PSY Courses 400-499
Last updated: 4/10/2008

NOTE: The number of credits is listed in parentheses after the course name.

PSY 401 Advanced Research Methods (3).
Students carry out an independent research project on the topic of their choice with the advice and supervision of a faculty member. The course is designed to give the student an opportunity to use the skills acquired in Introduction to Research Methods (PSY-201) and to examine an area of interest through designing and conducting an experiment. Prerequisites: PSY 101, 201.

PSY 402 Positive Psychology (3).

Traditionally, the modern Western model of clinical psychology has focused on researching, diagnosing, and treating psychological disorders. Theoretically, clinical psychology is based on a deficit or disease model, describing how individuals are lacking psychological resources or evidencing abnormal thinking or behavior. Positive psychology provides a paradigm shift from this disease model, moving beyond just helping people survive their negative life experiences to offering them an enlarged vision of how they can thrive and actualize their potential. This course focuses on the research, techniques, and practical applications of positive psychology including the topics of well-being, character strengths, optimism, resiliency, values, happiness, wellness, accomplishments, and positive relationships.

PSY 404 The Psychology of Decision Making (3).
Following a seminar format, this course explores theoretical approaches to the process of decision making and relates theory and data to applied situations. The course addresses issues relevant to decisions made on both an individual and a group level. Discussions cover a range of settings including business, medicine and matters of personal relevance. A variety of factors is considered, including cognitive, perceptual and subjective value judgments. Prerequisite: PSY 101.

PSY 440-449 Advanced Topics in Psychology (3).
Courses in this series offer an in-depth exploration of specific issues and topics within the various subspecialties of psychology. These courses are intended for students who wish to pursue their studies in a particular field beyond the basic course offered in areas such as clinical, cognitive, developmental and social psychology. Problems of academic and social significance are chosen for study. Topics will be changed each semester Prerequisites: PSY 101 and either a basic course in psychology subspecialty in which an advanced topics course is being offered or permission of the instructor.

PSY 441 (CCM 402) Stages of Life & Health Care (3).
See course description for CCM 402.

PSY 442 Infancy (3).

A comprehensive overview of growth and development during the first three years of life. Topics covered will include how infants gather information from the world around them, what we know about infants’ relationships with other people, and about the uniqueness of their personalities. A concerted effort will be made to achieve a balance between theory, research and practical information.

PSY 443 (PGS 443). Integrating Eastern and Western Approaches to Psychology (3).
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with orientations from both Eastern and Western psychology. This includes focus on theory and research, along with experiential classroom exercises in various healing approaches, such as Buddhism, Sufism, Morita therapy, psychoanalysis, behavior therapy and cognitive therapy, among others. Emphasis will be upon expanding one’s thinking by integrating Eastern and Western approaches, toward enlarging the view of possibilities in understanding ourselves and others, and in promoting healing and growth. Prerequisite: PSY 101.

PSY 444 Story in Psychology: Narrative Perspectives on Human Behavior (3).
Employing a pro-seminar format, we explore how stories and story construction serve as an increasingly influential and integrating paradigm by which to understand human behavior. We will look at the historical and conceptual foundations of the narrative perspective and compare this approach with more traditional models of human psychological functioning. We will pay particular attention to autobiographical memory, self-narrative and identity development in the contemporary world as well as narrative approaches to psychotherapy and health care as examples of the perspective’s scope. We will consider recent advances in narrative research methodologies, particularly those qualitative approaches which focus upon interview and other autobiographical sources of data. Students will be expected to prepare an individual presentation on a topic of their choosing and personal interest. Prerequisites: PSY 101, PSY 201 or equivalent and at least one major psychology subspecialty course at the 200- 300-level. Limited to juniors and seniors.

