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Department Chair: Micheal Livingston, Ph.D.

Faculty: Marty Andrews, Jan Holtz, John Hotz, Aubrey Immelman, Michael Livingston, Anthony Marcattilio, Gregory Murrey, Rodger Narloch, Scott Palmer, Renee Rau OSB, Stephen Stelzner, Linda Tennison, Richard Wielkiewicz, Bruce Wollmering OSB

Psychology is a discipline defined by the scientific study of behavior. The psychology curriculum is designed to acquaint students with the broad scope of the discipline and to deepen their awareness of the complexity of human behavior. The mission of the Saint John's University and College of Saint Benedict Joint Department of Psychology is to produce graduates who have a high level of critical thinking skills derived from knowledge of basic psychological principles and methods, and a clear understanding of the role of psychology in the liberal arts curriculum. Courses expose students to the general theories, applied principles, and empirical methods central to the discipline of psychology. Thus, each student becomes capable of refining their understanding of behavior as new empirical data become available. This breadth of exposure produces graduates who are well qualified for graduate education in psychology or related fields, who are prepared to work in a variety of applied areas, and who can apply the relevant principles in any work environment. Students in disciplines such as education, management, nursing, nutrition, pre-law, pre-medicine, social work, and theology find many relevant courses within the psychology curriculum.

The psychology faculty promotes critical thinking in the evaluation of research literature and popular ideas about psychology. The department also engages in a process of assessment in order to continuously improve its ability to offer a quality learning experience. In addition, students are required to relate academic course material to moral and ethical concerns of the profession and the community at large. For additional information, consult the department’s website:

Major (44 credits)

Required of all majors: 111, 221, 235;
12 credits from: 320, 330, 331, 340, 350;
4 credits from the following list of capstone courses: 392, 393, 396, 398, 399;
Plus electives for a total of 44 psychology credits.

Special Requirements:
The department recommends that 111, 221, and 235 be taken in sequence during the first and second years. These courses are prerequisites for full acceptance to the major. Also, all 300-level courses require 111. Many 300-level courses also require 221 and 235 as prerequisites. The psychology department also engages in a process of annual assessment in which all majors are expected to participate.

All majors should obtain a copy of the Handbook for Psychology Students from their faculty advisor, another Psychology Department faculty member, or the department coordinator. The Handbook for Psychology Students is also distributed in PSYC 235.

Minor (20 credits)

Required Courses:
111 plus 16 credits in psychology.

Courses (PSYC)

111 Introductory Psychology. (4)
Prerequisite to all upper-division psychology courses. Survey of the major content areas of psychology, introducing the basic vocabulary, concepts, principles, and theories of the discipline. Specific topics include history and methods of psychology; biological bases of behavior; sensation and perception; learning and memory; cognition, language, and intelligence; motivation and emotion; lifespan development; personality; psychological disorders; psychological treatment/psychotherapy; and social psychology.

219 Political Psychology. (4)
Introduction to basic concepts, principles, and content areas of political psychology, including political cognition and decision making; emotion and motivation in politics; political attitudes, values, and ideology; political socialization; political personality; political leadership; political participation; political conflict; public opinion and the media. Prerequisite: 111 or POLS 111 or permission of instructor.

220 Psychology and Adjustment to Modern Life. (4)
Adjustment is the process of learning to manage or cope with the demands and challenges of everyday life. In this course students will learn how the empirical methods of psychology can be applied to adjustment issues such as personality, stress, self-esteem, relationships, marriage, sexuality, work and career development, health, and psychotherapy. [Small group discussions will be a frequent occurrence.]

221 Applied Behavioral Statistics. (4)
Understanding and analyzing data in psychology research; descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, appropriate use of statistics, use of computer to do necessary computations and data analysis. Prerequisite: 111.

235 Research Methods. (4)
Basic design and interpretation of empirical approaches to psychology. Emphasis on theory and practice of psychological experimentation and writing scientific reports. Prerequisite: 221.

