Course Listing

PSYC 101(F, S)Introductory Psychology

An introduction to the major subfields of psychology: behavioral neuroscience, cognitive, developmental, social, personality, psychopathology, and health. The course aims to acquaint students with the major methods, theoretical points of view, and findings of each subfield. Important concepts are exemplified by a study of selected topics and issues within each of these areas. [ more ]

PSYC 201(F, S)Experimentation and Statistics

An introduction to the basic principles of research in psychology. We focus on how to design and execute experiments, analyze and interpret the results, and write research reports. Students conduct a series of research studies in different areas of psychology (e.g., social, personality, cognitive) that illustrate basic designs and methods of analysis. [ more ]

PSYC 212(F)Neuroscience

A study of the relationship between brain, mind, and behavior. Topics include a survey of the structure and function of the nervous system, basic neurophysiology, development, learning and memory, sensory and motor systems, consciousness and clinical disorders such as schizophrenia, spinal cord inury, Parkinson's disease, and addiction. The laboratory focuses on current topics in neuroscience. [ more ]

Taught by: Heather Williams, Lauren Williamson

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PSYC 221(F, S)Cognitive Psychology

This course will survey the experimental study of the structures and processes that make up normal human cognition. Topics include perception, attention, learning, memory, categorization, language, judgment, decision making, reasoning, and problem solving. [ more ]

PSYC 222(F)Minds, Brains, and Intelligent Behavior: An Introduction to Cognitive Science

This course will emphasize interdisciplinary approaches to the study of intelligent systems, both natural and artificial. Cognitive science synthesizes research from cognitive psychology, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, and contemporary philosophy. Special attention will be given to the philosophical foundations of cognitive science, representation and computation in symbolic and connectionist architectures, concept acquisition, problem solving, perception, language, semantics, reasoning, and artificial intelligence. [ more ]

PSYC 232(F, S)Developmental Psychology

An introduction to the study of human growth and development from conception through emerging adulthood. Topics for discussion include prenatal development, perceptual and motor development, language acquisition, memory and intellectual development, and social and emotional development. These topics form the basis for a discussion of the major theories of human development, including early experience, social learning, psychoanalytic, cognitive-developmental, and ethological models. [ more ]

PSYC 242(F, S)Social Psychology

A survey of theory and research in social psychology. Topics include the self, social perception, conformity, attitudes and attitude change, prejudice, aggression, altruism, attraction and love, intergroup conflict, and cultural psychology. Applications in the areas of advertising, law, business, and health will also be discussed. [ more ]

PSYC 252(F, S)Psychological Disorders

A study of the phenomenology, etiology, and treatment of the major forms of psychological disorders: the schizophrenias, dissociative disorders, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, addictions, alcoholism, and others. The course emphasizes an integrative approach which incorporates and analyzes theories and research from family, biological, genetic, and sociocultural perspectives. [ more ]

PSYC 272(S)Psychology of Education

This course introduces students to a broad range of theories and research on education. What models of teaching work best, and for what purposes? How do we measure the success of various education practices? What is the best way to describe the psychological processes by which children gain information and expertise? What accounts for individual differences in learning, and how do teachers (and schools) address these individual needs? How do social and economic factors shape teaching practices and the educational experiences of individual students? The course will draw from a wide range of literature (research, theory, and first hand accounts) to consider key questions in the psychology of education. Upon completion of the course, students should be familiar with central issues in pre-college education and know how educational research and the practice of teaching affect one another. [ more ]

PSYC 312(S)Brain, Behavior, and the Immune System

In all animals, the immune system is the body's defense against the outside world. Immune function is strongly influenced by environmental and behavioral experiences, and the immune system has a dynamic relationship with the brain. We will study the interactions among the brain, behavior, and the immune system in models of health and disease. Specific topics to be examined include: immune cells and their signaling molecules, immune cells within the brain, sickness behaviors, learning and memory, nervous system development, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and nervous system injury and repair. Students will critically review data from both human and animal studies. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project as part of a small research team. [ more ]

Taught by: Lauren Williamson

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PSYC 315Hormones and Behavior

