College of Arts and Sciences
General Information  |  Academic Information  |  Departments and Programs  |  Faculty
Course Descriptions

Department of Psychology

102 Gilmer Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400
(434) 982-4750 Fax: (434) 982-4766

Overview Psychology is the scientific study of behavior. It ranges from studies of human development and complex thought processes to social relations, brain and neural mechanisms, psychopathology and beyond. The requirements for the major are designed to ensure breadth of coverage, but to allow flexibility in selecting courses according to each student’s interests. Opportunities for independent work are available in research and field experience through internship.

In addition to gaining a general liberal arts degree, training in the subject matter and methodology of psychology (including experimental methodology and statistics and an appreciation of the relatively unique ways psychologists view human behavior) is excellent preparation for a variety of careers.

Faculty The department of psychology has approximately thirty-five active full-time faculty members in seven broad areas of specialization: clinical, cognitive, community, developmental, psychobiology, quantitative, and social. Faculty members are active scholars, with numerous research grants, books, and other scientific publications to their credit. Specific areas of faculty interest include adolescence, aging, behavioral development, behavioral genetics, deception, emotion, family studies, interpersonal processes, language and communication, neurobiology and behavior, perception and perceptual development, personality and individual differences, psychological intervention, psychology and law, psychopathology, public policy, social cognition, social development, social ecology and development, and women, ethnic, and minority studies.

Students Psychology is a popular liberal arts major, with 250-300 students graduating each year with a bachelor’s degree. An extensive array of courses is offered throughout the department. Lower-level courses in the major are usually large lectures (one hundred to three hundred students) and are taught exclusively by faculty members. These courses are often supplemented with required or optional discussion sections led by graduate teaching assistants to provide more personalized contact. Upper-level seminars are also taught by faculty and are usually limited to twenty-five students to facilitate active discussion. In the third or fourth year, many majors earn credit by working directly with faculty or graduate students on research projects.

Becoming a professional psychologist, like becoming a doctor or lawyer, requires post-graduate training in one of many areas. Traditional research areas include cognitive, developmental, psychobiology, quantitative and social psychology. Persons interested in these areas usually pursue a doctoral degree. Applied areas include clinical, community, industrial/organizational, counseling, educational psychology and school psychology. Careers in these areas are usually possible at the master’s or doctoral level. Students who do not choose to pursue graduate degrees in psychology often enter the job market in human service delivery areas or positions requiring a general liberal arts degree. Psychology is also an entry degree for graduate programs in social work, education, medicine, and law.

Requirements for Major Students electing psychology as their major subject are required to take Psychology 101 (before declaring the major), and to have an overall grade of C or better in Psychology 101 and a minimum 2.000 GPA for all courses completed in this department. The 2.000 GPA for department courses must be maintained throughout the major. Students are also required to take at least 30 credits in psychology at the 200-level or higher including PSYC 305,306. PSYC 305 is a prerequisite to 306; students must obtain a grade of C- or better in these two courses. To ensure breadth, the major program must also include at least one 200-level course from each of the following three groups: (1) PSYC 210, 215 and 230; (2) PSYC 220, 221, and 222; and (3) PSYC 240, 250 and 260. In addition to these 6 core courses, the psychology major must include at least six credits of advanced course work in courses with numbers higher than 306. At least three of these six credits must be at the 400- or 500-level. (Research in Psychology, Directed Readings in Psychology, Internship, and PSYC 529 do not count towards the six credits of advanced course work).

Requirements for Minor Students electing to minor in psychology are required to take a minimum of 16 credits at the 200 level or higher and must include at least three credits of course work at the 400 or 500 level (excluding internship, directed readings, research in psychology, and PSYC529). The minor’s program must also include PSYC 305 and 306 with minimum grades of C- in each. To declare a minor, a student must have successfully completed PSYC 305 by the end of the sixth semester. In addition, a student must have completed PSYC 101 or any 200-level PSYC course, and have an overall GPA of 2.000 for all courses completed in this department. The student must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.000 for all courses taken in this department.

