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Expanded Course Descriptions


101  Introduction to General Psychology
Course goals are 1) to introduce the student to select concepts and principles of the general body of psychology, 2) to start the students to think in quantitative/experimental terms including frequency distributions, correlations, and the logic of research designs, and 3) to make application of the principles to their personal lives, and to major world events. These goals are facilitated by class discussion, demonstrations, student projects, writing assignments, and student oral reporting. Staff.

201 Research Methods and Analysis
This course is designed to introduce students to the experimental methodology and data analysis strategies most relevant to psychology. Students will gain extensive experience in each step of the research process including: formulating meaningful research questions, generating testable hypotheses, designing experiments, statistical or visual analysis of data from experiments and communicating results. In this course, students will also make extensive use of the information technology available at Westminster. In addition to developing a mastery of various software packages, students will learn to submit assignments electronically, communicate via e-mail and utilize appropriate Internet resources.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101, Math 102, 131 or higher. S. K. Webster.

211 Motivation
This course will examine the ultimate and proximal factors that arouse, sustain and direct behavior. 
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered alternate years. A. Gittis.

221 Childhood and Adolescence
Principles of human growth and development during childhood and adolescence. (Students may enroll in PSY 221 or PSY 222, but not both because of their overlap in content.)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. M. Medvin.

241 Organizational Psychology
Individual, personal variables such as perception, motivation, expectations, and attitudes, beliefs and values are examined to show their power to predict behavior in organizational settings. Generally, the even more powerful external structural variables are studied as predictors of behavior. Typical structural elements involve job descriptions conveying status, power, and responsibility, and how these vary by the degree of centralization versus democratization within an organization. The very practical behavioral consequences of these variables are analyzed including job satisfaction, commitment to the organization, creative productivity, and the sense of human dignity of the employee. Extensive case-study technique is used.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. J. McMinn.

251 Forensic Psychology
This course provides an introduction to relevant topics in forensic psychology including competency evaluation, criminal investigation, risk/violence assessment, expert testimony, trial consultation, and child custody evaluation.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. K. Lunnen.

261 Neural Networks
The Biopsychological Perspective. An introduction to how biologically-oriented psychology analyzes such topics as memory, intelligence and consciousness as emerging from principles of neurocomputation.
A cluster course. Must also register for CS 271. A. Gittis.

262 Neuropsychology of Mind
This course surveys the contributions of psychology and neuroscience to understanding human thought and human nature. Particular attention is paid to scientific approaches in studying consciousness and the field of Clinical Neuropsychology.
PSY 101 will be helpful, but is not required. A. Gittis.

271 Behavior Modification
This course explores the application of behavioral principles of learning (e.g., operant conditioning) to human behavior within a variety of contexts. Specifically, students will explore the application of behavioral principles to parenting, classroom management, learning problems, performance enhancement and  anxiety reduction among others. In this course, students will be expected to demonstrate, through case studies and role-plays, their ability to analyze a novel problem situation and design an appropriate intervention. Students may receive credit for either Psychology 271 or 281, but not both because of their overlap in content.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. K. Lunnen.

281 Principles of Learning and Memory
This course provides an analysis of the variety of mechanisms by which our behavior and our representations develop from experience. An integrated approach to the study of classical and instrumental conditioning, reinforcement and memory in animals and humans is used.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. A. Gittis.

291 Adulthood and Aging
What is the life course of adulthood? What pathways do individuals follow? Do personalities change, or remain the same as when we were children? What are our abilities in old age? How do we care for our elderly? This course endeavors to explore these important questions through readings, discussion, and projects.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. M. Medvin.

301 Psychological Assessment
This course explores issues related to the assessment of human functioning within a variety of areas, including intelligence, academic achievement, personality and other dimensions of psychological adjustment. In each of these areas, assessment tools are used to make a variety of important decisions about educational placement, treatment needs, program evaluation or employment.  Students in this course will explore, evaluate and, in some cases, experience commonly used assessment instruments. Students will also design, construct and evaluate their own assessment instrument. Required readings will explore current directions in psychological assessment as well as the broader historical context from which the field has emerged. A laboratory is included.
Prerequisite: Psychology 201. K. Lunnen.

311 Psychology of Personality
This course is a critical survey of the major themes of personality structure, dynamics and development. Its objectives include the description of the major theories of personality studied in the 20th century and the recognition of the implicit assumptions of the theorists which underlie them. Students will categorize, evaluate and apply the theories to the daily life, literature, the arts, etc. The course involves lecture, discussion, and team application projects.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. S. K. Webster.

321 Social Psychology
An advanced theoretical, quantitative, and experimental study of the reciprocal influence of the individual and the small and large group. In some respects this is the interface between traditional psychology and sociology. Processes and behaviors targeted are beliefs about the self, self enhancement, group enhancement, related attributions, attitude formation, attitude change, prejudice, generic segregation and desegregation, conformity, independence, groupthink, aggression, helping behavior, prejudice, and effective leadership. Formal laboratory designed to complete a major class-wide assessment or experiment.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101 and 201. J. McMinn.

331 Psychology of Women
 A course designed to provide information about a group that has often been overlooked in psychological theory and research. The uniqueness of the female experience will be viewed from a lifespan perspective. Participant management is used for the course so each class will meet the course objectives in a different manner. In the past the course has focused on issues of psychology that are most relevant to young adult women. The course is for any students who desire working with or relating to women in the future.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. S. Pataki.

