Psychology (PSYCH)

General Psychology

PSYCH-100 Introduction to Psychology

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

How do we make decisions, form attachments, and learn a language? Can we inherit schizophrenia? Why are we fearful of some situations and not others? What factors influence the way we form attitudes or develop prejudices? This course addresses such questions to provide an overview of current research in psychology.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
M. Breen, K. Haydon

PSYCH-200 Research Methods in Psychology

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

This course provides an introduction to the skills necessary for becoming good producers and consumers of psychological research. Students learn to develop research questions, survey related literature, design rigorous and ethically sound studies, and collect, analyze, and interpret quantitative and qualitative data. Students build on their computer skills relevant for psychological research and learn to read and critique original empirical journal articles. The course culminates in an original, collaborative research project, a final paper, and an oral presentation.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
K. Binder, C. Flanders
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: PSYCH-201 or STAT-240. Coreq: PSYCH-200L.
Advisory: Students must take statistics (Psychology 201) before enrolling in this course; students should sign up for the lecture course and one lab section.

PSYCH-201 Statistics

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Statistical procedures are powerful tools for analyzing and interpreting findings and are necessary for accurate reading and understanding of research findings. This course provides an introduction to the most frequently encountered techniques for describing data and making inferences in psychological research. A variety of computer applications are used.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
K. Binder, J. Schwartzer
Prereq: A 100-level course in Psychology or Neuroscience 100. Coreq: PSYCH-201L.
Notes: Students should sign up for the lecture course and one lab section

PSYCH-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

PSYCH-297 Directed Research

Fall. Credits: 2 - 4

Under the mentorship of department faculty, students engage in the collection and/or analysis of data pertaining to identified projects underway in faculty-sponsored lab settings. Students meet as a group with faculty during regularly scheduled times for additional training, establishing routines and guidelines and discussion of findings.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
The department
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: PSYCH-100, PSYCH-110, or NEURO-100.

PSYCH-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.

PSYCH-397 Directed Research

Fall. Credits: 2 - 4

Under the mentorship of individual department faculty, students engage in the collection and/or analysis of data pertaining to identified projects underway in faculty-sponsored lab settings. Students meet as a group with faculty during regularly scheduled times for additional training, establishing routines and guidelines and discussion of findings.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
The department
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: PSYCH-200 and PSYCH-201.

PSYCH-398 Seminar in Psychological Research

Fall. Credits: 1

This seminar is for students who are completing an honors thesis. The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with constructive support during all stages of their research. In particular, this class will assist students with organizing the various components of their thesis work and help them meet departmental thesis deadlines.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Gagnon, C. Lee
Advisory: Only graduate students and students doing an honors thesis are permitted to register.

PSYCH-399 Seminar in Psychological Research

Spring. Credits: 1

This seminar is for students who are completing an honors thesis. The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with constructive support during all stages of their research. In particular, this class will assist students with organizing the various components of their thesis work and help them meet departmental thesis deadlines.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Gagnon, C. Lee
Instructor permission required.
Advisory: Only students doing an honors thesis are permitted to register.

Social Psychology

PSYCH-210 Social Psychology

Fall. Credits: 4

This course covers a range of information within social psychology, including theory, research, and applied contexts. Areas of interest will include self and social perception, attitudes, stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, group dynamics, interpersonal attraction and relationships, among others.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Flanders
Prereq: A 100 level psychology course.

PSYCH-211 Psychology of Women

PSYCH-212 Individuals and Organizations

Fall. Credits: 4

This course focuses on individual and small-group behavior in the organizational setting. The basic objective is to increase knowledge and understanding of human behavior in organizations - especially each individual's own behavior. Three types of knowledge are stressed: (1) intellectual information regarding human behavior in an organizational context; (2) understanding of oneself as a person and as a leader; and (3) behavioral skills in dealing with people.

