Psychology

Requirements & Courses

  • Alma’s Psychology Department encourages students to look at thought and action from a scientific perspective, to undertake independent research projects and to gain experience in practicum settings. Undergraduate work in Psychology is required for professional preparation in a wide range of psychological specialties and neuroscience; it also provides an appropriate foundation for work in such areas as cognitive science, public health, law, medicine, social work, management and the ministry.

  • Major Requirements
    1. Thirty-six credits in Psychology which must include Psychology 121; 201 or 204; 212; 220; 225; 231 or 236; 305; 314 and 4 additional elective credits in PSY.
    2. The Graduate Record Examination Psychology Subject Test is required for the comprehensive evaluation.
    3. The Department recommends that students supplement the major with adjunct courses from Biology, Computer Science, Sociology and Anthropology, Mathematics and Philosophy.
    4. Psychology 310, 390 and 500 are strongly recommended to students considering graduate study in Psychology or Cognitive Science.
  • Minor Requirements

    Twenty-four credits of Psychology.

  • Four credits from PSY, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Natural Sciences — Life Sciences.

Courses

  • PSY
    121
    .
    Introduction to Psychology
    4 credits
    $25
    MTH 099
    Survey of major areas of psychology: learning, perception and cognition, human development, individual differences, social psychology and abnormal psychology. Laboratory.
  • PSY
    *
    200
    .
    Animal Social Behavior
    4 credits
    PSY 121 or BIO 122 and Permission
    Introduction to the ethological approach: aggression, courtship, cooperation, social structure and means of communication in a variety of species. Includes laboratory and field experience in observation and recording of behavior.
  • PSY
    *
    201
    .
    Physiological Psychology
    4 credits
    $35
    PSY 121
    Study of physiological processes and structures underlying behavior and development. Laboratory techniques for investigation of electrical and chemical brain activity.
  • PSY
    *
    204
    .
    Sensation and Perception
    4 credits
    $5
    PSY 121
    Study of sensory processes and their relationship to human perception. Concentrates on vision and audition with attention to recent theoretical approaches to perception. Laboratory.
  • PSY
    *
    212
    .
    Personality I
    4 credits
    PSY 121
    Comparison of major conceptual and research strategies in study of personality: psychoanalytic tradition, trait and social learning theories, and humanistic, cognitive and biological approaches. Introduction to psychological testing and journal literature.
  • PSY
    *
    220
    .
    Statistics
    4 credits
    PSY 121
    Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics, and factorial analysis of variance. Appropriate for both life and social sciences.
  • PSY
    *
    225
    .
    Research Methods
    4 credits
    $5
    PSY 121 and 220
    Development of skills in conduct and assessment of experimental and field research and of sensitivity to ethical and social aspects of scientific inquiry. For students in psychology, education and business.
  • PSY
    *
    231
    .
    Developmental Psychology
    4 credits
    PSY 121
    Consideration of current theoretical perspectives and research on attachment, language acquisition, cognitive and moral development. Attention to role of ideological and philosophical commitments in study of development.
  • PSY
    *
    236
    .
    Social Psychology
    4 credits
    PSY 121 and SOA 101
    Consideration of current theory and research on person perception, social influence, attitude formation, intergroup relations, altruism and aggression. Emphasis on ethical and social issues in conduct and application of social psychological research.
  • PSY
    *
    240
    .
    Behavior Modification: Applied Psychology
    4 credits
    PSY 121
    Application of psychological principles to human concerns including teaching, child care, stress management, study skills, self-control and persuasion.
  • PSY
    *
    245
    .
    Human Sexuality
    4 credits
    PSY 121
    Examination of variety and origins of human sexuality from physiological, evolutionary and social-learning perspectives.
  • PSY
    *
    260
    .
    Psychology of Aging
    2 credits
    PSY 121
    Examination of current psychological theory and research concerning physical changes, cognition, personality and psychopathology in the later years of life.
  • PSY
    *
    275
    .
    Psychological Testing and Measurement
    2 credits
    PSY 121
    Consideration of principles involved in constructions, use and evaluation of tests of ability and personality. Application to such issues as personnel selection, sex differences and therapeutic practice. Emphasis on actual clinical data, ethical and value issues in test construction and use.
  • PSY
    *
    280
    .
    Topics in Psychology
    2-4 credits
    PSY 121; others as indicated
    Exploration of areas of mutual interest to instructor and students. Topics include depression, stress and coping, clinical interviewing and counseling, psychological problems of childhood, and neurological disorders. May be taken more than once for credit.
  • PSY
    *
    305
    .
    Motivation and Learning
    4 credits
    PSY 201 or 204; 220, 225 or Permission
    In-depth study of theoretical background and current research on motivation and learning among human and non-human species.
  • PSY
    *
    310
    .
    Cognition
    4 credits
    3 courses in PSY or Permission
    Consideration of the psychology of thinking: input, processing, storage and retrieval of information. Also explores categorization, concept formation, mental structure, language, reasoning, and problem solving.
  • PSY
    *
    312
    .
    Personality II
    4 credits
    PSY 121 and 212
    In-depth examination of personality theory and of major controversial issues in the contemporary literature.
  • PSY
    *
    314
    .
    Abnormal Psychology
    4 credits
    PSY 121 and 212
    Examination of characteristics, causes and treatment of such disorders as depression, schizophrenia and stress-related illness. Discussion of social and ethical issues. Application of material to actual case histories.
  • PSY
    *
    315
    .
    Introduction to Survey Research
    4 credits
    PSY 121 and either PSY 220 or MTH 116
    Introduction to sampling strategies, questionnaire construction, interviewing technique, coding of data and the analysis, interpretation and presentation of results. Emphasis on ethical and political considerations in conduct and application of survey research.
  • PSY
    *
    339
    .
    History and Systems
    2 credits
    PSY 121, 3 courses in PSY and Junior Standing
    Critical consideration of conceptual issues in psychology. Examination of role of internal and external contexts in its conduct and development.
  • PSY
    *
    385
    .
    Practicum
    2-4 credits
    PSY 121
    Participation in community institutions, agencies, schools and businesses combined with individual faculty supervision to allow students to apply concepts and locate literature relevant to their own experiences.
  • PSY
    *
    390
    .
    Clinical Field Experience
    4 credits
    PSY 121, 212, 240 or 280, and 314 or Permission
    Participation in programs in hospitals, agencies, schools, businesses or the judicial system. Faculty and on-site professionals provide intensive supervision. Students improve abilities to apply concepts, principles and techniques and reflect on significant conceptual, ethical and personal aspects of the experience in written papers and oral discussions.
  • PSY
    *
    399
    .
    Directed Reading/Research
    1-4 credits
    Permission
    Either (1) an individually-designed program of reading on a topic not covered by formal courses or (2) research experience on a faculty-directed project.
  • PSY
    *
    499
    .
    Independent Study
    2-4 credits
    Permission
    Planned program of reading in preparation for senior thesis.
  • PSY
    *
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    2-4 credits
    PSY 499, Senior Standing and Permission
    Development and conduct of original, independent, empirical investigation. Required for departmental honors.