Course Catalog for PSYCHOLOGY
PSYC 101
Introduction to Psychology
An introduction to the basic concepts in psychology with primary emphasis on the study of human behavior. Topics will include motivation, learning, emotion, perception, intelligence, memory, personality, child development, mental illness, and social interaction. Students will be introduced to issues in research techniques by either being involved in on-going faculty research or writing a short paper based on research articles. (SOC)
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 205
Neurons, Learning and Memory: How do you remember?
For centuries, scientists have explored how we learn, memorize, and forget items and for the last several decades have tried to determine where in the brain memories are encoded and stored. Recent developments in neuroscience are helping us understand how we learn, remember, forget, and relearn, including the structures, chemicals, and networks in the brain that are involved in these processes. Through enjoyable readings, discussions, guest lectures, films, and demonstrations, we will explore the foundations of this field, as well as recent discoveries and common misconceptions about it. The overall objective of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the neuroscience of learning and memory, enabling them to separate scientific fact from fiction in popular media and beyond. (NAT)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 101. or Biology 181, 182 or 183
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 206
Environmental Psychology & Sustainability
This course examines questions of how environments affect humans, as well as what factors motivate people to act in pro-environmental ways. It also serves to introduce students to a range of environmental challenges faced by contemporary humans, while presenting theory and research that can be applied to our understanding of environmental sustainability. This class is very much interdisciplinary. While psychological perspectives are abundant, the content is also informed by other areas of study like human factors, ecology, geography and sociology, just to name a few. Some important topics include: environmental stress, the health benefits of nature, constructing environments that promote well-being, risk perception, social influence, norms, persuasion, consumption, environmental inequality and environmental justice. (SOC)
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 212
Landscape Planning and Environmental Education for Brain Health
This Perspectives course will translate emerging research on brain health into landscape planning that supports the health of the planet and everyone in Connecticut's rural, suburban and urban communities. The focus will be nature-based solutions to support biodiversity and protect the climate, green infrastructure to clean our air and water and prevent flooding and heat islands, and public areas that offer refuge and quiet as well as education and recreation. Guest speakers will share their expertise in public policy, environmental law, local ecology, urban planning and environmental justice. There will be a field component and a semester-long project planning interpretive ecology stations and citizen science databases. Grading will be based on a final project, short reflective essays and research papers, and an oral exam. (SOC)
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 218
Special Education
How are children labeled (or mislabeled) as having learning and developmental disabilities, autism, or attention deficit disorder? How have definitions and diagnoses of learning disorders changed over time? How have standardized evaluations and assessments impacted those diagnoses? How does the law seek to ensure the accommodation of the needs of individuals with disabilities? Students will critically analyze research on psychology as it pertains to learners, examine special education case law and advocacy, and explore current issues in special education. (SOC)
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 219
Science and Practice of Well-Being
With rising rates of anxiety, depression, perfectionism and burnout among college students, developing habits to build resilience and enhance well-being is critical for student success. We will examine practices such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and self-compassion, and their impact on learning, physical and mental health, and peak performance. We will analyze research on the effects of regular practice on physiology, mood, and relationships. Students will review the research and present findings on the application of these practices in alternate settings such as business, leadership, health care, and athletics. This course is highly experiential. We practice in and out of the classroom to cultivate skills over the course of the semester and engage in deep reflection around the process. (SOC)
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 221
Research Design and Analysis
An intensive study of the methods employed in understanding human and animal behavior as well as an introduction to the problems of psychological data evaluation. Some of the topics included will be the roles of observation, description, bias, hypotheses, theory, and non-reactive research. Consideration will also be given to descriptive techniques, including measures of central tendency, variability, and correlation. Problems will deal with hypothesis testing, group comparisons, frequency comparisons, and analysis of variance. Enrollment in lecture and each laboratory limited. (NUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 101.
1.25 units, Lecture
PSYC 226
Social Psychology
Studies human behavior and cognition in social situations, interactions of individuals in groups, and such topics as affiliation, aggression, and conformity. The course also covers applications of social psychology to such areas as medicine, the workplace, and the law. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 226
Social Psychology Laboratory
Studies human behavior and cognition in social situations, interactions of individuals in groups, and such topics as affiliation, aggression, and conformity. The course also covers applications of social psychology to such areas as medicine, the workplace, and the law. Laboratory can be taken concurrent or subsequent to Psychology 226. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 226, or concurrent enrollment.