Crosslisted as: EOS-299ND
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
D. Butterfield
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

PSYCH-213 Psychology of Racism

Spring. Credits: 4

How do the theories of race and racism correlate with the lived experiences of people of color? In what ways are whites affected by a system that privileges whiteness? This course will explore the mind, behavior, and impact of racism on targeted and privileged racial groups and the subsequent movements of liberation from historical, conceptual, intrapersonal, and interpersonal levels. We will mine the subjective experiences of the authors, looking both for damage and resilience, and we will use this data to help us understand racism's impact on the psyches of those whom it targets and benefits.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Daigle-Matos
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

PSYCH-310 Laboratory: Social Psychology

This course is conducted as a hands-on research workshop. Students will work collaboratively on one major social psychological research project during the semester. The projects typically focus on work/family issues, but other topics are possible. The methodology used depends on the project and could employ quantitative and/or qualitative methods. The course work follows the typical sequence required for research: reviewing the relevant literature, designing the method, analyzing data, and writing and presenting a final research report.

Instructor permission required.

PSYCH-310AP Laboratory in Social Psychology: 'Applied Social Psychology'

Spring. Credits: 4

In this course we will apply social psychological research practices to understand a social problem and work toward promoting positive social change. Specifically, we will use community-based participatory action research principles to investigate community concerns related to sexual and mental health, or community-identified pathways to promoting sexual and mental well-being. Students will develop a research project in partnership with community stakeholders, collect and analyze data, and produce a final product that is based on community priorities and is useful for community partners.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
C. Flanders
Prereq: PSYCH-200.

PSYCH-310SP Laboratory in Social Psychology

Fall. Credits: 4

This course is conducted as a hands-on research workshop. Students will work collaboratively on one major social psychological research project during the semester. The projects typically focus on work/family issues, but other topics are possible. The methodology used depends on the project and could employ quantitative and/or qualitative methods. The course work follows the typical sequence required for research: reviewing the relevant literature, designing the method, analyzing data, and writing and presenting a final research report.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
F. Deutsch
Prereq: PSYCH-200.

PSYCH-319 Seminar in Social Psychology

Instructor permission required.

PSYCH-319GS Seminar in Social Psychology: 'Gender and Sexual Minority Health'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course is a critical overview and investigation of health as it relates to the experiences of gender and sexual minority people. We will begin with exploring theoretical understandings of health and marginalization, and use those as frameworks to examine various domains of health. Areas of interest will include mental health, sexual and reproductive health, substance use, disability, and issues related to body size and image. We will end by looking at other structural issues that affect gender and sexual minority health, such as access to care, health education, and health policy.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
C. Flanders
Prereq: PSYCH-200.

Personality and Abnormal Psychology

PSYCH-220 Theories of Personality

Spring. Credits: 4

How do individuals differ and how are they the same? What factors shape the development of our personalities? This course will introduce students to some of the major psychological theories of and approaches to understanding personality. We will critically examine theory and research on traits, genetics, neuroscience, self and identity, intrapsychic perspectives, regulation and motivation, and cognition, integrating these views into a more complete understanding of personality.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
W. Davis
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: A 100 level course in Psychology.

PSYCH-222 Abnormal Psychology: Clinical Perspectives

Fall. Credits: 4

This course surveys the psychological field of abnormal psychology. We will explore historical foundations, theories, research, assessment, and treatment as they relate to diagnoses included in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition . Throughout the course, we will critically examine the concept of abnormality and its intersection with societal and cultural contexts.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
W. Davis, The department
Prereq: 100-level course in Psychology.

PSYCH-326 Laboratory in Personality and Abnormal Psychology

PSYCH-326PR Laboratory in Personality and Abnormal Psychology: 'Personality Research'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course provides a hands-on introduction to psychological research in the domain of personality psychology. We will consider research methods, personality assessments, the intersection of personality and social psychology, and issues broadly relevant to psychological research. Students will work collaboratively in groups through all phases of a research project, including conducting a literature review, designing a study, receiving ethics approval, collecting data, conducting statistical analyses, and reporting the results. Projects will examine a topic within personality psychology and will be chosen by students in consultation with the professor.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
W. Davis
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: PSYCH-200.
Advisory: A course in personality or social psychology preferred.

