Associate Professor Gina Dow, Chair
Professor Harry Heft; Associate Professors Douglas Cody Brooks, Seth Chin-Parker, Gina A. Dow, Frank Hassebrock, Sarah L. Hutson-Comeaux, Susan L. Kennedy, Nestor Matthews, David P.J. Przybyla, Robert Weis; Assistant Professors Nida Bikmen, Erin Henshaw, Rebecca Rosenberg, Academic Administrative Assistant Jill Uland
Some of the major goals of our course offerings in the Department include:
Presenting overviews of contemporary psychology, thus providing students with a knowledge of what psychologists do;
Stimulating interest and curiosity about human and animal phenomena;
Indicating applications of psychology to personal and social issues. Some examples of these applications concern study techniques and academic performance, the effects of anxiety or stress on performance, and the role of prejudice in society;
Developing an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and methodology;
Facilitating and encouraging the discovery of connections between psychology and other disciplines. Some examples of the connections include concerns of psychology and biology (e.g., neuroscience), computer science, and philosophy (e.g., cognitive science), psychological questions raised in the humanities and arts, and psychological assumptions in political, social, and economic theories;
Fostering the formulation of a personally meaningful and sophisticated psychological perspective.
The first priority for all majors should be to obtain a firm foundation in the basic topic areas of psychology and in research methodologies. For this reason, psychology majors are urged to select a broad range of courses in addition to those offerings that are particularly relevant to their primary interests. Students of psychology should aim for both breadth and depth of knowledge in the discipline. The requirements for a major in psychology at Denison are relatively flexible in order to provide students with the opportunity to select those courses and experiences that best complement their personal goals. At the same time, however, the flexibility of these requirements requires that psychology majors work closely with their academic advisors to develop an appropriate plan of study.
Degree Alternatives: The B.A. and the B.S. Students may obtain either a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Psychology at Denison University.
Requirements for the B.A. in Psychology. The B.A. in Psychology requires 38-semester hours of credit in Psychology. Required courses for the B.A. include:
Introduction to Psychology 100 (4 hours). Please see note regarding transfer credit.
Research Methods in Psychology 200 (4 hours).
Two Psychology Topical/Research Course combinations. Research courses must be taken concurrently with their accompanying topical courses. The FIRST research course taken must be a 200-level course; the SECOND research course taken must be a 300-level course; PSYC 200 is a prerequisite for any research course. The specific courses that fulfill the topical/research course combinations are listed below. (14 hours).
Electives (8 hours) selected from regular course offerings at the 200, 300 or 400 level. Normally, Senior Research (451-452), Individual Work for Honors (461-462), Directed Studies (361-362) and Independent Studies (363-364) will not count toward the 38-hour minimum requirement.
One 300-level Seminar course for juniors/seniors (4 hours).
History and Systems of Psychology 410 (4 hours).
NOTE ON TRANSFER CREDIT: Students may waive the PSYC 100 requirement with an approved PSYC 199 credit for an Introductory Psychology transfer college course. PSYC 199 does NOT fulfill a Y(Science)GE and does NOT count toward the credit hours for the major/minor; thus, students with PSYC 199 credit will need to complete 4 additional PSYC elective credit hours to meet the required hours for the degree. If a students with PSYC 199 credit elect to take PSYC 100, they will forfeit their PSYC 199 credit hours.
The flexibility of these requirements places maximum responsibility upon the student to select a course of study most compatible with future goals. For example, PSYC 370 (Statistics for Behavioral Science) is helpful for many upper-level courses and is required for admission into most graduate schools, and either is a prerequisite for or must be taken concurrently with PSYC 451-452 (Senior Research) or PSYC 461-462 (Honors Research). Also, the Graduate Record Examination is required for students applying to graduate schools, and careful course selection is important to insure appropriate breadth of knowledge. Those contemplating graduate work also should consider courses in the natural sciences, computer science, and foreign languages, as well as opportunities to become involved in research activities in the department (for example, Directed Study, Senior Research, Research Assistant, Summer Scholar, etc.) All students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in developing an appropriate program in the major.
