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Course Descriptions

Psychology Courses

PSYC 110: Intro to Psychological Science

(Introduction to Psychological Science.) This course provides a broad, general introduction to the field of psychology, the scientific study of behavior. Topics surveyed include scientific methodology, biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, thinking, memory, motivation and emotion, development, personality, stress and health, psychological disorders and psychotherapy, social interaction, and diversity. Satisfactory completion of Psychology 110 is a prerequisite for most advanced courses in psychology, which generally cover in greater depth and breadth the topics you will encounter in this course. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Natural Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 118: Our Amazing Brain

This course will introduce students to the science behind how a human brain functions and produces behaviors. This amazing organ is composed of billions of neurons that form trillions of connections with each other. These neurons allow us to sense and perceive the world around us, integrate new experiences with old ones, form thoughts and actions, and develop consciousness and personality. In this course, students will discover how brain dysfunction is the root cause of many illnesses, including addiction, schizophrenia, depression, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. Students will also have the opportunity to work with preserved brains. No prior experience with science is required to succeed in this course. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Natural Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Natural Science & Mathematics requirement.)
cross listed: NEUR 118, BIOL 118


PSYC 128: Medical Mysteries of the Mind

(Introduction to Neuroscience: Medical Mysteries of the Mind.) This course is for beginning students interested in the study of neuroscience and in exploring the human brain in a rigorous interdisciplinary way. If you are intensely interested in how your brain helps you think, feel, sense, read, write, eat, sleep, dream, learn and move, this course is for you. You learn how brain dysfunction causes complex medical illnesses, like Alzheimer's, Stroke, Depression, and Schizophrenia. You meet Chicago's world-class neuroscientists through guest seminars and class-trips to famous laboratories. You debate ethical dilemmas that face society and dissect human brains. Lastly, you present your research on a brain topic at an interdisciplinary symposium and teach elementary children about how the brain works. One year each of high school biology and chemistry is recommended. Students who have taken BIOL130 will not receive credit for this course. Two discussion/lecture and two laboratory hours per week. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Natural Sciences and Speaking requirements.)
cross listed: NEUR 128, BIOL 128


PSYC 130: Deadly Shapes, Hostage Brains

Age-related neurological diseases that hold our brain hostage are major 21st-century global health burdens and are among the most actively funded areas of medical research. In this course, students delve into primary literature through research projects that investigate how deadly protein shapes underlie complex neurodegenerative illnesses, like Alzheimer's, Huntington disease, and Parkinson disease and discover how little we still know, despite astonishing advances. Students dissect human brains to understand the underlying brain pathology. Trips to Chicago to visit neurology laboratories, neuroscience research centers, and attend a major neuroscience conference present the latest advances in neurological research. Additionally, students debate ethical dilemmas that face society as neuroscientists race towards solving current medical mysteries and experiment with potential new treatments. Students who have taken FIYS106 will not receive credit for this course. Two discussion/lecture and two laboratory hours per week. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Natural Sciences and Speaking requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Natural Science & Mathematics requirement.)
cross listed: BIOL 130, NEUR 130


PSYC 150: Foundations of Experimental Psych

(Foundations of Experimental Psychology.) Foundations of Experimental Psychology is designed to develop a conceptual and quantitative understanding of experimental research in psychology. In this course, students gain experience with reviewing primary research articles, identifying the fundamental components of experimental design, replicating classic experiments, completing descriptive and inferential statistical analyses using SPSS, and communicating scientific research. This course is delivered via an online platform with video tutorials, readings, practice activities, quizzes, and a final exam. The course is self-paced and requires regular, independent work by the student. The instructor hosts several office hours to provide support for students as needed. The course is intended to be a skills-building and preparatory course for subsequent enrollment into PSYC 221L (Research Methods & Statistics I), particularly for students who have not completed a laboratory-based introduction to psychological science course. Students who have taken PSYC 110L will not receive credit for this course. This 0.25-credit course is graded Pass-Fail and has no prerequisites.


