Psychology

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Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and cognitive processes, with application to many human and animal concerns. Students with a liberal arts education should develop an understanding of themselves and others that allows them to function effectively in diverse situations, interpersonally and intellectually. The Psychology Department offers a strong curriculum aimed at providing students with a comprehensive conceptual base from a variety of perspectives. Emphasis is placed on critical reading and thinking, and understanding the historical and theoretical framework of psychology and the methodology used in research. Students majoring in psychology are afforded an opportunity to be involved in research as well as to participate   in local educational and mental health agencies. Many psychology majors continue their education in graduate school, and the department actively participates in their preparation for this goal. Should a student choose not to attend graduate school, the study of psychology successfully prepares graduates for a variety of career options. The department sponsors two student organizations: Psi Chi, which is the international Psychology honor society and Psi Alpha Omega, which is open to all students who have an interest in the discipline.

The Psychology Department has identified specific learning outcomes for our students. After completing the requirements for a psychology major, students should be able to:

  • relate theoretical approaches from the history of psychology to prevailing research and practice in contemporary psychology;
  • obtain practical understanding of basic statistical procedures using calculations and obtain basic level skills of the SPSS statistical computer program;
  • demonstrate mastery of the design and implementation of a student-led research project;
  • engage in critical thinking about psychology as a science.  Students will also engage in critical thinking about ethical issues that arise in psychological research;
  • obtain the ability to read and comprehend scientific literature in psychology and students will obtain mastery in skills for writing in APA style;
  • demonstrate effective writing skills.  Also, students will demonstrate effective oral skills

Successful completion of these learning outcomes will be assessed by various assignments in the required components of our psychology curriculum. Students seeking certification in teaching should consult with the department chair.

Degree Type: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Program Contact: Professor Jay Castaneda

 

Majors and Minors

Classes

PSY111 : General Psychology

Introduction to psychology as a science, using the empirical approach to study many areas of behavior such as motivation, emotion, perception, thinking, learning, abnormal, personality, and social. This course satisfies an Area of Inquiry requirement for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY163 : Life above Zero: An Introduction to Positive Psychology

This course is designed to introduce students to the field of psychology with an emphasis on positive psychology, which is the scientific study of happiness and the good life. This course will educate students on research methodology by examining topics like happiness, optimism, and character strengths. In addition, the course will infuse opportunities for self-examination and reflection by incorporating self-report assessments and applied exercises. This course will be offered only as a Foundations 112 course. This course satisfies an Area of Inquiry requirement for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY240 : Lifespane Development

Study of human developmental processes from prenatal stages through later adulthood with an examination of the biological, psychological, social, and contextual factors influencing behavior across the lifespan.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY242 : Adolescence and Adulthood

This course is designed as an overview of adolescent and adult development. Readings and class activities cover issues from adolescence through adulthood, examining research in physical, cognitive, personality, and social development. A particular emphasis of this course is an integration of biological, psychological, social, and cultural contributions to human development. This course satisfies an Area of Inquiry requirement for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY260 : Social Psychology

The study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. Topics to be covered include the self, conformity, obedience, gender, attitudes, prejudice, liking and love, aggression, helping, and group behavior. This course satisfies an Area of Inquiry requirement for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY290 : Animal Behavior

This course will examine the development, underlying neurology and physiology, adaptive function, and application of behavior to understanding feeding, habitat selection, communication, reproduction, parenting, and social behavior. Students will be exposed to methods for the design, analysis and interpretation of behavioral experiments.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY304 : Psychology of Slavery

This will be an online course that will explore the effects of slavery on the enslaved person, the owner/trafficker, and society in general. Psychological and physical trauma associated with slavery both in the past and present will be explored. More specifically, this will include an examination of the cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, cultural and physical trauma experienced by enslaved persons. This course will also focus on the psychological effects of slavery on modern society including topics such as dominant and subordinate groups, prejudice, discrimination, oppression, cognitive frameworks and stereotypes, identity formation, and attitudes of apathy. In addition, the class will include a special focus on the Underground Railroad and modern forms of slavery in Kentucky.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY311 : Experimental Psychology

Design and interpretation of psychological experiments; advanced study in selected areas of experimental psychology.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY211 and junior standing.