200-Level Topical (4 hours) and Research Course (3 hours) Options
(210) Development in Infancy and Childhood and (211) Research in Development in Infancy and Childhood
(215) Adult Development and Aging and (216) Research in Adult Development and Aging
(220) Social Psychology and (221) Research in Social Psychology
(225) Environmental Psychology and (226) Research in Environmental Psychology
(230) Organizational Psychology and (231) Research in Organizational Psychology
(240) Theories of Personality and (241) Research in Personality Psychology
(245) Adolescence and (246) Research in Adolescence
(250) Abnormal Psychology and (251) Research in Abnormal Psychology
(270) Health Psychology and (271) Research in Health Psychology
300-Level Topical (4 hours) and Research Course (3 hours) Options
(310) Psychology of Learning and (311) Research in Psychology of Learning
(330) Cognitive Psychology and (331) Research in Cognitive Psychology
(340) Sensation and Perception and (341) Research in Sensation and Perception
(350) Biological Psychology and (351) Research in Biological Psychology
Requirements for the B.S. in Psychology. The B.S. in Psychology requires 41 semester hours of credit in Psychology and 16 semester hours of credit in cognate courses from the Natural Sciences departments outside Psychology (not including Astronomy or Neuroscience). Required courses for the B.S. include:
Introduction to Psychology 100 (4 hours) Please see NOTE under B.A. degree above regarding transfer credit.
Research Methods in Psychology 200 (4 hours).
Three Psychology Topical/Research Course Combinations (rather than two required for the B.A.). Research courses must be taken concurrently with their accompanying topical courses. The FIRST research course taken must be a 200-level course; the SECOND and THIRD research courses taken must be at the 300-level. PSYC 200 is a prerequisite for any research course. The specific courses that fulfill the topical/research course combinations are listed above. (21 hours).
One 300-level Seminar course for juniors/seniors (4 hours).
Statistics for Behavioral Sciences 370 (4 hours).
History and Systems of Psychology 410 (4 hours).
FOUR courses in the Natural Sciences (outside of the Psychology Department) or Mathematics and Computer Science. This can be accomplished by taking TWO courses in two different departments or all FOUR may be in the same department. All courses must be courses that meet requirements for the major in that department. Computer Science and Mathematics courses are considered separate departments. Astronomy and Neuroscience courses are NOT eligible. (16 hours).
Students with a major in one of a number of departments will find a minor in psychology to be a significant contribution to their education. In order to best complement the major area of study, students should carefully select those psychology courses that have the most direct relevance to that major. These choices should be made in consultation with the academic advisor, as well as a member of the psychology faculty. A psychology minor requires 27 semester hours of credit in psychology. The required courses are:
Introduction to Psychology 100 (4 hours) Please see NOTE under B.A. degree above regarding transfer credit.
Research Methods in Psychology (200) (4 hours).
One 200-level Psychology Topical/Research Course Combination. The research course must be taken concurrently with its accompanying topical course. PSYC 200 is a prerequisite for any research course. The specific courses that fulfill the topical/research course combinations are listed above. (7 hours).
Electives (12 hours) selected from regular course offerings at the 200, 300 or 400 level. Normally, Directed Studies (361-362) and Independent Studies (363-364) will not count toward the 27-hour minimum requirement.
Introduction to Psychology (PSYC-100). An introduction to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Topics include cognition, behavior change and development, individual differences, social processes, and the biological bases of behavior. The course emphasizes current knowledge and research in the field and its application. The laboratory component of this course examines the strengths and limitations of observational and experimental methods, and enhances understanding of course concepts and principles. Laboratory experiences include development of research questions, design of studies, data collection in classroom laboratories and field settings, and data analysis and interpretation. 100 (or Honors 142) is a prerequisite for all other courses in the department. (Offered each semester) 4
Research Methods in Psychology (PSYC-200). This course examines the primary research methods and data analysis procedures used by psychologists to describe, predict, and explain behavior. Observational, experimental, and quasi-experimental methods are studied along with principles of research design, control, validity, reliability, and ethical practice. Throughout the course, methodological procedures are considered in conjunction with principles and methods of data analysis, presentation, and interpretation. The logic and procedures of descriptive and inferential statistics are emphasized. This course prepares students to design, conduct, and analyze psychological research and is a prerequisite for all psychology research courses at the 200 and 300-level. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. (Offered each semester) 4
Field Experience in Psychology (PSYC-202). This course provides practical experience working in some area of applied psychology. Students participate in a minimum of four hours of field experience per week at human-service agencies and schools in the Granville, Newark, and Columbus areas. Students are supervised by agency staff and participate in weekly didactics and discussion at Denison, facilitated by the instructor. The purpose of the field experiences is to help students integrate and apply information from their traditional courses, to discern future career goals, to assist in personal development, and to serve the community. This course is graded S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) and may be taken a maximum of two times for a total of four credit hours with the following stipulations: 1) only two credit hours will count toward the requirement for a Psychology major or minor; 2) if taken twice, the two settings must be substantially different and approved by the instructor in advance. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Students interested in taking this course must gain permission of the instructor during pre-registration. (Offered spring) 2