Not offered this year

In all animals, hormones are essential for the coordination of basic functions such as development and reproduction. This course studies the dynamic relationship between hormones and behavior. We will review the mechanisms by which hormones act in the nervous system. We will also investigate the complex interactions between hormones and behavior. Specific topics to be examined include: sexual differentiation; reproductive and parental behaviors; stress; aggression; and learning and memory. Students will critically review data from both human and animal studies. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project as part of a small research team. [ more ]

PSYC 316(F)Clinical Neuroscience

Diagnosing and treating neurological diseases is the final frontier of medicine. Recent advances in neuroscience have had a profound impact on the understanding of diseases that affect cognition, behavior, and emotion. This course provides an in-depth analysis of the relationship between brain dysfunction and disease state. We will focus on neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. We will consider diagnosis of disease, treatment strategies, as well as social and ethical issues. The course provides students with the opportunity to present material based upon: (1) review of published literature, (2) analysis of case histories, and (3) observations of diagnosis and treatment of patients both live and on videotape. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project. [ more ]

PSYC 317 T(S)Nature via Nurture: Topics in Developmental Psychobiology

Do your genes determine who you are? This course examines the relative contributions of nature (genetics) and nurture (the environment) that lead to individual differences in behavior. Modern neuroscience techniques have discovered new relationships between genes and behavior. Conversely, recent studies on the effects of social factors suggest critical environmental influences on the expression of these genetic determinants. This tutorial will explore the theoretical and empirical issues in animal models of behavioral epigenetics. Topics include child neglect, antisocial behavior, addiction, anxiety, risk-taking, empathy, and depression. Each tutorial pair will design and conduct an empirical laboratory project that will explore their own experimental question about the interaction of genes and environment in determining behavioral phenotypes. [ more ]

PSYC 318Image, Imaging, and Imagining: The Brain and Visual Arts

Not offered this year

This course will study the intersections of neuroscience and art. The brain interprets the visual world and generates cognitive and emotional responses to what the eyes see. It is also responsible for creating mental images and then directing the artist's motor output. We will first examine the neural mechanisms of how we perceive what we see. We will investigate how visual artists have used or challenged perceptual cues in their work. Understanding how the brain perceives faces will be used to analyze portraiture. We will consider the influence of neurological and psychological disorders on artistic work. We will examine neuroimaging studies questioning whether the brains of visual artists are specialized differently from non-artists. Finally, we will explore how contemporary artists are using brain images in their artwork, and how "outsider" artists have portrayed brain syndromes and mental states. Students will create their own artwork in response to the course material, culminating in a class exhibit. The class will include field trips to local museums. [ more ]

PSYC 319 TNeurofiction

Not offered this year

Increasingly, neuroscience is not only a topic of interest to academics and clinicians, but also to the general public. Cover stories in the major news magazines over the past year include Alzheimer's disease, autism, depression, memory, traumatic brain injury in athletes, and schizophrenia. Television news and newspapers cover studies related to neuroscience on a daily basis. Increasingly, novels and movies focus on neuroscience topics. This tutorial will use movies and popular press fiction as a starting point for analysis and discussion of contemporary topics in neuroscience. We will use these movies and novels as "case histories" to provide a foundation for discussing contemporary and controversial topics in neuroscience. Students will begin each topic by viewing a film or reading a book that portrays a topic in neuroscience. Each film/book will serve as a launching point for in depth discussion and debate of the neuroscientific issues raised in the film/book. For example, the film A Beautiful Mind raises issues regarding the neurobiological basis and treatment of schizophrenia and the film Memento raises many controversial issues surrounding the neurobiology of memory. [ more ]

PSYC 322(S)Concepts: Mind, Brain, and Culture

Every time we see something as a kind of thing, every time that we decide that an object is a cup rather than a glass, when we recognize a picture of a familiar face as a picture of ourselves, or even when we understand speech, we are employing categories. Most categorization decisions are automatic and unconscious, and therefore have the illusion of simplicity. The complexity of these decisions, however, becomes apparent when we attempt to build machines to do what humans perform so effortlessly. What are the systems in place that allow us this extraordinary ability to segment the world? Are they universal? How does conceptual knowledge differ across cultural groups? How do concepts affect our perception? How do the categories of experts differ from the categories of novices? Do children have the same kind of conceptual knowledge as adults? How are categories represented in the brain? In this course, we explore various empirical findings from cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and anthropology that address these questions. [ more ]

