Courses

Psychology Courses

PSYC 100     Introduction to Psychology (Lab)  (4)

An introduction to empirical psychology, organized topically. Key areas, approaches, and theories in psychology are illustrated. Depending on their interests, instructors choose several topics such as the psychology of sex and gender, conformity and obedience, and aggression and violence. Weekly laboratory sessions focus on the process of scientific inquiry, giving students experience with a variety of research approaches and methodological issues. Not open for credit to students who have received credit for PSYC 101 or for a 100-level psychology course taken at another university.

PSYC 101     Principles of Psychology  (4)

An intensive examination of key areas, approaches, theories, and research methodology in empirical psychology. Designed, in conjunction with PSYC 251, to provide a strong introduction to the field for students intending to major in psychology. Not open to students who have received credit for PSYC 100 or for a 100-level psychology course taken at another university. Non-laboratory course.

PSYC 201     Psychology of Personality  (4)

A survey of classical and contemporary psychological approaches to the study of personality, including trait, psychodynamic, neuropsychological, behavior genetic, evolutionary, learning, phenomenological, cultural, and cognitive. Students apply theoretical concepts and examine research associated with these approaches, considering multiple sources of data (e.g., self-report, behavioral observation) and a variety of empirical methods (e.g., psychometric assessment, content analysis). Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 202     Abnormal Behavior  (4)

A study of abnormal and clinical psychology from a scientist-practitioner perspective, including DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria, assessment measures and strategies, treatment modalities, case studies, and ethical issues. Major theoretical paradigms and research on etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of psychopathology are presented and discussed. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 203     Social Psychology  (4)

An examination of the impact that social influences have on individual behavior. The course examines major theories and empirical evidence in a variety of areas, such as interpersonal attraction, attitude change, group behavior, conformity, prejudice, and altruism. Students examine empirical methods used in social psychology and gain experience by designing and conducting studies examining questions of their choosing and then presenting the results. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 206     Industrial Psychology  (4)

Explores the application of psychological theories and research to business and industry. Studies how human abilities (visual, auditory, tactile, physical strength) are used in planning for equipment and procedures that optimize man/machine interactions in a technological society; employee selection, training, and motivation; corporate culture; consumer behavior. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 101 or junior standing.

PSYC 208     Cognitive Psychology  (4)

An introduction to the study of cognitive processes such as attention, memory, language, and reasoning. Students consider empirical findings from a variety of methodologies as well as the methodologies themselves. Broader issues such as unconscious processes and cultural differences in cognition are also examined in this context. Students are encouraged to discover applications of findings in cognitive psychology to other areas of psychology, other disciplines, and their everyday lives. Not open for credit to students who have completed PSYC 358. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 214     The Psychology of Eating Disorders and Obesity  (4)

An examination of the etiology of eating disorders and obesity, derived from the empirical literature and with consideration of psychological, neurobiological, and sociocultural explanations for such disorders. The course critically evaluates primary research literature concerning risk factors for developing documented eating disorder (anorexia nervosa, bulima nervosa, binge eating disorder), as well as newly proposed diagnostic categories (e.g., orthorexia). A multicultural perspective is emphasized, and the relation of disordered eating to issues such as socio-economic status, race and ethnicity, and gender is addressed. Multiple theoretical explanations for disordered eating—including psychodynamic, family systems, cognitive, relational-cultural, and behavioral theories--are critically examined. Empirically validated treatments and standardized prevention programs are also introduced and critiqued. Students conduct research using archival data to investigate specific risk and protective factors in the development of disordered eating, as well as to assess the effectiveness of targeted prevention programs. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 218     Psychology of Violence  (4)

Explores the application of psychological theories and research to the major forms of violence. Such forms include youth violence, family violence, bullying, suicide, homicide, workplace violence, war, and ethnic conflict. The course reviews and critiques major etiological models including social cognitive, behavioral, and physiological. It also presents current major models of prevention and treatment, including psycho-educational, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems. Specific prevention and intervention topics such as conflict resolution are addressed. Readings emphasize the scientific study of violence through empirical research, including randomized controlled trials to evaluate programs. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 221     Adolescence  (4)

An examination of physiological, social, and emotional factors affecting all stages of individual development during adolescence. Major theories and research on the subject are introduced. Among the topics addressed are biological changes, identity, autonomy, peer influences, substance abuse, and intimate relationships. Students are expected to present results from research studies they conduct on issues of adolescence. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 222     Adult Development and Aging  (4)