PSY313 : Psychology of Motivation

The study of biological, behavioral, and cognitive dimensions of what motivates people in their thoughts and actions.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY315 : Health Psychology

The study of the biological, psychological, and social dimensions involved in health and illness, with emphasis on immune functions, stress, drugs, alcohol, cardiovascular disease, diet, and sexually- transmitted disease.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY318 : Sport Psychology

The study of the psychological and mental factors that affect and are influenced by participation and performance in sport, exercise and physical activity.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY323 : Sensation and Perception

The study of sensory systems and the higher- order cognitive processes involved with interpreting sensory information.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY328 : Learning

This course is an in-depth survey of the major classic and contemporary psychological theories and research in learning. Emphasis will be given to classical and operant conditioning principles, which are the behavioral research standard in the field. Learning will be examined from biological, psychological, and sociocultural perspectives.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY333 : Cognitive Psychology

The study of attention, memory, thinking, concept formation, language, intelligence, and emotions.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY337 : Psychology of Women

This course will provide an over-view of classical and contemporary psychological research pertaining to women. It will explore biological and cultural similarities and differences within topics such as behavior, language, emotion, motivation, mental health, and development. The course will include a special focus on women of different ethnic backgrounds.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY340 : Child Development

This course provides an overview of growth and development from conception through middle childhood. Opportunities are provided for observation in an early childhood center or participation in a service learning placement in a community organization or agency serving young children (5 hours). Special emphasis is placed on the cultural contexts of child development.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY343 : Personality

This course is an introductory level survey of the major classic and contemporary psychological theories and research in personality. We will cover major theories, including psychoanalysis, humanistic, cognitive, social learning, and biological perspectives. Various traits and their importance in predicting health, achievement, and adjustment will also be covered.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY347 : Careers in Psychology

This course is designed to provide advanced psychology students with the opportunity to examine future career paths in and out of psychology. The course also designed to provide a foundation for professional and career development for entry level positions in human service fields as well as preparation for graduate school. We will work to accomplish these goals by lecture, guest speakers, and professional visits to outside facilities.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111

PSY350 : Relationships

The application of psychological methods and principles to intimate relationships. Topics to be covered include attraction, dating, friendship, love, passion, commitment, marriage, jealousy, conflict, and divorce.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

Senior standing and PSY111 or 260.

PSY355 : Abnormal Psychology

The study of classification, assessment, and causes of psychological disorders, reviewing contemporary issues in the study and treatment of psychopathology.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY358 : Human Trafficking

The purpose of this course is to explore modern day slavery both in the United States and Abroad. It will examine topics such as trafficker characteristics, victim vulnerabilities, rehabilitation of victims, human trafficking policies and laws, product supply chain and fair trade, and modern abolition efforts.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY360 : Undergraduate Research

Implementation of psychological research processes using topics chosen by individuals or small groups of students in consultation with the professor of the course. Tutorial teaching will replace classroom teaching for most of the semester. Research methods will involve computer and/or paper and pencil techniques.

Credit Hour(s)

2 - 3

Prerequisites

Consent of instructor.

PSY363 : Positive Psychology

The focus of this course is the science of positive subjective experiences, positive traits, and positive institutions. This course will present psychological perspectives and research findings on topics such as happiness, life satisfaction, and optimism, as well as character strengths and virtues. The course will also encourage self-exploration of students’ own strengths and virtues and investigate empirically-based strategies for enhancing one’s life.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY365 : Industrial/Organizational Psychology

The application of psychological methods and principles to organizational settings. Topics to be covered include motivation, psychological testing, job satisfaction, training, leadership, employee selection, stress, and performance appraisal.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY367 : Dying, Grieving, and Coping

This course examines the concept of death and our psychological responses to death. This subject is explored across cultures and through history from many viewpoints. The class also has many outside speakers to address multiple views on death and dying.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY375 : Tutorial Topics

The study of a special topic in Psychology using a one-on-one tutorial method of instruction adapted from humanities courses at Oxford University. Please check with department for a list of current offerings.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

one course in Psychology and permission of the instructor.

