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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings - Spring 2009

Psychology Department
Spring 2009
Course Descriptions

PSYC 100:  Understanding Psychology
4 semester hours
Crane, Lauren & Deming, Laura 

Prerequisites:  None
An introductory-level survey course in psychology with a focus on how psychology can be applied to other fields of study and life in general; intended for students who do not plan to major or minor in psychology.  Covers topics in biological foundations of behavior, learning and memory, developmental psychology, motivation and emotion, abnormal psychology and psychotherapy, personality, and social psychology. This course is not to be taken in conjunction with or in addition to Psychology courses 110-160.

PSYC 107 Statistics
4 semester hours                                                                             
Brown, Cliff

Prerequisites:  To register for Psychology 107, a student must have a 23 or higher Mathematics Placement Level.  Contact the Math Workshop for details regarding this prerequisite.  A student may not receive credit for more than one statistics course.
This is a course in applied statistics.  Its emphasis is on the mechanics of summarizing and analyzing data, with examples from the behavioral sciences.  The purpose of the course is to prepare students for other courses in Psychology and related disciplines and to help them conduct and interpret statistical analyses.

PSYC 110:  Proseminar I:  Physiological
2 semester hours
Wilson, Josephine

Prerequisites:  None
This course is an introduction to the study of the biological bases of behavior, including the structure and function of neurons, brain organization, and sensation and perception.  Required texts include a basic psychology textbook and O. Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat.  Grade in course is based on three exams in multiple choice and essay format.  In addition, students are required either to participate in a limited number of research studies or to write a research paper.

PSYC 140:  Proseminar V:  Differential
2 semester hours
Brookings, Jeffrey

Prerequisites:  None
An introduction to psychological tests and their application, emphasizing ability measurement, and a survey of the structure and dynamics of personality.  In addition,
students are required either to participate in a limited number of research studies or to write a research paper. 

PSYC 150: Prosemniar V: Abnormal
2 semester hours
Deming, Laura

Prerequisites:  None
This course is an introduction to the realm of psychology that focuses on identifying and treating psychological disorders. The course applies different theoretical views to the causes of and treatments for mental illness.  In addition, basic emotions and motivations will be covered.

PSYC 160:  Proseminar VI:  Social
2 semester hours
Brown, Clifford

Prerequisites:  None
This course is an introduction to social psychology, the scientific study of how others influence our beliefs, emotions, and behavior.  Topics include conformity, persuasion, social cognition, attribution, attitudes, prejudice, aggression, and nonverbal communication.  Three tests assess performance.  In addition, students are required either to participate in a limited number of research studies or to write a research paper.

PSYC 207:  Experimental Design
5 semester hours
Anes, Michael

Prerequisite:  Psychology 107 or another statistics course.
This laboratory course offers a systematic introduction to relevant aspects of the scientific enterprise, namely the design and analysis of experiments.  The focus of the course is on the design of experiments in an analyzable manner, and on their subsequent statistical analysis.  In the laboratory, participants will perform statistical analysis by computer.  Course performance evaluation is based on lab projects, tests, and class participation.  Considerable discussion is devoted to the nature and limitation of scientific models and scientific knowledge.  Text:  Elmes, Kantowitz, & Roediger, Research Methods in Psychology. 8th edition, St. Paul, MN: West Pub. Co.

PSYC 232: Psychology of Adolescence
4 semester hours
Zembar, Mary Jo

Prerequisite:  Psychology 130 or EDUC 111 or 112
This course examines the physical and psychological consequences of making the transition to adolescence. Current psychological theories and research are presented to clarify the changes that occur during this stage of development.  Emphasis is placed on contemporary issues such as eating disorders, parent-adolescent conflict, peer pressure, teenage motherhood, delinquency, etc. The format of the course includes lecture/discussion, films, and in-class group exercises. Outside assignments include a journal, quizzes and a group presentation. The class typically meets 3 times a week and is writing intensive.

PSYC 280:  Psychology of Language
4 semester hours
Crane, Lauren

Prerequisites: Any Language course at the 112 level or any Psyc. course at the 100 level
People use language day in and day out, so effortlessly that it often may seem automatic. Yet language use is a complicated phenomenon that plays an important role in almost every aspect of high-level human functioning. In this course, language will be examined from a variety of perspectives, including acquisition, production, comprehension, human biology, cultural variation, and more. By the end of the course, students will have gained a heightened awareness of just how complex language use really is, and will have a richer appreciation of the far-reaching impact that it has on their everyday lives. Course requirements include exams, projects, written reports, and class participation.