PSYC 195: Cross-Cultural Psychology

The subtle transaction between culture and behavior will be explored cross-culturally through the following topics: psychotherapy, a person's sense of self-control versus situational control of one's own behavior, need for achievement, stages in moral development, and management styles in work environments. Comparisons will emphasize data from the United States and Japan. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Global Perspectives requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)


PSYC 205: Psychology of Prejudice

In this course we will explore psychological approaches to understanding stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination--the psychology of prejudice, for short. We will examine research and theory on topics such as historical changes in the nature of intergroup attitudes; the prevalence of prejudice in the U.S. today; the impact of stereotyping and discrimination on members of stigmatized groups; likely causes of prejudice; the psychological processes underlying different forms of prejudice (e.g., based on race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, or appearance); and methods of combating prejudice, encouraging acceptance of diversity, and improving intergroup relations. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences and Domestic Pluralism requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: AFAM 205, AMER 201


PSYC 206: Human Sexuality

This course focuses on psychological aspects of human sexuality, including the sexual response cycle, intimate relationships, sexual orientations and identities, and sexual health and disease. The course aims to familiarize students with methods used in scientific research on sexuality, to encourage them to think critically about sexual issues, to help them develop a better understanding of sexual diversity, and to enable them to become responsible sexual decision makers. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing required. PSYC 110 recommended. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: GSWS 206


PSYC 208: Psychology of Career Development

How do people choose their jobs? Why do certain types of people gravitate toward certain types of occupations? How can people identify the careers in which they are most likely to be happy and successful? Questions such as these are central to vocational psychology, the scientific study of people's career choices and outcomes throughout the lifespan. In this course we will examine: (a) the major theories of vocational behavior; (b) individual differences and societal factors that shape people's career paths; (c) the relations among career, family, and other life roles; (d) assessment instruments used for career planning and decision making; (e) the career counseling process; and (f) the role of gender and culture in career choice and development. Students will also have some opportunities to explore their own career paths. Prerequisite: at least sophomore standing. PSYC 110 is recommended but is not required. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 210: Developmental Psychology

An examination of the principles of development with an emphasis on interpretation of empirical studies and theories. We stress the ongoing interplay of biological and environmental forces as influences on development; place development in a broad context of culture, class, and history; view children and adolescents as active shapers of their environment; emphasize both continuity and the capacity for change; and consider implications of developmental psychology for educators, practitioners, parents and policymakers. Prerequisite: Psychology 110. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: GSWS 210


PSYC 211: Adulthood and Aging

Examination of developmental processes associated with adulthood, maturity, and aging. Examination of evidence for continued development throughout the life span. Evidence from a variety of sources is used in examining the person in terms of physical, psychological, social, and cultural influences on development. Prerequisite: Psychology 110. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: GSWS 211


PSYC 215: Environmental Psychology

Environmental psychology is the discipline concerned with interactions and relationships between people and their environments (including built, natural, and social environments). In this course we apply psychological methods and theories to a variety of issues and behaviors, considering such topics as landscape preference, wayfinding, weather, noise, natural disasters, territoriality, crowding, and the design of residential and work environments. We also explore images of nature, wilderness, home, and place, as well as the impact of these images on behavior. The course is grounded in empirical work, and incorporates observations and experiences in the local environment. No prerequisite. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: ES 215


PSYC 221: Research Methods & Statistics I

An introduction to the basic research methods and statistical techniques used in psychology. In the first semester, the primary focus will be on descriptive and relational methods (e.g., naturalistic observation, surveys, correlational designs) and descriptive statistics. In the second semester the primary focus will be on controlled experiments and inferential statistics. The course sequence includes a required laboratory component in which students gain hands-on experience using statistical software to analyze psychological data. Prerequisite for 221: Psychology 110 with a grade of at least C-. Psychology 221 and 222 must be taken in sequence. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Natural Sciences and Technology requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 222: Research Methods & Statistics II

An introduction to the basic research methods and statistical techniques used in psychology. In the first semester, the primary focus will be on descriptive and relational methods (e.g., naturalistic observation, surveys, correlational designs) and descriptive statistics. In the second semester the primary focus will be on controlled experiments and inferential statistics. The course sequence includes a required laboratory component in which students gain hands-on experience using statistical software to analyze psychological data. Prerequisite for 222: Psychology 221 with a grade of at least C-. Psychology 221 and 222 must be taken in sequence. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Quantitative Reasoning and Technology requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 255: Social Psychology

Survey of the major topics of inquiry in social psychology: attitudes, social cognition, attribution, social norms and roles, conformity, social influence, persuasion, group dynamics, aggression, altruism, interpersonal attraction, stereotyping and prejudice, and conflict and peacemaking. Emphasis on applying social psychological principles to real-world phenomena as well as understanding basic research. Prerequisite: Psychology 110. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 256: Moral Psychology