Intermediate Studies in Psychology (PSYC-205). This course will introduce students to issues that characterize diverse societies and present analyses of these issues from a psychological perspective. We will learn how social categories, such as race, social class, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation relate to individual behavior. These categories affect the way we perceive ourselves and others, hence they affect the way we act in the social world. We will read theory and research on cultural identities, origins and functions of prejudice and stereotyping, their effects on the targeted populations and on ways of reducing prejudice and improving intergroup relations. This course will also have a hands-on aspect in that students will apply their knowledge of theories in a case study where they will examine the experiences of a member of a minority group. 4
Development in Infancy and Childhood (PSYC-210). Psychological development through late childhood and preadolescence. Topics covered include biological foundations, prenatal development, infancy, cognitive and language development, personality and social and emotional development (including attachment, development of self concept, peer relations, gender differences), family and social policy issues, and developmental psychopathology. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Development in Infancy and Childhood (PSYC-211). Provides the student with research experience on problems of current interest in infant and child development. Must be taken concurrently with 210. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. 3
Adult Development and Aging (PSYC-215). This course examines the psychological development and change in adults from young adulthood through old age. Topics include theoretical perspectives, biological and physical changes, individual differences in health and disease, memory and intellectual performance, Alzheimer's disease, personality, gender and social roles, family and intergenerational relationships, friendships, sexuality, career development and work, caregiving, and death and dying. Implications for social programs and services, public policy, and careers and education in gerontology will also be examined. Social, ethnic, historical, and cultural contexts of aging will be considered throughout the semester. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Adult Development and Aging (PSYC-216). Provides the student with research experience on problems of current interest in adult development. Must be taken concurrently with 215. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. 3
Social Psychology (PSYC-220). The study of the nature and causes of individual behavior in social situations. Topics covered include attribution theory, social cognition, non verbal communication, attitude change, prejudice and discrimination, interpersonal attraction, prosocial behavior, aggression, and application of social psychology to the legal system. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Social Psychology (PSYC-221). Provides the student with research experience on problems of current interest in social psychology. Must be taken concurrently with 220. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. 3
Environmental Psychology (PSYC-225). An examination of the relationship between the environment and psychological processes. Topics examined in this course include how the character and the design of our environments can affect psychological well-being, and how certain ways in which we perceive and think can constrain our efforts to comprehend and confront environmental problems. Other topics explored are early environmental experiences and development, environmental stressors such as crowding and noise, territoriality and privacy, environmental aesthetics, cognitive maps and way-finding behavior, effects of institutional size on performance, and attitudes toward the natural environment. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Environmental Psychology (PSYC-226). Provides the student with experience in conducting field research. A variety of approaches are utilized, including field experiments and naturalistic observation. Must be taken concurrently with 225. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. 3
Organizational Psychology (PSYC-230). This course considers the application of psychological theory and methodology to problems of organizations and the functioning of individuals and groups within organizations. Topics include team development and performance, organizational power and politics, organizational culture, leadership and motivation at work, job commitment and satisfaction, organizational change and organizational development. Required for students completing the Organizational Studies certificate. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or consent of instructor. 4
Research in Organizational Psychology (PSYC-231). Provides the student with research experience on problems of current interest in organizational psychology. Must be taken concurrently with Psychology 230. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. 3
Theories of Personality (PSYC-240). This course offers a systematic introduction to "normal" human personality and addresses both historical and contemporary approaches to the study of individual differences, with an emphasis on primary research and debate in the field. Within each perspective, basic theoretical assumptions, relevant research, traditional assessment methods, and current applications (i.e., to the workplace, close relationships, or health behavior) are discussed. Recurring themes regarding the structure, origin, and function of personality are explored and compared across the different perspectives. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Personality Psychology (PSYC-241). Provides the student with research experience addressing problems of current interest in the study of personality. Must be taken concurrently with Psychology 240. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. 3
