include attribution theory, biases in social-information processing, impression formation, and prejudice. Prerequisites: Psychology 210 and 261. Mr. Moyer. W

381. Advanced Topics in Experimental Psychology. A series of advanced laboratory courses covering such topics as (a) learning, (b) perception, (c) physiology, and (d) social psychology. Open to juniors and seniors. Topic for 1996: Social Cognition. Prerequisites: Psychology 261, and permission of the instructor. Mr. Moyer. W

401. Senior Seminar in Psychology. A course designed to give senior majors an opportunity to explore a significant new area in psychology or to better understand psychology's approach to a contemporary social issue. The topic changes from year to year and with the expertise of the staff member. Possible topics include conflict resolution, cultural psychology, and social policies toward children. Topic for 1995: Psychology of Rape and Sexual Harassment. Prerequisite: Psychology 261. Enrollment is limited to 15. Mr. Moyer. F

457, 458. Senior Thesis. Research and report writing, supplemented by individual conferences and group meetings. All theses are due on the last day of classes for the semester. Staff.

Short-Term Units
s20. Drugs and Society. This unit examines the role of both legal and illegal substances in U.S. society. The phenomenon of addiction is considered from a biopsychosocial perspective. A historical overview of changes in societal acceptance of various substances is included. A portion of the unit is devoted to a consideration of the use of substances by cultures outside of the U.S., and by indigenous groups and countercultures within the U.S. Factors underlying current drug policies are examined. Enrollment is limited to 30. Ms. Lopes.

s27. The Psychology of the Holocaust. The deportation and murder of millions of European Jews and others by German Nazis and their collaborators during World War II are the greatest crimes against humanity. In this unit we attempt to understand why millions of people participated in committing the atrocities. We also focus on the distinguishing characteristics of the minority of people who protested the Holocaust in some manner. We also focus on the victims themselves and their responses to the terror. Unit activities include meetings with survivors. Recommended background: Psychology 101 and some familiarity with the Holocaust. Open to first-year students. Enrollment is limited to 15. Ms. Lopes.

s28. Action Research in Psychology and Education. Students learn from and with members of the local educational community, by collaborating with them on research projects. The projects address significant community problems related to schooling, such as the high pupil-transfer rate or the low homework-return rate. Teams of students and local teachers collaborate in the design, implementation, and final presentation of projects. This unit is the same as Education s28. Recommended background: one course in psychology and one course in education. Written permission of the instructor is required. Enrollment is limited to 15. Ms. Nigro, Mr. Wortham.

s30. Contemporary Psychotherapies with Practicum. This unit surveys a variety of contemporary psychotherapies, ranging from dynamic approaches to behavior modification. The unit is "hands on," in that students are asked to role-play therapy sessions on videotape as part of the unit requirements, and practice a variety of therapeutic techniques. The unit also includes opportunities to observe treatment on videotape. Prerequisite: Psychology 333 or permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to 12. Ms. Low.

s31. Animal Models of Behavioral Disorders. The unit examines how we can understand and develop treatments for human behavioral and neurological disorders by developing animal models of these disorders. Emphasis is on laboratory development and examination of environmental and physiological (particularly neurochemical) determinants of these behavioral disorders in animals. Possible topics are schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, addiction, obesity, ulcers, hyperkinesia, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's chorea. Prerequisite: at least one psychology course beyond the introductory level or one course in biology. Permission of the instructor is required. Enrollment is limited to 10. [Mr. Kelsey].

s32. Group Dynamics. Major contemporary approaches to the study of small groups. Topics include group composition, development, performance and leadership, and the use of groups as effective educational mechanisms. Readings in theoretical and experimental literature, and experience observing small groups. Prerequisites: Psychology 210 and written permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to 15. Mr. Wagner.

s33. Case Studies in Clinical Neuropsychology. Beginning with Oliver Sacks's book (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat), case studies are used to explore how neuropsychologists investigate the organization and function of the brain through the study of brain-damaged individuals. The unit includes a laboratory in neuropsychological assessment. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Open to first-year students. Enrollment is limited to 12. [Ms. McCormick].

s34. New Directions in Developmental Psychology. The unit provides students with an opportunity to explore a significant new area in developmental psychology. Students spend two weeks reading, reviewing methods in developmental psychology, and designing projects. During the remainder of the unit, students carry out the projects and produce written research reports. Topics might include social policy about children, children and the law, memory development. Prerequisites: Psychology 240 and permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to 15. [Ms. Nigro].

s36. Seminar and Fieldwork in Developmental Psychology. Study of principles of developmental psychology in applied settings. Individual placements are made in such settings as preschools, day-care centers, residential treatment centers, and day treatment centers. Normal and/or abnormal development throughout the life span is studied. Students meet with the instructor to examine the relation between theoretical and applied analyses of development. Prerequisites: Psychology 240, on-site interview, and permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to 15. Ms. Nigro.

s37. Computers in Psychology and Aviation. Explores the use of microcomputers for teaching, research, and simulation in the field of psychology. Students participate in the design, testing, and implementation of software to conduct experiments and to demonstrate visual illusions and other perceptual phenomena. The unit also explores the use of computer flight simulators for teaching perceptual-motor, spatial orientation, information processing, and navigational skills. Flight simulation projects include a detailed analysis of students' performance in replicating (for example) Lindbergh's 1927 transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. Recommended background: Psychology 101 and one other course in psychology, some degree of proficiency with computers, and written permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to 10. Open to first-year students. [Mr. Bradley].

s39. Perspectives in Cognition. A study of issues of contemporary concern in cognitive psychology. Prerequisite: Psychology 261. Mr. Moyer.

s46. Internship in Psychology. Off-campus participation by qualified students as team members in an experimental program in a laboratory research project. By specific arrangement and departmental approval only. Staff.

s50. Individual Research. Registration in this unit is granted by the Department only after the student has submitted a written proposal for a full-time research project to be completed during the Short Term and has secured the sponsorship of a member of the Department to direct the study and evaluate results. Staff.

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