Trying to understand the nature of morality, philosophers have theorized about the motivations for moral behavior, the cognitive processes behind moral judgment and decision making, and other morally relevant features of cognition. Moral psychologists empirically study moral cognition and inform these on-going philosophical debates. Framed by the major philosophical debates, this course reviews major topics in empirical moral psychology鈥攍ike moral responsibility and blame, intentionality, free will, moral character, cross-cultural disagreement, virtue development, and more鈥攁nd discusses the philosophical implications for ethics, moral cognition, and artificial agency. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Social Sciences requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Humanities requirement.)
cross listed: PHIL 256


PSYC 310: Sensation and Perception

As you go through your day, you are constantly sensing and perceiving: You feel the warmth of the hot shower on your skin, you smell the aroma of the coffee in your cup, you taste the disagreeable tartness of your orange juice after brushing your teeth, you see the bright colors of the spring day on your way to class, you hear the words of your instructor and you organize them into coherent ideas. This course explores the anatomy and physiology of the sensory systems and the way in which the raw sensory signals become organized into meaningful perceptions. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C-. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: NEUR 310


PSYC 318: Psychology Applied to Education

In this course, we examine a series of questions about how psychological knowledge can inform and improve education. What does psychology tell us about teaching and learning? How do we measure the success of various educational practices? What is the best way to describe the psychological processes by which students 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? Some of our work in this course will involve reading and discussion; a significant portion of the time will be spent observing children in their educational environments. Prerequisites: Psychology 110 and at least sophomore standing. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 320: Learning

This course examines the theoretical approaches, historical influences, and contemporary research in human and animal learning. In addition to providing a strong background in classical, operant, and contemporary conditioning models, this course explores the applications of these principles in a variety of contexts, such as behavioral therapy, drug addiction, self-control, decision-making, motor skill acquisition, and education. Furthermore, this course surveys the commonalities and differences across species in cognitive processes, such as memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and language. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C-. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: NEUR 320


PSYC 330: Motivation & Emotion

The broad range of motivations and emotions is studied including the relative contributions of learning, genetics, and critical periods in development. How and why did motivations and emotions evolve, and what are their bases in brain systems, hormones, and other aspects of physiology? Which of our motivations involve accurate regulations to a 'set point' (such as body temperature and weight) and which do not? How does the great subtlety of human emotional expression develop? Includes consideration of competency, security, creativity, frustration, aggression, love, sexuality, and values. Prerequisite: Psychology 221 with a grade of at least C-. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: NEUR 330


PSYC 345: Organizational & Industrial Psych

The human side of management; why people work; increasing workers' motivation; enhancing the productivity of work groups; interpersonal relations in work settings; effective leadership in organizations. Prerequisite: Psychology 221 with a grade of at least C-. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 350: Psychopathology & Clinical Science

This course is an introduction to the contemporary empirical science of聽psychopathology鈥攐r, more simply, the study of聽psychological disorders. Much of the course is devoted to learning about a wide range of diagnoses, including their associated clinical characteristics, proposed etiologies (causes), and treatments. We consider a variety of perspectives, paradigms, and methods, including the connections between biological,聽psychological, and social foundations of聽psychopathology. We reflect critically on the current state of our knowledge, including, crucially, what we don鈥檛 yet know with confidence. We raise challenging questions: how do we even define 鈥減sychological disorder鈥 in the first place? Are聽psychological disorders 鈥渏ust鈥 brain disorders? What are the consequences (positive or negative) of being diagnosed with a聽psychological disorder? We also challenge common myths and stereotypes that pervade our social discourse and contribute to stigma. Throughout the course, we keep in mind that how we define and treat聽psychological disorders is a reflection of our evolving cultural and scientific paradigms鈥攁nd has profound consequences for real people. Prerequisite:聽Psychology 221 with a grade of at least C-. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: NEUR 350


PSYC 355: Community Psychology

Community Psychologists study individuals in the contexts of their communities - e.g., families, peer groups, schools, workplaces, religious groups, culture, and society - and strive to engage collaboratively in research and community action work to ameliorate social problems, enhance the overall well-being of the community and its members, and make positive public policy changes. In this course, we will: (1) Consider the goals and roles of Community Psychologists; (2) Examine how social structures and community problems affect individuals' lives, and analyze our own underlying assumptions about these issues; (3) Consider the importance of diversity and psychological sense of community; (4) Explore methods & strategies for citizen participation and social change; and (5) Learn to use psychological research to inform social policy change and prevention efforts. Topics may include: Family Violence; Foster Care; Racism & the Justice System; Community Organizing for Rights (e.g., Civil Rights, Workers' Rights, Women's Rights); Community Organizing Against Harms (e.g., Hazardous Waste); Community Mental Health; Poverty & Homelessness; Children and Welfare Reform; Community Violence Prevention; Adaptation and Coping with Disaster (e.g., 9/11, Hurricane Katrina); and Advocacy on Capitol Hill - The Tobacco Lobby and Teenage Smoking. Prerequisite: Psychology 110 or equivalent. . (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)
cross listed: GSWS 355