PSYC 324 TGreat Debates in Cognition

Not offered this year

The field of cognition is filled with controversies about how the mind really works. For example, is there sufficient evidence for a system in vision that can become aware of things without actually "seeing" them? Is it necessary to assume that babies come into the world armed with innate linguistic knowledge? Are humans inherently rational? Can we make inference about the mind using neuroimaging? These debates, and others that we will consider, help fuel scientific discovery in cognition in interesting ways. In this class, we will consider some of these contemporary debates, weigh evidence on both sides, and discuss the implications for what we know about the mind. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

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PSYC 326(F)Choice and Decision Making

One aspect of "being human" is that we often make choices that we know are bad for us. In this course we survey theoretical and experimental approaches to understanding our strengths and weaknesses as decision makers. Topics include normative decision theories, biases in probability judgments, "fast and frugal" heuristics, impulsiveness and self-control, addictions and bad habits, gambling, and moral decision making. [ more ]

PSYC 327Cognition and Education

Not offered this year

This course will examine the cognitive processes underlying learning in educational settings. Students will come away with a richer understanding of how the mind encodes, stores, and retrieves knowledge, and how learners monitor and manage their own learning. We will examine common educational practices and how they depart from what research recommends. Although the class is primarily about cognition, we will delve into related topics such as motivation, determination, and inequality. Most of the readings will be scientific research articles on cognition and/or education. [ more ]

PSYC 328(S)Understanding Attention and Distraction

The human brain is constantly bombarded by sensory information. For example, as you sit in class listening to a lecture, many other people and objects are visible, competing for your limited attention resources. How does your brain manage to avoid such distractions to focus attention on relevant sensory information (such as the lecture) in order to extract the information you need to accomplish important goals (such as passing the class)? This is a problem that confronts humans in a variety of ways, ranging from finding your keys or driving your car, to using your iPhone or iPad, to doctors looking for tumors on medical images or airport security screeners looking for weapons in baggage. In this course, students will read empirical studies that use both behavioral and brain imaging techniques to investigate the capabilities, limitations, and brain substrates of attention in human behavior. Topics include attentional control, how attention interacts with overt behaviors such as eye and hand movements, practical applications of attention research including topics such as smartphone technology design and training for medical image screeners, and dysfunction of attention in clinical populations. Students will conduct original empirical research, analyze data, and present their findings to their peers at the end of the semester. [ more ]

Taught by: Jeff Moher

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PSYC 332Cognitive Development

Not offered this year

In this course we consider how mental abilities, such as language, memory, thinking and imagination develop during the childhood years. We begin by asking how infants, who do not have language, make sense of their world and then move on to examine the development of language, memory, reasoning, and imagination. Throughout these discussions, we consider the impact of biology (e.g. changes in the brain) and culture on cognition, as well as the similarities and differences in the cognitive abilities of normally developing children and children with developmental problems (e.g., autism). All students will design and conduct an empirical research project. [ more ]

PSYC 333Foundations of Cognition

Not offered this year

This course will broadly cover various aspects of early cognitive development and will include topics such as memory, numerical cognition, language acquisition, and understanding of other social beings. We will focus on aspects of the human mind that are present early in life and explore how these early systems evolve into more mature cognition. Students will be required to critically read seminal works that shaped the field and also examine new developments in the literature. All students will focus on a specific area of interest by conducting an original empirical research project. [ more ]

PSYC 334 T(F)Magic, Superstition, and Belief

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama played a ritual game of basketball that he hoped would ensure good results while his opponent, John McCain kept a lucky penny in his pocket throughout the election season. These are but two striking examples of the millions of people who regularly engage in ritualistic or superstitious behavior. But why? How did the mind evolve to support both logical reasoning and magical thinking? In this tutorial, we explore that question by examining how beliefs, emotions, and imagination have interlocked in the course of human development. We will discuss and debate how the capacity to imagine facilitates problem solving, why magical thinking continues in to adulthood, and how our beliefs in both natural and supernatural phenomena are related to the evolutionary forces that shaped the human mind. Students will design and conduct an empirical research project as part of the tutorial. [ more ]

