Psychology (PS)

Courses

PS 101 Introductory Psychology: 3 semester hours

This first course gives a broad overview of the field of psychology. Major areas studied include the physiological basis of thought and action, perception of the environment, learning, motivation, behavior disorders, and behavior in groups. Though basic concepts and principles are stressed, the student is introduced to a variety of approaches to the subject matter of psychology. The student also becomes acquainted with some of the methods psychologists use to answer questions about behavior and mental processes. Students may have the opportunity to serve as research participants. Prerequisite for all other psychology courses. (Offered fall and spring semesters).

PS 102 Orientation To Psychology: 1 semester hour

This course includes and introduction to the psychology department's curriculum and objectives, opportunities for campus involvement and community service, and career exploration in psychology. Topics include strategies for a successful transition to Mount Mercy and for achieving academic success, exploration of careers in psychology, strategies for resolving career indecision and strategies for implementing a career choice. (Offered fall semester).

PS 124 Developmental Psychology: 3 semester hours

This course provides a comprehensive overview of normal human development throughout the entire life span. Similarities and differences in the normal biological, cognitive, social and emotional development of humans will be studied. Prerequisite: PS 101. (offered fall and spring semesters).

PS 205 Psychology Of Adjustment: 3 semester hours

The focus of this course is on the study of the problems and processes of psychological adjustment to the stresses, conflict, anxieties, and frustrations of life today. This course focuses on several topics in depth: Stress and stress management, self-esteem, communication, relationships, and work adjustment. Student participation is required. (This course does not count toward the major. It counts toward the holistic health domain of the core curriculum).

PS 210 Stress Management: 3 semester hours

This multidisciplinary course examines stress from physiological, psychological, and sociological perspectives. Topics include the mind-body relationship, stress and disease, sociocultural inequities in stress/health, occupational stress, exercise and stress, and a multitude of interventions (e.g., breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, meditation, imagery, assertiveness training). This course may also include a number of physical activity days (e.g., yoga, recreational games, weight training).

PS 211 Sport Psychology: 3 semester hours

The purpose of this course is to provide students interested in sport psychology with an overview of the theories and principles that explain factors which influence human behavior in the sport context. According to the American Psychological Association Division 47, sport psychology addresses the interactions between psychology and sport performance, including the psychological aspects of optimal athletic performance, the psychological care and well-being of athletes, coaches, and sport organizations, and the connection between physical and psychological functioning. Sport psychology practitioners focus primarily on: 1) Helping individuals use psychological principles and skills to achieve optimal mental health and to improve performance; and 2) Understanding how participation in sport affects their psychological development, health, and well-being. Prerequisite: PS 101.

PS 212 Exercise Psychology: 3 semester hours

The psychological aspects of exercise and physical activity are examined from an interdisciplinary perspective. Topics include exercise and mood, psychophysiological benefits of exercise, exercise adherence, mindfulness interventions, exercise addiction, eating disorders, group dynamics in exercise, and sociocultural perspectives of physical activity. This class will also involve active participation in a wide array of physical activities (e.g., weight training, recreational games, yoga). Prerequisite: PS 101.

PS 214 Psychology of the Middle School Student: 3 semester hours

This class will examine the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children in middle school. Students in this course will learn about the unique needs, abilities, and interests of middle school-aged students as they experience conflicting societal expectations and options. Prerequisites: PS 101 and PS 124. (Students cannot receive credit for both PS 214 and PS 215).

PS 215 Adolescent Psychology: 3 semester hours

The focus of this course will be on the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of persons aged 13-20. The course will examine how the concept of adolescence has changed over the years, and how families, peers, school, and the culture influence adolescent development. In addition, the course will examine in depth a number of problems facing today's teenager like drug use, sexual activity, and violence. Prerequisite PS 101 and PS 124. (Students cannot receive credit for both PS 214 and PS 215).

PS 221 Social Psychology: 3 semester hours

Social psychology focuses on human social relationships. This course studies the influence of others on individual behavior and attitudes, various sorts of interaction between individuals, and behavior of people in groups. Topics include conformity, helping behavior, persuasion, social cognition, attitude formation and change, aggression, sex roles, prejudice, and attraction. Prerequisite PS 101. (Offered fall and spring semesters).

PS 259 Health Psychology: Health & Wellness Applied: 3 semester hours

Health psychology is devoted to understanding psychological influences on how people stay healthy, why they become ill, and how they respond when they get ill. This course will explore the interface between biopsychological theory/research and health-related issues (e.g., stress, coping, behavior change) among healthy and clinical cohorts (e.g., cancer, diabetes, chronic pain). Prerequisite: PS 101 and PS 124.