An examination of physiological cognitive, social, and emotional factors affecting all stages of individual development during adulthood. Major theories of development and research on the subject are introduced. Among the topics addressed are physiological aging, cognitive functioning, work, intimate relationships, parenthood, retirement, loss, death, and bereavement. Students are expected to participate in field research projects and service-learning opportunities. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 223     Positive Psychology  (4)

Psychology has traditionally been concerned with people’s responses and reactions to difficulties, deficits, and disorders. Taking the opposing viewpoint, positive psychology is a course that aims to understand and implement behaviors and mental processes that foster optimal functioning and the pursuit of the good life. Both individual level and interpersonal level functioning are examined. Students in this primarily discussion-based course must be prepared to speak in class multiple times per class period. The course also involves a significant major project. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 224     Developmental Psychopathology  (4)

This course examines how studies of normal development and abnormal development in children inform one another; how and why deviations from normal development occur; the bidirectional relationship between biological underpinnings and contexts (family, school) as they relate to development of psychopathology; and proximal and distal concerns for children that develop mental disorders. Prerequisite: PSYC 202.

PSYC 225     Cognitive Neuroscience  (4)

An introductory course on the neural bases of higher cognitive processes including perception, action, attention, memory, language, socio-emotional functions, executive functions and consciousness. Also discussed are the mind-body problem and other current theories and conceptual approaches. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 226     Psychology of Creativity  (4)

An examination of creativity in both the arts and sciences from the perspective of psychology. Topics include what makes something creative, the type of person who is most creative, the process of creativity, and aspects of the environment that foster creativity. Insights drawn primarily from developmental, personality, cognitive, and social psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 227     Health Psychology  (4)

This course examines psychological issues surrounding physical health and medical care. Theories from personality and social psychology are applied to topics such as stress-related diseases, exercise adherence, coping with illness, interpersonal relationships and health, doctor-patient interactions, dying, and the hospital environment. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 230     Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia  (4)

This interdisciplinary course addresses issues relevant to child, family, and community development in rural southern Appalachia, including (1) social and political history of the region; (2) social psychology and developmental neuroscience of stress and adaptation to stress (e.g., resilience); (3) structure and health of rural Appalachian communities; (4) community infrastructure (e.g., churches, businesses, and other local organizations); (5) design and implementation of intervention and prevention programs to foster neural, cognitive, and social development and mental health in children and families in rural communities. Sewanee faculty and visiting faculty from Yale University teach the course collaboratively. Not open for credit to students who have earned credit for PSYC 430. Prerequisite: One course in psychology, one community engagement course, and sophomore standing or above.

PSYC 250     Anxiety Syndromes and Treatment Methods  (2)

A review of the medical classification and causes of DSM-IV Anxiety syndromes. The course will introduce cognitive- behavioral procedures used to reduce anxiety in clinical populations. Students will learn to apply these procedures to personal nonclinical conditions and will compare theoretical applications vis. their experience. Students will present a literature review on a selected anxiety topic such as an assessment instrument. The class is only offered on a pass/fail basis and attendance at all classes is an essential requirement for a pass. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 108 or junior standing.

PSYC 251     Research Methods and Data Analysis  (4)

An introduction to basic research approaches in psychology, including observational studies, correlational studies, true experiments, and quasi-experiments. Ethics, sampling, measurement, and data analysis are considered. Intended for psychology majors or for students planning to major in psychology. Weekly laboratory sessions focus on the process of scientific inquiry, giving students experience in the application of class principles. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 254     Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience  (4)

An introduction to the field of behavioral neuroscience. The course begins with an overview of the basics of brain anatomy, brain organization, and neuronal signaling. The remainder of the course focuses on specific topics that are commonly studied by neuroscientists. Such topics include the brain basis of memory, emotion, aging, and sleep. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 280     Psychology of Human Diversity  (4)

A psychological investigation of human diversity, focused primarily on minority groups in the U.S. Among the psychological topics examined in a cultural context are those pertaining to gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, social class, personality, intelligence, health, intergroup relations, and intercultural interaction. Methods of cross-cultural research are also considered. Students are encouraged to develop a psychological appreciation of how diversity figures in various contexts, including research, service provision, work relationships, and personal life.

