King's College - Psychology

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

PSYC 220 — Psychological Statistics (3)

Basic statistics in the behavioral sciences, including descriptive statistics, probability, correlation, one- and two-sample t-tests, one-way and two-way analysis of variance, and chi-square.

PSYC 221 — Research Methods (4)

This course gives students exposure to the various methods used in behavioral science research including research design, data collection and analysis, and ethics. Students will have the opportunity to write a research proposal, conduct a research project, and report the results in both written and verbal formats. Students will have the opportunity to create and present on a poster similar to those done in professional psychology conferences.

PSYC 321 — Brain and Behavior (3)

This course is designed to provide students with an introductory overview of how brain processes impact behavior and psychological functioning. Course material will be discussed in the context of implications for both normal and abnormal behavior.

PSYC 325 — Human Sexuality (3)

The intent of this course is to provide students with a broad range of knowledge about sexuality. Topics include: what sexuality is, basic sexual anatomy, conception, contracep­tion, attraction, variations in sexual behavior, sexual disorders, and sexual diseases. Not open to students who have taken PSYC 391L.

PSYC 335 — Research Design and Analysis (3)

Basic principles of research methodology and design. Topics include scientific ways of explaining behavior, operational definitions, maximizing internal and external validity in experimentation, methods of control and minimizing confounding variables, types of experimental designs, ethical issues in human and animal experimentation, and preparing manuscripts in APA format. Within this design context, principles of hypothesis testing and various inferential statistical methods (t-tests, non-parametrics, one-way and two-way ANOVAS, and correlation) are also covered. Other statistics courses (e.g., ECON 221, MATH 126, MATH 128) may be substituted for this course.

PSYC 337 — Conditioning and Learning (3)

Topics include: basic principles of learning as seen in controlled laboratory studies: current research trends involving fear, frustration, partial reinforcement, etc., which have relevance for both human and animal learning: application of learning principles to everyday be­havior, self-control, and behavior problems.

PSYC 338 — Motivation: Psychological Perspectives (3)

An experimentally-oriented survey of theory and research on motivational forces governing behavior. Topics include instinct, pain, fear, frustration, incentive, cognitive consistency and dissonance, aggression, achievement, power, job motivation, and interpersonal attraction.

PSYC 339 — Theories of Learning (3)

This course surveys the dominant theorists in the 20th century who have analyzed the learning process from a variety of conceptual models. In the course we also apply the theories to present issues like coping with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and psychotherapy. The theorists include Thorndike, Pavlov, Guthrie, Tolman, Hull, Skinner, Ethological Theory, Gestalt Theory, Piaget, and Bandura.

PSYC 340 — Health Psychology (3)

This course surveys research and theories on psychological factors like stress, fear, and anxiety and their impact on mental and physical well-being. Additionally, we will consider the psychological and physical health effects of behaviors like smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, exercise, and nutrition. We will also investigate the psychological impact of STDs, heart disease, diabetes, aging, and other physical conditions.

PSYC 341 — Forensic Psychology (3)

This course involves an extensive examination of the interface between psychology and the legal and criminal justice systems. By taking this course, students will develop an under­standing of the roles forensic psychologists perform and the tensions they experience by participating in the legal system. By examining relevant criminal cases, we will examine topics including psychologists’ contributions to understanding theories of crime, eyewitness testimony and memory, criminal profiling, repressed and recovered memories, lie detection, competency testing, the insanity defense and the death penalty, pre-trial publicity, false confessions, and jury selection among others. The course will include lecture, discussion, video and guest speakers as well as trips to local legal and criminal justice venues.

PSYC 342 — Drugs and Behavior (3)

Drug abuse is our nation’s number one health and social problem. In this course, we will examine the use and abuse of drugs from many perspectives: social, legal, medical, phar­macological and psychological. Beginning with a basic coverage of how the brain controls behavior, we will look at how drugs interact with the brain to have such powerful effects on behavior. Topics will include the medical use of drugs (including over-the-counter and psycho-therapeutic drugs), the illegal abuse of drugs like heroin and cocaine, and the use and abuse of non-drugs like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

PSYC 343 — Psychology of Violent Crime (3)

In this course we will first examine significant overarching issues relevant to the psychol­ogy of violent crime including mental illness and violent crime, psychological effects of incarceration, adolescence and violence, psychopathy, and other causes of violent crime. Then students will choose a particular type of crime (gang violence, crimes of the wealthy, human trafficking) or a particular type of violent offender (serial killer, domestic abuser) and conduct a thorough investigation of it. Not open to students who have taken PSYC 391J.