PSY 445 The Psychology of Grief: Current Understandings and Interventions (3).
Psychology 445 will examine grief processes that take place within individuals and families as they experience loss. The course will focus on the nature and causes of grief as well as strategies for effective counseling interventions. There will be an emphasis on loss due to death, however, other types of psychosocial and physical losses will also be considered. Accordingly, we will explore a variety of factors that facilitate and/or impede the ability to function after loss. The course will initially trace the development of dominant models of grief and their historical and theoretical underpinnings. Considerable emphasis will be on examining the grief process as it is played out in the context of family. The family is seen as an interactive system, with a complex mix of actions, perceptions and expectations that influences relationships and the experience of grief among family members. This course will also consider a postmodern view of bereavement as a complex phenomenon embedded in a unique context involving social, cultural, philosophical and psychological factors.

PSY 446 Cognition and Aging (3).
This course will examine the normal cognitive changes that our growing senior population faces. We will discuss and distinguish between the types of cognition that remain stable with age and those that tend to decline with age. Specifically, this course will focus on how attention, memory, language processing and problem solving change are affected by the aging process. The course will also question whether intelligence changes with age and will examine how creativity and wisdom contribute to definitions of intelligence. Students will be required to write a term paper I APA style on a topic related to cognition and aging. Prerequisite or corequisite: Senior psychology major or permission of instructor.

PSY 447 (GWS 447) Psychology of Stereotype, Prejudice and Discrimination (3).
This course is designed to enhance the understanding of the development and persistence of stereotypes. The psychology of social cognition with regard to the accuracy and inaccuracy of those stereotypes will be addressed as well as how the inaccuracies may lead to prejudice and discrimination. We will explore how this affects our social interactions; specifically addressing the areas of race, class and gender. Students will read book chapters and journal articles and are expected to contribute to classroom discussions of these materials. Students will also complete a writing project. Prerequisites or corequisites: PSY 101 and PSY 201 or permission from instructor. SENIORS ONLY.

PSY 448 Clinical Neuropsychology (3).
Clinical neuropsychology studies human behavior following damage to or dysfunction of the nervous system. Such study seeks to establish both (a) the accurate assessment and remediation of damage or dysfunction and (b) a more complete understanding of the intact nervous system. Utilizing a proseminar format, this course is designed to introduce the advanced undergraduate student of psychology to the research findings and clinical applications of this developing subfield within psychology. Both case studies and laboratory-based research will be reviewed. Topics will include general principles of the brain-behavior relationship, basic and higher cognitive functions of the cerebral cortex, neuropsychological testing and assessment and processes of rehabilitation. Prerequisites: PSY 101 and BIO 103 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

PSY 449 The Psychology of Disability (3).
This course explores in-depth some of the major psychological issues relevant to the field of disabilities. Following a seminar format, topics to be discussed include: autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, deafness, blindness, dual diagnosis, housing alternatives, self advocacy, sibling relationships, the social meaning of disabled, deinstitutionalization and human relationships. The perspective of the person with a disability and/or their family and support systems will be considered. Prerequisites: PSY 101; PSY 315 recommended.

PSY 471 Projects in Psychology (1-3).
Under faculty supervision, students who are especially interested and qualified may assist faculty members in research. Requirements to be determined by the student and faculty member. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Hours and credit to be determined by the instructor and student. Experiential course.

PSY 490-491 Field Experience in Psychology (3) and (3).
This course offers students an opportunity to synthesize and integrate their academic knowledge within a field setting in psychology. Students are placed in a mental health or other human service agency in which psychologists work or psychological concepts and principles significantly inform the goals and practices of the organization. Each student receives close supervision within the agency setting. Students also meet weekly in a group with the course instructor to discuss issues and problems related to their experience. Offered on a high pass/pass/fail basis only.
Eight hours field experience and one hour classwork per week for two semesters. Only open to senior psychology majors with permission of the instructor or department chair. Must be taken for two semesters. Experiential course.

PSY 499 Research in Psychology
An upper-class student who wishes to undertake a research project for academic credit during a given semester must submit a research proposal prior to registration and a research report at the end of the semester. The proposal, indicating the number of credits sought, must be approved by the research director, the department chair and the dean of arts and sciences. It will be kept on file, along with the research report, in the dean of arts and sciences’ office. Three hours work per week for each credit. Hours and credit to be determined by the instructor and student. Experiential course.