PSYC 349     Drugs and Behavior  (4)

An examination of the effects of drugs on the brain and behavior. Content focuses on the mechanism by which legal and illicit drugs affect the brain and on how drug-induced brain changes alter behavior. In addition, major biological and psychological theories of addiction are examined. This class also explores how drugs are used and abused in different societies and cultures, the effects of this use and abuse on psychology and behavior, and how addiction is treated. Prerequisite: PSYC 225 or PSYC 254.

PSYC 355     Affective Neuroscience (Lab)  (4)

This course covers the systems-level neural and behavioral bases of human and animal emotion. Students discuss readings paramount to understanding how we perceive motivationally significant information and stimuli and experience, express, and regulate our emotions. The course explores basic theories of emotion, automatic processes, emotion regulation, rewards, social relationships, decision-making, learning and memory, stress, and psychopathology (e.g., depression, anxiety, and personality disorders). Students design and conduct experiments using cognitive neuroscience methodology related to affective processing or emotion regulation, analyze the data, and write detailed laboratory reports. Prerequisite: PSYC 251 and (PSYC 225 or PSYC 254).

PSYC 356     Research in Social Psychology (Lab)  (4)

An in-depth examination of the social circumstances which structure individuals’ mental processing and behavior. Students will read original peer-reviewed research on social dynamics (e.g., dyads, groups, cultural norms) and be required to implement existing theoretical models, empirical findings, and methodological approaches in their discussions, assignments, and research projects. In the laboratory, students will independently design, propose, and conduct a scientifically rigorous psychological study (including advanced statistical data analysis using computer software) to answer a novel empirical question in social psychology. Not open for credit to students who have received credit for PSYC 203. Prerequisite: PSYC 251.

PSYC 357     Child Development (Lab)  (4)

An examination of the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of infants and children, with a primary emphasis on theoretical issues and scientific methodology. Development is presented as a process of progressive interaction between the active, growing individual and his or her constantly changing and multifaceted environment. Organized chronologically with an approximately equal emphasis on the prenatal through middle childhood periods of development. Includes a laboratory that focuses on designing and conducting studies (including data analyses) to answer empirical questions on human development. Not open for credit to students who have received credit for PSYC 219. Prerequisite: (PSYC 100 or PSYC 101) and PSYC 251.

PSYC 358     Cognitive Psychology (Lab)  (4)

An examination of aspects of cognition such as attention, perception, language, memory, problem-solving, reasoning, and decision-making. Consideration is given to theoretical and methodological issues, empirical approaches and evidence, and practical applications. Includes a laboratory that focuses on designing and conducting studies to answer empirical questions about cognition. Not open for credit to students who have received credit for PSYC 208. Prerequisite: PSYC 251.

PSYC 359     Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience (Lab)  (4)

An examination of how brain function affects behavior. The course is an extension of PSYC 254 and includes an advanced examination of brain organization, neuronal signaling, and specific topics that are studied by neuroscientists. Such topics include the brain bases of fear, pain, eating, sexuality, and stress. This class also examines methods used to study behavioral neuroscience in humans and animals. The course includes a laboratory with a brain dissection and focus on designing and conducting studies to answer empirical questions about behavioral neuroscience. The laboratory portion of this course involves working with live mice. Prerequisite: (PSYC 100 or PSYC 101) and PSYC 251 and PSYC 254.

PSYC 363     Advanced Research Seminar in Psychology  (2 or 4)

This seminar is devoted to the advanced study of a selected topic within psychology, with primary emphasis on the scientific process. Content focus varies by semester, at discretion of the instructor. Students review primary literature, design an original study, collect and analyze data, and compose a final report for public presentation. May be repeated once for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: PSYC 251.

PSYC 402     Community Psychology  (4)

A seminar focused on examining and applying the concepts, theory, principles, research methods, and goals of community psychology. This course aims to increase understanding of the interactions among individual, group, organizational, community, and societal factors as they affect psychological well-being, human development, and human relationships. It also examines research design, program implementation, and evaluation methods applicable to community psychology. Prerequisite: Four courses in psychology.

PSYC 403     Psychology and Popular Culture in the U.S.  (4)

Did the World Wars "put psychology on the map" and convert Americans to the "therapeutic gospel"? How is the polygraph test related to Wonder Woman? Did humanistic psychology inspire Yippies and feminists in the 1960s­and can humanistic psychologists be "real men"? This seminar explores such questions, using primary and secondary sources that link the history of psychology and popular culture in the U.S. Students evaluate critically the current popularization of psychology and explore relationships between popular and academic psychology. Prerequisite: Four courses in any combination from psychology and American studies.