PSYC 280:  Positive Psychology: Skills for Life
4 semester hours
Deming, Laura

Prerequisites: None, but a first year English composition course is recommended.
This course examines topics in the growing field of positive psychology from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Specific areas covered include happiness, positive thinking, character strengths and values, and health and wellness. Special emphasis will be placed on learning skills to help in building self-esteem and positive interpersonal relationships. The format of the course will include lecture/discussion, films, presentations, quizzes, and in-class exercises designed to aid in personal exploration. Outside reading and writing assignments required.

PSYC 321:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition
5 semester hours
Anes, Michael

Prerequisites:  Psychology 120 and Psychology 207
This is a course in which we study major operations of the human mind; perceiving, remembering, acting, and thinking.  Specific areas of coverage include attention, visual search and object recognition, visual memory, general memory mechanisms (working and long-term), language, imagery, reasoning, and judgment.  We will discuss learning and memory in other species as well, and attempt to draw parallels that inform our understanding of human cognition.
Specific proposals about how the mind accomplishes particular tasks (models) have been advanced in the short, 50-year history of modern cognitive psychology.  We will see how these models have been tested, in part by participating in replications of classic cognitive psychology experiments.  Data, including the data we generate ourselves, will be discussed in detail.  We will write APA-style papers describing the nature of these tasks, the methods used, and the results obtained in the tasks.  Finally, we will plan and execute group experiments.

 

PSYC 341:  Psychological Testing
5 semester hours
Brookings, Jeffrey

Prerequisites:  Psychology 140 and Psychology 107.
This is a laboratory course examining principles of test construction, validation, and interpretation, with emphasis on measures of cognitive ability, personality characteristics, and psychological disorders.  Classes will be in lecture/discussion format.  Lab exercises emphasize psychometric evaluation of published psychological tests. A group project requires students to construct and validate a psychological test.
 
PSYC 390:  Junior Seminar
No Credit
Brookings, Jeffrey

This seminar meets one hour per week and is designed to help students understand their various options as psychology majors.  This includes topics such as senior research projects and internships, senior comprehensive and GRE exams, possible career paths, graduate school applications, and graduate school and job interviews.  This class may include guest speakers and field trips based on students’ interests.  Psychology majors are required to take this no-credit seminar for one semester during their junior year.

PSYC 400:  Research Seminar: Developmental
4 semester hours
Zembar, Mary Jo

Prerequisite:  Psychology 130, Psychology 107, or another statistics course, Psychology 232 or Psychology 231 and permission of instructor

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with research experience with children/adolescents. Students will become familiar with the literature in a specific area, they will learn how to administer assessment tools, collect and analyze data and write a research paper using the APA format. Great emphasis is placed on refining writing skills as numerous drafts of the paper are encouraged. The final grade is based on class contribution, drafts of the paper and the final paper. The class meets once a week and is writing intensive.

PSYC 400:  Research Seminar:  Interpersonal Behavior
4 semester hours
Brown, Clifford

Prerequisite:  Permission of instructor.
Students in this course will work with the instructor on interpersonal behavior research in the area of social psychology. Students will become familiar with the current literature in a specific area of social psychology, and meet twice weekly to discuss research literature, develop hypotheses, and design studies to test their hypotheses. Students will review previous research, plan and conduct studies, analyze the data, and write research papers summarizing their findings.  It is anticipated that these papers will be submitted to regional conferences. Microcomputers will be used extensively in each of these stages.  Writing Intensive.

PSYC 400:  Cultural Research in Psychology       
4 semester hours
Crane, Lauren

Prerequisite: Permission of the Instructor
This course is designed to train students in the skills needed to conduct cultural research studies in psychology. The course format primarily will be that of a lab-oriented seminar. Students will develop and refine their ability to read the psychological literature, to generate and test hypotheses, to collect and statistically analyze original data, and to report and critique research findings. Together we will complete one or more research studies focused on cross-cultural comparison, with the goal of presenting our results at a professional conference. Course grades will be based on class participation, contributions to the research project(s), and research papers written in APA style. This is a Writing Intensive course that meets once a week.

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