Psychology

Psychology is defined as “the science of behavior and mental processes, and the application of research findings to the solution of problems.” This definition encompasses an enormous number of specialty areas, and psychologists are the most diverse group of people in our society to share the same title. The core goals of the Psychology Department are:

  • KNOWLEDGE BASE: to acquire a degree of mastery of fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings in psychology and how psychological principles apply to behavior.

  • CRITICAL THINKING: to become habitually inquisitive, trustful of reason, and honest in facing personal biases; to actively evaluate knowledge and ideas.

  • SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY: to develop an understanding of scientific methodology; to develop skills in using scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena; to develop skills in conducting psychological research with appropriate research methods.

  • COMMUNICATION:  to become competent and confident in the oral and written skills needed to speak and write with facility and sophistication about psychological issues and research.

  • PSYCHOLOGY AND RESPONSIBLE, ETHICAL CITIZENSHIP:  to become aware of how psychological inquiry informs one’s personal and professional conduct and of the relevance of psychology in developing effective social institutions; to understand how the results of psychological inquiry can inform one’s actions as an ethical, responsible citizen in a diverse world in order to enhance human flourishing.

Advanced Placement Credit

Students who earned a score of 4 or above on the Psychology Advanced Placement exam or 6 or above on the Psychology International Baccalaureate Higher Level exam may earn credit for PSY-101 Introduction to Psychology by taking any 200-level Psychology course and completing it with a grade of B- or better. The department recommends against taking PSY-201 Research Methods & Stats I as a first course in Psychology; students wishing to earn this credit should consult the chair of the Psychology Department for assistance in selecting an appropriate course. Such PSY-101 Introduction to Psychology credit does not count toward a major or minor in Psychology.

Off-Campus Study

Psychology majors and minors considering taking courses at other campuses, or abroad, should be aware that it is difficult to meet our PSY-201 Research Methods & Stats I and PSY-202 Research Methods & Stats II requirements at other schools. Because both courses combine research methods and statistics, most off-campus statistics courses do not substitute for either requirement. This means you should plan to take PSY-201 Research Methods & Stats I and PSY-202 Research Methods & Stats II at Wabash. Permission to spend the junior year abroad requires completion of PSY-201 Research Methods & Stats I and PSY-202 Research Methods & Stats II prior to going off campus.

Requirements for the Major

Introductory
PSY-101Introduction to Psychology1
Research
PSY-201
PSY-202
Research Methods & Stats I
and Research Methods & Stats II 1
2
Writing
PSY-301Literature Review1
Intermediate-Advanced Course Sequences
Select two from the following:3
Child Development
and Research in Developmental Psychology
Social Psychology
and Research in Social Psychology
Cognition
and Research in Cognitive Psych
Sensation and Perception
and Research in Sensation and Perception
Behavioral Neuroscience
and Research in Behavioral Neuroscience
Experimental-Physiological
Select one from the following:1
Cognition
Sensation and Perception
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuropsychology
Completion of any of the following sequences also fulfills the Experimental-Physiological requirement:
Cognition
and Research in Cognitive Psych
Sensation and Perception
and Research in Sensation and Perception
Behavioral Neuroscience
and Research in Behavioral Neuroscience
Senior Project
PSY-495
PSY-496
Senior Project
and Senior Project
1
Total Credits9
Collateral Requirement 21
Introduction to Neuroscience
Human Biology
General Biology I
Total Credits1
1

Students are encouraged to begin this sequence in their sophomore year, especially if they are interested in graduate school or wish to study off-campus.

2

This course should be taken by the end of the sophomore year.

Students planning to apply to graduate school are strongly urged to take the maximum of 11 course credits.

Written Senior Comprehensive Examinations in Psychology require majors to:

  1. organize and synthesize information to support their thoughts on questions of broad interest to psychologists
  2. to demonstrate knowledge across major content areas of Psychology
  3. to demonstrate competence with the scientific method and statistics

Faculty Advisors

Majors are strongly urged to select an advisor from the Psychology Department when they declare their major.

Requirements for the Minor

Introductory
PSY-101Introduction to Psychology1
Rsearch & Methods
PSY-201Research Methods & Stats I1
Select one from the following:1
Child Development
Social Psychology
Cognition
Sensation and Perception
Behavioral Neuroscience
Psychology Electives 12
Total Credits5
1

Students are strongly encouraged to take one upper level course that follows one of the seven listed above.