Distinguished Majors Program in Psychology Outstanding majors with an overall GPA of 3.400 may apply at the beginning of the sixth semester. The program includes a thesis (PSYC 497 or 498) and additional course requirements.

Additional Information For more information about the major, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Psychology, Gilmer Hall, P.O. Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400; (434) 982-4750; www.virginia.edu/psychology.

Course Descriptions


PSYC 101 - (3) (S)
General Psychology
Overview of psychology from both the natural science and social science perspectives. Topics include biological bases of behavior, sensory and perceptual processes, learning, motivation, thought, maturational and developmental changes, individual differences, personality, social behavior, and abnormal psychology. In some terms an optional one credit discussion section (graded S/U) is offered.

PSYC 210 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Learning
Analyzes the concepts, problems, and research methodology in the study of processes basic to learning and motivation.

PSYC 215 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Cognition
Cognition is the activity of knowing: the acquisition, organization, and use of knowledge. Emphasizing fundamental issues, this course introduces such basic content areas in cognitive psychology as perception, memory, language, cognitive development, and philosophy of science.

PSYC 220 - (3) (S)
A Survey of the Neural Basis of Behavior
After an overview of brain organization and function, the course examines what we know about the physiological bases of several behaviors including sensation and perception, learning, memory, sleep development, hunger, thirst, and emotions. (In some terms, there will be an optional 1-credit discussion section.) Credit is not given for both PSYC 220 and PSYC 222.

PSYC 221 - (3) (IR)
Animal Behavior
Studies animal behavior considered from an evolutionary and ecological perspective. Topics include the basic mechanisms of evolution of social behavior in animals with particular emphasis upon mating systems; ecological constraints on modes of animal communication; and quantitative analysis of social communication.

PSYC 222 - (4) (IR)
Principles of Psychobiology
An enriched section of PSYC 220 that includes laboratory demonstrations, group discussions and individual projects. Enrollment is limited to 20 first- and second-year students who demonstrate outstanding aptitude and interest in this area. When offered, applications are available from the instructor at times publicized in the list of course offerings distributed by the psychology department. Three lecture hours plus discussion section. Credit is not given for both PSYC 220 and PSYC 222.

PSYC 230 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Perception
Prerequisite: Mathematics at least up to trigonometry recommended.
Study of selected topics in perception, particularly visual perception; the role of stimulus variables, learning and motivation of perception. (In some terms an optional one-credit discussion section is offered.)

PSYC 240 - (3) (S)
Introduction to Personality Psychology
Introduces the major approaches, methods, and findings in the field of personality psychology. Topics include sex-typing, identification and observational learning, frustration and aggression, stress, anxiety, defense, self-control, altruism, self-concepts, authoritarianism, achievement motivation, and sensation-seeking. (In some terms, an optional 1-credit discussion section is available.)

PSYC 250 - (4) (S)
Introduction to Child Psychology
Introduces the biological, cognitive and social development of the child. Topics include the child’s emotional, perceptual, and intellectual development; and the development of personality and socialization. (In some terms, there is an optional 1-credit discussion section.)

PSYC 260 - (4) (S)
Introduction to Social Psychology
Surveys major topics in social psychology, including personal perception and social cognition, attitudes and persuasion, interpersonal influence, interpersonal attraction, and helping relationships. Considers research theory and applications of social psychology. Three lecture hours plus discussion section.

PSYC 305, 306 - (4) (S)
Research Methods and Data Analysis
Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or any 200-level PSYC course and at least fourth-semester standing for PSYC 305; PSYC 305 with a C- or better for PSYC 306.
Introduces research methods in psychology, including computer-controlled experimentation, integrated with computer-based exploratory data analysis, and elementary statistical analysis. Three lecture hours, two laboratory hours.

PSYC 307 - (3) (IR)
History of Psychology
Studies the philosophical background of contemporary psychology, with emphasis upon the 20th-century "schools" of psychology.

PSYC 311 - (3) (IR)
Psychology of Language
Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or 215 or instructor permission.
Introduces the cognitive psychology of language focusing on language as a cognitive process.

