Chair: Daniel G. Mossler
Professors Herdegen, Mossler, Vitale, D. Weese;
Visiting Assistant Professor Gyurovski

INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY. Introduction to the field of psychology with an emphasis on research methodologies and findings in the areas of neuroscience, learning, development, abnormal, and social psychology, plus other topic areas as appropriate. Examination of the methods and evidence pertaining to important concepts, issues, and topics in those areas of psychology, application of that knowledge in solving individual and societal problems, and the relevance of psychology to everyday life. Prerequisite: none. Offered: each semester.

CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN PSYCHOLOGY. This is an entry-level course designed to introduce students to conflicting views on a variety of important issues in different areas of psychology. The focus of this course is the gulf between public opinion and empirical knowledge. Discussions about each controversy begins with a presentation of some basic information about the general topic under study (e.g., the accuracy of eyewitness testimony and the nature of human memory) and is followed by an in-depth examination of each controversy in light of what the public believes to be true and what psychologists have learned. Videotapes, web resources, and readings from the critical thinking monograph are used to supplement the primary text in this course. Prerequisite: none. Offered: alternate years.

COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY. This course focuses on the study of human memory and mental processes. The information-processing approach is presented and described in some detail. A variety of mental activities are covered, including attention, perception, remembering, using language, reasoning, and problem-solving. Special attention is paid to the application of current research in cognitive psychology to real-life situations. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: fall semester of alternate years.

ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY. An overview of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive conditions which are considered sufficiently stressful, dysfunctional, unusual, or bizarre to require treatment by mental-health professionals. Included in each major category defined by psychiatry’s diagnostic manual are a description of symptoms, typical antecedent life stresses, correlates in childhood developmental patterns, and physiological, neurological, and temperamental concomitants. Theory and research concerning causes and common therapeutic approaches are reviewed. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: fall semester of alternate years.

MOTIVATION. An examination of factors responsible for the instigation, continuation, and cessation of human and animal behavior. Topics include physiological mechanisms of motivation, instinct, acquired motives, the relationship between motivation and learning, emotion, and complex forms of motivation (e.g., achievement, social influence). Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: fall semester.

DRUGS AND BEHAVIOR. The systematic study of the effects of drugs on behavior, cognitive functioning, and emotions; the interaction of a drug with the nervous system; the biological and psychological makeup of the individual; and the social and physical environment as the determinant of the drug experience. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: spring semester of alternate years.

SPORT PSYCHOLOGY. Examines the psychological principles involved in sport, including the effects of attention and arousal on performance, audience effects on performance, factors underlying achievement motivation, factors that predict effective coaching and team cohesion, and personality variables associated with athletic participation. Emphasis is placed on reading and discussing empirical studies in the area, with some attention paid to case studies. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: spring semester of alternate years.

PSYCHOLOGY OF ADOLESCENCE. This course is designed to introduce students to adolescence, an important stage of human growth and development. Students begin by reviewing the major theories of adolescence, then cover some of the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional changes that occur during this stage of development. Current research on problematic behaviors such as drug use, sexual behavior, risk taking, juvenile delinquency, and psychopathology help students explore the roles that neurological development, parents, and cultural forces play in the development of these behaviors. Finally, students develop ideas about how we might reduce or eliminate the occurrence of some of these problematic behaviors. Videotapes, web resources, and additional short readings are used to supplement the primary text in this course. Prerequisite: Psychology 101, or permission of the instructor. Offered: alternate years.

QUANTITATIVE METHODS. An introduction to statistics and methodology employed in psychology and sociology. Both descriptive and inferential techniques are discussed, including non-parametric tests of significance and simple correlation. Fundamental dimensions of social research, structuring of the data-collection process, and forms of data collection are emphasized. Not open to seniors except with permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: fall semester.

RESEARCH METHODS. An introduction to the basic techniques, methods, and issues in psychological research, with particular emphasis on the experimental method. Topics to be addressed include design and planning of experiments, control of variables in research, behavioral measurement, subject selection, implementation of experiments, data analysis and evaluation, presentation of research results, and ethical issues in psychological research. Prerequisites: Psychology 101 and 210. Corequisite: Psychology 251. Offered: spring semester.

LABORATORY PRINCIPLES IN PSYCHOLOGY. Laboratory exercises involving application of principles and methods of research in psychology. Corequisite: Psychology 211. Offered: spring semester.

BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE. The role of the nervous system in the control of behavior. An examination of neurophysiology, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology, and neuroanatomy and their relation to motivation, learning and memory, cognition, and mental disorders. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or Biology 110; recommended: Psychology 210 and 351. Offered: fall semester.

COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE. Cognitive neuroscience examines the neural basis of higher mental functions, including brain systems supporting vision, object recognition, attention, memory, spatial functions, language, and decision-making. Major themes include mind/brain relationships, localization of function, and plasticity of the brain, in addition to behavioral measures of cognition used to study people with focal brain damage as well as neuroimaging studies of neurologically normal people. Cognitive neuroscience approaches to disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease are also explored. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or Biology 110/151. Offered: spring semester of alternate years.

