Psychology Course Descriptions

Level I

Level II

Level III Courses & Interim 2013

Fall 2013 300 Level Courses

Spring 2014 300 Level Courses

342: Positive Psychology: The Science of Optimal Human Experience          
This seminar investigates “the good life,” exploring what psychology can tell us about human flourishing and psychological well-being. Empirical evidence is examined to understand some of the best aspects of life, such as the function of positive emotions, the role of traits in well-being, sources of meaning and life satisfaction, and character strength and virtue. Personality and sociocultural factors are emphasized in this exploration of the positive potentials of human life. Prerequisites: Psychology 230, and 244 or 249.

350: Parenting and Child Development in Diverse Families
This course explores research on parenting and child development across a variety of alternative family structures and sociocultural contexts, including families with primary caregiving fathers, divorced and remarried parents, and gay and lesbian parents. Students discuss similarities and variability in development across families, and unique challenges that “nontraditional” families may confront. Students examine and bridge the empirical literature with popular culture and media portrayals of families. Prerequisite: Psychology 241; Psychology 230 is recommended. Counts toward women’s and gender studies major and educational studies, family studies,and women’s and gender studies concentrations.

390 Seminar: Personality Assessment
How can we come to know in a meaningful way another’s personality, including important themes, traits, needs, desires, aspirations, and life history? This seminar focuses on the study of the individual person and the methods used in personality and clinical psychology to pursue understanding of the individual in all of his or her richness, uniqueness, and complexity. In the course we study individual persons in-depth doing real interviews (of a hired subject), psychological testing, and analysis of narratives such as stories, personal documents, and biographies. We consider methodological issues with each of these types of data, and we explore ways to systematically interpret what we find using a variety of perspectives from personality theory and research. Prerequisites: Psych 230-Research Methods, and Psych 244-Psychology of Personality is recommended as well.

PSYCH 391:  The Psychology of Good and Evil
Why do we feel it is important to judge behavior as morally good or bad? How do we make these judgments? What makes it possible for people to commit acts of extraordinary heroism or evil? Good answers to these questions require knowledge of philosophical and theological ethics and of the empirical work on moral action and judgment. Students read both and ask how they do (and should) inform each other. Prerequisites:Psych 230- Research Methods and at least two other 200-level Psychology courses, or permission of the instructor.

395 Advanced Research in Behavioral Neuroscience  
A wide array of techniques is used to answer fundamental questions about how the brain and nervous system work in the expression of behavior. Through readings, discussion, and hands-on laboratory experiences students examine various research methods in behavioral neuroscience, considering the strengths and weaknesses of each. Emphasis is placed on ethical considerations of animal research and the application of basic science data to human problems. Topics may include feeding behavior, drug-seeking and pain perception. Prerequisties:either Neuro 234: Introduction to Neuroscienc OR Psych 238: Biopsychology and Psych 230 Research Methods or equivalent experience.

396: Research Group: Personality and Psychopathology
How are personality and psychopathology related to one another?  In this course, we will be reading and discussing theoretical and empirical literature related to personality and psychopathology. The group will also be involved in designing and implementing a study investigating personality and mood, cognition, and adjustment. Taught by Professor Carlo Veltri. All students interested in this course must speak with Professor Veltri. Selected students will be enrolled by the department after receiving permission from Professor Veltri.