PSYC 321 - (3) (S)
Psychobiology Laboratory
Prerequisite/corequisite: PSYC 220 or 420; PSYC 305 recommended.
Develops skills necessary for the study of neural bases of behavior, such as brain dissection, implanting electrodes into brain tissues, lesions, behavioral procedures and histology. Four laboratory hours.

PSYC 341 - (3) (Y)
Abnormal Psychology
Prerequisite: Six credits of psychology or instructor permission.
Introduces psychopathology with a focus on specific forms of abnormal behavior: depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and personality disorders. (In some terms, an optional 1-credit discussion section is available.)

PSYC 344 - (3) (IR)
Child Psychopathology
Prerequisite: Six credits of PSYC or instructor permission; PSYC 250 recommended.
Overview of the description, cause and treatment of various psychological disorders of childhood.

PSYC 346 - (4) (Y)
Psychological Study of Children, Families, and the Law
Prerequisite: Nine credits in psychology (including either PSYC 250 or 352 and PSYC 305) or instructor permission.
Can psychology research and theory inform the law as it relates to children and families? This course provides an overview of the issues emphasizing psychological knowledge and its present and possible future contributions. Three lecture hours, two laboratory hours.

PSYC 352 - (3) (IR)
Adolescence: Theory and Development
Overview of theories of development, research areas related to and problems most frequently observed in children beginning in elementary school and extending to adulthood.

PSYC 353 - (3) (IR)
Development in Infancy
Prerequisite: PSYC 250 or instructor permission.
After consideration of the sensory, motor, and homeostatic equipment of the newborn, the following lines of development during the first two years of life is traced in some detail: locomotor, perceptual, cognitive, social, and emotional development. The effects on development of environmental influences, including parental behavior are considered, as well as the effect the infant has on his caregivers.

PSYC 364 - (3) (Y)
Nonverbal Communication
Overview of theory, research, and application in nonverbal communication. Topics include the role of nonverbal communication in deception, persuasion, impression-management, intimacy, and power. Discussion of the importance of nonverbal communication in psychopathology and psychotherapy, in doctor-patient relationships, in job interviews, in advertising, and in the courtroom.

PSYC 385, 386, 485, 486 - (2) (S)
Directed Readings in Psychology
Prerequisite: 14 credits in psychology and instructor permission.
Critical examination of an important current problem area in psychology. (May be repeated.)

PSYC 387 - (1) (S)
Seminar for Distinguished Majors
Prerequisite: Open only to students in the Distinguished Majors Program for Psychology. S/U grading.
Topics include the design of independent research projects, ethical considerations in research, computer applications, and preparation for a career in psychology.

PSYC 395, 396, 495, 496 - (3) (S)
Research in Psychology
Prerequisite: 14 credits of psychology and instructor permission. S/U grading.
An original experimental project is undertaken in which each student is responsible for the design and operation of the experiment. (This course may be repeated.)

PSYC 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406. 407, 408, 409 - (3) (S)
Topical Seminars
Prerequisite: Third- or fourth-year major or instructor permission.
Seminars on special and current topics in psychology. May be repeated for credit.

PSYC 411 - (3) (IR)
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Topics include psychological and linguistic theory; experimental and empirical studies of linguistic usage; development of language in infants and children; cross-cultural studies of linguistic usage; and the biology of language.

PSYC 412 - (3) (IR)
Psychology of Reading
Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or 215 or instructor permission.
Analyzes the critical psychological experiments which have influenced the way that psychologists consider topics in reading, such as text comprehension, parsing, and sentence processing.

PSYC 414 - (3) (IR)
Studies the nature of mental images and their role in memory, thought, and creativity.

PSYC 415 - (3) (IR)
Cognitive Processes
Prerequisite: Twelve credits of psychology or instructor permission.
Explores, in depth, the life of the mind. Topics may include pattern recognition; observational skills; remembering; language and thought; categorization; the nature of similarity; discovery and invention; problem and puzzle solution; animal cognition; and views of intelligence in humans and machines.