PSYC 335(S)Early Experience and the Developing Infant

The period from conception to age three is marked by impressive rapidity in development and the plasticity of the developing brain affords both fetus and infant an exquisite sensitivity to context. This course delves into the literature that highlights the dynamic interactions between the developing fetus/infant and the environment. The course readings span a range of disciplines and cover a diversity of hot topics in the study of prenatal and infant development, including empirical research drawn from the developmental, neuroscience, psychopathology, and pediatric literatures. [ more ]

PSYC 336Adolescence

Not offered this year

Why do we define adolescence as a distinct stage of development? What are its perils and accomplishments? What internal and external forces make adolescence such a volatile and formative stage of life? The course considers a range of empirical and theoretical material, as well as fiction and film, in order to identify and understand the behavior and experience of adolescents. Topics include: identity, sexuality, romantic love, intellectual growth, family relationships, psychological problems, education, and variation between cultures. [ more ]

PSYC 337Temperament and Biobehavioral Development

Not offered this year

This class will explore individual differences in reactivity and self-regulation in infancy and childhood. Developmental, ethological, and neuroscience models will serve as the foundation for the exploration of the construct of temperament. Topics will include biobehavioral models of reactivity to stress and novelty, including research examining individual differences in neuroendocrine, electrophysiological, and emotional responding. Individual differences in self-regulation will be explored, and will focus heavily on the literature examining the development of attention and other executive control processes in infancy and early childhood. Longitudinal research that examines continuity and change in temperament from infancy through adulthood will be examined. The contributions of genetics and the contextual influences on temperament trajectories will be explored, including research demonstrating the influence of caregivers and gene-by-environment interactions. [ more ]

PSYC 338Childhood in Context

Not offered this year

The psychological lives of children are shaped not only by internal changes, but also by the ways in which adults in their community view and treat them, as well as by other situational forces (for instance poverty and social unrest). In this course students will consider how various external forces affect children's daily experience. Students will compare several psychological models of young children--some emanating from folk culture, and some from scientific paradigms. We will look at how parenting and educational practices reflect the implicit models of childhood held by members of a community, and then examine whether those practices have a substantive or lasting effect on children. We will also weigh the impact of certain non-parental features of the environment: poverty, wealth, social unrest, violence, societal well-being, and technological advances. Specific questions we will consider in the course include (but are not limited to): What are the short and long term effects of growing up in a society with a formal model of teaching and learning? In what ways is the psychological experience of poor children different than that of the middle class? Are children who grow up in rural areas different from those who grow up in cities? What is the long term impact of growing up in a culture that does or does not value play? We will draw on observational and experimental data, narrative non-fiction, and film, as well as the work of anthropologists and historians. [ more ]

PSYC 339(S)Imagination

Imagination refers to the capacity to mentally transcend time, place, and/or circumstance to think about what might have been, plan and anticipate the future, create fictional worlds, and consider remote and close alternatives to actual experiences. This multi-faceted capacity emerges in early childhood and is fundamental to human thought throughout life. The study of imagination crosscuts traditional areas in psychology and extends into other fields as well (e.g., philosophy, literature). In this course we will examine how psychologists think about and study human imagination, covering topics such as pretend play in children, counterfactual reasoning, imagery, mental time travel, creativity, consciousness, fiction, dreaming, mental illness, and the impact of technology on concepts of self and identity. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project. [ more ]

PSYC 340 TInterdisciplinary Approaches to Social Psychology

Not offered this year

This tutorial will examine new and emerging interdisciplinary approaches to the study of important social psychological issues. Its focus will be on the connections between social psychology and disciplines such as neuroscience, biology, cognitive psychology, political science, organizational behavior, educational psychology, and cross-cultural and multi-cultural psychology. Examples of topics to be examined include: Neuroscience and prejudice; culture and the self; education and diversity; biology and altruism; politics and attitude change. We will explore the benefits and challenges of taking interdisciplinary approaches to studying these issues. [ more ]

PSYC 341Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Not offered this year