PSYC 406     Psychobiography  (4)

A seminar on the psychological study of individual lives, with a focus on psychobiographical studies. Psychobiography draws on psychological theories and research to understand the work of an historically significant figure from the vantage point of the person's life history. The seminar introduces theories, methods, and standards used to conduct and evaluate psychobiographical research and interpretations. Readings include studies that trace meaningful connections between the lives and work of several well-known figures—artists, musicians, writers, scientists, and politicians—and students prepare a psychobiographical study on a person of their choice. Prerequisite: Four courses in psychology.

PSYC 408     Seminar in Abnormal Behavior  (4)

A study of the major conceptual approaches that are adopted as clinicians assess, define, and conduct clinical interventions. Topics addressed include the nature of the client-therapist relationship, results from empirical investigation of therapeutic outcomes, ethical dilemmas faced in clinical practice and research, and problems peculiar to subspecialties such as forensic psychology and community psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 202 and three other courses in psychology.

PSYC 410     Cognitive Illusions  (4)

An examination of cognitive illusions, with a particular emphasis on what such illusions reveal about human thought processes in general. Includes illusions of perception, memory, reasoning, and metacognition considered from biological, information-processing, and evolutionary perspectives. The prevalence of cognitive illusions, their patterns of occurrence, and their implications for such real-world issues such as social interactions, choice of medical treatment, risk assessment, legal proceedings, political decisions, and financial judgments will be discussed. Prerequisite: Four courses in psychology.

PSYC 411     Judgment and Decision-Making  (4)

This seminar examines selected topics and issues in human judgment and decision-making. Drawing largely from primary sources, the course considers various approaches to the study of decision-making, as well as descriptions and theories of human decision-making derived from those approaches. Students are led to reflect on the relevance and application of such issues to real-world choices in arenas such as economics, politics, business and marketing, health and medicine, and at individual, organizational, and broadly social levels. Prerequisite: Four courses in psychology.

PSYC 412     Psychology of Gender  (4)

A comparison of different theoretical perspectives on sex and gender and a critical examination of research on gender differences and similarities in human behavior. Patterns of public attitudes regarding gender will also be discussed. Prerequisite: Four courses in psychology and/or women's and gender studies.

PSYC 413     The Self-Concept and Self-Esteem  (4)

A seminar on the psychological examination and understanding of theories, principles, and applications of the self-concept and self-esteem. Students develop a rich and nuanced understanding of psychological concepts of selfhood (e.g., self-knowledge, the self in the relational context); they are also challenged to apply this understanding to their personal sense of self. Class material draw primarily from research in social psychology, but views from clinical, developmental, and cultural psychology are also included. Prerequisite: PSYC 203 and three additional courses in psychology.

PSYC 414     The Social Brain  (4)

A seminar focusing on the interdisciplinary field of social neuroscience. Course content examines social and emotional behavior through a variety of levels and contexts, and identifies the neural systems that support these behaviors. The course explores a number of core social psychological domains (e.g., culture, motivation, emotion, person perception, empathy, decision making, interpersonal relationships, morality, and self-identity). Prerequisite: PSYC 251 and (PSYC 225 or PSYC 254).

PSYC 415     Relationships and Health  (4)

A seminar on the ways in which close relationships and health are interconnected. The course examines the state of relationships and health literature and considers avenues for future research. It explores a number of psychological factors (e.g., social support, emotions, coping, health behaviors) to explain this robust association in the context of specific relationships (e.g., parent-child, friendship, romantic). Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 101, PSYC 251, and two PSYC courses.

PSYC 416     Attachment Theory: Development, Well-being, and Risk for Psychopathology  (4)

This course explores the rich theory and research within the field of attachment and explores how attachment has become increasingly relevant in understanding both well-being and risk for psychopathology at different ages. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 101, PSYC 251, and two PSYC courses.

PSYC 420     Consciousness and Unconsciousness  (4)

An examination of current scientific study of consciousness and unconsciousness, including neural correlates of conscious and willful actions, manipulations of conscious will experience, the possible role of consciousness in evolution, and related topics. The course emphasizes how scientific results inform understanding of issues such as Chalmers hard problem of consciousness, the tenability of competing models of consciousness, the perceived unity of self, and perceptual experience of free will. Prerequisite: Four courses in psychology.