PSYC 345 — Biology of Mental Illness (3)

This course is designed to give the student an understanding of the various theories that focus on the biological causes of a number of mental illnesses including: major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia. A major part of the course will be focused on how the current medications work and what we can learn about the possible causes of the illness based on this information.

PSYC 346 — Psychopharmacology (3)

This course surveys what is currently known about the neurobiology of psychiatric disor­ders and the use of psychoactive drugs to treat them. Starting with the basics of the brain/ behavior relationship and principles of pharmacology, we will cover the symptoms and treatment of the affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and the schizophrenias, among oth­ers. Also included will be the psychological aspects and pharmacotherapy of the neurode­generative disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, and Alzheimer’s disease.

PSYC 348 — Sensation and Perception (3)

This course deals with how we construct a conception of physical reality from sensory experi­ence. While the primary focus will be on vision and hearing, the chemical senses (taste and smell) the somatosenses (touch, temperature, and vibration) will also be addressed. We will cover the anatomy and physiology of the various sensory receptors, the neural mechanisms of sensation, sensory representation in the brain, as well as the phenomenological experience of perception. Topics will include the ways in which illusions can fool our senses and what they tell us about how our sensory systems work.

PSYC 349 — Animal Behavior (3)

This course will introduce you to the field of animal behavior. We will examine basic principles derived from evolution, ecology, and ethology. We will use these principles to explain how and why animals behave as they do in particular situations. We will focus on many important behaviors such as foraging, communication, migration, predator-prey interactions, mating, and parental care.

PSYC 350 — Theories of Personality (3)

Exploration of the structure, dynamics, and development of personality as conceptual­ized by prominent theorists of different persuasions. Psycho-analytic, behavioristic trait, biological, and humanistic/existential, theoretical orientations will be compared and contrasted. The course begins with a foundation of the more traditional personality theo­ries and move on to more contemporary, innovative approaches to personality. Research findings associated with this field will also be examined.

PSYC 351 — Psychopathology (3)

The etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological disorders from both traditional and contemporary viewpoints. Emphasis is placed upon comparison of alternative models of causation and treatment. Students will be encouraged to explore their own thoughts and feelings about individual differences and deviance.

PSYC 352 — Explorations in Personality (3)

In this course we will examine the psychological literature and ourselves as we explore the psychology of subjective well-being and happiness. We will experiment with various interventions designed to enhance our personal well-being, our strengths, and our posi­tive interactions with others. In the second half of the course, we will conduct original investigations of particular personality topics or an intensive study of an individual. Not open to students who have taken PSYC 391G.

PSYC 353 — Psychological Assessment (3)

Fundamentals of test construction, evaluation, and application. Tests, surveys, and in­terviews, as well as other methods of psychological assessment used in clinical, business, and counseling settings will be evaluated by class members. Students will be expected to administer and interpret several tests during the semester.

PSYC 354 — Psychological Assessment in the Workplace (3)

This course will apply the principles of psychological assessment to the workplace. The course will address different types of tests/inventories for evaluating job applicants, assess­ment measures for employee development, test fairness, test construction, and employee opinion surveying. The fundamentals of I/O psychology will be addressed in relation to psychological assessment.

PSYC 355 — Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence (3)

Study of significant aspects of human development from conception through adolescence. Topics include influences upon the development of social and emotional growth, personal­ity, intellectual capacity, and the acquisition and usage of language. The relevance of these topics to parent effectiveness will be stressed.

PSYC 356 — Developmental Psychology: Adulthood & Aging (3)

Analysis of human development from young adulthood through old age. Main emphases are upon social and emotional changes associated with various stages of adult life. Crises typically encountered by individuals in their twenties, thirties, forties, etc. are discussed, including shifts in self-concept, sexual desires, attitudes toward life, conceptions of death, etc. Development during the period of old age will be stressed.

PSYC 357 — Social Psychology (3)

The influence of social factors on individual behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Topics include: attitude formation and change, altruism, aggression, attraction, conformity, interpersonal relationships, and group processes.

PSYC 358 — The Self Concept (3)

This course will survey the major theoretical and empirical approaches to the self-concept. Topics include the nature of the self, search for self-knowledge, development of the self and identity, self-esteem, and self-presentation. We will also examine how our feelings about ourselves influence our behavior and whether these feelings can be changed to produce greater happiness and life satisfaction. Through a variety of course activities, students will be invited to explore a variety of aspects of the self.

PSYC 359 — Psychology of Gender (3)

Consideration of the development of gender-based psychology theory by addressing both male and female issues. Topics will include gender stereotypes in the media, advertising, and literature; the changing roles of men and women in contemporary society; and per­sonal relationships from both the male and female perspective.

