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Honors in Psychology

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Psychology Mission Statement

The Department of Psychology endorses a view of psychology as the use of scientific methods to study a broad range of factors that often interact to produce human behavior, including cognitive, developmental, personality, physiological and social variables. Therefore, students who major in psychology are expected to:

  • Learn to apply empirical methods to understand human and animal behavior. Students should be able to use and critique a variety of research methods, ranging from controlled laboratory experiments to naturalistic observations. Specific skills to be acquired include the ability to operationally define concepts for empirical study; to collect, analyze and interpret empirical data; to clearly communicate findings to larger audiences through oral and written presentations (for example, APA style research papers, posters and presentations).
  • Learn major theoretical and empirical advances in a variety of disciplines within the field of psychology. This objective should include the ability to compare and contrast explanations offered by different schools of thought within each discipline. It also should include an understanding of both current and historically prominent developments in the various disciplines.
  • Learn ways in which psychological concepts can be applied for the benefit of oneself and society. Students will learn about clinical, educational and organizational applications of psychological research and will consider ways in which psychological principles may be relevant to personal life and civic participation. In addition, students are expected to become more precise and tolerant observers of human behavior and individual differences.

The Department of Psychology has a strong tradition of student achievement in research and internships. Many students collaborate with faculty on research projects or develop and complete their own research projects with the help of faculty mentors. Each year, Oglethorpe is represented at regional and national psychology conferences by psychology students presenting their original work. Psychology students have completed internships in a variety of settings including: private clinical practices, adoption agencies, law enforcement agencies, law firms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Partnership Against Domestic Violence, Georgia State University Language Research Center, Zoo Atlanta, Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center and the Georgia Psychological Association.

Programs offered:

B.S. in Psychology
B.A.L.S. in Psychology
Minor in Psychology (TU)
Minor in Psychology (EDP)

B. S. in Psychology

1. Completion of all of the following foundation courses:
MAT 111 Statistics
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
PSY 209 Behavioral Neuroscience
PSY 301 Research Methods
PSY 302 Advanced Experimental Psychology
PSY 405 History and Systems

2. Completion of one of the following clinical psychology courses:
PSY 205 Theories of Personality
PSY 206 Abnormal Psychology
PSY 303 Psychological Testing

3. Completion of one of the following cognitive/developmental psychology courses:
PSY 201 Developmental Psychology
PSY 307 Cognitive Psychology

4. Completion of one of the following biopsychology courses:
PSY 308 Sensation and Perception
PSY 310 Drugs, Brain and Behavior

5. Completion of one of the following social psychology courses:
PSY 202 Organizational Psychology
PSY 204 Social Psychology

6. Completion of any additional Psychology elective excluding the following courses:
PSY 200 Independent Study in Psychology
PSY 400 Advanced Independent Study in Psychology
PSY 406 Directed Research in Psychology
PSY 407 Internship in Psychology

7. One semester of a foreign language at the second semester level.

8. Additional requirements and things to note:
a. Oglethorpe students contemplating taking any of the courses required for the major as transients at other post-secondary institutions are cautioned to follow Oglethorpe’s transient student policy (see Sec. 5.8.6.1.).
b. Transfer courses may satisfy major requirements if shown on an official transcript and approved by Psychology faculty.

B.A.L.S. in Psychology
The requirements are identical to those for the B.S. in Psychology (see above).

Minor in Psychology (TU)

1. Completion of PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology

2. Completion of any four additional Psychology electives, excluding the following:
PSY 200 Independent Study in Psychology
PSY 400 Advanced Independent Study in Psychology
PSY 406 Directed Research in Psychology
PSY 407 Internship in Psychology

3. Additional requirements and things to note:
a. Oglethorpe students contemplating taking any of the courses required for the minor as transients at other post-secondary institutions are cautioned to follow Oglethorpe’s transient student policy (see Sec. 5.8.6.1.).
b. Transfer courses may satisfy minor requirements if shown on an official transcript and approved by Psychology faculty.

Minor in Psychology (EDP)
The requirements are identical to those for the Minor in Psychology (TU) (see above).

Course Descriptions

PSY 101. Introduction to Psychology..........................................................................4 hours
This course provides a general introduction to psychology, with an emphasis on helping students appreciate how psychologist attempt to answer questions using the scientific method. Topics within neuropsychology, learning, memory, development, clinical and social psychology are considered from an empirical point of view. Offered every semester.

PSY 200. Independent Study in Psychology ............................................................1-4 hours
This course will be conducted as supervised research on a selected topic. Prerequisites: Submission of an application which contains a proposed, detailed outline of study approved by the instructor, the division chair, the student’s adviser and the provost or associate provost. The completed application must be submitted to the registrar’s office no later than the final day of the drop/add period of the semester of study. For additional criteria, see Independent Study Policy in the Academic Regulations and Policies section of this Bulletin.