PSYC 416 - (3) (IR)
Thinking about Thinking
Prerequisite: PSYC 215 and 306, or instructor permission.
Examines various abilities that fall under the term "thinking," including deductive and inductive reasoning, categorization, analogy, decision making, and problem solving. Looks at how these skills are used in everyday life and asks how they can be improved or taught.

PSYC 417 - (3) (IR)
The Mind of the Puzzler
Prerequisite: Upper-level standing with six credits of PSYC or instructor permission.
Explores what is involved in making and solving sophisticated word puzzles, with the aim of coming to understand the nature of expertise and the processes of discovery.

PSYC 418 - (3) (Y)
Invention and Design
Prerequisite: ENWR 110 or STS 101 or instructor permission.
Collaborative learning environment that enables students to understand the way in which technology is created and improved and to become better designers. Includes readings from psychology, history, computing, ethics, and engineering. Cross-listed as STS 315.

PSYC 419 - (3) (IR)
Scientific and Technological Thinking
Prerequisite: Nine credits of psychology including PSYC 305, 306.
Explores the ways scientists and inventors think, using concepts, theories, and methods borrowed from several disciplines, but focusing especially on psychology. Topics include experimental simulations of scientific reasoning, a cognitive framework for understanding creativity, and modeling discovery on a computer. Cross-listed as STS 313.

PSYC 420 - (3) (Y)
Neural Mechanisms of Behavior
Prerequisite: PSYC 220 or 222, or instructor permission; prerequisite or corequisite: PSYC 321 recommended.
Introduces basic concepts in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neurochemistry needed for an understanding of brain and behavior.

PSYC 429 - (3) (IR)
Psychology of Aging
Prerequisite: 9 credit hours of psychology or instructor permission; recommended courses include PSYC 220, 305, and 321 or 420.
Seminar on current topics in gerontology, using multiple levels of analysis to understand developmental changes across late adulthood. Covers issues regarding biological, psychological and sociological aspects of the aging process, emphasizing cognitive changes and their underlying neurobiology.

PSYC 430 - (3) (IR)
Theories of Perception
Prerequisite: PSYC 230 or instructor permission.
Perception is the means by which we become aware of the world and of ourselves. This seminar presents an overview of theories about perception including the following perspectives: philosophy, physiology, Gestalt psychology, cognitive psychology, ecology, and artificial intelligence.

PSYC 443 - (3) (IR)
Community Psychology
Prerequisite: PSYC 101 and one other introductory course in social science (e.g., anthropology, sociology, political science) or instructor permission.
Introduces the major issues, methods and findings in the field of community psychology. Topics include the creation of settings, history and action, ecological approaches, institutional change, problems of innovation and implementation, community mental health, and evaluation research.

PSYC 444 - (3) (Y)
Prerequisite: PSYC 306 and either PSYC 341 or 344 or instructor permission.
Provides an understanding and appreciation of the contributions of possible genetic and psychosocial factors to individual differences with respect to developing schizophrenia.

PSYC 445 - (3) (IR)
Introduction to Clinical Psychology
Prerequisite: PSYC 341 and PSYC 305.
Overview of issues in clinical psychology including the scientific-practitioner model of training, reliability and validity of assessment techniques, validity of clinical judgment, and the effectiveness of psychological treatments.

PSYC 446 - (3) (Y)
Women’s Issues in Clinical Psychology
Prerequisite: PSYC 341 and PSYC 306 or instructor permission.
Studies current research and historical perspectives on clinical psychology issues as they pertain uniquely to women. Topics vary and may include eating disorders, battered women, pregnancy, and aging.

PSYC 449 - (3) (IR)
Sexual Orientation and Human Development
Prerequisite: Third- or fourth-year psychology major or instructor permission.
Overview of research and theory related to sexual orientation across the lifespan from the standpoint of the social sciences. Topics include conceptualization of sexual identities, origins and development of sexual orientation, sexual identity formation and disclosure. Selected issues such as couple relationships, employment and careers, parenthood, and aging are also explored, since they may be effected by sexual orientation.

