Ursinus College Catalog

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Psychology

Professor Chambliss (Chair); Associate Professors Bish, DaCosta; Assistant Professors Stevenson, Mattingly.

The objectives of the department of psychology for the student are:

1. to familiarize the student with the general methods of behavioral research;

2. to familiarize the student with the various content areas of psychology;

3. to develop an appreciation of the interplay of theory and research in psychology; and

4. to develop the ability for critical, analytic and independent thinking in the realm of behavioral science.

A student meeting these objectives is prepared not only for graduate work in psychology and the behavioral sciences, but also for study in other areas and professions, as well as employment in a wide variety of industrial, business, and governmental positions. Also attainable for psychology majors at Ursinus is Pennsylvania certification in social studies for grades 7-12, as well as courses which may apply to graduate school programs elsewhere for elementary and secondary school counselors and for school psychologists. Students and their advisers should consult the Ursinus College Education Department. In order to meet these objectives, the psychology curriculum is divided into four components: major core, ancillary courses, major concentration, minors. These are explained individually below.

Requirements for Majors

Major Core

This is required of all psychology majors. It consists of a basic set of courses required of all majors, and four content areas from each of which the student must select one course. Psychology majors can fulfill both the requirement for an oral presentation in the major and the capstone requirement by taking PSYC-481, 482, 491, or 492.

1. Required: PSYC-100, 110, 210W.

2. Content areas: each student must select one course from each content area.

  • a. Experimental: PSYC-320, 325, 330, 335, 340.
  • b. Developmental/Personality: PSYC-345, 355, 375, 450, 455.
  • c. Social/Applied: PSYC-240, 360, 365, 440, 465.
  • d. Research/Theory: PSYC-481, 482, 491, 492, 495.

3. Six additional elected credits in Psychology.

Ancillary Courses

1. Two of the following: BIO-101Q, BIO-102Q, NEUR-120Q.

2. Eight credit hours in the non-psychology social sciences, choosing among anthropology, economics, politics, sociology and MCS-205.

Major Concentration

This is not required but rather intended for the student who plans to pursue graduate study in psychology or related fields.

1. MATH/STAT-141Q, 242.

2. PSYC-481 or 482, 491 or 492 (beyond the course taken as part of the major core).

3. Three electives from departmental offerings at the 300-400 level.

4. MCS-102 is highly recommended.

Requirements for Minors

A minor concentration in general psychology consists of PSYC-100 and 110; one course in experimental psychology chosen from PSYC-320, 325, 330 or 340; one course in developmental/ personality psychology chosen from PSYC-345, 355, 375, 450 or 455; one course in social/applied psychology chosen from PSYC-240, 360, 365, 440, or 465. A minor concentration in human behavioral development consists of PSYC-100, 110, 345, 355, and 455.

COURSES

PSYC-100. Introductory Psychology Faculty

This course is an introduction to psychological research and topics selected to illustrate interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives. The goal is to enhance insight into individuals, the internal factors that influence their psychological processes, and their relationship with their social milieu. Four hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC-110. Research and Statistical Methods Faculty

This course is an introduction to psychological research, emphasizing non-experimental research methodologies including field studies, correlational research, and quasi-experimental and ex post facto research designs. Topics covered include the following: operationism, measurement and error, subject and variable selections, experimental control, and ethical issues. Students will also be introduced to the use of statistics as a research tool. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC-210W. Experimental Design and Statistical Methods Faculty

This course is designed to familiarize the student with principles of experimental design, statistical techniques, and laboratory methods used in psychology. Lectures, demonstrations, data collection, and the preparation of scientific reports. Prerequisites: CIE-100, PSYC-100, 110, or permission of instructor. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC-240. Psychology and Law Faculty

This course examines the American legal system in light of basic and applied psychological research and theory. Topics include jury decision-making, police interrogations and confessions, hypnosis, lie-detection, eyewitness testimony, line-ups, repressed memories, child witnesses in sex abuse cases, the death penalty, the insanity defense, and the role of psychology in legal reform. Prerequisite: PSYC-100 or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC-260. Mental Health and Abnormal Psychology Dr. Chambliss