PSYC 360: Cognitive Psychology

Surveys the history, philosophy, and research surrounding selected issues in cognitive psychology, including perception, attention, memory, language, imagery, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making. Students will learn what is currently known about these topics, the problems facing researchers, and how researchers go about solving these problems. They also will be given the opportunity to experience cognitive psychology research first-hand, as they participate in classic experiments and learn to analyze, interpret, and write up their results. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C-. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: NEUR 360


PSYC 365: The Neuroscience of Sleep

Why do we sleep? Despite the fact that we spend a third of our lives sleeping, neuroscience research has only just begun to answer this fundamental question. In this course, we delve into the fascinating field of brain-based research by investigating several sleep-related topics (e.g., sleep across species, the role of sleep in cognitive functions, sleep disorders, and dreaming). We explore these topics through the lens of contemporary neuroscientific work, so the majority of class time is dedicated to student-led presentations and discussions of primary research articles. Outside of class, students conduct independent research on a niche sleep-related topic, ultimately developing a thorough literature review and an original grant proposal. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 and PSYC 110 or permission of the instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Natural Sciences requirement.)
cross listed: NEUR 365, BIOL 365, BMB 365


PSYC 370: Neuroscience: Brain to Behavior

Neuroscience, the scientific study of the nervous system, is an inherently interdisciplinary field involving multiple levels of analysis. This course serves psychology students, as a natural science menu option, and neuroscience students, as the second course in the two-part core neuroscience sequence. This course approaches the study of brain, mind, and behavior from systems-level and behavioral perspectives. Current issues are examined within an integrative framework that begins with a focus on neuroanatomy, functional neural circuits, and diffuse modulatory neurotransmitter systems. This lays the groundwork for later study of the neural substrates of motivated behaviors (e.g., eating, sex, drug use), learning, memory, emotion, as well as aspects of neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity. Research methods and tools of behavioral neuroscience are featured throughout the course, through careful examination of primary journal articles and through hands-on experiences in weekly laboratory sessions. Three discussion and two laboratory hours per week. Prerequisite: Psychology 221 with a grade of at least C-. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: NEUR 302


PSYC 372: Pharmacology: Drug, Brain, Behavior

In this course, we will explore ideas and principles regarding neuronal communication and drug interactions that govern behavior. We will explore communication patterns of both electrical and chemical signaling, define complex dynamics of drug distributions and identify how these processes are influenced by individual genetics. This class will also investigate the interaction between neurotransmitters and drugs at specific neuronal receptors, which will be discussed from the perspective of agonism and antagonism. We will use these principles to guide our understanding of pharmaco-therapeutics that are focused on symptom targeting. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss clinical cases and participate in the development of strategic therapeutic approaches based on current research towards the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Prerequisites: PSYC110 and BIOL221 with a grade of at least C-, or permission of instructor. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Natural Science & Mathematics requirement.)
cross listed: BIOL 372, NEUR 372, BMB 372


PSYC 375: Personality

鈥淲hat do we know when we know a person?鈥 (McAdams, 1995). In what ways are they like other people we know 鈥 and in what ways are they different? What factors contribute to these similarities and differences, and what are their consequences? Personality psychology takes on these fundamental questions having to do with what makes us who we are. It is, in other words, a science of psychological diversity. In this class, we focus predominantly on contemporary topics in personality psychology, including trait theory and the Big 5, stability and change across the lifespan, and self-concept. We consider multiple influences on personality, ranging from genetics to culture. Throughout, we foreground empirical research as our primary tool for interrogating personality. As in all areas of psychology, there are many unanswered and unsettled questions about psychology; as such, you are encouraged to think critically about the current state of this complex and evolving area of research. Prerequisite: Psychology 221 with a grade of at least C-. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 385: Comparative Psychology

