Department of Psychology
Faculty in the Department of Psychology: Neil Schmitzer-Torbert (chair), Teresa Aubele, Preston Bost*^^ Charles Blaich+++, Karen Gunther*, Robert Horton, Eric Olofson, and Ryan Rush.
* Sabbatical leave, fall semester; ^^ Administrative Appointment, spring; +++ 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. Child Development: PSY 220
2. Social Psychology: PSY 222
3. Cognition: PSY 231
4. Sensation & Perception: PSY 232
5. Behavioral Neuroscience: PSY 233
• 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.
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
A survey of concepts, principles, and theories of an empirical science of behavior. Topics include behavioral biology, learning, memory, sensation, perception, cognition, motivation, emotion, social behavior, personality, and psychopathology. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester.
PSY 104 Introduction to Neuroscience
An introduction to the study of the nervous system, with a focus on basic anatomy and physiology. Students will learn about the basic organization of the nervous system, neurophysiology, sensory processing, movement, development, and neuroplasticity through a systems approach to brain function. Several laboratory experiences will be built into the course to reinforce the principles discussed in class. This course counts toward distribution credit in Natural Science and Mathematics. This course is offered in the spring semester.
PSY 105 Fatherhood
An introduction to the psychological research into issues surrounding fatherhood. Topics to be covered include the role of fathers in children’s development, the effect of being a father on adult development, men’s views on fatherhood, the effect of fatherhood on romantic relationships, and balancing work and home life.
PSY 110 Introductory Special Topics
Various topics at the introductory level may be offered from time to time.
PSY 201 Research Methods and Statistics I
An introduction to the principles and techniques involved in the design and analysis of psychological research. Development of abilities in quantitative analysis and reasoning, decision-making, and hypothesis testing are aided by conducting behavioral research projects. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 (may be taken concurrently).
PSY 202 Research Methods and Statistics II
A continuation of Research Methods and Statistics I, with a focus on more advanced research designs and statistical procedures. Students will conduct behavioral research projects. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester.
Prerequisite: PSY 201. Note: PSY 202 assumes mastery of the content from PSY 201; we strongly recommend that students take PSY 202 only if they received a grade of “C” or better in PSY 201.
PSY 210 Intermediate Special Topics
Various topics at the intermediate level may be offered from time to time.
PSY 211 Cross-Cultural Psychology
This course explores the ethnic and cultural sources of psychological diversity and unity through cross-cultural investigation. Topics include human development, perceptual & cognitive processes, intelligence, motives, beliefs & values, and gender relations.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
PSY 220 Child Development
This course explores the process of child development with particular emphases on cognitive and social development from infancy through early adolescence. We will discuss the development of observable behaviors such as language and aggression, the underlying mechanisms that guide and shape development, and empirically-grounded practical recommendations for fostering healthy development. Additional topics include the roles of nature and nurture in development, the formation of parent/child attachment, social cognition, autism, and peer relationships and their effect on social development. The methodologies used by researchers, and the appropriate interpretation of research findings, will be an emphasis throughout the course. Through weekly observations and naturalistic laboratory assignments in local preschools, students will learn and practice several of these research methodologies. This course is offered in the fall semester
Prerequisite: PSY 101 or PSY 105.
PSY 222 Social Psychology
A survey of research findings and methodologies of social psychology. Topic coverage deals with social perception, attitude formation, attitude change, and the psychology of group processes and interactions. Students are encouraged to develop their own research ideas. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: PSY 201 (may be taken concurrently).
PSY 223 Abnormal Psychology
An examination of the major disorders of human behavior, including their forms, origins, and determinants. Treatment strategies and issues are explored in depth. Emphasis on empirical studies and current research developments in psychopathology.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
PSY 231 Cognition
An overview of the major information-processing feats of the human mind, such as problem solving, reasoning, memory, language, visual perception, and the development of expertise. Students will explore the scientific techniques used to understand these invisible mental processes, and our current knowledge of how these processes are implemented in the brain. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: PSY 201 (may be taken concurrently).
PSY 232 Sensation and Perception
This course explores our sensory systems: vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell, and perhaps other systems such as balance. We will study both the anatomy underlying these systems as well as perceptual phenomena. Mini-labs are interspersed throughout the course to experience these phenomena. We will also read and discuss primary research articles related to the topics covered in class. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: PSY 104, BIO 101, or BIO 111 (may be taken concurrently); PSY 101 recommended.
PSY 233 Behavioral Neuroscience
An introduction to the biological bases of behavior. Examination of nervous system structure and function is followed by an examination of the neurophysiological foundations of motor ability, sexual behavior, ingestive behavior, sleep and arousal, learning and memory, reinforcement, and language. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: PSY 104, BIO 101, or BIO 111 (may be taken concurrently).
PSY 235 Cognitive Neuropsychology
This course examines deficits in human cognitive function resulting from brain damage. It draws on principles of neuroscience, psychology, and neurology for insights into how the brain mediates the ability to use and integrate capacities such as perception, language, actions, memory, and thought.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
PSY 287/288 Intermediate Research
Individual students will work with a faculty member to design and carry out intermediate level empirical or library research on a topic of their choice. A brief proposal outlining the work to be conducted, and an anticipated timetable for completion, must be approved by the faculty supervisor no later than two weeks following the first day of classes. If the faculty supervisor believes the project will require longer than one semester to complete, the student may be allowed to register for a one-year course (with no additional course credit); this should be determined prior to registration. Offered in the fall (287) and spring (288) semesters.