0.25 units, Laboratory
PSYC 236
Adolescent Psychology
This course will focus on the important theoretical and conceptual issues in adolescent psychology and their experimental support. A developmental perspective will be adopted in order to emphasize that adolescence is not an isolated period but rather part of the process of development that occurs throughout life. (SOC)
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 237
Health Psychology
This course examines psychological and behavioral processes of health and illness and treatment related to human wellness. It will focus on understanding how psychological, biological, behavioral, social, and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness and how to best promote and maintain health and prevent illness. (SOC)
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 240
Parenting, Interpersonal Relations, and Mental Health
This course will explore how early relationships with primary caregivers shape the nervous system, affect memory, and influence intimate relationships and mental health. We will discuss the role of emotion regulation on cognitive and social development. We will examine the development of anxiety disorders, depression, and personality disorders from an attachment perspective. Interventions aimed at parents and children will be discussed. (SOC)
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 246
Community Psychology
In this course we will explore the major theories and principles of community psychology, a branch of psychology that explores how societal, cultural, and environmental factors impact people's psychological well-being. Topics will include community-based prevention of psychological disorders, health promotion, citizen participation and empowerment, the value of diversity, and the role of social support in buffering stress. We will also examine the goals and methods of community research, with an emphasis on the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based programs. Given our proximity to numerous vibrant organizations in Hartford, this course requires that students participate in a community learning activity so that they may gain first-hand experience with community collaboration and put their classroom learning into practice. Enrollment limited. (SOC)
This course is not open to first-year students.
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 255
Cognitive Psychology
The study of knowledge and how people use it, for example, in recall and recognition, controlling attention and dealing with distractions, solving real-world problems, and spoken or written communication. We will emphasize how each piece of our mental abilities fits together with other skills such as perception and language, along with the ways in which our minds and thoughts can diverge from what we subjectively experience of them. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 255
Cognitive Psychology Laboratory
A hands-on introduction to the methods used in behavioral cognitive science research. We will briefly explore a survey of methods and the process used to create a "program of research" rather than isolated experiments. Students will then develop a big-picture question and research program of their own, designing, executing, and analyzing two experiments with related motivations and methods. The relationship between experimental design and the research report paper will also be emphasized. Laboratory can be taken concurrent or subsequent to Psychology 255
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 255, or concurrent enrollment.
0.25 units, Laboratory
PSYC 261
Brain and Behavior
A basic study of the structure and function of the mammalian nervous system with a comprehensive analysis of the biological bases of major classes of behavior. Specific topics include: neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, sensory and motor system functioning, motivated behaviors, learning and memory, emotions, sex, and language. Enrollment in laboratory limited. (1.25 course credits with optional laboratory) The course is designed for declared or intended psychology and neuroscience majors. (NAT)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 101 or Biology 140 or Biology 181 or Biology 182 or Biology 183.
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 261
Brain and Behavior Laboratory
A diverse laboratory experience focused on the nervous system. Topics may include neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, sensory and motor system functioning, motivated behaviors, learning and memory, emotions, cognition, and language. The course is designed for declared or intended psychology neuroscience majors. Laboratory can be taken concurrent or subsequent to PSYC 261.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 261-01 or concurrent enrollment.
0.25 units, Laboratory
PSYC 265
Drugs and Behavior
A broad overview of the use and abuse of psychopharmaceuticals. We will study the classification of psychoactive drugs, their history, and the methodological research techniques used on humans and animals. The course emphasizes physiological mechanisms of drug actions, drug effects on psychological functioning including therapeutic and toxic effects. (NAT)
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 270
Clinical Psychology
A survey of the concepts, methods, and theoretical issues of clinical psychology, with a focus on current and classical research and theory. Students will explore such areas as personality development from a clinical perspective, assessment, pathology, diagnosis, clinical research, and some preventative and therapeutic modes of intervention. Emphasis will also be placed upon evolving models of clinical psychology and their relationship to other areas of psychology and the life sciences. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 273
Abnormal Psychology
This course explores how "abnormal" behavior is defined and assessed, and focuses on the epidemiology, etiology (causes), and diagnostic criteria for a range of psychological disorders (e.g., depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, personality disorders), as well as biopsychosocial treatments for these disorders. Students also are introduced to controversial issues in the field. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 293
Perception
With a simple opening of the eyes, a vividly colorful, object-filled world effortlessly appears before you. With remarkable ease, you recognize individual voices or unique melodies. And without even trying, you know immediately if you have over salted your food. But how does all of this happen? This foundational course will provide an introduction to our current scientific understanding of the psychology and neuroscience of perception. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 293
Perception Laboratory
The perception laboratory provides students with an opportunity to experience and manipulate perceptual effects, to learn necessary concepts and basic methodology. Students will learn how to manipulate computer graphics to make displays, design and execute psychophysical procedures, analyze psychophysical data, and write experimental reports. Topics include perception of size, depth, color, proportion, binocular vision, apparent motion, and "biological motion." Laboratory can be taken concurrent or subsequent to Psychology 293.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 293, or concurrent enrollment.