Adolescence (PSYC-245). Psychological development from late childhood through early adulthood. Topics covered include biological foundations, cognitive development, personality and social and emotional development (including development of self concept, family and peer relations, gender differences, and sexuality), culture, ethnicity and social policy issues, and developmental psychopathology in adolescence. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Adolescence (PSYC-246). Provides the student with research experience on problems of current interest in adolescent development. Must be taken concurrently with PSYC 245. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. 3
Abnormal Psychology (PSYC-250). This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of psychopathology. We will consider contemporary approaches to defining abnormal behavior and the current diagnostic system, DSM-IV-TR and upcoming changes in DSM-5. For each disorder, we will examine its essential features, associated characteristics, prevalence, course, and etiology. We will give special attention to how genetic, biological, and psychosocial factors contribute to and maintain maladaptive behavior over time. We will also examine both pharmacological and psychosocial treatments for each disorder. This course is especially designed for students interested in clinical/counseling psychology, psychiatry, social work, neuropsychology, or other helping professions. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Abnormal Psychology (PSYC-251). Provides the student with research experience on problems of relevance to abnormal psychology. Must be taken concurrently with Psychology 250. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. 3
Human Sexuality (PSYC-260). A survey of psychological and biological aspects of sexuality. Topics include prenatal sexual differentiation, sexual anatomy, physiology of sexual response, contraceptive behavior, sexually transmissible infections, sexual dysfunction, and cancer and other diseases of the reproductive system. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Health Psychology (PSYC-270). The field of health psychology investigates the relationship between health, mental processes and behavior. This course considers the role of health habits in the development of disease and the impact of psychological factors on the course of disease. In addition, the course explores the ways in which psychological principles can aid in the development of both individual and medical interventions to prevent disease and promote health. Topics include: stress, immunity, the management of chronic illness, and the contribution of psychological and social factors to cancer, cardiovascular disease, AIDS, and autoimmune diseases. In addition, health enhancing and health compromising behaviors such as exercise, diet, and smoking will be examined. Social, historical and cultural factors associated with health will also be considered in this course. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Health Psychology (PSYC-271). This course provides the student with research experience on problems of current interest in health psychology. Must be taken concurrently with 270. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. 3
Seminars (PSYC-300). Seminars are designed for majors in special areas within Psychology. Content will vary with staff and student interest. Typically, seminars include lecture/discussion and student presentations. Prerequisites: PSYC 100, PSYC 200, one 200-level research course and junior or senior status. 4
Seminar: Psychology of Women (PSYC-301). This course reviews psychological research and theories on women. Topics include sex bias in psychological research, gender differences and similarities in personality and abilities, lifespan development, problems of adjustment and psychotherapy, language and communication, women's health, female sexuality, and violence against women (rape and wife battering). Cross-listed with WMST 301. Prerequisites: WMST major, or PSYC 100, PSYC 200, and junior or senior status, or consent of instructor. (Fall) 4
Advanced Studies in Psychology (PSYC-304). The study of significant and contemporary psychological topics and perspectives at the advanced level. May be taken more than once for credit, unless otherwise noted. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Psychopharmacology (PSYC-305). This course begins with an overview of the ways in which psychoactive drugs work, including discussions of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, neuronal function, neurotransmitters, dose-response functions, tolerance and sensitization and toxicity. Agonistic and antagonistic drug effects are then studied, including the specific ways in which neurotransmitters may be affected by such actions. In the second half of the course, specific drugs used in the treatment of psychological disorders are studied, including drugs to treat anxiety disorders, clinical depression and schizophrenia. Finally, "recreational" drug use is examined, including discussions of alcohol and marijuana. Issues of drugs, culture, and behavior are emphasized throughout the semester. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 and/or BIOL 150, or permission of instructor. 4
Psychology of Learning (PSYC-310). An intensive survey of experimental research on fundamental emotional-cognitive processes of learning and memory, with a focus on how those processes manifest themselves in, influence, and determine behavior. Theory, research, implications and applications pertaining to the basic principles of behavior are emphasized. The course, and learning/conditioning research traditionally, is valuable because of the use of models to understand learning about biologically and emotionally-significant experiences. Unconscious learning and seemingly irrational reactions are considered in depth. Much of the course content is relevant to applied topics such as behavior modification, substance abuse problems, anxiety, depression, other behavior disorders, education and parenting practices. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Psychology of Learning (PSYC-311). Offers the student experience conducting research in and/or out of the learning laboratory, using a variety of methods. Research requires time outside of class. Some work with live animals is usually involved. Must be taken concurrently with 310. Prerequisites: PSYC 100, PSYC 200, and one 200-level research course. 3
