Psychology Courses

Classes at VWU are small and interactive. Some of the courses within the psychology program include: Abnormal Psychology, Biological Psychology, Social Psychology, Lifespan Developmental Psychology, and Theories of Personality. Special topics include: Adult Development and Aging, Psychology of Eating Disorders, Psychology in Film, Memoir, and Science, and Psychology of Gender.

Psychology Courses (PSY)

101  Introduction to Psychology I (4)
The first part of the introductory psychology courses and a prerequisite for other psychology courses. Covers research methods, theoretical perspectives, biological foundations of behavior, sensory and perceptual processes, cognition, learning, memory, consciousness, and development. Intended for first years and sophomores. Offered every fall.

102  Introduction to Psychology II (4)
The second part of the introductory psychology sequence and a prerequisite for other psychology courses. Covers motivation, emotion, personality, social psychology, psychological disorders, and industrial/organizational and health psychology. Intended for first years and sophomores. Offered every spring.

202  Scientific Literacy in Psychology (4)
Explores how to find, understand and evaluate scientific studies, correctly interpret data and understand key principles of the scientific method. Includes examination of ethical principles in science and how to be a critical consumer of science. Prerequisite: PSY 101 or 102. Offered every semester.

205  Lifespan Development (4)
Development of the individual across the lifespan, from conception to death. Surveys the biological bases and social contexts of developmental processes, including theory, research and practical applications. Prerequisite: PSY 101 or 102. Offered every fall and on demand.

227  Social Psychology (4)
Explores our development as socialized human beings shaped through our interactions with groups of other people and how the structure and function of both the formal and informal groups that exist in a society are shaped by the personalities of the individuals who comprise their membership. Students discover both academically and experientially the nature of such group- related psychological dynamics as attitude formation, interpersonal attraction, social conflict, and bureaucratic organization. Prerequisite: PSY 102, 102, or SOC 100. Identical to SOC 227. Offered every fall.

256  Adult Psychopathology (4)
Provides an overview of the classification, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of adult mental disorders. Critical issues and controversies in the field are discussed, such as the definition of abnormality. Prerequisite: PSY 101 or 102. Offered every spring and on demand.

305  Study Away in Psychology (4)
Examines topics in psychology in cultural settings outside the classroom by traveling to a location relevant to the topic studied in the given semester. Examples include “The History of Psychopathology in Europe.” Prerequisite: Consent. Offered winter and summer on demand.

313  Clinical Neuropsychology (4)
Facilitates learning about the connections and interactions between neuroanatomy and functioning of the brain and neuropsychological disorders. Considers how clinical neuropsychologists assess, diagnose, and treat dysfunctions in these areas. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102 and junior/senior status. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

319  Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology (4)
Explores how to apply the scientific method to systematically investigate psychological phenomena. Examines how to develop research questions, design and implement research studies, analyze and interpret data using statistical software, and communicate research findings to the public. Prerequisites: MATH 210 and PSY 202. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

321  Industrial/Organizational Psychology (4)
Presents an overview of individual, environ-mental, and organizational factors that affect
job-related behavior. Topics include selection, testing, motivation, job satisfaction, job analysis, performance evaluation, safety and violence in the workplace, stress, leadership, and engineering psychology. Prerequisites: junior/senior status and PSY 101 or 102, or consent. Offered spring of even-numbered years.

333  Assessment of Individual Differences (4)
An examination of the theoretical and practical considerations involved in the construction, administration, and interpretation of psychological tests to measure such factors as achievement, aptitudes, interests, and personality structure. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102 and junior/senior status. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

350  Psychology and the Law (4)
Presents an opportunity to view the practical application of psychology within the criminal justice system. The foundations of forensic psychology are illustrated by coverage of related topics by news and popular media, as well as by related service learning and interaction with professionals in the field. Prerequisites: junior/senior status and PSY 101 or 102. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.

351  Psychology of Gender (4)
Explores how being born into one gender category and not the other has a profound impact on how individuals are treated, what they expect of themselves, and how they lead their lives. Takes a psychological approach to critically examine sex and gender differences across a variety of life domains. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102 and junior/senior status. Offered spring of even-numbered years.
354  Clinical Psychology (4) W
Invites students to explore the field of clinical psychology by examining the roles of clinicians and critically exploring various therapeutic techniques in use today. Students engage in readings, discussions, role-plays, viewing videos of therapy, and writing to explore the multi-faceted world of psychotherapy. Prerequisites: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher, PSY 101 or
102 and junior/senior status. Offered spring of even-numbered years.

355  Theories of Personality (4)
A survey of the major theoretical descriptions of personality structure, beginning with Freud’s psychodynamic model and tracing developments thereafter through exposure to significant alternative viewpoints. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

362  Theories of Motivation (4)
The activation, direction and maintenance of goal-oriented behavior is studied from a variety of theoretical perspectives. The primary focus is on conscious behaviors such as goal-setting, selection of self versus other perspectives, and the effects of such orientations on behavior as well as psychological needs; and on specific topics such as altruism and aggression. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102 and junior/senior status. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.