Mental health problems are examined from the biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic/existential and sociocultural perspectives. Topics include reactive, anxiety, and personality disorders, psychosis and organic disorders, and substance abuse. Prevention and treatment of mental illness are discussed. Prerequisite: PSYC-100. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)

PSYC/ENV-282. Environmental Psychology Faculty

Study of the interrelationship between human behavior and experience and the built and natural environment. Topics include: influences of weather, climate, noise, crowding, and stress; personal space and territoriality; work, leisure, and learning environments; the natural environment and behavioral solutions to environmental problems. Prerequisite: PSYC-100. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC-301. Reading in Psychology Faculty

Individual study of one or more selected topics in the psychological literature, and preparation of an annotated bibliography of a detailed proposal for subsequent research. To register for this course, the student must have the consent of a member of the psychology staff to serve as adviser. One semester hour.

PSYC-302. Reading in Psychology Faculty

Content and prerequisites as in PSYC-301, but offered in the spring term. One semester hour.

PSYC-320. Sensation and Perception Faculty

The nature of the fundamental sensory processes will be explored with emphasis on vision and audition. Theory and experiments bearing on significant perceptual phenomena will be surveyed from both physiological and behavioral viewpoints. Prerequisites: PSYC-100, 110. Three hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC/NEUR-325. Behavioral Neurosciences Dr. Bish

A study of the structure and function of the vertebrate nervous system, particularly of the neural substrates of behavior as well as cerebral lateralization of function. Topics include evolutionary, anatomical and physiological approaches to the nervous system and behavior. Prerequisites: PSYC-100; BIO-101Q or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

Note: Students who have received credit for PSYC/NEUR-325 may not enroll in NEUR-120.

PSYC/NEUR-327. Neurosciences Laboratory Faculty

A study of nervous system structure and function emphasizing human electrophysiological signal recording and manipulation. Topics include gross neuroanatomy; electrophysiological signal characteristics, recording and analysis; and biofeedback programming. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Two hours per week. One semester hour.

PSYC-330. Cognitive Psychology Dr. Bish, Dr. Stevenson

A review of contemporary research and theory dealing with human mental processes. Topics covered include attention, pattern recognition, structure of memory, memory processes, and language acquisition. Prerequisite: PSYC-100. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC/NEUR-335. Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Dr. Bish

A review of contemporary neuroscience research and theory with attention to its interdisciplinary (psychology, biology, medicine, and engineering) and applied nature. Topics include robotics, electronic implants, virtual environments, eye movements, spatial orientation, body posture and balance, multisensory representations of space, and higher order cognitive deficits. Prerequisites: NEUR/PSYC-325 or BIO-305 or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC/NEUR-337. Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory Dr. Bish

An experimental investigation of higher order cognitive function and the practical application of the experimental results. Topics include virtual and terrestrial navigation, eye movement recordings, three-dimensional analysis of body posture and balance, and object recognition and identification. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Two hours per week. One semester hour.

PSYC-340. Learning and Motivation Dr. Bish

A review of learning theory, past and contemporary. Emphasis will be on the basic processes of classical conditioning and instrumental learning, the phenomena associated with these processes, and the development of learning theory in response to experimentation. Lectures, individual experimentation, and the preparation of scientific reports. Prerequisites: PSYC-100 and 210W. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC-345. Child Development Faculty

A study of human development from conception through childhood. Physical, cognitive, and social development will be reviewed in terms of psychological theory and empirical research. Emphasis will be given to the interaction between cultural and individual influences on the course of development. Prerequisite: PSYC-100. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)

PSYC-355. Adolescent Psychology Dr. DaCosta

A review of research and theory of physical, psychological, and social development during adolescence. Topics covered will include physical/sexual development, cognitive development, personality development, sex roles and gender identity, peer and familial influences, and social development. Prerequisite: PSYC-100. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)