PS 286 Biological Psychology: 3 semester hours

This course involves an overview of biological explanations of behavior. The course begins with a description of the dynamic activity of neurons and the basic anatomy of the nervous system. Building upon this foundation, topics include: methods of investigation, drugs and behavior, development and evolution of the brain, sensory and motor processes, waking and sleeping, hunger and thirst, sexual behavior, learning and memory, emotions, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. Prerequisites: PS 101 and BI 125 or BI 126 or Permission of instructor. (offered January term).

PS 306 Abnormal Psychology: 3 semester hours

This course is an overview of disorganized states of human functioning, including disorders of mood, thought, and behavior. This course follows the DSM system of classification, while explaining disorders from various perspectives. Prerequisites: PS 101 and at least two other psychology courses, plus junior or senior status. Students are strongly encouraged to take PS 286 and PS 319 prior to taking PS 306. (Offered fall semester).

PS 315 Psychology of Sport Injury and Rehabilitation: 3 semester hours

This course examines the role of psychological factors in the occurrence, prevention, and rehabilitation of sport injuries. Psychological considerations of each injury phase (e.g., reaction to injury, rehabilitation, and return to play) are discussed. Mental strategies for decreasing recovery time and enhancing psychological well-being are also addressed. Prerequisite: PS 211.

PS 319 Classic Theories of Personality: 3 semester hours

The study of major personality theorists who did most of their theorizing prior to 1970 including early key psychoanalysts, behaviorists, trait theorists, and humanist. The focus will be on the theories of individual theorists. Topics include normal and abnormal psychology functioning, personality development, and research done on these theories. Representative assessment devices will be demonstrated and selected research will be noted. Along with textbook, students will be asked to read selected portions of theorists own writings. Prerequisite: PS 101. (Offered fall semester).

PS 325 Statistics For Behavioral Sciences: 4 semester hours

This course involves application observational and survey methods, and it includes use of statistical procedures within the context of correlation research. Reading empirical literature and writing summaries of statistical analyses are emphasized. Use of computer Software (SPPS) is integrated throughout the course. Topics include descriptive statistics, estimation, hypothesis testing, t tests effect size, power analysis, bivariate correlation/regression, multiple correlation/regression and a brief introduction to nonparametric tests. A student-designed project will include research design, data collection, statistical analysis, preparation of a research report, and a formal presentation. Prerequisite: PS 101. Students should have the equivalent of one year of high school algebra before enrolling in PS 325. Completion of MA 135 (Basic Statistics) before PS 325 is strongly recommended. (Offered fall semester).

PS 345 Psychological Research Methods: 4 semester hours

This course includes use of statistical methods within the context of experimental research. Emphasis includes reading and evaluation of research articles, written summaries of statistical analyses, proposing and conducting experimental research, and APA-style research reports. Use of computer software (SPSS) is integrated throughout the course. Topics include hypothesis testing, one-and two-way analysis of variance, multiple-comparison tests, power analysis, effect size, and several research designs: randomized groups, within-subjects, and mixed factorial. A student-designed project will include research design, data collection, statistical analysis, preparation of a research report, and a formal presentation. Prerequisite: PS 101 and PS 325 (with a letter grade of at least a C-). (Offered spring semester).

PS 349 Industrial/Organizational Psychology: 3 semester hours

This course involves a general orientation to the field and is designed to familiarize students with application of psychological principles and theory in the workplace. Topics include methods of investigation, job analysis, employee selection, training, performance appraisal, employee motivation and job satisfaction. Prerequisites: PS 101. (Offered winter term).

PS 371 Introduction To Counseling: 3 semester hours

This course introduces students to various aspects of the counseling field. The course will focus on professional and ethical issues in counseling, and on major theoretical approaches to individual counseling. Attention will be given to evidence-based practice in counseling. Various approaches to counseling will be demonstrated. Prerequisites: PS 101, and junior or senior status. It is strongly recommended that students have completed SW 245, PS 306, and PS 319 prior to taking PS 371. (Offered spring semester).

PS 385 Cognitive Neuroscience: 3 semester hours

This course includes the study of mental processes based on information processing and cognitive neuroscience models. Topics include methods of investigation, visual and auditory processing, language, speech, working memory and long-term memory, autobiographical memory, executive processes, and consciousness. A brief introduction to affective and social neuroscience is included. Prerequisites: PS 101 and BI 123 or BI 125. (Offered fall semester).

PS 390 Critical Perspectives in Sport and Physical Activity: 3 semester hours

This interdisciplinary and seminar-style course will provide an overview of critical perspectives by examining marginalized topics and populations in sport psychology. Students will be encouraged to think beyond traditional Western ways of knowing and doing and conceive of alternative ways of viewing the practices of sport and physical activity. Likewise, students will be asked to reflect on how the Critical Concerns are (or can be) embedded within sport and physical activity contexts. Topics include gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, advocacy for social change, the business of college sports, and the performance enhancement agenda. Prerequisite: PS 211.