341 Behavioral Neuroscience
This course provides an analysis of how nervous system activity underlies sensory, perceptual and higher cognitive activities including motivation, memory, language, thought and mental illness. Psychology 341 satisfies the Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective and includes a laboratory.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. A. Gittis.

351 Cognition
This course explores human information processing from sensory stimulation through pattern recognition to memory and information utilization in problem solving and reasoning. Topics reviewed include perception, knowledge representation, intelligence and creativity.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. A. Gittis.

401 Abnormal Psychology
This course provides students with an understanding of the theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding abnormal human behavior. The course focuses primarily on understanding the nature and causes of various psychological disorders.  Topics will include mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, thought disorders (e.g., schizophrenia) and anger disorders among others. Students will explore these topics through an examination of empirical research as well as case studies.  A brief overview of psychological treatment is provided in this course, but students interested in a more comprehensive understanding of treatment issues should consider enrolling in PSY421 (Clinical Psychology: Theory and Practice) following completion of this course.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. K. Lunnen.

411 Exceptional Children
This in an upper level course that will cover the psychological issues underlying the study and education of children with special needs, and explore the etiologies, characteristics, treatment and outcomes in adulthood for the exceptionalities of childhood and adolescence. These include intellectual giftedness, mental retardation, neurological and sensory impairment, emotional/behavioral disorders and autism. A field trip is included in the course structure.
Prerequisite: Psychology 221 or 222 or consent of instructor. M. Medvin

421 Clinical Psychology: Theory and Practice
This course provides an in-depth exploration of the field of clinical psychology and the treatment of psychological disorders. Unlike PSY401(Abnormal Psychology), which focuses on understanding psychological disorders, this course focuses exclusively on the treatment of those disorders. Students will explore the various theoretical approaches to psychological treatment and the challenges encountered by mental health professionals (e.g., confidentiality, mandated reporting of abuse, the scientist-practitioner schism). All students are required to participate in a practicum involving a minimum of 3 hours per week of field experience. In this practicum, the student gains applied experience in a mental health setting and is expected to integrate that experience with the course content. 
Prerequisites: Psychology 401 or consent of the instructor. K. Lunnen.

560-590 Field Experience/Internship
A real-life experience working in a psychology related field under the supervision of a person with at least a Master's degree in psychology or a related discipline. Regular contact with the Westminster College internship instructor is required for this collaboration. A reading list developed prior to actual internship activities, a journal and a paper integrating the readings, internship experience and other college course work are required.
Prerequisite: Junior level standing. Staff.

601 Psychology Capstone:  Senior Studies I
This two semester hours Senior Capstone seminar addresses psychological research, its strengths, weaknesses and applications beyond psychology.  Students must register for Senior Studies I concurrently with Advanced Research I (631, 633, 635, 637 or 639). Students will prepare and review proposals for senior theses and begin preliminary research. During this process they will apply previous psychology training to the development of an individual psychology research project;  review, integrate, and critically evaluate the psychological literature in the student's area of choice. By writing and review research proposals students will sharpen and develop new research methodology skills. They will practice effective communication of research ideas and writing a proposal using the proper psychological style. Teams will work together as responsible, sensitive peer reviewers; giving constructive criticism, feedback, and fuel for new ideas throughout the term. 
Prerequisites: Psychology 201 and junior level standing. S. K. Webster.

602 Psychology Capstone: Senior Studies II
A re-evaluation and up-dating of the processes in capstone—the title, the statement of the problem or hypotheses, a matching appropriate literature review, methods, design and projected statistical analysis. In most cases, this will involve some degree of revising and rewriting. Detailed attention is given to matching statistical analyses and their assumptions to the design or nature of the assessment. A fairly detailed statistical review is conducted—the nature and fundamental importance of descriptives, two-cell, and multiple cell factorial analyses of variance including repeated measures, simple and partial correlation, regression, selected non-parametrics, and the generalized use of reliability and factor analysis. The analyses are introduced one week and the student comes to class the following week with an analysis to present to class. Finally guidance in given in constructing results with tables and graphs, and a discussion section. Some practice sessions are included near the end of the term by the students presenting their own data.
Prerequisite: Psychology 601. J. McMinn.

631 and 632 General Experimental Research Seminar I & II
A. Gittis.

633 and 634 Developmental Research Seminar I & II
Students choose a topic of interest based on the course format and begin to conduct research to determine an outcome. Seminar I begins with the design and layout of how the information will be gathered. Seminar II compiles the data collected and determines the outcome of the research project. M. Medvin

635 and 636 Social Psychology Research Seminar I & II
These are used to help the student prepare for the work in the following week in Capstone. The particular challenges and opportunities of each student’s study receive the cooperative attention of the faculty member and the other seminar members. J. McMinn.

637 and  638  Applied Psychological Research Seminar I & II
A small group seminar in which students will get feedback from peers and their advisor on the various stages of their senior thesis. Meets weekly. K. Lunnen.

639 and 640 Experimental and Personality Research Seminar I & II
This weekly seminar is coordinated with the Senior Capstone (PSY 601 and 601). Specific topics depend upon the research projects underway. Examples of seminar topics have included body image and person perception, factors that mediate conflict, and proactive coping with stress. S. K. Webster.

660 Honors Research I
This is the Honors equivalent of Psychology 601, Psychology Capstone: Senior Studies I. S. K. Webster

670 Honors Research II
This is the Honors equivalent of Psychology 602, Psychology Capstone: Senior Studies II. J. McMinn


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