0.25 units, Laboratory
PSYC 294
Forensic Psychology
This course will focus on the application of clinical psychology within the legal system. Students will develop an understanding of the role psychologists play in various legal settings including criminal and civil proceedings, police evaluations, and custody evaluations. Areas of focus will include eye witness testimony, criminal psychopathology, psychological assessment and malingering, competency evaluations, the insanity defense, expert witness testimony, and criminal profiling. (SOC)
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 295
Child Development
A survey of the biological, cognitive, and social factors that influence the process of development. The course will focus on both theoretical and empirical issues in child development and will include topics such as attachment, emotion regulation, language, cognition, and socialization. The course will highlight how cultural factors, along with biology interact to influence both the process and the outcomes of development. This course includes a community learning component, where students will choose a problem of interest and after talking with community experts, propose a solution to that problem. (SOC)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 101.
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 295
Child Development Laboratory
An introduction to the major scientific methods of observation, interviews, and experimentation that are used to study developmental questions in the areas of language, memory and concept development, sex-role stereotyping, prosocial development and play. Students will study infant and preschool children at the child care center located on campus. Laboratory can be taken concurrent or subsequent to Psychology 295.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 295, or concurrent enrollment.
0.25 units, Laboratory
PSYC 302
Behavioral Neuroscience
A selective exploration of dynamic biological and psychological mechanisms and underlying anatomy associated with various behaviors. It will explore behavior in the framework of brain health versus brain disease and include neurological disorders and their treatments as well interactions between the environment and behavior. (NAT)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 261 or Neuroscience 201.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 314
History of Psychology
Why do psychologists do what they do today? The historical approach to this question will be divided into two parts: the theoretical ideas about how the human mind works, and the methods used to study the mind. What has changed since the early Greeks? What has stayed the same? Why? In what sense can we say there has been progress? How are theories, facts, and methods related? How is psychology like any other science? To fully confront the question of why psychologists do what they do, the history of psychology as a professional organization will also be examined. For instance, who controls grants and how do granting agencies control what psychologists do? (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in five psychology courses
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 315
Development and Culture
This seminar will look at current issues in developmental and social psychology including attachment, emotions, cognition, personality, biculturalism, gender, language, socialization and psychopathology from the perspective of cultural psychology. We will focus on the role culture, along with biology play in the outcome of development, as well as influencing our definitions of the process of development. Questions we will address include: How do we define the process of development? Can we integrate development, culture and biology into a coherent model of development? Are there cultural universals? Are current psychological models and methods sufficient to account for the role of culture in development? (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 226 or 295
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 320
Neuroanatomy, Neurobiology, and Cognition across the Lifespan
This course will provide an overview of the developmental assembly of a complex nervous system. We will investigate the relations between developmental changes in the brain (morphology, neurochemistry, connectivity), and developmental changes in perceptual, cognitive, and social abilities (e.g., attention, executive function, empathy) throughout the lifespan. We will also address fundamental theoretical issues in the field of developmental neuroscience, such as the role of experience versus innate biological predisposition, the range of plasticity, and the functional degree of specialization in the brain. Part of this course will be devoted to gaining a better understanding of experimental methods utilized in the field of developmental neuroscience, in order to both critically analyze such studies, and, as a final paper, design your own study. (NAT)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Neuroscience 201 or Psychology 261
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 324
Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
This course will focus on classic and contemporary psychological theories and research related to stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. We will analyze these phenomena at the level of individuals, small groups, and institutions, with applications to forms of prejudice and discrimination based on several status characteristics, including race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and health. Approaches to reducing prejudice and discrimination will be examined and evaluated. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 226.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 332
Psychological Assessment
The course examines the methods used to assess differences among individuals in personality characteristics, intellectual qualities, and overt behavior. Topics to be discussed include interviewing, intelligence and achievement testing, projective techniques, objective test construction, and behavioral observation. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 221L and four other courses in Psychology.
