Professors: Batsell (Chair), Boatwright, Érdi, Fletcher, Gregg (Chair), Hostetter, Langeland, Liu, Perry, Tan
Psychology, broadly defined, is the study of animal and human behavior as well as human experience. The discipline involves the use of scientific methods in the discovery of facts and confirmation of theory as well as applications to problems. The major, therefore, includes a focus on the understanding and use of research skills and techniques. Psychology is a diverse field with important connections to biology, education, philosophy, and sociology. Increasingly, psychologists may be found in business, industry, education, government, and medicine, as well as in the more traditional areas of research and mental health.
Given its diversity and connections to other disciplines, psychology is a reasonable choice of major for students who seek a broad liberal arts undergraduate education. Psychology is also a practical major for those who seek careers immediately after graduation in fields where interacting with other people is primary—management, criminal justice, or human services, for example.
Psychology majors may choose to pursue advanced degrees in three general directions: one, as scientists, leading to careers in higher education or research settings; two, as practitioners, leading to roles as clinicians, school psychologists, industrial psychologists, and health psychologists; and three, as professionals in other fields such as law, medicine, and business administration.
Students with an Advanced Placement (AP) score of 4 or 5 on the Psychology Exam will be granted credit in PSYC 101. This credit will satisfy the PSYC 101 prerequisite for upper-level psychology classes.
Requirements for the Major in Psychology
Number of Units
Nine psychology units are required (SIP units do not count towards the major in psychology)
Psychology majors must pass the Comprehensive Examination in Psychology
PSYC 101 General Psychology
PSYC 301 Introduction to Research Methods
PSYC 390 Experimental Methods
One course designated a diversity/inclusion course (chosen from PSYC230, PSYC238, PSYC270, PSYC295 Psychology of Sexuality, PSYC295 Psychology of the African American Experience, PSYC340)
Two courses at the 400 level
MATH 105, MATH 260, or ANSO 212 (at C- or better). MATH 260 is preferred.
Requirements for the Minor in Psychology
Number of Units
Six units are required. Minors must pass the Comprehensive Examination. Students who plan to earn a minor in psychology must declare the minor by the fall quarter of their senior year.
PSYC 101 General Psychology
Five additional psychology electives, not including PSYC 301 or 390.
Please check on prerequisites for each course.
Students may not major in human development and social relations (HDSR) and minor in psychology.
PSYC101General PsychologySurvey of major theories, methods, and findings related to understanding mental processes, emotions, behavior, and experience; examination of such topics as the brain, learning, memory, perception, personality, and psychotherapy. This course (or completion of AP Psychology) is a prerequisite for all courses in the department.
PSYC205Sports PsychologySurvey of theories, research methods, and clinical techniques of psychology that focus on the mind-body problem in sports; investigation of issues relating to self discipline as well as improving individual and team performance. Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC210Developmental PsychologyThe study of development from birth through early adolescence, examining concepts, theories, and research findings related to topics such as motor, perceptual, linguistic, artistic, cognitive, and identity development. Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC211Adolescent DevelopmentResearch and theory regarding development between puberty and emerging adulthood including physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and personality development. Contexts of adolescence within the family and within the peer group including sexuality, dating and romantic relationships. Perspectives regarding gender and moral development.Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC220Drugs, Addiction, and BehaviorThis course will provide an overview of psychotropic drugs, both legal and illegal. An overview of psychopharmacology, behavioral pharmacology, physiological effects on the brain, social influences, and controversial issues related to drug use and abuse will be explored.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 and Restricted to First-Years and Sophomores.