PSYC 450 - (3) (IR)
Children at Risk
Prerequisite: PSYC 250 or PSYC 344, and PSYC 306, or instructor permission.
Explores a developmental approach to behavior disorders that is oriented to early identification. Precursor characteristics are studied that make possible the detection of risk groups for several disorders.

PSYC 451 - (4) (IR)
The Psychological Study of the Child
Prerequisite: PSYC 250 and 305 or instructor permission.
Introduces the methodological issues and problems involved in studying children is complemented by first-hand experience in both naturalistic and laboratory settings. Emphasizes current issues in developmental psychology. Two class hours, four laboratory hours.

PSYC 452 - (3) (IR)
Parent-Child Interaction
Prerequisite: PSYC 250 or 344 and PSYC 305, 306, or instructor permission.
Examines theory and research on parent-child relationships across the life-span. Includes the transition to parenthood, parent-child relations in infancy through adolescence, and intervention approaches for high-risk families.

PSYC 454 - (3) (IR)
Family Relations
Prerequisite: Upper level major or instructor permission.
Furthers an understanding of family functioning and its impact on human development and the adjustment of family members. Emphasizes understanding family theories, research findings, and learning to apply frequently used strategies and methods in the study of family relations.

PSYC 456 - (3) (IR)
Friendship Development
Prerequisite: Twelve credits of psychology or instructor permission.
Examines the development of interpersonal relationships across the lifespan. Discusses the importance of friends, acquaintances, and the sorts of friends found in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

PSYC 461 - (3) (IR)
Intimate Relationships
Prerequisite: PSYC 260 and PSYC 305, 306, or instructor permission.
Social psychological study of the formation, maintenance, and breakdown of intimate relationships. Emphasizes the theoretical understanding of relationships in the context of scientific research findings.

PSYC 462 - (3) (IR)
Group Dynamics: Theory and Research
Prerequisite: PSYC 260 or instructor permission.
Analyzes factors influencing group problem solving, group decision-making, and group performance.

PSYC 463 - (3) (IR)
Social and Interpersonal Perception: Theory and Research
Prerequisite: PSYC 260 or instructor permission.
Analyzes cultural and group influences on perception, the perception of interpersonal intentions, impression formation, and the contributions of social psychological theory to these and other problems.

PSYC 465 - (4) (IR)
Psychology of Oppression and Social Change
Prerequisite: Open to psychology majors who have taken at least one course from each of the following groups: PSYC 210, 215 or 230, and PSYC 240, 250 or 260, and students in the Afro-American and African studies or studies in women and gender programs.
Analyzes oppression and its amelioration in modern American society. Three lecture hours, two laboratory hours.

PSYC 466 - (3) (IR)
Stress and Coping
Prerequisite: PSYC 305, 306 or instructor permission.
Overview of research paradigms and theories in the field of stress and coping, emphasizing a phenomenological, cognitive approach. Not designed to provide stress management skills.

PSYC 468 - (3) (IR)
Psychology and Law: Cognitive and Social Issues
Prerequisite: PSYC 215 or 260; PSYC 306.
Examines issues for which cognitive and social psychology may be able to inform the legal system. Topics include eyewitness testimony, recovered memories, line-ups, expert testimony, jury selection, trial tactics, jury decision making, jury instructions, and the use of statistics in the courtroom.

PSYC 469 - (3) (IR)
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Prerequisite: PSYC 305, 306.
Studies theories and processes in industrial and organizational psychology through a scientist-practitioner approach. Topics include employee selection and training, performance appraisal, motivation, job satisfaction, leadership, human factors, and organizational development and change.

PSYC 471 - (3) (Y)
Cultural Psychology
Prerequisite: PSYC 305 and either PSYC 250 or 260, or fourth-year anthropology majors.
Studies how cultures build minds, and how minds then vary across cultures. Readings include ethnography and experimental psychology. Topics include childrearing, emotion, morality, and cognition.

PSYC 475 - (3) (IR)
Prerequisite: PSYC 306.
Studies cognitive, physiological, social, personality, and experiential aspects of emotion. Emphasizes normal emotional processes in humans, but may also include abnormal and animal emotion processes.