PSY 201. Developmental Psychology..........................................................................4 hours
This course will focus on the current scientific thinking about human development from birth to adolescence and will integrate theoretical, research, and applied areas. Topics will include genetics and prenatal development, language acquisition, and cognitive and social development. Specific emphasis will be devoted to the social/cultural factors that may influence development. Offered annually in the spring. Prerequisite: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher.

EDU 201. Educational Psychology.............................................................................4 hours
A study of learning theory and its application to such problems as classroom management, the organization of learning activities, understanding individual differences and evaluating teaching and learning. Emphasis is given to factors which facilitate and interfere with learning. Offered annually in the fall. Prerequisite: PSY 101 with a grade of “C” or higher.

PSY 202. Organizational Psychology..........................................................................4 hours
Organizations and the individuals who function within them will be examined from the perspective of psychological theory and research. Consideration will be given both to broad topics relevant to all organizations, such as communications, groups and leadership, and to topics specific to the work environment, such as employee selection, training and evaluation. Offered odd years in the spring. Prerequisite: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher.

PSY 203. Learning and Conditioning .........................................................................4 hours
This course examines the empirical and theoretical issues surrounding learned behavior. Most of the data discussed come from studies in animal learning but special emphasis will be placed on how learning principles explain everyday human behavior and are used in the treatment of abnormal behavior patterns. Offered annually in the fall. Prerequisite: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher.

PSY 204. Social Psychology.........................................................................................4 hours
Social psychology is the study of how our thoughts, feelings and behavior are influenced by the presence of other people. The course will include a consideration of conformity, attraction, aggression, self-presentation, prejudice, helping behavior, and other relevant aspects of social life. Offered annually in the fall. Prerequisite: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher.

PSY 205. Theories of Personality ...............................................................................4 hours
The goal of this course is to acquaint the student with the major theories of personality and with approaches to the scientific evaluation of them. Students will be encouraged to engage in critical analysis and theoretical comparisons of the ideas presented from diverse, and often contradictory, perspectives. Offered annually in the fall. Prerequisite: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher.

PSY 206. Abnormal Psychology..................................................................................4 hours
There are three main goals in this course. The first is to enhance the student’s understanding of psychopathology and major treatment approaches. The second is to help the student learn to evaluate critically the research evidence regarding therapeutic interventions. The third is to encourage a self-examination of the student’s attitudes and those of our society regarding mental illness and the full range of human individual differences. Offered annually in the spring. Prerequisite:
PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher.

PSY 209. Behavioral Neuroscience.............................................................................4 hours
This course focuses on the relationship between biology and behavior. The anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the central nervous system will be reviewed and the current scientific evidence concerning the relationship between biology and behavior will be presented. Evidence from research involving both physiological manipulations of animals and biological and pathological insults in humans are included. Topics include: research methodology, sleep, feeding, sexual behavior, learning and memory, language, psychopathology, and plasticity. Offered annually in the fall. Prerequisites: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher.

PSY 290. Special Topics in Psychology ..…....................................................... 4 hours
Courses of selected topics will be offered periodically as determined by the needs of the curriculum. Prerequisite: See individual course listing in the current semester class schedule.

PSY 301. Research Methods........................................................................................4 hours
Through a combination of class discussion and hands-on research activity, this course provides students with exposure to a variety of research approaches. The course begins with an examination of descriptive methods, such as naturalistic observation, surveys and archival research, and concludes with an analysis of controlled experimental methods. Quasi-experimental designs and applications of research methods are also explored. Offered annually in the fall. Prerequisites: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher and MAT 111.

PSY 302. Advanced Experimental Psychology ..........................................................4 hours
This sequel to the introductory research methods course provides students with the opportunity to design, conduct, analyze, and report the findings of an individually planned and executed research project. This intensive, semester-long project will allow students to consolidate and apply the knowledge acquired in Psy 301, as well as expose students to the real-world challenges that often accompany scientific research.. Offered annually in the spring. Prerequisite: PSY 301.

PSY 303. Psychological Testing .................................................................................4 hours
This course covers the selection, interpretation and applications of psychological tests, including tests of intellectual ability, vocational and academic aptitudes and personality. The most common uses of test results in educational institutions, clinical settings, business, government and the military will be considered. The history of psychological testing and the interpretation of test results also will be considered from both traditional and critical perspectives. Although students will have the opportunity to see many psychological tests, this course is not intended to train students actually to administer tests. Offered odd years in the spring. Prerequisites: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher and MAT 111.

