academics

Psychology

Associate Professors: E. Babcock, C. DeVita (chair), O. Lima, A. Zell
Assistant Professor: C. Trainor

The curriculum in the Department of Psychology is designed to introduce the student to the theories and methods modern psychologists have developed in their attempt to understand human nature. Both the scientific approach to psychology and the approach based on personal experiences, intuition and reflection are presented. The Department also relates the modern psychological approach to the traditional Christian one.

A psychology major can lead to many different careers. Psychology advisors will assist students in choosing the specific courses that meet individual student’s needs. As a major with some flexibility, Psychology works well to support another program of study. It is also a strong stand-alone major. Students who intend to pursue careers in psychology should take up to 43 credit hours in psychology. The department advises individuals who wish to attend graduate school and receive letters of recommendation from department faculty to become involved in research projects with department faculty.

Psychology Major:

32 credit hours
PSYC 115 — General Psychology (3 cr)
PSYC 125 — Life-Span Human Development (3 cr)
PSYC 270 — Statistics (4 cr)
PSYC 271 — Research Methods (4 cr)
*PSYC — Elective courses (6 courses) (18 or more cr)

*Only three credits from PSYC 361, 362, 392 and 398 may count toward the minimum requirements for the major. PSYC 110, 115 & 125 should be completed early in the student’s program. Achievement of a grade of C- or higher is necessary in all courses required for the major including required courses listed above.

Psychology Minor:

15 credit hours
PSYC 115 — General Psychology (3 cr)
PSYC 125 — Life-Span Human Development (3 cr)
*PSYC — Elective courses (9 or more cr)
*May not include PSYC 192, 270, 271, 292, 350, 392 or 398

Psychology Courses:

PSYC 110 — Self and Others: Psychological Perspectives (Area 3.3) (3 credits)
An introductory course dealing with the attempts of modern psychologists and psychiatrists to understand human nature and the problems involved in helping people lead better lives. The course is concerned with those issues that are of direct relevance to the way we lead our lives and understand ourselves and is taught with a concern for the Christian perspective, and various psychological perspectives. Offered infrequently.

PSYC 115 — General Psychology (Area 3.3) (3 credits)
An introduction to the scientific study of human thinking, feeling, and behaving. Research from a variety of major areas is surveyed, including topics in biological, cognitive, and social psychology. The course emphasizes the strengths of scientific psychology, as well as the difficulties inherent in humans studying humans. Offered Most Semesters.

PSYC 125 — Life-Span Human Development (Area 1.2) (3 credits)
An examination of human development across the life span, investigating the physical, cognitive, and social changes that occur as we both age and reach cultural milestones (marriage, retirement, etc.). Genetic, cultural and other influences on development will be discussed, along with the research methods psychologists use to separate and understand these influences. Students will learn how to optimize healthy development, and acquire new understanding of the developmental stage of others. Offered Every Semester.

PSYC 200 — Drugs and Mental Health (3 credits)
A detailed, critical, scientific analysis of the effects of the major categories of psychiatric drugs, for the treatment of depression, mania, anxiety, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders. The course first focuses on understanding the research strategies used in the evaluation of psychiatric drugs. Then it uses this understanding to critically evaluate the research that has actually been done. Research comparing drug treatment to psychological treatment is also reviewed. Prerequisite: One PSYC or BIOL Course; Offered Occasionally.

PSYC 270 — Statistics (4 credits)
The basic course in statistical inference oriented toward the elements of description, estimation, and the testing of hypotheses. Topics include probability distributions, confidence intervals, tests of means, proportions, and differences, correlation and regression, analysis of variance, and chi-square tests of qualitative data. Principles are applicable to both social and physical sciences. Cross-Listed with ECON 270; Recommended Prerequisite MATH Course; Offered Every Semester.

PSYC 271 — Research Methods (W - Area 2.1B) (4 credits)
A beginning study of experimental and research methodology in contemporary psychology. Specific examples from different areas of psychology are used to teach the student basic concepts and methods of observation, measurement, hypothesis formation, experimental design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation and generalization. Laboratory projects provide hands-on experience with an emphasis on experiments. Prerequisite: PSYC 115; Prerequisite or Corequisite: PSYC 270; Offered Most Spring Semesters.

PSYC 272 — Experimental Psychology (W - Area 2.1B) (4 credits)
A laboratory course designed to give students experience in designing, carrying out, and analyzing the data from their own experiments. Most experiments will involve the study of human sensing, perceiving, and thinking. Prerequisites: PSYC 271; Offered Occasionally.

PSYC 280 — Psychological Measurement and Diagnosis (4 credits)
A consideration of fundamental conceptual and technical issues in psychological measurement. These issues include scaling, classification, reliability, validity, and utility. The DSM diagnostic system will be evaluated critically, along with a general discussion of issues of diagnosis and assessment in applied settings. A number of measures commonly used in applied and research settings will be surveyed. Prerequisite: PSYC 110 or PSYC 115; Recommended: PSYC 270; Offered Occasionally.

PSYC 290 — Physiological Psychology (4 credits)
The functioning of the neuron and nervous system tissue will be explored, particularly as related to human behavior. Anatomical and physiological considerations regarding selected functions, including vision, audition, sleep, emotion, stress, memory, learning, and various disorders will be examined. Prerequisites: PSYC 115; BIOL 110 or BIOL 120; Offered Occasionally.