PSYC 481 - (3) (IR)
How to Do Things With Numbers
Prerequisite: One 300-level course in statistics.
Hands-on introduction to the handling and presentation of data in the social sciences. Uses data collected by the students to teach how to explore data in the hopes of revealing unsuspected patterns, and how to summarize data for public presentation and publication.

PSYC 487 - (3) (IR)
The Minority Family: A Psychological Inquiry
Prerequisite: PSYC 306 and at least one course from each of the following groups: PSYC 210, 215 or 230, and PSYC 240, 250 or 260, and students in the Afro-American and African studies or studies in women and gender programs.
Examines the current state of research on minority families, focusing on the black family. Emphasizes comparing "deficit" and "strength" research paradigms.

PSYC 491, 492 - (4) (Y)
Undergraduate Internship
Prerequisite: Fourth-year psychology major with at least 14 credits in psychology, and instructor permission. S/U grading.
An internship placement arranged by the supervising faculty. Students work 10 to 20 hours per week in various community agencies, such as health care delivery, social services, or juvenile justice. Requires written reports, as well as regular class meetings with supervising faculty in order to analyze the internship experience, engage in specific skill training, and discuss assigned readings. Apply in February of third year.

PSYC 493, 494 - (2) (Y)
Undergraduate Internship Program Supplement
Corequisite: PSYC 491, 492; and instructor permission. S/U grading.
Provides students in certain placements with the opportunity for a more in-depth and extensive internship program year. Background: some placements (e.g., with courts) demand 20 hours per week of field experience rather than the 10 in PSYC 491, 492. Simultaneous enrollment in this course provides appropriate credits for the additional 10 hours of field work.

PSYC 497, 498 - (3) (Y)
Distinguished Major Thesis
Prerequisite: Participants in the Distinguished Majors Program in Psychology.
A two-semester course in which the student prepares a thesis under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. The thesis may be based on empirical research conducted by the student or a critical review or theoretical analysis of existing findings.

PSYC 520 - (3) (Y)
Seminar in Psychobiology
Prerequisite: PSYC 220, 222, or 420.
Examines a major subject in psychobiology.

PSYC 521 - (3) (IR)
Developmental Psychobiology
Prerequisite: PSYC 220, 222 or 420 or instructor permission.
Examines behavior and neural development with an emphasis on animal models. Topics include the role of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors in directing maturation, attachment and early learning, theoretical conceptions of development, and regulatory mechanisms.

PSYC 524 - (3) (IR)
Primate Behavior
Prerequisite: Twelve credits in psychology or instructor permission.
Examines the variety of nonhuman primates in natural, zoo and laboratory settings. Emphasizes a comparison of nonhuman primates to humans in the areas of sensory-motor, socialization, cognitive, intellectual, language, and social organization development; and in the problem areas of abnormal development (e.g., social isolation, neurosis, incest, drug problems).

PSYC 525 - (3) (IR)
Hormones and Behavior
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Examines the role of hormones in mediating and modulating many complex behaviors such as memory, aggression, sexual behavior, and regulatory actions between hormones and the brain.

PSYC 526 - (3) (IR)
Psychobiology and Memory
Prerequisite: PSYC 220, 222, or 420.
Studies the major theories, findings, and conceptual issues important to an analysis of the neuronal mechanisms that underlie memory storage.

PSYC 527 - (3) (IR)
Chemistry of Synaptic Transmission
Prerequisite: PSYC 420.
Studies neurochemistry, physiology and anatomy of neurotransmitter systems. Cross-listed as NESC 727.

PSYC 529 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Psychobiology Laboratory|
Prerequisite: PSYC 321 and instructor permission.
Each student helps design and carry out an original research project related to neural bases of behavior. Six laboratory hours.

PSYC 531 - (3) (IR)
Functional Neuroanatomy
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or PSYC 420.
Overview of the structure of the mammalian central nervous system, organized around the various functional subunits of the brain.

