academic catalogue

2023-2024 Catalogue

Psychology (PSY) Course Descriptions

PSY 101: General Psychology.
Goal: Understanding self and others, predicting behavior, and understanding and control of behavior. To be able to apply methods of research and application of psychological principles to everyday life.
Content: Research methods; child, adolescent, and adult psychology; psychological testing; personality, and abnormal psychology; psychotherapy; social psychology; applied psychology; history of psychology; and physiological processes, principles of learning and memory, human perception, and cognition.
Prerequisite: None.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Individuals & Communities; (SBS/PS).
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 106: Introduction to Human Services. 
To introduce students to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to provide professional and ethical leadership in various human services settings. 
Content: Historical background, philosophies, purpose, organizational structures, funding, and management of human service agencies. 
Prerequisite: None.
Gen. Ed. Category: Foundation Building; Speaking.
Credit: 3 hours. 
PSY 119: Service Learning. 
 To engage students in supervised community service activities and to facilitate reflection on civic responsibility to the needs of the community. 
Content: Students participate in weekly sessions designed to prepare for, reflect on, and analyze their individual community service experiences. Students will select community service settings from a list of agencies in the Macon/Middle Georgia area provided through the Lane Center for Community Engagement and Service. 
Prerequisite: None.
Credit: 1-3 hours; Credit/No Credit grade option only. 
PSY 200: Behavioral Research in Action.
Goal: Students will apply behavioral research methods to a series of case studies involving settings such as education, healthcare, industry, the legal system, and mental health agencies. Students will learn how to summarize and interpret research findings in order to communicate evidence based practice for various audiences.
Content: Fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative research methods commonly used in psychology; ethical concerns in behavioral research; applied use of research findings; dissemination of research findings through oral and written formats; basics of APA-style.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 and MAT/PSY 220.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 201: Psychology of Human Sexuality.
Goal: To explore biological, psychological, interpersonal and sociocultural aspects of human sexuality.
Content: Issues surrounding multiple and often contradictory elements that shape sexual attitudes and behaviors.
Prerequisite: None.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as WST 201.

PSY 203: Social Psychology.
Goal: To provide students with a scientific understanding of human social behavior in its various forms.
Content: Social perception, attitude formation and change, interpersonal attraction, aggression, group processes, health, gender and other topics through examining contemporary social psychological theories and research.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 207: Principles of Neuroscience.
Goal: To provide the student with an understanding of physiological processes that mediate psychological functioning.
Content: The biological bases of sensation, perception, learning, memory, cognition, motivation, emotion, and consciousness; overview of recent and significant developments in this area. 
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 4 hours; cross-listed as NSC 207.
There is a fee associated with this course that covers lab materials and equipment. 
PSY 220: Statistical Methods.
Goal: To introduce students to the logic of designing an experiment and interpreting the quantitative data derived from it.
Content: Study of binomial and normal distributions, measures of central tendency, and tests of hypotheses.
Prerequisites: None.
Gen. Ed. Category: Foundation Building; Quantitative Reasoning.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as MAT 220.
PSY 230: Reading, Writing, & Review: Preparing to Conduct Research in Psychology.
Goal: To introduce the student to behavioral research methods that will then be used in the creation of an original research proposal; to provide discipline-specific writing instruction. 
Content: Fundamentals of behavioral research, including the philosophy of science and measurement and specific features of quantitative research designs commonly used in psychology. The development of a research proposal on a topic of a student’s own interest will provide practice in understanding and integrating research findings, along with experience in APA-style writing. 
Prerequisite: PSY 101; MAT/PSY 220 should be taken previously or concurrently. 
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 235: Nature and Manifestation of Prejudice. 
Goal. This course will provide students with an opportunity to understand and engage with psychological research investigating what causes, perpetuates, and reduces prejudice in society. 
Content: This course will offer an overview of classic and current psychological experiments investigating prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. By investigating these topics through data and scientifically supported theories, students will be provided with the information needed to think critically about stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination in many contexts involving many characteristics (sex, race, ethnicity, weight, etc.). The class will end by focusing on a project that allows students to design an evidence-based plan to address issues of prejudice in the classroom or community.
Prerequisite: None.
Credit: 3 hours. 

PSY 240: Developmental Psychology.
Goal: To develop knowledge about the processes of growth and development throughout the entire lifespan. To understand theory, research methods, and major research findings of developmental psychology.
Content: Theories of development, prenatal development, physical, cognitive, language, emotional, and social development in infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.
Prerequisite: None.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 260: Drugs and Behavior.
Goal: To examine the major classes of drugs which affect behavior, including drugs of abuse and drugs used in the treatment of mental disorders.
Content: The pharmacology of drugs of abuse and drugs used in treating mental disorders is explored. Exploration of historical background of drugs as well as social context.
Prerequisite: None.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as NSC 260.
PSY 301: Psychology of Gender.
Goal: To further students' understanding of psychological knowledge as it applies to women and gender issues.
Content: Exploration of the manner in which psychology provides a unique perspective on the study of gender, focusing primarily on women, with emphasis on research methodologies, empirical findings, theory, and current and historical controversies.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 or WST 200.
Gen. Ed. Category: Synthesizing Perspectives; Women's Experiences; (SBS/PS).
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as WST 301.
PSY 304: Psychology of Personality.
Goal: To promote synthesized understanding of the person through an integration of theory and research.
Content: Exploration of environmental and inherited factors which produce a particular personality structure; includes psychoanalytic, humanistic, existential, trait, behavioral, social learning, and cognitive theories.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 305: Research Methods in the Behavioral Sciences.
Goal: To explore additional research methods content; to extend the understanding of behavioral research methods by guiding students through the process of carrying out a study of their own design. 
Content: Coverage of complex research designs, quasi-experimental designs, and single case designs; the use of statistical software packages for data analysis; practical and ethical issues involved in designing and carrying out studies and working within groups. Hands-on experience with data collection, analysis, and presentation (oral, poster, and paper). 
Prerequisites: PSY 101, MAT/PSY 220, and PSY 230.
Credit: 3 hours.
There is a fee associated with this course that covers research materials and participant payments. 
PSY 310: Cognitive Psychology.
Goal: To foster an understanding of the human mind and how it operates by discussing the major theories, concepts, and research in cognitive psychology.
Content: Detailed examination of how humans encode, perceive, remember, and use the information encountered in daily life. Topics examined include pattern recognition, mental imagery, attention, memory, language, problem solving, creativity, and artificial intelligence.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as NSC 310.
PSY 312: Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Goal: To understand the application of psychological principles to the workplace and business organizations.
Content: Organizational behavior, job culture, organizational change and leadership, personnel recruitment and evaluation, job safety, job satisfaction, productivity, and team behavior will be examined. Research methods in I/O psychology and global issues in I/O psychology will be explored.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 314: Learning and Memory.
Goal: To provide students with a clear and comprehensible integration of classic and contemporary achievements in the field
of learning and memory.
Content: Principles of respondent and operant conditioning as well as memory and cognition in terms of possible mechanisms, current research, the theory.
Prerequisites: PSY 101.
Credit: 4 hours; cross-listed as NSC 314.
There is a fee associated with this course that covers lab materials and equipment.