PSYC-360. Psychology in the Community Faculty

Application of psychological theory, research methods, and empirical findings to community programs dealing with contemporary social problems, such as crime and delinquency, racial prejudice, environmental pollution, mental illness, drug addiction, poverty, and other forms of deprivation. Prerequisite: PSYC-100. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)

PSYC-365. Organizational Psychology Faculty

The study of human behavior in work settings. Motivation and productivity, personnel selection, human-computer interaction, and causes and consequences of job stress. The effects of different approaches to management are addressed. Prerequisites: PSYC-100; MATH/STAT-141Q. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)

PSYC-375. Adulthood and Old Age Faculty

A survey of physical, social, and cognitive changes in adulthood with a focus on old age. The survey course will review research and theory from the lifespan perspective. Prerequisite: PSYC-100. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)

PSYC-381. Internship 

An off-campus academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Contact departmental chair for further information. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: nine credits in psychology and approval of a faculty internship adviser. Three semester hours. (I.)

PSYC-382. Internship 

An off-campus academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Contact departmental chair for further information. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 160 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: nine credits in psychology and approval of a faculty internship adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)

PSYC-440. Social Psychology Dr. Mattingly

The study of social forces as they originate with and impinge on individuals. Attitude-behavior relationships, group membership, and causes of antisocial and prosocial behavior are analyzed. Historical perspectives are included. Three hours per week. Prerequisite: PSYC-100. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)

PSYC-450. Psychopathology and Psychotherapy Dr. Chambliss

Clinical and experimental approaches to the understanding and treatment of psychosis, anxiety disorders, and related conditions. Selected topics are studied intensively to illustrate the wide variety of contemporary viewpoints and techniques. Prerequisites: PSYC-100, 260, and 265 or 345. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)

PSYC-455. Personality Dr. DaCosta

A comprehensive survey of psychological theory and research dealing with the normal aspects of human nature. The psychoanalytic, biogenetic, trait, humanistic, and behavioral perspectives will be explored. Prerequisites: PSYC-100, 260, and 265, 355 or 345. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC-465. Testing and Assessment Faculty

Introduction to procedures and instruments related to the assessment of individuals and outcomes in educational and institutional settings. The course will review issues related to program evaluation as well as the development and use of aptitude, achievement, and personality tests. Prerequisites: PSYC-100 and MATH/STAT-141Q. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC-480. History and Theories of Psychology Dr. Bish

The philosophical underpinnings of psychology from the Greeks to the 19th-century empiricists will be explored. The development of scientific paradigms to address fundamental philosophical issues will then be traced in the emergence of contemporary psychology. A critique of psychology as a method of inquiry and as a theory of knowledge will be attempted within the framework of a philosophy and sociology of science. Three semester hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

PSYC-481. Research Faculty

Investigations of an experimental, clinical or theoretical nature pursued independently by the student. The preparation of a written and oral scientific report is required. To register for the course, a student must have the consent of a member of the psychology staff to serve as his or her adviser. Prerequisite: MCS-102 or permission of instructor. Four semester hours. (I.)

PSYC-482. Research Faculty

Content as in PSYC-481, but offered in the spring term. Students who have been admitted to the course and who have fulfilled its requirements may be awarded departmental honors, but no additional semester hours of credit, if they have qualified in other ways for admission to the honors program. Prerequisite: MCS-102 or permission of instructor. Four semester hours. (I.)

PSYC-491. Research/Independent Work Faculty

This course is open to candidates for departmental honors and to other students with the permission of the departmental chairperson. The preparation of a written and oral scientific report is required. Prerequisite: MCS-102 or permission of instructor. Four semester hours. (I.)

PSYC-492. Research/Independent Work Faculty

A continuation of PSYC-491. Prerequisite: PSYC-491. Four semester hours. (I.)

PSYC-495. Seminar in Psychology Faculty

A seminar intended to familiarize the student with the current trends and special topics in theoretical and applied psychology. Emphasis will be given to the preparation and oral presentation of papers on selected topics which will vary from year to year. Open to third- and fourth-year students majoring in psychology. Prerequisite: MCS-102. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)