PERSONALITY: THEORY AND MEASUREMENT. This course focuses on theoretical models and research methods relevant to the study of personality. Historical and modern approaches are examined, with an emphasis on evaluating theories in the context of relevant empirical evidence. Students are also exposed to common methods of personality assessment, and the processes behind scale development and validation. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: as staffing permits.

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. The analysis of social motivation, attitude formation and change, group structure and processes, interpersonal perception and attraction, and the psychological impact of  the environment. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: fall semester.

INDUSTRIAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY. Application of psychological principles to problems in business and industry, and to management. Addresses such topics as personnel
selection and organizational theory. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: as staffing permits.

LEARNING. The theoretical and empirical study of the acquisition, modification, and retention of human and animal behavior. Topics to be addressed include conditioning and instrumental learning, mechanisms of reinforcement, verbal and language learning, memory and forgetting, and the application of principles of learning and memory. Prerequisite: Psychology 101; recommended: Psychology 210, 211, and 251. Offered: spring semester.

SENSATION AND PERCEPTION. An examination of sensory systems and perceptual processes. The senses are considered in terms of their respective physical stimuli, receptor systems, neural structures, and psychophysical data. Topics in perception include attention, feature detection, depth perception, perceptual organization, and perceptual illusions. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: spring semester of alternate years.

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. Normal development of the human individual beginning with the prenatal period and with a special emphasis on childhood and adolescence. Developmental change and crises in middle life and old age are described in less detail. Prerequisite: Psychology 101; recommended: Psychology 210, 211, and 251. Offered: spring semester.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LAW. This course deals with the relationship between psychology and the legal process. Psychological abnormality and the criminal and civil law; the psychology
of jury selection and deliberation; the validity of eyewitness testimony; the nature and treatment of criminal offenders; and the psychology of lawyering, negotiation, and conflict-resolution are among its concerns. Some attention is given to the psychological assumptions that underlie the common law and to the empirical investigation of their validity. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Offered: fall semester of alternate years.

PSYCHOTHERAPY. A study of clinical methods, treatment approaches, and problems; the clinician and research. Prerequisites: Psychology 204 or 304. Offered: spring semester of alternate years.

NEUROSCIENCE. Application of laboratory techniques in physiological research, including dissection, anesthesia, surgery, lesioning, behavioral testing, and histology. Corequisite: Psychology 301. Offered: fall semester.

LABORATORY FOR LEARNING. Applications of principles of classical and operant conditioning, observational learning, human learning, and memory in laboratory exercises and experiments. Corequisite: Psychology 312. Offered: spring semester.

LABORATORY FOR DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. Exercises utilizing various research methods involved in the study of developmental processes, such as observational techniques and cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Corequisite: Psychology 315. Offered: spring semester.

LABORATORY FOR SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. Application of research methods in the fields of social behavior and social cognition. Students conduct direct and conceptual replications of studies in areas including group dynamics, conformity, persuasion, information processing biases, attributional style, and stereotype use. Corequisite: Psychology 306. Offered: fall semester.

PSYCHOLOGY 401-402. (3-3)
SENIOR SEMINAR I-II. These two courses compose the capstone experience for senior majors in Psychology. In 401 each student works individually with a member of the Psychology faculty serving as a thesis advisor to select a topic for his senior thesis, conduct a thorough review of the professional literature on that topic, and develop a proposal for an empirical research study to examine the topic. Alternatively, a student may propose an internship experience in place of the empirical study. In 402 the student performs actual data collection as described in his research proposal (or completes the internship experience), writes a senior thesis based on that research, and gives a public oral presentation on the thesis. In addition to collecting data, students meet as a group to address current issues and trends in the field with presentations and discussions led by different members of the Psychology faculty. (Students who are on schedule to complete their course work in December still must take these courses in sequence: 401 must be taken in the fall semester and 402 in the spring semester of the last full academic year in which the student is taking courses at Hampden-Sydney.) Prerequisites: Psychology 101, 210, 211, two other Psychology elective courses, and senior standing. At least one 300-level laboratory course in Psychology is strongly recommended. Offered: 401 in the fall semester; 402 in the spring semester.

HISTORY AND SYSTEMS OF PSYCHOLOGY. An exploration of the history of psychology from its philosophical antecedents through the major schools of structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, and psychoanalysis. Current issues which influence the research emphasis of current psychologists are discussed. The course is highly recommended for students who are planning on graduate study in psychology or related fields. Prerequisites: Psychology 101 and at least three courses at the 300-level; Psychology 304 and 312 are especially recommended. Open to seniors only. Offered: as staffing permits.

PRACTICUM AND INTERNSHIP IN PSYCHOLOGY. Students gain hands-on experience in a work setting that applies the principles of psychology. Academic-year internships typically involve about 120 hours per semester at the internship site (one full day or two half-days per week) with supervision by a psychology professional. Summer internships may (and generally do) involve a more substantial time requirement. Prerequisite: status as a senior majoring in Psychology, or consent of the department. Offered: as staffing permits.

updated 7/2/19