PSYCH-329 Seminar in Personality and Abnormal Psychology

PSYCH-329FP Seminar in Personality and Abnormal Psychology: 'First-Person Narratives of Madness'

Fall. Credits: 4

Psychiatrists conceptualize "mental illness" in terms of the symptoms and diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). But how are psychological distress or unusual states of mind understood by the people who experience them? In this seminar, we analyze accounts (historical and contemporary) written by those who have first-hand experience of extreme states, intense emotions, or unusual perceptions or beliefs, to understand how these "counter-narratives" offer new insights into psychological life.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
G. Hornstein
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: 8 credits in Psychology and permission of instructor.
Advisory: A course in Abnormal Psychology or Literature (any language) preferred.
Notes: Students must submit an information sheet (form available in department office) by noon on Friday of advising week to get permission to register for the course.

PSYCH-329PS Seminar in Personality and Abnormal Psychology: 'Positive Psychology'

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

This course examines the emerging field of Positive Psychology which uses science to understand and enhance positive aspects of the human experience (i.e., "the good life"). Positive Psychology stands in contrast to more traditional psychological approaches that focus on pathology. We will critically examine theory and research in Positive Psychology, including strengths and virtues, meaning in life, positive coping, authenticity, happiness, gratitude, flow, religion/spirituality, and optimism. We will also explore applications and interventions informed by positive psychology in domains personally relevant to students' lives such as school, work, and close relationships.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
W. Davis
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: PSYCH-200.
Advisory: A course in personality, abnormal, or social preferred.

Developmental and Educational Psychology

PSYCH-230 Developmental Psychology

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Examines changes in cognitive, social, and emotional functioning, including theory and research that illuminate some central issues in characterizing these changes: the relative contributions of nature and nurture, the influence of the context on development, continuity versus discontinuity in development, and the concept of stage. Includes observations at the Gorse Children's Center.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Grillo, K. Haydon
Prereq: A 100 level psychology course.

PSYCH-233 Educational Psychology

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

What do we learn? How do we learn? Why do we learn? In this course, we will study issues of learning, teaching, and motivation that are central to educational psychology. We will explore the shifting paradigms within educational psychology, multiple subject matter areas, (dis)continuities between classroom and home cultures, students' prior experiences, teachers as learners, ethnic and gender identity in the classroom, and learning in out-of-school settings. Requires a prepracticum in a community-based setting.

Crosslisted as: EDUC-233
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
A. Grillo
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Notes: Prepracticum required. Many of the available placements for this course are in after-school settings (one afternoon per week)

PSYCH-235 Children's Cognitive Development

Fall. Credits: 4

This course covers the major cognitive theories and research findings on the development of children's thinking from infancy to adolescence. Students will examine the nature and processes of change in six domains of knowledge: language, perception, memory, conceptual understanding, problem-solving and academic skills. Emphasis will be made on evaluating the practical implications of these cognitive theories and research.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
K. Hanson
Prereq: A 100-level Psychology course.
Notes: This course counts in the developmental or cognitive area.

PSYCH-330 Lab in Developmental Psychology

PSYCH-330RD Lab in Developmental Psychology: 'Laboratory in Romantic Development: Observational Coding Methodology'

Fall. Credits: 4

Students will work in teams to code videotaped observations of romantic partners discussing their relationships. Students will learn to code emotion expressions and behavior, relationship idealization, and couple synchrony at the dyadic and individual levels. Students will address issues of coding bias, construct validity, and intercoder reliability. The final project will report original quantitative analyses based on data generated during the course.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
K. Haydon
Prereq: PSYCH-200.
Advisory: Psychology 200, 201

PSYCH-331 Lab in Early Social and Personality Development

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

In the role of a participant-observer, each student studies intensively the social and personality development of the children in one classroom at the Gorse Children's Center at Stonybrook. Students learn how to articulate developmental changes and individual differences by analyzing detailed observations. Topics include social cognition, peer relationships, social skills, concepts of friendship, emotional development, identity formation, self-esteem, and the social and cultural context of development.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Grillo, J. Jacoby
Prereq: PSYCH-200 and PSYCH-230.
Notes: 2 labs (3 hours each) required at Gorse Children's Center

PSYCH-337 Seminar in Educational Psychology

Instructor permission required.