1.25 units, Seminar
PSYC 334
Current Issues in Cognition
This seminar will explore current “hot topics” in cognitive research. For example, we’ll investigate how our minds interface with our bodies (How do we learn new skills like swinging a bat or doing gymnastics? How do people control the movement of artificial limbs or wheelchairs?) and how the different “pieces” of cognition interact (Can how well we hear impact memory? How does lack of sleep change the way we pay attention?). In class and in writing, we will analyze behavioral, neurological, and philosophical research in cognition and evaluate the impact of these issues for psychologists and for people’s lives in the “real world.” (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 255 or Psychology 293, or permission of instructor
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 339
Developmental Psychopathology
This course examines the overlap between normal and abnormal child development, exploring the relationship between genetics, prenatal influence, temperament, attachment, trauma, and culture to the ultimate expression of child or adult psychopathology. Emphasis is on risk and protective factors, characteristics of disorders first evident in childhood, and ways that caregivers and societies can promote positive outcomes. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 261, or Psychology 270 or Psychology 273, or Psychology 295.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 344
Evaluation and Treatment of Addictive Behavior
This course will provide an overview of theory and research on alcohol, drug, and tobacco use and dependence, in addition to other compulsive behaviors such as gambling. Specifically, we will compare theoretical models of the development of these behaviors; models of how people with an addiction change; methods to assess these behaviors; and different modalities of treatment. As part of this course, students will complete a "self-change" project, whereby they apply relevant assessment and intervention techniques to a behavior they wish to change. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 270 or 273.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 346
Intergroup Relations
This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the psychological study of intergroup relations—how people of different groups relate to one another. The area of intergroup relations focuses on the psychological processes involved with how individuals perceive, judge, reason about, feel, and behave toward people in other groups. Social groups can take many forms, ranging from classic social groups (e.g., race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, class, sexual orientation), not so classic social groups (e.g., weight, mental ability, physical ability, physical attractiveness) to minimal groups. We will examine some of the causes and consequences of intergroup inequality, and explore ways in which the psychological study of intergroup relations can inform attempts at social change. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 226.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 348
Focusing the Mind: the Psychology of Attention
More than 100 years ago, William James famously declared, “Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought.” And while James’ conception of attention resonates with a colloquial understanding of the term that’s still in use today, empirical treatment of attention in the psychological and neuroscientific literature suggests that consensus on what attention is and what attention does has not yet been reached. Using primary sources, scholarly reviews, and popular science pieces, we will work toward a more nuanced understanding of what attention is and delve deeply into what it means to selectively focus the mind in a world full of distraction. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 293.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 350
Executive Functioning
This course will examine the cognitive processes that make up executive functioning, which enables us to plan, focus, remember, and multi-task. We will discuss the physiology and brain functioning that is required in the use of these skills, as well as the development of these skills throughout childhood and adolescence. There are three specific processes that make up executive functioning, which include working memory, mental/cognitive flexibility, and self-regulation/inhibitory control, that will be examined throughout the course in depth. We will examine specific tasks used to measure each of these processes and discuss the relationships between these cognitive skills to other areas, such as learning, achievement, substance use, and clinical diagnoses. (WEA2)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 255
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 364
Neuropsychopharmacology
This seminar will examine how drugs act upon, amplify, and modify neural functions, ultimately affecting mood and behavior. It will provide an introduction to the principles of pharmacology and neurochemistry. An in-depth study of the brain and behavioral mechanisms of drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, and alcohol, and the neurobiology of addiction. Additionally, we will examine the effects of prenatal exposure to these drugs. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 261 or Neuroscience 201.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 365
Cognitive and Social Neuroscience
This course examines the way in which brain function influences mental processes and overt action. We will consider a range of cognitive and social functions, primarily from the perspective of neuroscience and draw on such related disciplines as cognitive psychology, social psychology, and computational analysis as needed. The functions to be reviewed include perception, attention, memory, thinking, emotional processing, group behavior, stereotyping and empathy. We will apply these to consider topics such as substance abuse, discrimination, child development, and mental illness. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 255, 256, or 261, or Neuroscience 201.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 370