PSYC 532 - (3) (IR)
Chemical Senses: Taste and Smell
Prerequisite: PSYC 220, 222, or 420 or instructor permission.
Explores the neurobiology of the chemical senses by examining the biophysical basis of sensory transduction, the anatomical organization of two systems, and the physiological properties of peripheral and central structures along the gustatory and olfactory pathways. Emphasizes new, important findings in taste and smell.

PSYC 533 - (3) (IR)
Neural Network Models of Cognition and Brain Computation
Prerequisite: Must be PC-literate and willing to program.
Introduces, from an elementary but somewhat mathematical viewpoint, the newly developing field of neural networks. Examines the basic principles of neural network theory as it relates to biological neural networks.

PSYC 535 - (3) (IR)
Neurochemical Systems in Learning and Memory
Prerequisite: PSYC 220 or 222, or instructor permission.
Examines historical and current theories implicating the involvement of specific neurotransmitter, amino-acid, and peptide systems in regulating learning and the encoding of memory. Provides an extensive review of the literature in order to understand mechanisms by which chemical compounds modify learning and the brain sites where neurochemicals exert their effects.

PSYC 540 - (3) (IR)
Personality Theory in Psychotherapy
Prerequisite: Twelve credits of psychology or instructor permission.
Overview of personality theories in psychology, especially those found useful in psychotherapy; includes experimental and theoretical problems in the study of personality.

PSYC 541 - (3) (IR)
Special Issues in the Psychological Study of Children, Families, and the Law
Prerequisite: PSYC 346 or instructor permission.
Examines two topics that relate to children, families and the law, such as adolescent decision-making in the legal system, domestic violence, and child custody.

PSYC 554 - (3) (IR)
Theories of Cognitive Development
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Studies current theories of cognitive development from birth through adolescence. Includes the views of Piaget, Werner, Bruner, G. H. Mead, and others; cybernetic approaches covered briefly; with some discussion of the measurement and assessment of cognitive processes.

PSYC 555 - (3) (Y)
Developmental Psycholinguistics
Prerequisite: Upper-level psychology major or linguistics student, or graduate student in Arts and Sciences or Education.
Examines current research and theoretical models of children’s language acquisition. Topics include normal children’s acquisition of spoken language skills, and the development of communication skills in deaf, autistic, and other groups of language-handicapped children.

PSYC 557 - (3) (IR)
The Nature-Nurture Debate
Prerequisite: PSYC 306 or graduate standing.
History of the debate generated by the study of genes and environment in the development of human behavior and consideration of the debate’s current status.

PSYC 559 - (3) (IR)
Measurement of Group Differences Across the Lifespan
Prerequisite: PSYC 306.
Studies measurement topics from various domains of developmental psychology which influence interpretations of group differences across the lifespan. Includes major studies of cognitive, social, and clinical psychology from a lifespan developmental perspective as they illustrate critical concerns for understanding group differences.

PSYC 560 - (3) (IR)
Dynamical Systems in Social Behavior
Prerequisite: PSYC 260 and PSYC 230. Completion of PSYC 305, 306 is strongly recommended.
Applies dynamical systems theory to the analysis of action, interaction, and interpersonal relationships. Includes a review of research employing dynamical systems models and analytic techniques, and close consideration of the application of these ideas to psychological contexts.

PSYC 565 - (3) (IR)
Psychology of Morality
Prerequisite: PSYC 305 and 12 additional credits in PSYC, graduate standing, or instructor permission.
Studies why people care so much about what other people do. Readings include primatology, anthropology, philosophy, and psychology. Topics include evolution, cultural variation, sociopathy, and the moralization of the body.

PSYC 578 - (3) (IR)
Psychometric Advances in the Study of Human Abilities
Prerequisite: PSYC 306.
Studies human abilities across various domains in psychology. Includes major theories of intelligence and their measurement advances in various domains (reasoning, verbal, quantitative, and spatial ability) from biological, developmental, and socio-cultural perspectives.

PSYC 581, 582, 583, 584 - (3) (S)
Current Topics in Psychology
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Seminars on special and current topics in psychology. May be repeated for credit.

Undergraduate Record Home  |  College of Arts & Sciences