In this course, students explore the key themes and classic studies of comparative psychology - the psychological investigation of the similarities and differences of animal species. Psychology and neuroscience research depends on studies using nonhuman species to examine both experimental and clinical topics. This course covers the types of comparisons made in the discipline, the overarching questions that provide structure to the field, and the more recent expansion of new technologies and taxonomic scope that comparative psychology has experienced. During the course, students both critique and implement the way in which comparative psychology bridges both subfields of psychology (e.g., neurophysiology, cognition, emotion, perception) and other realms of social sciences and natural sciences (e.g., ethology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence). Prerequisite: Psychology 221 with a grade of at least C-.
cross listed: NEUR 385


PSYC 388: The Malleable Brain

(The Malleable Brain: Mechanisms of Neural Plasticity) This course studies the remarkable fact that the brain is malleable or changeable. Neurons are constantly altering their behavior at a cellular and molecular level to help us learn, remember, and adapt to new situations. This neuronal plasticity is an essential mechanism of the normal functioning brain but, when plasticity is aberrant, disease is likely to occur. We will examine the mechanisms of neuronal plasticity, probe current techniques utilized by researchers, and evaluate primary research articles. We will consider how plasticity contributes to the learning and encoding of new information throughout the lifespan, as well as how aberrant plasticity contributes to disorders such as post-traumatic stress, addiction, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's disease. We also will explore how these disorders are currently treated with drugs and therapy. Prerequisites: BIOL 221 and PSYC 110 or permission of the instructor.
cross listed: NEUR 388, BIOL 388


PSYC 410: History and Systems of Psych

This course overviews psychological thought and methodology from the emergence of the discipline out of philosophy and the natural sciences to the social science we know today. You will learn about prominent psychological theories and methodologies from a historical perspective. A major focus will be on experimental psychology as it began in 19th century German universities and continued in the United States. The other main focus will be on the development of applied fields such as clinical psychology and industrial/organizational psychology. We will read original works by significant historical figures in psychology, as well as papers by historians. Special attention will be given to the recurring controversies that have fueled debate and motivated research on the nature and origins of human behavior and mental processes. In addition, you will be introduced to the process of historiography, i.e. the theory and methods that underlie the research and writing of history. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C- or senior standing in another major or permission of the instructor. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 415: The Neuroscience of Emotion

This seminar explores the neurobiological and psychological underpinnings of emotional processing, aiming to obtain a deeper understanding of how the brain generates, modulates, and restrains emotion, and what happens when these processes go awry. The course delves deeply into the primary literature examining the neuroscience of fear, anxiety, aggression, anger, and pleasure. The course involves discussions stemming from scientific literature, student presentations, short lectures, examinations, and a substantial written literature review project. Prerequisites: PSYC 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in neuroscience. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Natural Sciences and Senior Studies requirements.)
cross listed: NEUR 415


PSYC 420: The Neuroscience of Reward

"Reward" is a concept with which most people are familiar: a hard-earned vacation at the end of a grueling work schedule, an A grade on a particularly challenging academic assignment, a good meal and a glass of wine after a long day鈥檚 work. However, this everyday usage of the term belies its complexity. In this course, we will explore "reward" from behavioral and neurobiological perspectives, often focusing on associative learning paradigms that allow for careful dissection of appetitive and consummatory behaviors. We will consider the underlying neural circuitry that enables individuals to learn about rewards and cues that signal these motivationally significant events. Our analysis will emphasize the similarities and distinctions between natural reward and drug reward. Prerequisite: PSYC 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology or neuroscience. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)
cross listed: NEUR 420


PSYC 425: Psychology of Stress

This seminar explores the topic of stress and its influence on behavior and neurobiology. Specifically, this course covers the physiology of the stress response, the history of stress research, and the influence of stress on: physical and mental health, social behavior, reproduction, food intake, learning and memory, and neurogenesis. The goal of the course is to learn about the interactions among stress, hormones, brain, and behavior in humans and nonhuman animals. Through lecture, discussion, and presentations, students learn to critically evaluate empirical articles and to form a thorough empirical research proposal. Prerequisite: PSYC 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor.. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Senior Studies requirement.)