PSYC 444     Independent Study  (2 or 4)

The student will design and execute an experimental research project terminating in a written report or will complete readings in an area of psychology. May be repeated.

PSYC 480     Language, Literacy, and Play  (4)

The complicated role of play in the development of language and literacy skills among preschool-aged children. Topics include social-emotional, cross-cultural, cognitive, and communicative aspects of play. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 481     Introduction to Cognitive Science  (4)

An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of how the mind works. Discussion of tools, theories, and assumptions from psychology, computer science, neuroscience, linguistics, and philosophy. No single individual may receive credit for both this course and either cognitive course at Sewanee (PSYC 208 and PSYC 358). Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 482     Emotional Intelligence  (4)

The ability to integrate emotional information with cognitive processes is essential for management of personal and social life. The emotion-related skills comprising emotional intelligence (the perception, use, understanding, and management of emotion) defined, measured, and developed. How these skills relate to effective social functioning, mental health, and quality of life at home, school, and work. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 483     Cognitive Neuroscience  (4)

An overview of cognitive neuroscience at an introductory graduate level. Covers principles, methods, and key research findings in multiple topic domains (e.g., language, memory, vision, attention, working memory/executive control, movement control, emotion and reward, social processes). The course emphasizes behavioral and neural processes, with some discussion of computational approaches. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: PSYC 208 or PSYC 254 or PSYC 358.

PSYC 484     Autism and Related Disorders  (4)

Topics in the etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and natural history of childhood autism and other severe disorders of early onset. Retardation, behavioral disorders, and childhood psychosis. Supervised experience. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.

PSYC 485     Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Neurological Disease  (4)

The course focuses on those diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, and other neurodegenerative diseases, triplet repeat induced diseases, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, etc.) in which modern neuroscience has advanced mechanistic explanations for clinical conditions. It highlights recent molecular, electrophysiological, and imaging experiments in parsing disease mechanisms. The application of pathophysiologic understanding to therapeutics is considered. This course is taught at Yale and is available only through the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: Approval of the Sewanee-at-Yale program director.

PSYC 490     Principles of Neuroscience  (4)

General neuroscience seminar: Lectures, readings and discussion of selected topics in neuroscience. Emphasis will be on how approaches at the molecular, cellular, physiological and organismal levels can lead to understanding of neuronal and brain function. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: PSYC 254.

PSYC 491     Neurobiology of Emotion  (4)

A study of the brain circuitries involved in emotion and emotional learning and memory. Consideration of emotion research in a historical context; discussion of progress that has been made in understanding the neurobiology of emotion in both laboratory animals and humans. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: PSYC 254.

PSYC 492     History of Modern Neuroscience  (4)

Survey of classical papers that have been the foundation for the rise of modern neuroscience since the 1950s. Areas covered range from genes and proteins through cells and systems to behavior. Classes combine overviews of different areas with discussions of selected classical papers. Emphasis is on how convergence of techniques, concepts, and personalities has been the basis for major advances. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: PSYC 254.

PSYC 493     Research Topics in Emotion and Cognitive Control  (4)

This course covers (1) research in emotion and cognitive control, and (2) science communication skills. For research, the emphasis is on the design, conduct, and analysis of behavioral and fMRI studies, emphasizing individual differences. Once a month, we have a session on science communication skills, with topics chosen by students to meet their interests and needs (spoken research presentations, persuasive communication, graph design, Web design, and so on). Students may enroll in the course and attend only the science communication skills component. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. Prerequisite: PSYC 208 or PSYC 254 or PSYC 358.

PSYC 498     Research Methods Seminar  (4)

This seminar is organized around presentations of individual research projects, emphasizing detailed critique of project designs, findings, and conclusions. Students also review reports of empirical research written by other students in the seminar to develop their skills in both writing and critiquing research reports. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. With the approval of program director and the biology department, this course may be listed as BIOL 498. Prerequisite: An introductory psychology or introductory biology course and approval of the Sewanee-at-Yale program director..

PSYC 499     Directed Research  (4 or 8)

Students conduct research under the direction of a faculty member on a topic of mutual interest. Typically culminates in a written research report. Admission to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program required. This course is only available through the Yale Directed Research Program. With the approval of program director and the biology department, this course may be listed as BIOL 499. Prerequisite: An introductory psychology or introductory biology course and approval of the Sewanee-at-Yale program director..