This course will examine social psychological theories and research that are relevant to the understanding of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. We will take a variety of social psychological perspectives, emphasizing sociocultural, cognitive, personality, or motivational explanations. We will examine the impact that stereotypes and prejudice have on people's perceptions of and behaviors toward particular groups or group members and will explore a variety of factors that tend to exacerbate or weaken this impact. We also will consider some of the sources of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination and some of the processes through which they are maintained, strengthened, or revised. In addition, we will examine some of the effects that stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination can have on members of stereotyped groups, as well as some implications of the social psychological research findings for issues such as education and business and government policies. A major component of this course will be the examination of classic and ongoing empirical research. [ more ]

PSYC 343(S)The Unconscious Mind

The idea of thought that occurs outside of conscious awareness has been around since the fifth century BCE. Of course, the most famous theory of the unconscious comes from Freud, and his notions of the Id, Ego, Superego, Oedipal Complexes and the like, and the resulting defense mechanisms to keep unwanted thoughts out of conscious awareness. The psychoanalytic concept of the unconscious is of a disturbing, boiling cauldron that is, out of necessity, kept below the surface. The cognitive notion of the unconscious does agree with Freud in regard to the proportion of unconscious to conscious thought, agreeing with the famous tip of the iceberg metaphor. However, the early cognitive model of the 1980s, was of a cold, efficient, and unmotivated processor, that was capable of complex activity. Current notions of the unconscious mind build on these early cognitive theories, but include the possibility for affect, motivation, and goals. There is hardly a psychological process that cannot be seen as carried out to a greater or lesser extent unconsciously, so we may be left to wonder what is consciousness for? The first segment of the course is devoted to an examination of the early cognitive theories of the unconscious to provide a theoretical framework for the rest of the course. Next, we will discuss unconscious processing, including implicit memory, knowledge activation, priming and, unpriming. We will then examine core themes in social psychology from a perspective of unconscious processing, affect, attitudes, goals and behavior, and the self. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

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PSYC 344(S)Advanced Research in Social Psychology

This course will focus on the process of doing original, empirical social psychological research. We will concentrate on a few social psychological topics, such as stereotyping and prejudice, media influences, political biases, and sports psychology. Students will research and critically analyze and integrate the relevant literatures, and they will design and conduct original research to test hypotheses that emerge from these literatures. We will examine a variety of types of research designs, how to conduct online and in-person research, and how to analyze and understand results, including using SPSS to analyze data. [ more ]

PSYC 345(S)Political Psychology

Political psychology studies human nature so as to understand politics. For example, many political philosophers begin their political programs by asserting some foundational claims about "human nature" which in turn led them to their justification for their vision of politics. For example, the enlightenment thinkers held that science and technology would strengthen rationality and thereby making democracy more viable. On the other hand, those who defend authoritarian regimes often do so by proclaiming that the general public is incapable of rationality and of self-rule and should therefor accept rule by their betters. Many of these arguments turn on how rational people are and on their capacity for and willingness to pursue justice for all people. We explore what psychology tells us about people as political citizens and as leaders. The course pays special attention to the powerful, but surprising, roles that emotions play in all aspects of politics. Central to politics is the general issue of judgment, and its more important variants, moral and political judgment. If we are to trust ourselves to rule ourselves, how well will we secure justice and liberty for one and all among us? Political psychology is one of the very oldest disciplines (it can be dated at least back to the early classic Greeks, among them Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle). The issue of citizen competence for self and collective rule, then as now, was at the center of their attention. So, it shall be in this course. [ more ]

PSYC 346(F)Environmental Psychology

This is a course in social psychology as it pertains to the natural environment. We will consider how the environment influences aspects of human psychology (e.g., the psychological implications of humans' disconnect with nature), as well as how human psychology influences the environment (e.g., why some people engage in environmentally destructive behaviors despite holding proenvironmental attitudes). At the core of this course is an attempt to examine various ways in which research and theory in social psychology can contribute insights to understanding (and encouraging) environmentally responsible behavior and sustainable practices, both here at Williams and globally. Because human choice and behavior play such an important role in environmental problems, a consideration of human psychology may therefore be an important part of the solution. [ more ]

PSYC 347(F)Psychology and Law

This course deals with applications of basic psychology to justice and the legal system. Relevant psychological theory and research address the processes and controversies that surround scientific jury selection, jury decision-making, eyewitness testimony, child witnesses in abuse cases, forensic hypnosis, lie-detector tests, police interrogations, false confessions, the insanity defense, the role of psychologists as trial consultants and expert witnesses, and the role of confirmation biases in all phases. Readings and discussions are animated by observations from real cases, demonstrations, and lab simulations. [ more ]