PSYC225Consciousness and DreamsThis course examines consciousness and dreams from a variety of different psychological perspectives, including cross-cultural, psychoanalytic, biological and cognitive approaches. Using a range of scholarly works in combination with each student's recorded dreams and thought experiments. Students will develop their own understanding of their dreams and consciousness. Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC226Physiological PsychologyAn exploration of the neurochemical and neurological bases of behaviors/experiences such as pain, feeding, sex, learning, memory, and emotion. Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC230Psychology of PrejudiceIntroduction to social psychological perspectives on ethnocentrism, including ethnic, religious, national, and gender prejudice. Examines case studies, laboratory experiments, sample surveys, and ethnographic observations to account for the development of stereotypes and violence.Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC/ANSO238Culture and Psychology of Arab-Muslim SocietiesThis course provides an introduction to Arab-Muslim societies and cultures. It draws on readings from multiple disciplines to cover social structure and family organization in tribal, village, and urban communities, core value systems associated with the etiquettes of honor-and-modesty and with the beliefs and practices of Islam, and influences on psychological development through the life-span. It also will examine the processes of "modernization" and "underdevelopment," the conflict between Westernization and authentic "tradition," the "Islamic revival," and the crisis of identity experienced by youth.Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
PSYC240Educational PsychologyApplies the principles of psychology to the practice of teaching. In the course, we will analyze the dynamics of student-teacher interactions with particular reference to the ways in which concepts, skills, values, and attitudes are communicated. Some of the topics that will be covered include basic principles of learning and instruction, child and adolescent development, information processing, measurement and evaluation as applied to classroom situations, and methods of accommodating students with different needs.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 or EDUC-270
PSYC/ANSO250Social PsychologySurvey of contemporary topics in social psychology, including attitudes, conformity, group dynamics, media effects, aggression, and social cognition; includes an experimental or field-based research project.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 or ANSO-105
PSYC/COMP265Cognitive ScienceCognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and the nature of intelligence. It is a rapidly evolving field that deals with information processing, intelligent systems, complex cognition, and large-scale computation. The scientific discipline lies in the overlapping areas of neuroscience, psychology, computer science, linguistics and philosophy. Students will learn the basic physiological and psychological mechanisms and computational algorithms underlying different cognitive phenomena. This course is designed mostly for psychology and computer science students, but other students interested in interdisciplinary thinking might take the course.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 or COMP-105 All course prerequisites must be met with a minimum grade of C-.
PSYC270Feminist Psychology of WomenThis course places women at the center of inquiry, both as researchers and participants. Specific topics include: silencing of women in the classroom, pathologizing of women, sex bias in diagnosing, feminist developmental theories, acquaintance rape, feminist response to Freud, myth of beauty in adolescence, leadership, women's sexuality, psychological consequences of incest, rape, and other forms of violence against women. Prerequisite: Take 2- Psychology courses or 1 Psychology and 1 Women, Gender, & Sexuality course Course is Restricted to First-Year and Sophomores
PSYC/ANSO279Organizational BehaviorThis course is designed to provide you with analytical tools that will boost your assessment capabilities of organizations, the issues they are dealing with, and the challenges they and the people in them are facing. In addition, the material that will be covered during the term will tease and enhance your critical-thinking and investigative skills.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
PSYC280CognitionStudy of information processing and utilization. Topics include attention, perception, imagery, memory, knowledge structures, language comprehension and production, problem solving, and decision making. Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC285Psychology of MusicAn introduction to the psychology of music, providing an overview of research literature on such topics as the emergence of basic musical abilities, development of advanced skills (practice, sight-reading, performing, and conducting), and music perception and cognition. A general knowledge of musical terms and concepts will be assumed and not reviewed in the course.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 and at least 5 years of instrumental or vocal training. Consult professor if you have questions.
PSYC/BIOL290Animal Behavior with LabThe study of animal behavior seeks to describe and explain behavior on multiple levels - from underlying physiological causation to evolutionary origin. Using examples from barnacles and worms to birds and mammals, this course examines behaviors such as orientation, communication, foraging, territoriality, reproduction and sociality. Through lectures, research literature and laboratory studies students will build proficiency in designing, conducting, analyzing and evaluating behavioral studies and gain new appreciation for the subtlety and complexity of behavior and its application to fields such as animal welfare and conservation.Prerequisite: PSYC-101, or BIOL-112, or BIOL-123 All course prerequisites must be met with a minimum grade of C-
PSYC/WGS295Psychology of SexualityThis course will introduce you to the study of sexuality and sexual development from a psychological perspective. It aims to aid your development of a framework for conceptualizing issues surrounding notions of sexuality. This course covers a wide variety of topics concerning the psychology of human sexuality. For example, we will consider sexual anatomy, communication about sexuality, lesbian, gay and bisexual identities, polyamory, and pornography.Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC295Health PsychologyThis course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive foundation in health psychology including the theories, concepts, methods and application of health psychology. The course will examine the interrelationship between health, illness, cognition, behavior and emotion. Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC295Psychology of the African American ExperienceIn this course, we will consider a range of theoretical and methodological approaches that scholars have developed to conceptualize the thoughts, styles, and behaviors of African Americans. We will begin by discussing the historical foundations and core tenets on which the field of African American psychology is based. We will then explore a range of topics that pertain to the psychological experiences of African Americans such as academic achievement, socialization, racial identity, religion/spirituality, gender, racism and discrimination and mental health. Our class discussions will integrate current topics and controversies that are at the forefront of the African American experiencePrerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC301Introduction to Research Methods in PsychologyThis course is designed to provide you the skills necessary for designing, conducting, evaluating, and communicating psychological research. We will consider the theoretical and methodological basis for the generation of knowledge of human behavior, combining lectures, activity-based laboratory sessions, and independent research projects to accomplish this goal. You will have hands-on opportunities to observe human behavior, create measurement tools, conduct correlational studies, and analyze data using SPSS/PASW (a statistical software package). Finally, you will learn to write up scientific reports using the style of the American Psychological Association. Open to Sophomore Psychology Majors or by Instructor permission.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 and Sophomore Psychology Majors Only
PSYC310Organizational BehaviorIntroduction to and survey of topics in industrial and organizational psychology with an interdisciplinary emphasis; application of concepts, findings, and theories to organizations of all kinds.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 or Junior/Senior Standing.
