The field of sports psychology examines psychological variables that impact athletic participation and behavior. This course introduces students to theories and research across diverse areas of psychology, including social, cognitive, developmental, and clinical. Topics will include the role of goals and equity in providing motivation, strategies for successful performance, the use of imagery, attributions for successful versus unsuccessful performance, the predictors of aggression, the causes of the “homefield choke,” effective approaches to coaching, the “hot-hand effect,” the role of personality, the predictors of injury, and the impact of gender on athletics. This course will involve intensive participation in class discussion and many written assignments.
Requisite: PSYC 100 or consent of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2022-23. Professor Sanderson.2022-23: Not offered
An introduction to the psychology of aging. Course material will focus on the behavioral changes which occur during the normal aging process. Age differences in learning, memory, perceptual and intellectual abilities will be investigated. In addition, emphasis will be placed on the neural correlates and cognitive consequences of disorders of aging such as Alzheimer’s disease. Course work will include systematic and structured observation within a local facility for the elderly.
Requisite: PSYC 100 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2022-23. Professor Raskin.2022-23: Not offered
The field of health psychology examines how psychosocial factors, including personality, social influences, and culture, influence physical health in a variety of ways. The three central issues that we will focus on in this course are the promotion and maintenance of health (e.g., how psychosocial factors influence health-promoting and health compromising behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol use, obesity, and disordered eating), the experience and development of pain and illness (e.g., how psychosocial factors influence pain, chronic illness, and life-threatening disease), and the treatment of illness (e.g., how psychosocial factors influence health care interactions, screening behavior, and adherence to medical regiments).
Requisite: PSYC 100 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2022-23. Professor Sanderson.2022-23: Not offered
(Offered as PSYC 356 and NEUR 356) This course will explore in detail the neurophysiological underpinnings of basic motivational systems such as feeding, addiction, fear, and sex. Students will read original articles in the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and behavioral scientific literature. The key goals of this course will be to make students conversant with the most recent scientific findings and adept at research design and hypothesis testing.
Requisite: PSYC 212 or 226 and consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Open to juniors and seniors. Omitted 2022-23. Professor Baird.2022-23: Not offered
Though the history of madness is as old as humanity, the field of psychiatry has come of age over the past 300 years. The understanding and treatment of mental illness within the psychiatric profession has drawn upon neurological and medical, as well as psychological and psychodynamic points of view. An emerging field, Neuropsychoanalysis, attempts to integrate the two. This course will survey psychiatry’s evolution, with special emphasis on the major contributions that have changed perspectives and directions in psychiatric medicine. We will also review the history of how mentally-ill patients have been housed, from custodial asylums to de-institutionalization and community-based programs, as a reflection of changing attitudes towards mental disease. Seminar. One class meeting per week.
Requisite: PSYC 212 and 228, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2022-23. Professor Raskin.2022-23: Not offered
This course will examine how infants learn to communicate through gestures, body language, and preverbal vocalizations, and how nonverbal communication develops through childhood and adulthood. The course will also examine how nonverbal communication in humans compares to communication in nonhuman species such as dogs, chimpanzees, and dolphins. As a precursor to these discussions, we will explore the theoretical controversies surrounding the definition of "communication." Students will read empirical work, engage in collaborative research design, conduct naturalistic observations, and will develop a final paper that explores the communicative content of nonverbal interactions.
Requisite: PSYC 227. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2022-23. Prof. Palmquist.2022-23: Not offered
Psychology strives to understand (and predict) human behavior. The law aims to control behavior and punish those who violate laws. At the intersection of these two disciplines are questions such as: Why do people obey the law? What are the most effective means for punishing transgressions so as to encourage compliance with the law? The idea that our legal system is the product of societal values forms the heart of this course. We will repeatedly return to that sentiment as we review social psychological principles, theories, and findings addressing how the principal actors in legal proceedings affect each other. We will survey research on such topics as: criminal versus civil procedure, juror selection criteria, juror decision-making, jury size and decision rule, the death penalty, insanity defense, and eyewitness reliability. To a lesser degree the course will also consider (1) issues that arise from the impact of ideas from clinical psychology and other mental health-related fields upon the legal system, and (2) the impact that the legal system has had upon the field of psychology.
Requisite: PSYC 220. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2022-2023. Professor Hart.2022-23: Not offered
Attachment theory has long been a framework for understanding the development of mental health and psychopathology. To what extent do infant attachments enhance, or disrupt, later adult relationships? Do early traumas in attachments affect the development of psychopathology? Can brain development be influenced by infant attachments? What role do adult relational attachments play in mental health? In this seminar, we will examine attachment theory from a psychodynamic and psychobiological perspective. We will review some of the classic attachment literature of psychoanalytic theorists, for example, John Bowlby, Melanie Klein, and D.W. Winnicott. We will read the empirical evidence that measures attachment styles in children and adults, and we will discover how translational research from animal models reveals the possible neural and physiological correlates that mediate attachment behaviors. This is an upper-level seminar, which requires full student participation in class discussion as well as weekly writings, and student presentations.
Requisite: PSYC 212, 221, 227, or 228, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2022-2023. Professor Raskin.2022-23: Not offered
Current theories of cognitive psychology will be evaluated in light of what is known about the effects of musical stimuli on learning, memory, and emotion. The course will begin by examining how musical information is stored and, subsequently, retrieved from memory. Particular attention will be paid to comparing learning and memory of musical and non-musical stimuli. The course will also compare the behavior of trained and untrained musicians to determine how expertise influences cognitive performance. Finally, the course will consider the ability of music to elicit emotional responses and the psychological basis for its use in applied settings.
Requisite: PSYC 233. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2022-23. Professor Schulkind.2022-23: Not offered
Autobiographical memory encompasses everything we know about our personal past, from information as mundane as our Social Security number to the most inspirational moments of our lives. This course will begin by evaluating several theoretical frameworks that structure the field. We will consider how personal knowledge influences our sense of self and will examine both the contents of autobiographical memory and the contexts in which it functions, including eyewitness testimony, flashbulb memories, and the false/recovered memory controversy. We will discuss individual differences (gender and age) in autobiographical memory and will also examine the neurobiology of long-term memory and the consequences of damage to the system (i.e., dementia and amnesia). Finally, we will explore how social groups retain memories for important cultural events.
Requisite: PSYC 233. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2023-2023. Professor Schulkind.2022-23: Not offered
Open to senior majors in Psychology who have received departmental approval. A double course.
Spring semester. The Department.2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023