PS 401 Directed Readings in Psychology: 1 semester hour

This course may be initiated by an instructor or by a student or group of students on a topic of special need or interest. Prerequisites: PS 325, PS 345 (with a grade of B- or better), psychology major, junior or senior status, courses related to reading objectives, and written consent of the instructor and the Department of Psychology. Formal application must be made to the department during or at the end of the semester preceding expected enrollment (no later than one week after final exams). Credit is variable (up to 3 semester hours), depending upon the scope of the topic.

PS 402 Directed Readings in Psychology: 2 semester hours

This course may be initiated by an instructor or by a student or group of students on a topic of special need or interest. Prerequisites: PS 325, PS 345 (with a grade of B- or better), psychology major, junior or senior status, courses related to reading objectives, and written consent of the instructor and the Department of Psychology. Formal application must be made to the department during or at the end of the semester preceding expected enrollment (no later than one week after final exams). Credit is variable (up to 3 semester hours), depending upon the scope of the topic.

PS 403 Directed Readings in Psychology: 3 semester hours

This course may be initiated by an instructor or by a student or group of students on a topic of special need or interest. Prerequisites: PS 325, 345 (with a grade of B- or better), psychology major, junior or senior status, courses related to reading objectives, and written consent of the instructor and the Department of Psychology. Formal application must be made to the department during or at the end of the semester preceding expected enrollment (no later than one week after final exams). Credit is variable (up to 3 semester hours), depending upon the scope of the topic.

PS 411 Psychology in Practicum: 1 semester hour

This course provides a brief opportunity for professional interaction in selected agencies or institutions under the supervision of a field professional. The student could take PS 413 (3 credit hours) at the same agency site in addition to this course, but for no more than four semester hours of internship in total. The amount of credit signifies the amount of time the student is at the agency. PS 411 (1 credit hour) implies being at an agency for three to four hours per week. This course is designated Pass/Fail by the instructor. Prerequisites: (1) permission of the department; (2) sophomore or higher standing; (3) completion of at least three psychology courses; and (4) a minimum of 3.00 in both overall GPA and in all psychology courses. Formal application must be made in the semester prior to the internship (offered fall, spring and summer terms).

PS 413 Internship in Psychology: 3 semester hours

This course provides a concentrated opportunity for professional interaction in selected agencies or institutions under the supervision of a professional in the field. The student could take PS 411 at the same agency site in addition to this course, but for no more than four semester hours of internship in total. The amount of credit signifies the amount of time the student is at the agency. PS 413 (3 credit hours) implies being at an agency for ten to twelve hours per week (e.g., 120 hours/semester). This course is designated Pass/Fail by the instructor. Prerequisites: (1) permission of the department; (2) completion of at least five psychology courses; (3) completion of PS 306 and SW 245 [or have permission of the instructor]; (4) a minimum of 3.00 in both overall GPA and in all psychology courses; and (5) junior or higher standing. Formal application must be made in the semester prior to the internship (offered fall, spring and summer terms).

PS 425 Research Seminar: 3 semester hours

This course will give students experience with the entire research process. As a class, students will design and implement a research study. In addition, the class will gain experience at analyzing data and preparing the study for presentation at a psychological conference. Prerequisite: Psychology major or minor, junior or senior standing, and PS 325 and PS 345 with a grade of B- or better. This course is offered every couple of years.

PS 441 Independent Study in Psychology: 1 semester hour

Prerequisites: PS 325, PS 345, (with a grade of B- or better), psychology major and junior or senior status. Formal application must be made to the department during or at the end of the semester preceding enrollment (no later than one week after final exams). Credit is variable (up to 3 semester hours), depending upon the scope of the topic. (See Independent Study section).

PS 442 Independent Study in Psychology: 2 semester hours

Prerequisites: PS 325, PS 345, (with a grade of B- or better), psychology major and junior or senior status. Formal application must be made to the department during or at the end of the semester preceding enrollment (no later than one week after final exams). Credit is variable (up to 3 semester hours), depending upon the scope of the topic. (See Independent Study section).

PS 443 Independent Study in Psychology: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PS 325, 345, (with a grade of B- or better), psychology major and junior or senior status. Formal application must be made to the department during or at the end of the semester preceding enrollment (no later than one week after final exams). Credit is variable (up to 3 semester hours), depending upon the scope of the topic. (See Independent Study section).

PS 450 Senior Seminar: 3 semester hours

This course is designed as the final psychology course for psychology majors. In this seminar, students will review the entire field of psychology and study in-depth a number of topics selected by the class. Through discussion, guest lectures, and student presentations, students will have the opportunity to integrate, synthesize and apply the knowledge and skills they have gained from other courses. Prerequisites: Senior psychology major, PS 325 and PS 345. (PS 345 may be waived after consultation with instructor. (Offered fall and spring semesters).