Development of Children with Special Needs (CSL) (PSYC-315). Disability is a facet of human diversity that is often overlooked. This course explores a wide range of developmental disabilities, focusing mostly on physical impairements and intellectual disabilities. We will discuss the impact of disabilities on the individual's development and how families respond to the various challenges that often arise. In addition, we will review some general concepts concerning disabilities, including prenatal development and testing, ethical issues, cultural influences, relevant public policy including federal and state laws and regulations, early intervention, and the family-centered approach. Some of the disabilities that will be examined include metabolic errors, disorders of hearing and communication, neural tube defects, intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities, Fragile X, ADHD, and disorders on the Autism Spectrum. This course will be taught in a lecture/discussion/experiential format, and includes regular student led discussions and a 30 hour service-learning component to be performed at a local facility for preschool children with and without special needs. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and 200. 4
Cultural Psychology (PSYC-320). Cultural psychology is an examination of the influence of cultural processes on a wide range of psychological topics, including perceiving, thinking, child development, language, and social cognition. Its unifying theme is the claim that complex psychological phenomena need to be understood as being situated in a cultural context. Some broad topics considered in the course are the nature of human nature, the psychological properties of tools and technology, and research methods for the study of cultural psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Cognitive Psychology (PSYC-330). This course examines how people acquire, remember, and use knowledge. Topics covered include memory, attention, perception, imagery, problem solving, decision making, language and comprehension, social cognition and cognitive neuroscience. Applications to contexts such as learning and teaching, social and cultural factors, and individual behavior and performance will be considered. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Cognitive Psychology (PSYC-331). Provides the student with research experience on problems of current interest in cognitive psychology. Must be taken concurrently with 330. Prerequisites: PSYC 100, PSYC 200 and one 200-level research course. 3
Sensation and Perception (PSYC-340). This course involves analysis of sensory processes and perceptual systems. Discussions on these topics will include a consideration of biological, ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Topics include sensitivity to light and sound; color perception; depth and form perception; perceptual illusions; and power and justice issues relating to vision and hearing disabilities. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Research in Sensation and Perception (PSYC-341). This course offers experience in conducting research on sensory processes and perception. Students are exposed to different research techniques and investigate problems relating to the various sensory modalities. Must be taken concurrently with 340. Prerequisites: PSYC 100, PSYC 200 and one 200-level research course. 3
Biological Psychology (PSYC-350). This course explores the relationships between the brain and nervous system and behavior, and includes topics ranging from neuroanatomy and pharmacology of the nervous system to the biological bases of mental illness. The interactions among the nervous and endocrine systems are emphasized in an attempt to understand how basic physiological principles can serve in the understanding of complex phenomena, including emotion, learning, sleep and arousal and sexual behavior. Required for students pursuing the neuroscience concentration. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Offered Fall 2012 4
Research in Biological Psychology (PSYC-351). This course focuses on basic research methodologies and techniques that are commonly used to examine the biological bases of behavior. Students are given "hands on" experience in the design and execution of several research projects. Must be taken concurrently with 350. Prerequisite: PSYC 100, PSYC 200, and one 200-level research course. 3
Clinical Psychology (PSYC-360). This course introduces students to the discipline of clinical psychology from the scientist-practitioner perspective. Topics include psychological assessment (e.g., intellectual assessment, personality assessment, neuropsychological assessment, career counseling), diagnostic interviewing, and empirically supported sychotherapies (e.g., psychodynamic therapies, cognitive and behavioral therapies, interpersonal therapies, family therapies, group therapy). We will also examine the efficacy and effectiveness of psychosocial treatments for mental disorders, professional ethics, and recent developments in the field of clinical/counseling psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4
Statistics for Behavioral Sciences (PSYC-370). An introduction to techniques of data analysis, interpretation, and presentation. Special emphasis is placed on sampling theory, tests of significance, analysis of variance, regression and using SPSS for analysis. Prerequisites: PSYC 100 and PSYC 200. Not open for credit to students who have already taken both MATH 242 and PSYC 200. Cannot be taken concurrently with MATH 102. (Offered every fall) 4
History and Systems of Psychology (PSYC-410). This course examines major issues in psychology as they have been addressed throughout its history, from the writings of the Greek philosophers to twentieth century theories and experimental investigations. These issues include mind-body relations, processes of knowledge acquisition such as perception and learning, characteristics of human motivation and personality, and the nature of thought and memory. The philosophy of scientific inquiry in relation to the field of psychology is also considered. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. 4