PSYC 430: Psychology and Law

An examination of psycholegal research, theory, and practice. Sample topics include: psychological testing in education and employment; clinical assessments of insanity, competence, and dangerousness; eyewitness testimony; polygraphs and lie detection; psychological profiling; the psychology of false confessions; psychologists as trial consultants; jury decision making; capital punishment; and discrimination in the legal system. As we survey the field we will consider how psychology can help the law and how studying the law enriches psychology. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 435: Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

This course focuses on psychological, social, cognitive, and physical development during adolescence and emerging adulthood. We explore some of the major challenges of this developmental period including identity development, sexual maturation, and the increasingly important role of social relationships. We focus on classic and contemporary theories of development as well as recent empirical studies of factors that influence development, such as social media exposure, substance abuse, and structural biases in the work force. Through lecture, peer-led discussions, and writing, students examine the impacts of society on individual development and the roles adolescents and emerging adults play in the home, school, and broader social context. Prerequisite; Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology.


PSYC 440: Social Cognition

This seminar explores the basic cognitive processes that govern how people understand themselves and others, and how these processes guide human social interaction. Sample topics include impression formation, benefits and pitfalls of efficient thinking, automaticity in behavior, motivated cognition, face perception and memory, cognitive approaches to prejudice reduction, and the emerging field of social neuroscience. The goal of the course is to develop an appreciation of the cognitive mechanisms (e.g., attention, perception, memory) that underpin social thought and behavior.. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major with permission of the instructor. Completion of PSYC 255 is strongly encouraged but not required. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 450: Health Psychology

This course explores a variety of research and clinical issues in health psychology. Representative topics include the role of behavior in health and disease, the neurobiology of emotion, the major stress-related and behavior-related disorders (e.g., coronary heart disease, cancer, headaches, AIDS), prevention strategies, and psychologically based treatment approaches. Our primary focus will be a methodological and conceptual analysis of the health psychology literature, which we will consider from a scientific perspective. An understanding of these issues, however, should help you become a more critical consumer of health information and health advice offered by the media, and may inspire you to make positive changes in your own health-related behavior and lifestyle. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology or neuroscience. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 455: Mental Illness and Recovery

(Narratives of Mental Illness and Recovery) Most people at some point in their lives will meet criteria for a diagnosable mental disorder. Yet, stigma and stereotypes are pervasive, while personal stories of mental illness frequently go untold or unheard. In this course, we will read and discuss first-hand accounts of mental illness鈥攑rimarily autobiographical memoirs鈥攁longside empirical research and theory. We will critically examine this narrative genre, including both its potentially transformative power and its various limitations. The central goal of this course is to develop an appreciation for the complexities and importance of lived experience, with potential implications for clinical practice, research, and public policy. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology or neuroscience.


PSYC 460: Psychology of Language

(Offered Less Frequently)Every major theoretical approach to human behavior has attempted to explain how humans learn and use language. Information-processing theories and computer models of the mind have had an impact on ancient questions concerning verbal behavior. Topics covered include philosophy of language, history of psycholinguistics, the influence of context, common ground and world knowledge in language understanding, lexical processing and lexical ambiguity, syntactic processing, inferences in discourse processing, speech acts, pragmatics, figurative language, conceptual metaphors, and poetic metaphors. Readings include original journal articles and manuscripts in preparation that illustrate the 'cutting edge' controversies in contemporary psycholinguistics. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)


PSYC 465: Drugs, Substance Use, and Addiction

This senior seminar involves the study of psychoactive drugs used both for recreational and therapeutic purposes. In this course, we cover the foundational principles of psychopharmacology, current trends in substance use, the diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders, and the models of addiction. We discuss how individual drugs function, address the complex psychological, social, and biological factors that influence substance use, and explore the major theories of addiction. We use primary literature to examine drug use from multiple perspectives. Over the course of the semester, students will 1) present articles and lead peer discussion of empirical research, 2) compose a review examining a specific drug of their choosing, and 3) submit a research proposal outlining a novel preclinical or clinical experiment. Prerequisite: PSYC 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor. Preference in registration to graduating seniors majoring in psychology or neuroscience.
cross listed: NEUR 465


PSYC 470: Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence is a global problem that occurs in many forms (e.g., dating violence, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault). In this course we examine psychological research and theory on gender-based violence perpetration, prevention, and treatment. In this examination, we consider: the prevalence of gender-based violence; the influence of the media influences; the roles of ethnicity, sexual orientation, and culture; the effects of gender-based violence on mental and physical health; and the helpful and unhelpful ways in which communities respond to such violence. Prerequisite: Psychology 222 with a grade of at least C- or advanced standing in another major, with permission of the instructor. Preference in registration will be given to graduating seniors majoring in psychology. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Domestic Pluralism and Senior Studies requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science and Cultural Diversity requirements.)