Psychotherapy
This course is taught as a seminar with limited enrollment and assumes some background. Through study of original theoretical source material, students investigate the nature of psychotherapy, with attention given to its evolution, the therapeutic relationship and communication, and the integrative aspects of diverse methods and theories, such as client-centered, rational-emotive, behavioral, psychoanalytic, Jungian, Gestalt, and group psychotherapy. Films will illustrate various styles of psychotherapy. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 270 or 273. Open only to Psychology majors or Literature & Psychology minors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 375
Development, Progression, and Treatment of Psychosis
This course will focus primarily on the discussion of psychosis and the mental illnesses where psychosis presents, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Students will learn about the history in diagnosing these thought disorders, an in-depth look at the specific signs and symptoms of psychosis, and potential causes of psychosis beyond a clinical diagnosis. The course will also focus on the development of psychosis and how symptoms look in the prodromal or early stages of the disorders, as well as the progression of symptoms and possible predictors of the development of full psychosis. Students will be introduced to specific treatments that are shown to be effective in the treatment of these thought disorders. (WEA2)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 270 or 273.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 384
Cultural Psychology
Cultural psychology focuses on how sociocultural contexts and cultural practices affect and reflect the human psyche. Our understanding of cultural influences on psychological processes related to topics like the self, emotion, relationships, perception, multicultural issues, and health, will be informed by theoretical and empirical research. We will explore various cultural contexts, including Latino, Asian, African, European, and North American cultures. We will examine major issues in cultural psychology, including the methodological challenges that researchers face when trying to bring a cultural level of analysis to psychological processes. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 226.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 390
Psychology Research Internship
Internship or field work placement, with a required academic component to be determined by the faculty sponsor and student. This internship is for students pursuing research at a field placement. Students need to complete an internship contract with Career Services.
1.00 units, Independent Study
PSYC 391
Psychology of Language
A survey of the questions asked by researchers working in different areas of psycholinguistics and the methods used to address those questions. We will cover a wide range of issues, from motor control in speech production to online sentence parsing to typical and atypical language acquisition. Focus will be on analytic discussions of readings from textbooks, scholarly reviews, and original research reports. Perspectives from neuroscience, linguistics, and psychology will be considered. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 255
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 392
Human Neuropsychology
This course will examine the effects of disorders on human cognitive and affective functioning. Using first person accounts, case studies, and primary research articles, we will explore a series of neurological disorders including agnosia, hemispatial neglect, amnesia, and aphasia, among others. We will analyze these disorders both to understand current assessment and treatment options, and to see what these disorders can teach us about the typical attention, memory, language, executive and emotional functioning of the healthy brain. (WEB)
Prerequisite: C- or better in Psychology 255, 256, or 261, or Neuroscience 201.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 397
Psychology of Art
Constructive, Gestalt, and ecological approaches to perception will provide a framework for examining the following topics: How pictures serve representational functions, the relation between perception and production of art works, the evolution of artistic styles or movements, and nonrepresentational and nonpictorial art. Enrollment limited. (SOC)
1.00 units, Lecture
PSYC 399
Independent Study
A faculty member will supervise a student’s independent examination of topics that fall under the following rubrics: cognitive, social, and gender development (Anselmi); psychopathology, clinical, or counseling psychology (Holt, Lee); neuropsychology (Masino, Raskin); cultural psychology (Chang); social psychology (Chang, Reuman); personality and assessment (Reuman); perception (Mace); psychology of art (Mace); history of psychology (Mace); and language (Anselmi, Mace). Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
PSYC 401
Senior Seminar: Psychology of Aging
This course will examine the process of human aging from a number of psychological perspectives. These perspectives include neuropsychology, personality, social psychology, sensation and perception, and psychopathology. In addition, common disorders of aging will be reviewed, including senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type, depression and age-associated memory loss. (SOC)
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 401
Senior Seminar: Big Beautiful Brain
This senior seminar will explore emerging research across the disciplines of psychology on the “what”, “when”, and “why” for optimal neurological function. Is bigger better? What makes and keeps a brain healthy? How does diet influence brain health and disease? Starting now, you can achieve and maintain the best brain possible, and learn specific strategies that may enhance your brain and reduce your chances of neurological disease. (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 401
Senior Seminar: Psychology of Deafness