PSYC/ANSO340Cultural PsychologyTheories of how culture shapes thought, feeling, and the development of personality. Critical survey of topics in cross-cultural psychology, including culture and personality, child rearing, psychopathology, cognition, modernization, and underdevelopment.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 and Junior or Senior Standing or Instructor Permission
PSYC370Abnormal Psychology with LabStudy of pathological behavior patterns and symptoms with focus upon the origin, nature, and methods of treatment of abnormal behavior. Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC390Experimental Methods W/LabLaboratory course emphasizing problems of experimental design and data collection, application of statistical techniques, and reporting of experimental findings in different content areas of psychology (e.g., social psychology, developmental psychology, learning, cognition, and biopsychology). Prerequisite: PSYC-101 and One of the following: MATH-105 MATH-260 MATH-261 ECON-160 or ANSO-212. Junior Psychology Majors only.
PSYC410Theories of PersonalitySurvey of contemporary theories of personality and related research. Prerequisite: PSYC-101 and Junior or Senior Standing or Instructor Permission
PSYC411Psychology and LawThe purpose of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of the conceptual and empirical issues involved in attempting to apply psychological knowledge within the legal system. The ways in which psychology applies to the legal system encompasses a wide array of topics, and we will focus on several key areas where psychological research intersects with the law. Topics include the use of scientific evidence in a legal setting (e.g. amicus briefs, expert testimony), eyewitness evidence (children and adults), interrogations and confessions, and jury decision making.Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC/COMP415Computational NeuroscienceStudy of mathematical models, computational algorithms, and simulation methods that contribute to our understanding of neural mechanisms. Brief introduction to neurobiological concepts and mathematical techniques. Both normal and pathological behaviors will be analyzed by using neural models.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 and MATH-113 All course prerequisites must be met with a minimum grade of C-
PSYC420LearningExamination of the ways in which behavior changes as a result of experience in laboratory and natural settings. Surveys theories that account for these behavioral changes. Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC430Interviewing and Narrative Analysis With LabThis course examines methods for investigating the narrative structures people use to interpret their experiences and integrate their lives. It will consider how "narrative knowing" differs from scientific theory, figurative language from literal, and symbolic representation from conceptual. Readings will cover the theory and practice of interviewing, psychological research on figurative language and narrative schemata, and plot-line and structuralist techniques of narrative analysis. Student assignments will consist of conducting, analyzing, and writing about interviews. Prerequisite: PSYC-101
PSYC450Counseling Psychology: Theory and PracticeThe focus of this course is the application of eight counseling psychology theories.Prerequisite: PSYC-101, Psychology major, Senior standing.
PSYC460Social DevelopmentUpper-level course exploring social development. The first module focuses on topics such as development of social skills, play and play environments, aggression, peer acceptance and peer rejection, and school bullying. The second module focuses on relationships from adulthood through old age.Prerequisite: PSYC-101, PSYC-210, and junior or senior standing
PSYC470History and Systems of PsychologyIn this class we will trace the philosophical and scientific roots of psychology, focusing on the years 500 B.C. to 1920. Prerequisite: PSYC-101, Psychology major, Senior standing.
PSYC480Psychology of Language and MindPsycholinguistics is the study of the psychological processes that give rise to human language. This class will provide a primer to the field of psycholinguistics as well as explore the relationship between our capacity for language and other cognitive processes. What is language? Where does language come from? How do we learn a first and second language? Does the language we speak affect the way we think?Prerequisite: PSYC-280 or Instructor Permission
PSYC593Senior Individualized ProjectEach program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Curriculum Details and Policies section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.