Psychology (PSY)

PSY-101 Introduction to Psychology

A survey of concepts, principles, and theories of an empirical science of behavior. Topics include behavioral biology, learning, memory, sensation, perception, cognition, motivation, emotion, social behavior, personality, and psychopathology. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science
Equated Courses: APCR

PSY-102 Human Sexual Behavior

An overview of human sexual anatomy, development, function, and diversity. Emphasis is on the psychological aspects of sexuality including the study of attitudes towards sexuality, sexual preference, love and marriage, contraception, and commercial sex. Particular attention is paid to the development and enactment of sex roles, the construction of gender, and sex differences. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-104 Introduction to Neuroscience

An introduction to the study of the nervous system, with a focus on basic anatomy and physiology. Students will learn about the basic organization of the nervous system, neurophysiology, sensory processing, movement, development, and neuroplasticity through a systems approach to brain function. Several laboratory experiences will be built into the course to reinforce the principles discussed in class. This course counts toward distribution credit in Natural Science and Mathematics. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Natural Science/Mathematics

PSY-105 Fatherhood

An introduction to the psychological research into issues surrounding fatherhood. Topics to be covered include the role of fathers in children's development, the effect of being a father on adult development, men's views on fatherhood, the effect of fatherhood on romantic relationships, and balancing work and home life.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-110 Special Topics

Various topics at the introductory level may be offered from time to time.Refer to the Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage for Topics and Descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-201 Research Methods & Stats I

An introduction to the principles and techniques involved in the design and analysis of psychological research. Development of abilities in quantitative analysis and reasoning, decision-making, and hypothesis testing are aided by conducting behavioral research projects. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-202 Research Methods & Stats II

A continuation of Research Methods and Statistics I, with a focus on more advanced research designs and statistical procedures. Students will conduct behavioral research projects. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester. Prerequisite: PSY 201. Note: PSY 202 assumes mastery of the content from PSY 201; we strongly recommend that students take PSY 202 only if they received a grade of "C" or better in PSY 201
Prerequisites: PSY-201
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science, Quantitative Skills

PSY-210 Intermediate Special Topics

Various topics at the intermediate level may be offered from time to time.Refer to the Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage for Topics and Descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-211 Cross Cultural Psychology

This course explores the ethnic and cultural sources of psychological diversity and unity through cross-cultural investigation. Topics include human development, perceptual & cognitive processes, intelligence, motives, beliefs & values, and gender relations.
Prerequisites: PSY-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-213 Language Development

This course investigates the processes by which language develops. In this discussion-based class, we will explore theoretical explanations concerning the mechanisms by which language develops and empirical data on the development of phonological, semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic competence in both typically developing and atypical populations. We will also explore forms of communication other than spoken language, such as sign language and communicative systems in nonhuman animals. This course often includes visits to research laboratories at other universities and to other sites that allow students to observe and learn about variability in language development.
Prerequisites: PSY-201 (may be taken concurrently)
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-220 Child Development

This course explores the process of child development with particular emphases on cognitive and social development from infancy through early adolescence. We will discuss the development of observable behaviors such as language and aggression, the underlying mechanisms that guide and shape development, and empirically-grounded practical recommendations for fostering healthy development. Additional topics include the roles of nature and nurture in development, the formation of parent/child attachment, social cognition, autism, and peer relationships and their effect on social development. The methodologies used by researchers, and the appropriate interpretation of research findings, will be an emphasis throughout the course. Through weekly observations and naturalistic laboratory assignments in local preschools, students will learn and practice several of these research methodologies. This course is offered in the fall semester
Prerequisites: PSY-101 or 105
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-222 Social Psychology

A survey of research findings and methodologies of social psychology. Topic coverage deals with social perception, attitude formation, attitude change, and the psychology of group processes and interactions. Students are encouraged to develop their own research ideas. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-201 (may be taken concurrently)
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-223 Abnormal Psychology

An examination of the major disorders of human behavior, including their forms, origins, and determinants. Treatment strategies and issues are explored in depth. Emphasis on empirical studies and current research developments in psychopathology.
Prerequisites: PSY-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-231 Cognition

An overview of the major information-processing feats of the human mind, such as problem solving, reasoning, memory, language, visual perception, and the development of expertise. Students will explore the scientific techniques used to understand these invisible mental processes, and our current knowledge of how these processes are implemented in the brain. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-201
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-232 Sensation and Perception