Hearing plays a surprisingly fundamental role in many aspects of daily life. We take for granted the fact that we can talk over the phone, listen to music, multitask with our hands or eyes during conversation, and use our voices to express happiness, empathy, sadness, or humor. In this seminar, we will explore all the ways in which a lack of hearing (deafness) affects the human experience – from the biological basis of deafness and hearing to the cultural pride deaf individuals often feel regarding their identities. Through readings, discussions, and projects we will examine questions like: How do deaf individuals experience music and humor? How does deafness impact neurological and social development? Do deaf infants still coo and babble as they grow? (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 401
Senior Seminar: Self-Regulation: Theory and Application
Many of the personal and social problems we face today such as substance abuse, obesity, excessive debt, crime, and violence can be linked to a failure of self-regulation, or one’s “willpower” over his or her thoughts, emotions, and impulses. Through regular student-led discussions, we will explore the topic of self-regulation, drawing on numerous areas of psychology including social, clinical, cognitive, consumer, educational, and developmental psychology. Specifically, we will compare and contrast different models of self-regulation and we will explore current questions and debates related to this concept, such as whether self-control is a limited resource and the role of self-regulation in social relationships. We will examine the development of self-regulation early in the lifespan and investigate ways in which individual and environmental influences can subsequently enhance or impede one’s efforts to self-regulate. Finally, we will consider how theoretical models of self-regulation can be applied to promote behavior change and inform prevention efforts across a variety of settings. Working in groups, students will design a targeted intervention aimed at enhancing self-regulation in a specific area of interest (e.g., increasing prosocial behavior in school age children, decreasing disruptive behavior in adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 401
Senior Seminar: The Social Self
This course will examine how we construct a sense of self as a social being. We will integrate research from various areas of psychology to address the following questions (among others): How did you, as a baby, learn that you were separate from your mother? Who is in charge of your actions and how do we figure that out? To what extent are you shaped by your circumstances and the way others view you? What happens when there is a breakdown of boundaries between the self and others, and what does this tell us about conditions such as autism and psychopathy? (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 401
Senior Seminar: Psychology of Psychedelic Drugs
Psychoactive substances like LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin exert strong effects on the central nervous system, inducing altered states of conscious experience. In this seminar, we will explore psychedelics from a number of different psychological perspectives. We will examine their mechanisms of action in the brain, probe the resultant impact on perception and cognition, assess the social impact of psychedelics, and discuss their use at different developmental stages of the human lifespan. We will also pay particular attention to a renewed clinical interest in using psychedelics to treat psychological disorders. In addition to writings, podcasts, and multimedia created for a general audience, course content will be heavily drawn from the relevant neuroscience and psychological literatures. (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 401
Sr. Seminar: Communication in 2020
Communication changed radically in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic limited ways to interact, the national US election raised the stakes on what people say and how, and the racial justice movement following the killing of George Floyd pushed us to take greater steps as a society to recognize systemic racism and act to counter it. In this class, we will examine the research behind these changes and conduct novel research of our own to address questions like: How does video conferencing change the way we talk or listen? What is the importance of changing names of buildings or institutions? How does racist (or sexist) language contribute to creating inequalities rather than just reflecting them? And how can language persuade, connect ideas, and campaign for candidates? (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 402
Senior Seminar: Psychology of Psychedelic Drugs
Psychoactive substances like LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin exert strong effects on the central nervous system, inducing altered states of conscious experience. In this seminar, we will explore psychedelics from a number of different psychological perspectives. We will examine their mechanisms of action in the brain, probe the resultant impact on perception and cognition, assess the social impact of psychedelics, and discuss their use at different developmental stages of the human lifespan. We will also pay particular attention to a renewed clinical interest in using psychedelics to treat psychological disorders. In addition to writings, podcasts, and multimedia created for a general audience, course content will be heavily drawn from the relevant neuroscience and psychological literatures. (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 402
Senior Seminar: The Social Self
This course will examine how we construct a sense of self as a social being. We will integrate research from various areas of psychology to address the following questions (among others): How did you, as a baby, learn that you were separate from your mother? Who is in charge of your actions and how do we figure that out? To what extent are you shaped by your circumstances and the way others view you? What happens when there is a breakdown of boundaries between the self and others, and what does this tell us about conditions such as autism and psychopathy? (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 402