PSYCH-337SD Seminar in Educational Psychology: 'Self-Directed Learning'

Spring. Credits: 4

Are children "wired" to be able to learn without direct instruction? Does the process of schooling diminish or enhance our capacity to be self-directed learners? What factors determine one's readiness for self-directed learning, and can self-directed learning be "taught?" What role, if any, do teachers play in self-directed learning? This seminar explores these questions in the context of an ongoing ethnographic study of an alternative education program within a public high school. Participants will have a chance to engage with data from that study and practice qualitative research skills through site visits to schools that encourage self-directed learning.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Grillo
Instructor permission required.
Advisory: Preference given to students who have taken Educational Psychology and have some familiarity with qualitative research.
Notes: Interested students should email Professor Grillo during advising week to explain why they want to take this seminar.

PSYCH-338 Lab in Educational Psychology

PSYCH-338YC Lab in Educational Psychology: 'Young Children, iPads, and Learning'

Spring. Credits: 4

Is there a place for digital technologies in play-based early childhood education? What value, if any, stems from children playing with educational apps with their peers in classrooms? How can digital play support children's meaning-making? This course uses a hands-on research approach to explore these and related questions while engaging with young children in preschool settings. Students learn how to collect observational data of preschool children interacting with iPad apps and conduct qualitative analyses. Topics of study include social play development, social competence, peer interactions, play-based learning, digital media literacies, multimodal learning, and digital play.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
S. Lawrence
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: PSYCH-200 and PSYCH-230 or PSYCH-233.
Notes: 3 hours per week are required at Gorse Children's Center.

PSYCH-339 Seminar in Developmental Psychology

PSYCH-339LG Seminar in Developmental Psychology: 'Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course explores how home and school learning environments influence the development of language and literacy skills of children ages 3-8. It examines situations in which families and schools, although utilizing different languages, dialects, and ways of communicating, can work together to enhance children's language learning. Particular attention is given to children's development of academic language -- the written and spoken language needed to understand and create texts required for success in school.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
J. Jacoby
Prereq: Take PSYCH-230, PSYCH-233, or PSYCH-241.
Advisory: Prior coursework in developmental psychology, educational psychology, or cognitive psychology required.

PSYCH-339RL Seminar in Developmental Psychology: 'Close Relationships across the Lifespan'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course will cover developmental implications of close relationships from infancy through adulthood with a focus on parents, friendships, and romantic partners. The goal is to examine normative developmental processes through a relational lens.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
K. Haydon
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: PSYCH-230.

Perception and Cognition

PSYCH-241 Cognitive Psychology

Spring. Credits: 4

Cognition encompasses a range of phenomena that define our mental lives. This course considers empirical investigations and theoretical accounts of cognitive issues, including learning and memory, creativity and problem solving, decision making, attention, consciousness, and language.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
M. Breen
Prereq: A 100-level course in psychology.

PSYCH-340 Laboratory in Perception and Cognition

PSYCH-340CL Laboratory in Perception and Cognition: 'Cognition and Literacy'

Fall. Credits: 4

Adult illiteracy in the U.S. presents an ever-growing challenge. To understand this problem, we will learn various theories of reading. However, since many models of reading are based on data gathered from children, we will also examine how the cognitive abilities of adults are different from those of children. A large component of this class concerns learning the lab techniques associated with assessing reading abilities. In addition, since this is a community-based learning course, each student will become a tutor for an adult enrolled in an area literacy program.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
K. Binder
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: PSYCH-200 and permission of instructor.
Advisory: Students must email Professor Binder during advising week.
Notes: 3 hours per week as a literacy tutor in Springfield is required.