PSY380 : Psychology and the Law

Application of psychological methods and principles to the legal system. Topics to be covered include eyewitness testimony, confessions, the insanity defense, polygraphs, jury selection, profiling, serial killers, and victims.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111 or 260.

PSY411 : Senior Capstone in Psychology

This course is designed to guide senior Psychology majors as they examine enduring issues in psychology from the earliest beginnings in the history of psychology to contemporary research and application. Class readings, assignments, and discussions will synthesize material from previous psychology course work and facilitate the development of each student’s conceptual framework to guide his/her career or graduate school decision-making. The class will culminate in the application of theoretical principles and empirical research findings to a senior paper where students will examine and take a position on a debatable issue within the field of psychology. The paper will be assessed by at least two psychology faculty (e.g., the professor of the course and a second departmental faculty member).

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

Senior standing, major in department, PSY311.

PSY413 : Clinical Assessment

Study of the appraisal and assessment techniques used in clinical settings. Topics covered include effective interviewing strategies, test theory, test development, and administration of tests involving intelligence, achievement, adaptive functions, neuropsychology, clinical symptoms, personality, and vocation/ interest. Emphasis will be placed on ethical standards in interviewing and testing.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111.

PSY415 : Counseling Skills

The study of current approaches used in counseling and psychotherapy. Topics covered include basic counseling and psychotherapy skills, various theoretical models of psychological intervention, and a review of the most current, empirically-supported treatment approaches. Emphasis will be placed on ethical standards as they apply to psychotherapy.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY355.

PSY417 : Developmental Disorders of Childhood

This course examines recent research in disorders of childhood and adolescence. The student will review diagnostic systems and contributing factors as well as identify effective evidence-based interventions.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY242, 240, or 340.

PSY419 : School Psychology

This course is designed to introduce students to the field of school psychology, from its influential place in the history of psychology to contemporary “best practices.” Readings and assignments will direct the student to examine the roles school psychologists play in the school system as a whole, including: individual assessment and intervention with young children; individual, class-wide and system-wide consultation for learning and behavioral issues; and program development in the areas of crisis prevention and intervention.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY425 : Brain and Behavior

This course covers the influence of brain functioning on behavior from physiological, genetic, and evolutionary perspectives. The course will include current research and examine the impact of injury and disease/ disorder on human behavior.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

PSY111 and BIO100 or BIO111.

PSY433 : Animal Cognition

This course will cover a range of issues involving animal consciousness, animal intelligence, and evolution of mind. We will look at what is known about intelligence in other animals, how intelligence is revealed in social and problem-solving behavior, and the ways in which animal cognitive abilities are adaptive.

Credit Hour(s)

3

PSY460 : Enhanced Internship

This course is designed to provide advanced psychology students with the opportunity to work in applied field placements in the community. The course also provides a foundation for professional and career development for entry-level positions in human service fields, as well as preparation for graduate school. Students will be given the opportunity to learn in diverse ways (e.g., exposure to special topics, issues relevant to the placement, different supervisory styles, etc.) through practical experience and guidance from the instructor and site supervisor.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

Consent of instructor.

PSY462 : Internship

Students may receive graduation credit for internships with appropriate disciplinary content that meet the faculty-approved criteria for academic internships. Such experiences include a significant reflective component and must be supervised by a full-time member of the Georgetown College faculty.

Credit Hour(s)

1 - 3

Prerequisites

consent of the supervising instructor.