Department of Psychology
Faculty in the Department of Psychology: Neil Schmitzer-Torbert (chair), Preston Bost^^^, Charles Blaich+++, Karen Gunther, Robert Horton, Eric Olofson***, and Ryan Rush.
*** On leave, full year; ^^^ Administrative Appointment, full year; +++ Administrative leave, full year
Psychology is defined as “the science of behavior and mental processes, and the application of research findings to the solution of problems.” This definition encompasses an enormous number of specialty areas, and psychologists are the most diverse group of people in our society to share the same title. The core goals of the Psychology Department are:
• CONTENT: to acquire a degree of mastery of both factual and conceptual knowledge in several areas of psychology.
• THINKING SKILLS: to become habitually inquisitive, trustful of reason, and honest in facing personal biases; to actively evaluate knowledge and ideas.
• SELF-EXPRESSION: to become competent and confident in the oral and written skills needed to speak and write with facility and sophistication about psychological issues and research.
• THE METHODOLOGY OF PSYCHOLOGY: to acquire the ability to use the scientific method to generate and answer significant questions in an ethical manner; to demonstrate quantitative literacy, and to become increasingly independent in posing questions and pursuing answers through several research strategies.
• PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIETY: to understand the nature of the complex relationship between psychological inquiry and social policy; to think critically about how the results of psychological research are used and how they might be used in the future.
• HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: to understand and be able to evaluate critically the diversity of viewpoints about human nature and behavior represented over the course of psychology’s history.
Requirements for the Major:
• Introductory: Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101)
• Research: Research Methods & Statistics I and II (PSY 201 and 202). Students are encouraged to begin this sequence in their sophomore year, especially if they are interested in graduate school or wish to study off-campus.
• Writing: Literature Review (PSY 301)
• Intermediate-Advanced Course Sequences: Any two of the following five two-course sequences:
1. PSY 220: Child Development—PSY 320: Research in Development
2. PSY 222: Social Psychology—PSY 322: Research in Social Psychology
3. PSY 231: Cognition—PSY 331: Research in Cognitive Psychology
4. PSY 232: Sensation & Perception—PSY 332: Research in Sensation & Perception
5. PSY 233: Behavioral Neuroscience—PSY 333: Research in Behavioral Neuroscience
• Experimental-Physiological: At least one of the following four intermediate courses:
1. PSY 231: Cognition
2. PSY 232: Sensation and Perception
3. PSY 233: Behavioral Neuroscience
4. PSY 235: Cognitive Neuropsychology
Note: Completion of any of the following sequences also fulfills the Experimental-Physiological requirement: PSY 231/331, PSY 232/332, or PSY 233/333.
• Senior Project: PSY 495/496
• Additional courses to bring total Psychology course credits to a minimum of nine.
Note: Students planning to apply to graduate school are strongly urged to take the maximum of 11 course credits.
• Biology Course: Psychology majors are required to take one of the following courses: PSY 104, BIO 101, or BIO 111. This course should be taken by the end of the sophomore year.
• Written Senior Comprehensive Examinations in Psychology require majors to (1) organize and synthesize information to support their thoughts on questions of broad interest to psychologists, (2) to demonstrate knowledge across major content areas of Psychology, and (3) to demonstrate competence with the scientific method and statistics.
• Faculty Advisors: Majors are strongly urged to select an advisor from the Psychology Department when they declare their major.
Requirements for the Minor:
• Introductory: Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101)
• Research & Methods: Research Methods and Statistics I: (PSY 201)
• At least one of following five courses:
1. PSY 220: Child Development
2. PSY 222: Social Psychology
3. PSY 231: Cognition
4. PSY 232: Sensation & Perception
5. PSY 233: Behavioral Neuroscience
• Additional courses to bring total Psychology course-credits to a minimum of five. Students are strongly encouraged to take one upper level course that follows one of the seven listed above.
Off-Campus Study: Psychology majors and minors considering taking courses at other campuses, or abroad, should be aware that it is difficult to meet our PSY 201 and 202 requirements at other schools. Because both courses combine research methods and statistics, most off-campus statistics courses do not substitute for either requirement. This means you should plan to take PSY 201 and 202 at Wabash. Permission to spend the junior year abroad requires completion of PSY 201 and 202 prior to going off campus.
Advanced Placement Credit: Students who earned a score of 4 or above on the Psychology Advanced Placement exam may earn credit for PSY 101 by taking any 200-level Psychology course and completing it with a grade of B- or better. The department recommends against taking PSY 201 as a first course in Psychology; students wishing to earn this credit should consult the chair of the Psychology Department for assistance in selecting an appropriate course. SUCH PSY 101 CREDIT DOES NOT COUNT TOWARD A MAJOR OR MINOR IN PSYCHOLOGY.
Secondary Licensure Program: The Department of Education Studies offers a minor in Education Studies, and an additional licensure preparation program for students interested in becoming licensed to teach at the secondary level (middle and high school grades 5-12). With a major in this department and a minor in Education Studies, students may also choose to complete the licensure preparation program by applying in the spring of the junior year. For more information about the licensure program, students are advised to meet with faculty in the Department of Education Studies. Requirements for the minor and licensure preparation program are outlined in the Department of Education Studies section of the Academic Bulletin.