PSYC 348 T(S)Is it the Thought that Counts? Examining Intentions and Outcomes in Intergroup Interaction

Can something be racist if someone didn't mean it? How do the intentions we bring to interactions line up with the outcomes of the interactions? When individuals enter intergroup interactions, they are likely to have a variety of goals. Some of these goals are straightforward, such as making a new friend or collaborating on an academic project, while others may be more implicit, such as making a good impression or avoiding saying anything offensive. In this tutorial, we will examine how intentions and outcomes are used in judgments of discrimination, how goals can make intergroup interaction more harmonious or more fraught, and how interaction goals can sometimes backfire and produce unintended consequences. [ more ]

Taught by: TBA

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PSYC 349Progress and Problems in Intergroup Interaction

Not offered this year

This course will examine literature on intergroup interaction, ranging from classic work on "the contact hypothesis" to recent work that traces the physiological correlates of intergroup interaction. We will discuss the current challenges of intergroup interaction, and the ways in which good intentions can sometimes backfire in these situations. We will focus on interactions across specific group-based differences, such as race/ethnicity, sexuality, social class, and gender, and in specific settings, such as schools and workplaces. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project. The course fulfills the Exploring Diversity Initiative by focusing on how group membership, individual differences, and social power affect the experiences of both majority and minority group members in these interactions. [ more ]

Taught by: Jennifer Randall Crosby

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PSYC 350Child Psychopathology

Not offered this year

This course explores the rapidly evolving field of psychological disorders in childhood and adolescence. We will examine the intertwined effects of individual characteristics (e.g., genetics, neurobiological factors), relationship processes (e.g., parenting, family functioning, peers), community settings (e.g., schools, neighborhoods), and the broader cultural context (e.g., poverty, stigma, media). Using a developmental framework, we will examine the emergence and maintenance of specific psychological disorders, as well as variations in how children cope with cataclysmic stressors (chronic illness, physical and sexual abuse). The goals of this course include (1) appreciation of the dynamic interplay between biology and experience in the unfolding of psychopathology, (2) exploration of diagnostic criteria and phenomenology of specific disorders, and (3) exposure to a wide range of research-based strategies for prevention and intervention. [ more ]

PSYC 351Childhood Peer Relations and Clinical Issues

Not offered this year

An exploration of the important ways peer relationships influence children's emotional, cognitive, and social development. We consider various aspects of childhood peer rejection, including emergence and maintenance of peer difficulties, short- and long-term consequences, and intervention and prevention programs. A variety of research methodologies and assessment strategies will be considered. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project based on the concepts discussed. [ more ]

PSYC 352(F)Clinical and Community Psychology

A study of the theory, methods, and professional issues in clinical and community psychology. In addition to academic work (primary source readings and class discussions), the course aims to enable students to apply their experience in academic psychology to field settings and to use their fieldwork experience to critically evaluate theory and research. The course includes a supervised field-work placement arranged by the instructor in a local mental health or social service agency. [ more ]

PSYC 353(S)Gender & Psychopathology

This course will address a range of topics related to the intersection of gender and psychopathology. We will begin the class by discussing the meaning of "gender" and the various mechanisms by which biological sex, gender identity, gender roles and sexual orientation may relate to our understanding of the development, presentation and treatment of psychological disorders. We will also discuss historical and current controversies regarding the classification of psychological disorders concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. The rest of the course will address gender differences in specific psychological disorders and the biological, psychological and social mechanisms contributing to these differences. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project based on the readings and concepts discussed in class. [ more ]

PSYC 355(S)Psychotherapy: Theory and Research

Psychotherapy is a young, barely 100-year old psychological endeavor which attempts to promote change and healing through social interaction. How can it be that talking with a psychotherapist can help people change -- emotionally, cognitively, and/or behaviorally -- and how exactly does it help people achieve relief from psychological disorders and problems? In this course, we will study some of the key approaches to psychotherapy by examining the theories and scientific research that surround them, and considering theory and research in juxtaposition. This will be accomplished by a close reading and critical analysis of primary source theoretical papers, the "raw data" (videotapes and transcripts) of therapy sessions, case studies, and contemporary empirical research on the outcomes and change processes of psychotherapy. Students will learn how to evaluate the efficacy claims of both standard and new therapies and how to evaluate claims about the mechanisms by which those therapies work. Current controversies in psychotherapy and psychotherapy research will be addressed and debated as well. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project based on the course material. [ more ]