PSYC 360 — Industrial Psychology (3)

A survey of industrial psychology. Topics include worker attitudes and job satisfaction; employee motivation and work efficiency; advertisement strategies and worker attitudes/ behavior; and intervention techniques (e.g., sensitivity training and role playing); and organizational change. Discussions of personnel selection and vocational assessment/ choice will also be undertaken, along with typical roles and responsibilities of industrial psychologists in a variety of organizational settings.

PSYC 361 — Psychology in Film (3)

Filmmakers and television producers have been able to capture important areas of psycho­logical experience through the shows they create. We will analyze important psychological themes as captured on fi lm and television including such topics as characteristics of psy­chotherapy and mental illness, prejudice and discrimination, interpersonal attraction and relationship dissolution, aggression and violence, child development, coping mechanisms, and personality change and cultural reflections of gender. Students may apply this course toward a minor in Latin American Studies by completing a relevant course project that is approved by the instructor.

PSYC 365 — Cognitive Psychology (3)

Introduction to theories and research in cognitive psychology. Topics will include: perceptual organization, information processing, cognitive development, relationships between sensory analysis, perception, memory, learning, language, and problem solving. Students will also learn application of these topics to multiple career settings including business and therapy. Prerequisite CORE 154 or approval of instructor.

PSYC 385 — Honors Seminar (3)

This course is designed for students intending to pursue an Honors Thesis (PSYC 485). The seminar will review basic principles and research design and analysis. Students will be introduced to research being conducted in the Department of Psychology, and they will choose their Honors Thesis Faculty Advisor. Students will develop their thesis project to include a literature review of their topic and a method section specifying the design and procedures for conducting the research. Prerequisite PSYC 335.

PSYC 391 — Topical Seminar (3)

A course offered periodically, in an area of expertise by a member of the department. The course will concentrate on a topical area such as the psychology of violent crime; psychobiology; counseling adults; art therapy; child and adolescent psychopathology; etc.

PSYC 395 — Supervised Readings (3)

A course designed for students who want to review psychological literature in an area of their choice, under the supervision of a psychology faculty member. Generally, this will allow students to either become more familiar with an area covered in existing courses; or explore fields of psychology that are not part of existing curricula. This course is not designed as a substitute for taking of existing courses in the regular manner. Pass/Fail option may be required at the discretion of the instructor. Prerequisites: Junior standing and 12 credits in psychology or permission of the Department.

PSYC 420 — Juvenile Diversion (3)

This interdisciplinary team taught course will examine the issues surrounding juveniles and the juvenile justice system. It will encompass an overview of juvenile diversion programs specifically addressing psychological and sociological developmental issues and how diversion techniques, including mentoring, may influence positive outcomes. Requirements include a service learning or academic component. Cross-listed as CJ 420

PSYC 430 — Independent Research (3)

An opportunity for a student to engage in independent research in a specific phase of psychology.Junior or senior status required, and permission of a supervising department faculty member. Prerequisite: PSYC 335.

PSYC 450 — Senior Seminar (3)

A seminar designed to provide a culminating and integrative understanding of contem­porary psychology. Students will choose a contemporary psychological issue and write a major paper synthesizing information from previous course work with current theories and research. A classroom oral presentation is also required. To be taken in the senior year. Offered fall semester only.

PSYC 470 — Clinical Psychology Practicum (3)

Supervised work in an applied setting. Focuses upon counseling skills (e.g., listening, empathy, feedback) and emphasizes theoretical foundations of therapy. Typically offered in the fall semester and involves experience in interviewing and/or counseling techniques, psychological assessment, behavioral management procedures, etc. May be taken more than once for up to 12 credits, only six of which may count toward the major sequence (i.e., the 33 credits required). Junior/senior standing and permission of the instructor.

PSYC 485 — Honors Thesis (3)

If you have a minimum 3.5 G.P.A. in psychology courses and 3.4 G.P.A. overall, and if you have a passion for psychology and want to make an original contribution to the field, you might want to consider conducting an honors thesis in psychology. The thesis will involve an empirical study conducted by the student, using a methodology appropriate to the psychological issue under investigation. The study will be based on a proposal submitted and approved in PSYC 385. You may complete this honors thesis without being enrolled in the King’s College Honors Program. Prerequisite PSYC 385.

PSYC 499 — Psychology Internship

This internship experience is coordinated with the Office of Experiential Learning and a member of the psychology faculty who agrees to supervise the internship. Normally, student interns will be juniors or seniors at the time of the internship. A minimum overall G.P.A. of 2.50 is required.

For additional information visit the Department website at www.kings.edu/psychology

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