PSYC 300 — Social Psychology (3 credits)
A study of the dialectical relationship between the human individual and society. The course will focus on the ways in which humans are inescapably social creatures. It will examine the social influences on human perception, self-conception, cognition, and behavior and also the way in which human individuals construct, maintain and transform the social structures within which they live. Offered Every Fall Semester

PSYC 305 — Psychology and Christianity (3 credits)
An examination of the relationship between psychology and Christianity, including basic assumptions, methods of inquiry, and areas of possible agreement and conflict. This course will compare psychological and Christian perspectives on topics such as guilt, self-worth, values, morality, self-change, counseling, human nature, evil, and sex. It will evaluate how psychology can influence Christianity, how Christianity can influence psychology, and how people have attempted to integrate psychology and Christianity. Prerequisites: PSYC 110 or PSYC 115 and RELI 110; Offered Most Fall Semesters.

PSYC 310 — Child Psychology (3 credits)
This course will explore the cognitive, emotional, and social lives of children, as they interact with their multiple environments (family, peer groups, school, and community networks). Students will learn research and theory that informs our understanding of children, and will also investigate practical ways of applying this knowledge to improve children’s lives, through in-class activities, visits from local professionals, and a weekly service-learning commitment. Prerequisite: PSYC 125; Offered Most Spring Semesters.

PSYC 311 — Abnormal Psychology (4 credits)
A study of the various ways in which persons’ lives can be warped or crippled by psychological problems. The origin, nature and diagnosis of mental disorders will be studied. Prerequisite: PSYC 110 or PSYC 115; Offered Most Fall Semesters.

PSYC 321 — Counseling and Psychotherapy (4 credits)
An introduction to the concepts and assumptions of several approaches to psychotherapy, counseling and behavior change including such theories as cognitive-behavioral, existential-humanistic, psychodynamic, multicultural and Christian counseling perspectives. The course objectives are to provide students with knowledge of basic counseling skills and an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the various therapeutic approaches. Prerequisite: PSYC 110 or PSYC 115; Offered Most Fall Semesters.

PSYC 325 — Behavior Modification and Assessment (4 credits)
An in-depth study of behavior modification and assessment, its major assumption and issues, basic principles and methods, and applications. In addition, the student is required to design and carry out behavior modification projects under direct supervision of the instructor. Prerequisite: PSYC 110; Offered Occasionally.

PSYC 330 — Cognitive Psychology (3 credits)
Focuses on basic human cognitive functions such as attention, perception, memory, problem solving, reasoning, decision-making, and language comprehension and production. Students will study foundational theories and historical experimental findings in the field of cognitive psychology, explore recent research trends (including findings from neuroscience and neuropsychology) and relate their understanding of cognitive psychology to their own personal experiences. Prerequisite: PSYC 115; Offered Most Fall Semesters.

PSYC 335 — Human Relations (Area 1.2) (3 credits)
This course will focus on the theory and techniques of developing and maintaining authentic interpersonal relationships from the viewpoints of humanistic psychology, communication skills training, and family systems theory. Topics include communication barriers, effective listening, self-disclosure, assertiveness skills, conflict resolution, family systems, and interpersonal patterns. Functional and dysfunctional aspects of intimate relationships will be studied. Students will participate in experiential lab sessions and self-analytic work. Offered Most Spring Semesters.

PSYC 350 — Social Science Research Methods (W - Area 2.1B) (4 credits)
An interdisciplinary approach to basic social science research methods. The course introduces students to the several research methodologies used within the social sciences. Students participate in all stages of a research project. Cross-Listed with SOCI 350, ECON 350, and SOCI 350; Offered Every Semester.

PSYC 361, 362 — Directed Research (1-3 credits)
Students will be involved in carrying out one or more empirical research projects currently being conducted by the supervising faculty member. Students will meet regularly with the faculty member, read relevant research articles and collect, enter, code, or analyze data. Required application and recommendation forms for this course are available from the supervising faculty member or on the Psychology Department’s website at: www.augie.edu/dept/psych/research.html. Prerequisites: At Least Sophomore Standing; Preference will be Given to Students who have Completed PSYC 271 and Plan to Apply to Graduate School; Approval of Supervising Faculty Member; Offered Most Semesters.

PSYC 391 — Practicum (2-4 credits)
Supervised field experience in settings where psychology is practiced or applied. Prerequisites: Junior Standing; Consent of the Supervising Faculty Member.

PSYC 392 — Senior Directed Research (3-4 credits)
Psychology majors may complete an independent research project under the supervision of a Psychology faculty member. Preliminary aspects of the scholarly project are normally done through directed research within the department. See PSYC 361, 362. Prerequisite: Consent of the Supervising Faculty Member.

PSYC 197, 297, 397 — Topics in Psychology (2-4 credits)

PSYC 398 — Honors in Psychology (3-4 credits)
Psychology majors may independently develop and complete a research project under the supervision of a Psychology faculty member. Prerequisites: PSYC 271; CUM GPA 3.0; PSYC GPA 3.5; Consent of the Supervising Faculty Member and the Department Chair.

PSYC 199, 299, 399 — Independent Study (2-4 credits)
Individual study and research under direction of department faculty. Prerequisite: Consent of the Supervising Faculty Member and the Department Chair.