PSYC 357Depression

Not offered this year

This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of depression. Topics will include assessment, models of etiology and course, effective approaches to prevention and intervention, and depression in specific populations. Readings will expose students to seminal works in the field as well as current methods and research findings. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project based on the readings and concepts discussed. Throughout the course, students will evaluate current research based on theory, methodological rigor, and potential impact on prevention and intervention efforts. [ more ]

PSYC 359(F)Anxiety Disorders: Responses to Danger, Both Real and Imagined

This is an advanced course on anxiety disorders that takes an in depth look at the theory and research on the normative psychological processes that influence responses to danger, both real and imagined. Specifically, it examines the empirical research on psychological responses to traumatic experiences, such as combat, rape, and concentration camp survival. Responses to perceived or imagined threats are also discussed as the underpinnings of such anxiety disorders as Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Specific Phobia and OCD. Discussions focus on commonalities and differences in empirically supported treatments for anxiety disorders as well as controversies in the field. [ more ]

Taught by: Nicole Harrington

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PSYC 361Psychology of Nonviolence

Not offered this year

Nonviolence refers to choice behavior in interpersonal interactions in which physical and psychological injury to others is rejected as an option. In this course we will study moral and psychological theories of nonviolence, and evaluate the empirical support for their central empirical claims of psychological benefits to the practitioner, attitude change in the adversary, and positive exemplary effects on social interaction. Topics include anger and self-control, aggression, evil, conflict resolution, empathy, and forgiveness. [ more ]

PSYC 372(F)Advanced Seminar in Teaching and Learning

This advanced seminar will give students an opportunity to connect theory to practice. Each student will have a teaching placement in a local school, and participate in both peer and individual supervision. In addition, we will read a range of texts that examine different approaches to teaching, as well as theory and research on the process of education. What is the best way to teach? How do various theories of child development and teaching translate into everyday practices with students? Students will be encouraged to reflect on and modify their own teaching practices as a result of what we read as well as their supervision. Questions we will discuss include: What is the relationship between educational goals and curriculum development? What is the relation between substance (knowledge, skills, content) and the interpersonal dynamic inherent in a classroom setting? How do we assess teaching practices and the students' learning? What does it take to be an educated person? [ more ]

PSYC 397(F)Independent Study: Psychology

Open to upperclass students with permission of the instructor and department. Students interested in doing an independent study should make prior arrangements with the appropriate professor. The student and professor then complete the independent study proposal form available at the Registrar's Office and should submit it to the department chair for approval prior to the beginning of the drop/add period. [ more ]

PSYC 398(S)Independent Study: Psychology

Open to upperclass students with permission of the instructor and department. Students interested in doing an independent study should make prior arrangements with the appropriate professor. The student and professor then complete the independent study proposal form available at the Registrar's Office and should submit it to the department chair for approval prior to the beginning of the drop/add period. [ more ]

PSYC 401(F)Perspectives on Psychological Issues

This course--the psychology department's senior seminar--considers several important contemporary topics from diverse psychological perspectives. These topics will be introduced via popular books or films, and we will analyze them more deeply with original research articles from across multiple perspectives and subdisciplines of psychology. The course will primarily be discussion based, and the students will lead these discussions. [ more ]

PSYC 493(F)Senior Thesis: Psychology

Independent study and research for two semesters and a winter study period under the guidance of one or more members of the department. After exploring the literature of a relatively specialized field of psychology, the student will design and execute an original empirical research project, the results of which will be reported in a thesis. Detailed guidelines for pursuing a thesis are available from the department and on our web site. [ more ]

PSYC 494(S)Senior Thesis: Psychology

Independent study and research for two semesters and a winter study period under the guidance of one or more members of the department. After exploring the literature of a relatively specialized field of psychology, the student will design and execute an original empirical research project, the results of which will be reported in a thesis. Detailed guidelines for pursuing a thesis are available from the department and on our web site. [ more ]