Prerequisite: PSY 201 (may be taken concurrently).
PSY 301 Literature Review in Psychology
An introduction to the principles of searching for and reporting on published literature in psychology. Students will learn strategies for searching databases, identifying credible sources, and developing a theoretical background on a topic. This course features extensive training and practice in writing APA-style manuscripts, and is intended to prepare students for PSY 495/496, Senior Project. This course is offered in the fall and spring semester.
Prerequisite: PSY 201.
PSY 310 Special Topics
Various topics at the advanced level may be offered from time to time.
PSY 320 Research in Developmental Psychology
This course will provide students with in-depth coverage of the methodological tools and statistical analyses used by developmental psychologists. Students will read and discuss contemporary research on a given topic that will vary from year to year. Students will gain experience analyzing complex data sets obtained from prior research or from a research project conducted with the professor. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY 202 (may be taken concurrently) and 220.
PSY 322 Research In Social Psychology
Students will cover a particular area of research in social psychology in more depth than is possible in a survey course. The topics covered will reflect contemporary issues in the field and may differ in different semesters. The course will cover primary research and theoretical works. A research proposal will be constructed, and students may carry out a research project in collaboration with the professor. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: PSY 202 and 222.
PSY 331 Research In Cognitive Psychology
This course is designed for students who have completed Cognitive Psychology (PSY 231) and are interested in conducting research on memory and other cognitive processes. Students will learn research techniques specific to cognitive research. Topics will vary from year to year and will include questions from both classic and contemporary cognitive psychology. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY 202 (may be taken concurrently) and 231.
PSY 332 Research In Sensation & Perception
In this course, students will conduct experiments involving at least two sensory systems, obtaining experience with psychophysical experimental methods. Students will write complete APA-style scientific papers for each experiment, including a clearly stated hypothesis, a brief literature review, a clear explanation of the methodology, application of the proper statistical techniques, an analysis of how the results supported or failed to support the hypothesis, and an abstract summarizing the experimental findings. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY 201 and 232.
PSY 333 Research In Behavioral Neuroscience
Students in this course will become involved with research in an area of behavioral neuroscience. The topic covered will reflect contemporary research issues in the field and may differ in different years. Major course components will be discussion of primary literature in neuroscience and collaboration with the professor in conducting and writing up an experiment that is directed toward possible publication. Recent topics have focused on memory and drug addiction, and how neural recordings are used to understand how information is encoded by the brain. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: PSY 201 and 233.
PSY 387/388 Advanced Research
Individual students will work with a faculty member to design and carry out empirical or library research on a topic of their choice. This advanced-level project requires that students become well versed with the primary literature of the field. Prior to registering, the student should discuss his research idea with (and obtain the approval of) the faculty member who will supervise the project. A brief proposal outlining the work to be conducted and an anticipated timetable for completion must be approved by the faculty supervisor no later than two weeks following the first day of classes; students not meeting this deadline must drop the course until a later semester. If the faculty supervisor believes the project will require longer than one semester to complete, the student may be allowed to register for a one-year course (with no additional course credits); this should be determined prior to registration. Typically, one-half course credit is granted for a faculty-directed project. If the student is primarily responsible for designing and carrying out an independent project, a full course credit may be given (this must be determined prior to registration). In either case, completion of the course requires submission of an APA-style written report (to the faculty supervisor) and a 15-minute oral presentation of the project to psychology faculty and students prior to final examination week of the semester the grade is awarded. Offered in the fall (387) and spring (388) semesters.
Prerequisites: PSY 202, completion of at least one intermediate-advanced course sequence, and permission of instructor.
Credits: 1 or 1/2
PSY 495/496 Senior Project
Students in this two half-course sequence will complete a year-long capstone project intended to integrate the content and skills they have learned in the major and develop expertise in an area of interest. This project will consist of either an empirical study or a community-based practicum. The empirical study will be one that the student plans and carries out with general guidance from a faculty mentor. For the community-based practicum option, students will work with a professional involved in the delivery of psychological services. All projects will culminate in an APA-style manuscript, poster presentation, and a talk at a regional undergraduate research conference. Students intending to register for PSY 495 must first meet with a faculty member in the Psychology Department to choose which type of project they wish to pursue and to propose an area of specialty. PSY 495 is offered in the fall semester and PSY 496 is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: PSY 202, PSY 301 (may be taken concurrently), completion of at least one intermediate-advanced course sequence, and permission of instructor.
Credits: 1/2 credit for each course
MAJORS, MINORS AND OTHER PROGRAMS OF STUDY
- ACCOUNTING (DUAL-DEGREE)
- COMPUTER SCIENCE (MINOR)
- EDUCATION STUDIES (MINOR)
- ENGINEERING (DUAL-DEGREE)
- GENDER STUDIES (MINOR)
- INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (MINOR)
- MODERN LANGUAGES
- MULTICULTURAL AMER. STUDIES (MINOR)
- PRE-MEDICINE (PRE-PROFESSIONAL)
- POLITICAL SCIENCE