PSYCH-349 Seminar in Perception and Cognition

Instructor permission required.

PSYCH-349AM Seminar in Perception and Cognition: 'Art, Music, and the Brain'

Spring. Credits: 4

Art and music are a part of all human cultures. Is there something about the human brain that drives us to paint and sing? We will examine how the brain simultaneously processes different aspects of visual and auditory stimuli, ask how this processing may affect the way we do art and music, and explore where these phenomena may occur in the brain. As we engage in discussion and hands-on activities, we will discover the commonalities between the arts and the sciences including practice, experimentation, exploration, innovation, and creativity.

Crosslisted as: MUSIC-321AM
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
M. Breen, L. Laderach
Restrictions: This course is limited to seniors.
Prereq: At least 8 credits at the 200 level in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior, Art History, or Music.

PSYCH-349LT Seminar in Perception and Cognition: 'Language and Thought'

Fall. Credits: 4

Languages differ in the way they describe the world. For example, the noun for bridge is feminine in German, but masculine in French. Russian has two words for blue, while English has only one. The Piraha (an Amazonian hunter-gatherer tribe) arguably have no number words. In this course, we will be asking to what extent these cross-linguistic differences are reflected in thought. That is, do German speakers think bridges are more feminine than French speakers do? Can Russian speakers discriminate different shades of blue better than English speakers? Can the Piraha count? In exploring these questions, we hope to discover how tightly linked language and thought are.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
M. Breen
Prereq: PSYCH-200.
Advisory: A 200-level course in Cognitive Psychology recommended.

Biological Bases of Behavior

PSYCH-254 Psychopharmacology

Spring. Credits: 4

Psychopharmacology focuses on the impact that drugs (both illicit and prescription) have on the brain, neurocircuitry, and behavior. Students will explore the underlying neurotransmitter systems of the brain and discover how substances influence nervous system function including the experience of pain, sleep, emotional states, motivation, addiction, and mental health. The course will bridge concepts in chemistry, biology, psychology, and neuroscience by highlighting major drug classes and their underlying mechanisms of action. Additional discussions will focus on the economic, social, and political aspects of the drug market, as well as ethics and legalities of the drug industry.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
J. Schwartzer
Prereq: PSYCH-100 or NEURO-100.

PSYCH-350 Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience

Fall. Credits: 4

This intensive laboratory course will train students to use the technical methods and tools commonly used in behavioral neuroscience research. Skills covered will include animal care and handling, use of behavioral assays, pharmacology, and neurosurgical procedures. Students will engage in weekly exercises and hands-on experiments to study the link between brain function and behavioral responses. These preclinical tools will be used to test research questions related to learning and memory, social-emotional responses, and drug-seeking behaviors. After completion of this course, students will have a deeper understanding of the design and implementation of behavioral neuroscience research.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
J. Schwartzer
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: PSYCH-200 and either NEURO-100 or PSYCH-250.
Notes: Interested students must meet with the instructor before or during the advising week to obtain additional information about the course.

PSYCH-359 Seminar: Biological Bases of Behavior

Instructor permission required.

PSYCH-359CN Seminar: Biological Bases of Behavior: 'Clinical Neuroscience'

Spring. Credits: 4

Explore how psychology, neuroscience, and medicine come together to study the etiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Students will examine the behavioral features and neurobiology behind various clinical disorders such as Autism, ADHD, Substance Use Disorders, Mood Disorders, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, and Neurodegenerative Diseases. The course will rely on primary research to identify how changes in physiology and biology might manifest in the behaviors that define psychopathology. Students will gain a deeper understanding of clinical and preclinical techniques used to study these disorders while bridging their knowledge of molecular, cellular, and systems neuroscience research.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
J. Schwartzer
Prereq: PSYCH-200.
Advisory: Neuroscience 100 strongly recommended.