PSY 325: Psychological Disorders.
Goal: To understand the psychological disorders, how abnormality is defined, and the ways that psychologists study and treat them.
Content: Issues and controversies in defining psychological abnormality; classification and description of abnormal behaviors including physical symptoms and stress reactions, anxiety, addictive disorders, sexual dysfunction, personality disorders, schizophrenia and mood disorders; and theory and research on epidemiology, etiology, treatments and prevention of pathology.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 330: Forensic Psychology.
Goal: To understand the application of psychological principles to forensic psychology.
Content: Forensic Psychology involves the application of psychological knowledge or methods to a task faced by the legal system. Both the production and application of the knowledge and methods of psychology to the civil and criminal justice system are explored (e.g., eyewitness memory and testimony, criminal behavior, jury decision making, and competency evaluations).
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as FSC 330.
PSY 340: Testing and Therapy.
Goal: To study the value, uses, and limitations of many types of tests including general and special abilities, interests, personality surveys, projectives, and aptitudes. To study the value, uses and limitations of many types of psychotherapies, including individual, family, and couples interventions.
Content: Study of testing ethics, reliability and validity determination, specific test uses and misuses, statistical analysis of test results, the therapeutic alliance, ethics in psychotherapy, models of intervention, and effectiveness of various therapeutic approaches.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours.
PSY 343: Health Psychology.
Goal: To examine the influence and interaction of biological, social, and psychological factors on individual health
Content: Basics of physiological systems, promotion of healthy behaviors and prevention of illness, management of stress and pain, experience of severe health problems, and the impact of culture on health. Focused examination of specific conditions and experiences, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and substance use.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours.
PSY 365: Community Psychology.
Goal: To understand how psychological findings can be integrated into practice within the community, taking into account the complex and interpersonal nature of the system.
Content: History and guiding principles of the field, systems theory, cross-cultural practice, ethical concerns, community organizing, advocacy and social justice; planning and development of an intervention based on evidence-based practices.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 396: Special Topics in Psychology.
Goal: To understand psychological topics not covered in-depth in other courses offered in the department.
Content: Topics vary. A student may take no more than two such special topics courses. Recent topics have included Counseling Psychology, Psychology of Good and Evil, Neuroesthetics, and Psychology of the Future. 
Prerequisites: PSY 101 or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as NSC (if content applies). A student may take a maximum of six to eight semester hours (two courses) of special topics in any one field.
PSY 402: History and Systems of Psychology.
Goal: As a capstone for the psychology major, this course offers an exploration of the development of psychology as a field, including the major systems and schools. Coverage of ways in which social, cultural, and historical context shaped early researchers and practitioners will lay a foundation for students to make connections between psychology’s past, present, and future. This course also emphasizes the value of diverse representation and ethical practice in the development of a field of study.
Content: Pre-scientific influences on psychology; historical development of major systems, including structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, and cognitive psychology; historical applications of psychology to society, such as intelligence testing and eugenics, business and industrial efficiency, mental health practice, and activism related to social change; experiences of people within the history of psychology related to their challenges and contributions.
Prerequisites: PSY 101, senior standing.
Credit: 3 hours.
PSY 441: Senior Seminar in Psychology.
Goal: To equip the student to apply accumulated knowledge to critical
analysis of issues or problems. To understand major findings in psychology and how they relate to current directions in the field.
Content: Students will review the contributions of psychology, and explore current directions in psychology. They will reflect on the ways in which psychology research can contribute to the solution of problems.
Prerequisites: PSY 101; MAT 220; PSY 230 and PSY 305, or PSY 200; and senior standing.
Credit: 3 hours.
PSY 451: Directed Independent Study.
Goal: To provide opportunities to engage in faculty-supervised or student-controlled research projects. To study a topic in-depth not ordinarily offered by the department.
Content: Topics vary; examples: AIDS research project; abortion attitudes; projective techniques; analysis of childhood fairy tales.
Prerequisites: Psychology major of senior standing, and permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 452: Field Study.
Goal: To gain experience in application of psychological findings to community settings including psychiatric hospitals, social service agencies, and crisis lines, etc.
Content: Varies with instructor.
Prerequisites: Appropriate background and permission of intern supervisor.
Credit: 1-12 hours.

PSY 499: Honors Thesis. (Fee required).

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