Senior Seminar: Self-Regulation: Theory and Application
Many of the personal and social problems we face today such as substance abuse, obesity, excessive debt, crime, and violence can be linked to a failure of self-regulation, or one’s “willpower” over his or her thoughts, emotions, and impulses. Through regular student-led discussions, we will explore the topic of self-regulation, drawing on numerous areas of psychology including social, clinical, cognitive, consumer, educational, and developmental psychology. Specifically, we will compare and contrast different models of self-regulation and we will explore current questions and debates related to this concept, such as whether self-control is a limited resource and the role of self-regulation in social relationships. We will examine the development of self-regulation early in the lifespan and investigate ways in which individual and environmental influences can subsequently enhance or impede one’s efforts to self-regulate. Finally, we will consider how theoretical models of self-regulation can be applied to promote behavior change and inform prevention efforts across a variety of settings. Working in groups, students will design a targeted intervention aimed at enhancing self-regulation in a specific area of interest (e.g., increasing prosocial behavior in school age children, decreasing disruptive behavior in adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 402
Senior Seminar: Psychology of Deafness
Hearing plays a surprisingly fundamental role in many aspects of daily life. We take for granted the fact that we can talk over the phone, listen to music, multitask with our hands or eyes during conversation, and use our voices to express happiness, empathy, sadness, or humor. In this seminar, we will explore all the ways in which a lack of hearing (deafness) affects the human experience – from the biological basis of deafness and hearing to the cultural pride deaf individuals often feel regarding their identities. Through readings, discussions, and projects we will examine questions like: How do deaf individuals experience music and humor? How does deafness impact neurological and social development? Do deaf infants still coo and babble as they grow? (SOC)
This course is open only to senior Psychology majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 402
Senior Seminar: Big Beautiful Brain
This senior seminar will explore emerging research across the disciplines of psychology on the “what”, “when”, and “why” for optimal neurological function. Is bigger better? What makes and keeps a brain healthy? How does diet influence brain health and disease? Starting now, you can achieve and maintain the best brain possible, and learn specific strategies that may enhance your brain and reduce your chances of neurological disease. (SOC)
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 402
Senior Seminar: Psychology of Aging
This course will examine the process of human aging from a number of psychological perspectives. These perspectives include neuropsychology, personality, social psychology, sensation and perception, and psychopathology. In addition, common disorders of aging will be reviewed, including senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type, depression and age-associated memory loss. (SOC)
1.00 units, Seminar
PSYC 466
Teaching Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
PSYC 490
Research Assistantship
Students may assist professors in conducting research studies. Hours and duties will be determined on the basis of project needs and student interests. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
PSYC 491
Senior Thesis Colloquium Part 1
Senior Thesis Colloquium is a year-long colloquium series for students completing senior theses in psychology. Topics include navigating one’s thesis, preparing Thesis Prospectus presentations, building a strong Introduction section, communicating results, and preparing a poster presentation. Goals of this colloquium series include fostering a sense of community, building relevant skills, and helping students develop critical abilities for graduate school and/or future jobs. The course will meet 4 times a semester, specific dates to be determined. (.25 course credit is considered pending in the first semester; .25 credit will be awarded for completion in the second semester). Required for senior thesis students.
0.25 units, Seminar
PSYC 492
Senior Thesis Colloquium Part 2
Senior Thesis Colloquium is a year-long colloquium series for students completing senior theses in psychology. Topics include navigating one’s thesis, preparing Thesis Prospectus presentations, building a strong Introduction section, communicating results, and preparing a poster presentation. Goals of this colloquium series include fostering a sense of community, building relevant skills, and helping students develop critical abilities for graduate school and/or future jobs. The course will meet 4 times a semester, dates and time to be determined. (.25 course credit is considered pending in the first semester; .25 credit will be awarded for completion in the second semester). Required for senior thesis students.
0.25 units, Seminar
PSYC 497
Senior Thesis
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment in this single-semester thesis. (1 course credit to be completed in one semester.)
1.00 units, Independent Study
PSYC 498
Senior Thesis, Part 1
The thesis is a year-long research project sponsored by a member of the Psychology Department. (Two course credits are considered pending in the first semester; two course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.) Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor are required for enrollment.
2.00 units, Independent Study
PSYC 499
Senior Thesis Part 2
The thesis is a year-long research project sponsored by a member of the Psychology Department. (Two course credits are considered pending in the first semester; two course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.) Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor are required for enrollment.
2.00 units, Independent Study