PSY 307. Cognitive Psychology...................................................................................4 hours
This course explores the nature and function of human thought processes and the research methods used to study them. Discussion will focus on theories about cognitive phenomena and the assumptions on which these theories and research are based. Topics to be covered include perception, attention, memory, intelligence, problem solving and reasoning, and language. Offered even years in the fall. Prerequisite: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher.

PSY 308. Sensation and Perception ............................................................................4 hours
This course explores how our sensory systems detect the physical world around us and how the brain interprets what these sensations mean. Topics covered will include psychophysical methods, signal detection theory, and the neural mechanisms underlying vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Offered even years in the spring. Prerequisites: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher and PSY 309.

PSY 310. Drugs, the Brain and Behavior...................................................................4 hours
This course examines the effects of psychoactive drugs on the central nervous system and, subsequently, behavior. Both recreational and illicit drugs and those used to treat mental disorders will be covered. In addition, the underlying brain and environmental factors thought to be responsible for drug addiction, tolerance and sensitivity, and the classification of common psychoactive drugs will be reviewed. Offered odd years in the spring. Prerequisites: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher and PSY 309.

PSY 400. Advanced Independent Study in Psychology ............................................1-4 hours
This course provides the opportunity for an intense advanced study of diverse topics under the direct supervision of the instructor. Prerequisite: Submission of an application which contains a proposed, detailed outline of study approved by the instructor, the division chair, the student’s advisor and the provost or associate provost. The completed application must be submitted to the registrar’s office no later than the final day of the drop/add period of the semester of study. For additional criteria, see Independent Study Policy in the Academic Regulations and Policies section of this Bulletin.

PSY 405. History and Systems of Psychology.............................................................4 hours
This course serves as the capstone course and challenges students to synthesize information from all four years of study in psychology. A study of the historic development of modern psychology, this course covers its philosophical and scientific ancestry, the major schools of thought, the contemporary systems of psychology and their theoretical and empirical differences. Offered annually in the spring. Prerequisites: Open only to seniors who are psychology majors or minors, or biopsychology majors, or by permission of the instructor.

PSY 406. Directed Research in Psychology................................................................4 hours
Original investigations and detailed studies of the literature in selected areas of psychology will be supervised by a faculty member. Emphasis will be on original research. Prerequisites: PSY 301 and permission of the instructor.

PSY 407. Internship in Psychology ..........................................................................1-4 hours
An internship is designed to provide a formalized experiential learning opportunity to qualified students. The internship generally requires the student to obtain a faculty supervisor in the relevant field of study, submit a learning agreement, work 30 hours for every hour of academic credit, keep a written journal of the work experience, have regularly scheduled meetings with the faculty supervisor and write a research paper dealing with some aspect of the internship. Written work should total five pages of academic writing for every hour of credit. An extensive list of internships is maintained by career services, including opportunities mentioned in the major overview. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty supervisor and qualification for the internship program, permission of an internship site supervisor acceptance of learning agreement proposal by the Experiential Education Committee.

PSY 490. Advanced Special Topics in Psychology.....................................................4 hours
The seminar will provide examination and discussion of various topics of contemporary interest in psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 101 with a grade of “C-” or higher.

Policy for Technology in the Classroom

The Psychology Department Faculty believe that the primary goal of classroom time is the presentation, dissemination, and discussion of material relevant to the education of our students. Furthermore, we believe that one advantage of the relatively small class sizes at Oglethorpe University is the opportunity for discussion and debate. Unauthorized use of technology by students in the classroom interferes with these goals and opportunities. Furthermore, unauthorized use of technology inhibits student performance because of the distraction it creates for the individual user, surrounding students, and the instructor. Despite repeated attempts to create and enforce policies to provide for appropriate use of technology (e.g., use of laptop computers for note-taking purposes only), unauthorized and distracting use of technology still occurred on a daily basis in our classrooms. We acknowledge that there were a few students capable of following our policies and for which our new policy will be inconvenient. Nevertheless, classroom policies are based on the norm, not the outliers. As a result, the Psychology Department Faculty endorse and will enforce the following new policy regarding technology in the classroom effective immediately. Concerns about the policy may be addressed to the instructor of your course or to the departmental chairperson.

The Policy: Students are required to turn off all cell phones, lap top computers, and like devices (e.g., iPads, PSPs) while in class or in other instructional environments (e.g., invited guest presentations). Students shall not allow their personal electronic communication devices to ring, beep, or otherwise disrupt scheduled Psychology instructional activities. Making or receiving phone calls, texting, instant messaging, surfing the web, or checking email while in class or other Psychology instructional environments is prohibited. Students will not be allowed to take notes using electronic devices. Students, however, are welcome to type their notes after class if they would like an electronic copy of the lecture. Audio- and videotaping are prohibited unless previously approved by the instructor on record.

 

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