370  Sensation and Perception (4)
Explores how we perceive and understand the world around us based on physical energy, neural activity, and knowledge, and how our perceptions can be flawed. Broadly explores philosophical, neurological, cognitive, and clinical approaches. Interactive demonstrations will allow students hands/eyes/ears-on experience analyzing and interpreting data. Prerequisites: Junior/Senior status and PSY 101 or 102. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.

372  Infant Development (4)
An overview of biological, psychological, and environmental influences on human development from conception through toddlerhood, current psychological theories and research. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102 and junior/senior status. Offered spring of even-numbered years.

373  Child Development (4)
An overview of biological, psychological, and environmental influences on human development in childhood, including current psychological theories, research, and real-world applications. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102, junior/senior status, or consent. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

374  Adolescent Development (4)
Study of adolescents’ physical growth, psycho logical development, and behavior. Emphasizes the major determinants of adolescent development and behavior, the theoretical approaches, concepts, principles, and research findings about adolescence, and their applications in real-life situations. Prerequisites: junior/senior status and PSY 101 or 102. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.

375  Adult Development and Aging (4)
An overview of environmental, cultural, and biological influences on adult development and aging, focusing on gains and losses and covering current psychological theories and research. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102 and junior/senior status. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

380  Supervised Research in Psychology (1 to 4)
Students work closely with faculty to develop, conduct, and/or report on a supervised research project. Semester hours will be determined by time commitment. Prerequisites: Declared Psychology major or minor, and consent of a supervising professor. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 semester hours. Offered on demand.

385  Psychology of Eating Disorders (4)
Explores the psychology of eating disorders through readings, discussion, lectures, student research and presentations, and visits by clinicians. Students examine the pathology of eating disorders, as well as risk and protective factors for these disorders. Issues investigated include comorbidity with other disorders, etiology, neurobiology, and treatment and prevention. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102 and junior/senior status, or consent. Offered January Terms of even-numbered years.

388  Cognition (4)
Examines research findings that help us understand how people perceive, remember, and think. Provides extensive opportunities for students to gain valuable insights regarding their own cognitive skills. Prerequisites: junior/senior status and PSY 101 or 102. Offered spring of even-numbered years.

389  Topics in Psychology (4)
An advanced seminar designed to study the primary literature on various announced topics in psychology. Topics vary across semesters and may include community psychology, health psychology, social cognition, and self and identity. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Prerequisite: junior/senior status and PSY 101 or 102. Offered intermittently.

394  Psychology in Film, Memoir, and Science (4)
An explanation of psychological topics of interest through the multiple lenses of non-fiction writing, films, and scientific reporting. Topical themes in psychology are emphasized, and particular emphasis is placed on critique of the films from both an artistic and a psychological scientific standpoint. Prerequisite: junior/senior status or consent. Offered January Terms of odd-numbered years.

395  Cross-Cultural Psychology (4)
Introduction to cross-cultural psychology. Students will learn about theoretical and practical issues in cross-cultural theory and research, cultural evolution, the tension between cultural universals and culturally specific human characteristics, and the relevance of cultural psychology to multiple subfields of psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 101 or 102. Offered every fall.

450  Evolutionary Psychology (4)
Examines how evolution has shaped behavioral, cognitive, and emotional mechanisms to help our hunter/gatherer ancestors cope with recurrent evolutionary problems. Students discuss why evolutionary approaches have met with such controversy, implications for understanding behavior in contemporary environments, and how culture and our evolved minds interact to produce behaviors. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102 and junior/senior status. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

455  Biological Psychology (4)
A survey of the basic physiological and psychological mechanisms that underlie selected areas of mental life and human behavior. Attention is given to sensory processes, motivation and regulations, memory, attention, and emotional experience. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or 102 and junior/senior status. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

477  History and Systems of Modern Psychology (4)
An examination of psychology’s evolution from its roots in vintage philosophical and biological concerns to its present diversity of research directions and areas of application that reveals the issues of substance and methodology that have systematically developed. Emphasizes analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of information. Especially useful to the psychology major seeking to identify a topic for the original research project (see PSY 480) and the non-major interested in an advanced but general coverage of fundamental psychological trends and perspectives. Prerequisite: junior/senior status and PSY 101 or 102. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

479  Internship in Psychology (4)
Students work independently in an agency, organization, department, or other applied setting that allows for hands-on application of concepts and skills developed during their coursework in psychology. They meet weekly to process their experiences and complete integrative final projects regarding their experiences. Prerequisites: junior/senior psychology major; PSY 202; minimum GPA of 2.5; consent. Offered every spring.

480  Original Research Project (4) W
Students conduct an independent empirical study, prepare a paper on their research, and defend the effort in an oral examination before a committee comprised of the project advisor, one other psychology faculty member, and one faculty member outside of psychology. Prerequisites: senior psychology major; ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher; PSY 319 with a grade of C- or higher; and approval from project advisor. Offered every fall.

495  Ethics & Professional Issues in Psychology (4)
Students in this capstone course for the Psychology major will examine the APA ethics code and its implications. They will also learn about professional issues in the field, including career opportunities. The ACAT Psychology exam is required as a part of this course. Prerequisites: senior psychology major, PSY 101, 102, and 202. Offered each semester.