This course explores our sensory systems: vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell, and perhaps other systems such as balance. We will study both the anatomy underlying these systems as well as perceptual phenomena. Mini-labs are interspersed throughout the course to experience these phenomena. We will also read and discuss primary research articles related to the topics covered in class. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: NSC-104, PSY-104, BIO-101 or 111
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-233 Behavioral Neuroscience

An introduction to the biological bases of behavior. Examination of nervous system structure and function is followed by an examination of the neurophysiological foundations of motor ability, sexual behavior, ingestive behavior, sleep and arousal, learning and memory, reinforcement, and language. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: Prereq PSY-104/NSC-104, BIO-101 or BIO-111.
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-235 Cognitive Neuropsychology

This course examines deficits in human cognitive function resulting from brain damage. It draws on principles of neuroscience, psychology, and neurology for insights into how the brain mediates the ability to use and integrate capacities such as perception, language, actions, memory, and thought.
Prerequisites: PSY-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-287 Intermediate Research

Individual students will work with a faculty member to design and carry out intermediate level empirical or library research on a topic of their choice. A brief proposal outlining the work to be conducted, and an anticipated timetable for completion, must be approved by the faculty supervisor no later than two weeks following the first day of classes. If the faculty supervisor believes the project will require longer than one semester to complete, the student may be allowed to register for a one-year course (with no additional course credit); this should be determined prior to registration. Offered in the fall (287) and spring (288) semesters.
Prerequisites: PSY-201
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-288 Intermediate Research

Individual students will work with a faculty member to design and carry out intermediate level empirical or library research on a topic of their choice. A brief proposal outlining the work to be conducted, and an anticipated timetable for completion, must be approved by the faculty supervisor no later than two weeks following the first day of classes. If the faculty supervisor believes the project will require longer than one semester to complete, the student may be allowed to register for a one-year course (with no additional course credit); this should be determined prior to registration. Offered in the fall (287) and spring (288) semesters.
Prerequisites: PSY-201
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-301 Literature Review

An introduction to the principles of searching for and reporting on published literature in psychology. Students will learn strategies for searching databases, identifying credible sources, and developing a theoretical background on a topic. This course features extensive training and practice in writing APA-style manuscripts, and is intended to prepare students for PSY 495/496, Senior Project. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-201
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-310 Special Topics

Various topics at the advanced level may be offered from time to time.Refer to the Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage for Topics and Descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-320 Research in Developmental Psychology

This course will provide students with in-depth coverage of the methodological tools and statistical analyses used by developmental psychologists. Students will read and discuss contemporary research on a given topic that will vary from year to year. Students will gain experience analyzing complex data sets obtained from prior research or from a research project conducted with the professor. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-202 and 220
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-322 Research in Social Psychology

Students will cover a particular area of research in social psychology in more depth than is possible in a survey course. The topics covered will reflect contemporary issues in the field and may differ in different semesters. The course will cover primary research and theoretical works. A research proposal will be constructed, and students may carry out a research project in collaboration with the professor. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-202 and 222
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-331 Research in Cognitive Psych

This course is designed for students who have completed Cognitive Psychology (PSY 231) and are interested in conducting research on memory and other cognitive processes. Students will learn research techniques specific to cognitive research. Topics will vary from year to year and will include questions from both classic and contemporary cognitive psychology. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-202 and 231
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-332 Research in Sensation and Perception

In this course, students will conduct experiments involving at least two sensory systems, obtaining experience with psychophysical experimental methods. Students will write complete APA-style scientific papers for each experiment, including a clearly stated hypothesis, a brief literature review, a clear explanation of the methodology, application of the proper statistical techniques, an analysis of how the results supported or failed to support the hypothesis, and an abstract summarizing the experimental findings. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-232
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-333 Research in Behavioral Neuroscience

Students in this course will become involved with research in an area of behavioral neuroscience. The topic covered will reflect contemporary research issues in the field and may differ in different years. Major course components will be discussion of primary literature in neuroscience and collaboration with the professor in conducting and writing up an experiment that is directed toward possible publication. Recent topics have focused on memory and drug addiction, and how neural recordings are used to understand how information is encoded by the brain. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-233.
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-387 Advanced Research

Individual students will work with a faculty member to design and carry out empirical or library research on a topic of their choice. This advanced-level project requires that students become well versed with the primary literature of the field. Prior to registering, the student should discuss his research idea with (and obtain the approval of) the faculty member who will supervise the project. A brief proposal outlining the work to be conducted and an anticipated timetable for completion must be approved by the faculty supervisor no later than two weeks following the first day of classes; students not meeting this deadline must drop the course until a later semester. If the faculty supervisor believes the project will require longer than one semester to complete, the student may be allowed to register for a one-year course (with no additional course credits); this should be determined prior to registration. Typically, one-half course credit is granted for a faculty-directed project. If the student is primarily responsible for designing and carrying out an independent project, a full course credit may be given (this must be determined prior to registration). In either case, completion of the course requires submission of an APA-style written report (to the faculty supervisor) and a 15-minute oral presentation of the project to psychology faculty and students prior to final examination week of the semester the grade is awarded. Offered in the fall (387) and spring (388) semesters.
Prerequisites: PSY-202 and 1 of the following groups: 220/320,222/322, 231/331,232/332 or 233/333
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-388 Advanced Research

Individual students will work with a faculty member to design and carry out empirical or library research on a topic of their choice. This advanced-level project requires that students become well versed with the primary literature of the field. Prior to registering, the student should discuss his research idea with (and obtain the approval of) the faculty member who will supervise the project. A brief proposal outlining the work to be conducted and an anticipated timetable for completion must be approved by the faculty supervisor no later than two weeks following the first day of classes; students not meeting this deadline must drop the course until a later semester. If the faculty supervisor believes the project will require longer than one semester to complete, the student may be allowed to register for a one-year course (with no additional course credits); this should be determined prior to registration. Typically, one-half course credit is granted for a faculty-directed project. If the student is primarily responsible for designing and carrying out an independent project, a full course credit may be given (this must be determined prior to registration). In either case, completion of the course requires submission of an APA-style written report (to the faculty supervisor) and a 15-minute oral presentation of the project to psychology faculty and students prior to final examination week of the semester the grade is awarded. Offered in the fall (387) and spring (388) semesters.
Prerequisites: PSY-202 and 1 of the following group: 220/320, 222/322, 231/331, 232/332, or 233/333
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-495 Senior Project

Students in this two half-course sequence will complete a year-long capstone project intended to integrate the content and skills they have learned in the major and develop expertise in an area of interest. This project will consist of either an empirical study or a community-based practicum. The empirical study will be one that the student plans and carries out with general guidance from a faculty mentor. For the community-based practicum option, students will work with a professional involved in the delivery of psychological services. All projects will culminate in an APA-style manuscript, poster presentation, and a talk at a regional undergraduate research conference. Students intending to register for PSY 495 must first meet with a faculty member in the Psychology Department to choose which type of project they wish to pursue and to propose an area of specialty. PSY 495 is offered in the fall semester and PSY 496 is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: : PSY-202
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-496 Senior Project

Students in this two half-course sequence will complete a year-long capstone project intended to integrate the content and skills they have learned in the major and develop expertise in an area of interest. This project will consist of either an empirical study or a community-based practicum. The empirical study will be one that the student plans and carries out with general guidance from a faculty mentor. For the community-based practicum option, students will work with a professional involved in the delivery of psychological services. All projects will culminate in an APA-style manuscript, poster presentation, and a talk at a regional undergraduate research conference. Students intending to register for PSY 495 must first meet with a faculty member in the Psychology Department to choose which type of project they wish to pursue and to propose an area of specialty. PSY 495 is offered in the fall semester and PSY 496 is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-495
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

PSY-IND Independent Study

Students may enroll in independent study courses for 0.5 or 1 course credit(s), with the approval of a supervising faculty member, the appropriate department/program chair, and the student's advisor. Registration forms for independent study are available in the Registrar's Office.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

Charles F Blaich, Leave

Preston R Bost, Leave

Karen L Gunther (chair)

Robert S Horton

Eric Olofson

Neil Schmitzer-Torbert

Secondary Licensure Program

The Department of Education Studies offers a minor in Education Studies, and an additional licensure preparation program for students interested in becoming licensed to teach at the secondary level (middle and high school grades 5-12). With a major in this department and a minor in Education Studies, students may also choose to complete the licensure preparation program by applying in the spring of the junior year. For more information about the licensure program, students are advised to meet with faculty in the Department of Education Studies. Requirements for the minor and licensure preparation program are outlined in the Department of Education Studies section of the Academic Bulletin.