271 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

280 Theories of Personality. (4)
Survey of the major theoretical domains in personality psychology, including evolutionary, physiological, psychodynamic, motivational, phenomenological, trait, cognitive-behavioral, affective, and social/cultural approaches. Considers basic concepts and principles, structure and dynamics of personality, normal and maladaptive personality development, assessment techniques, and treatment applications. Prerequisite: 111. Spring.

304 Theories of Organizational Behavior. (4)
Study of human behavior in organizations, using psychology and other social science disciplines to pursue two major questions: 1) Why do people behave the way they do within organizations? and 2) How can we use this information to improve the effectiveness of the organization and lives of its members? Topics include: organizational culture, motivation, leadership, communication, decision making, worker stress and health. Prerequisite: 111. Note: This course may also be fulfilled in the management department as MGMT 301.

305 Industrial Psychology. (4)
Study and application of principles of psychology as they affect the management of organizations. Three major areas are covered: personnel psychology, organizational psychology, and engineering psychology. Topics include: selecting and evaluating personnel, employment testing, leadership, job satisfaction and motivation, work place design, and quality of work life. Prerequisite: 111.

308 Psychology of Gender. (4)
This course will cover the broadest areas of academic and applied psychology viewed through the lens of gender. All topics will be explored with gender as the salient variable of analysis. The course will begin with the development of psychology as a science with inherent scientific gender biases. Major psychological principles and theories will be analyzed by gender in the areas of human development, physiological processes, social relationships, applied psychology in the workplace, mental health and illness issues and psychotherapy. Prerequisite: 111.

309 Selected Topics in Psychology. (2-4)
Topics in psychology of particular relevance to the interests and needs of psychology majors and/or students in psychology. The topics for the course will be announced each semester. Prerequisite: announced with course listing.

310 Community Psychology. (4)
The major emphasis of the course will be on the values and assumptions of a "community psychology," as well as the strategies for the prevention of mental illness and mental health promotion. A particular emphasis will be put on understanding individual and group behavior within the context of communities. Topics will include collaborative community research, the psychological sense of community, psychological stress and social support, the development of community interventions, prevention, organizing community change, and citizen participation in mental health initiatives. Prerequisites: 111 and junior/senior standing.

311 Sports Psychology. (4)
The scientific study of the behavioral, affective, and cognitive reactions of participants and spectators to various sport settings, with emphasis on the potential of sport to contribute to psychological health and well being, as well as the potential for sport to increase anxiety, aggression, violence, and injury. The role of the sports psychologist is examined, including increasing the level of athletic performance, dealing with the emotional problems of athletes, educating athletes, coaches, and spectators, and studying human behavior and mental processes in sports settings. Prerequisite: 111. Alternate years, Fall.

320 Principles of Learning and Behavior. (4)
An exploration of the basic principles of conditioning and learning. The course covers the phenomena of Pavlovian and Operant conditioning as well as their place in the larger theoretical framework of psychology. The course also covers application of these principles to understanding social and individual behavior. Prerequisite: 235.

330 Perception. (4)
An exploration of the ways in which we construct a world of things and events from the flow of stimulus energy. Covers such topics as color vision, form perception, perception of space and movement, perceptual constancies, music and speech perception. Prerequisite: 111.

331 Cognitive Processes. (4)
The study of the higher mental processes. Special emphasis is given to memory, attention, imagery, pattern recognition and language. Some consideration will also be given to the theory of artificial intelligence. Prerequisite: 111.

340 Physiological Psychology. (4)
A survey of topics of psychology of the individual from the perspective of biopsychology. Topics will include behavior genetics, neuroanatomy, sensation and perception, learning and memory, drives, emotion, language and abnormal behavior. In-class demonstrations and take-home projects will supplement lecture and text material. Prerequisite: 235.

342 Psychopharmacology. (4)
This course is designed to familiarize students with current drugs including antipsychotics, antidepressants, antianxiety agents, and drugs of abuse. An emphasis will be placed on the action of these drugs at the synaptic level, indications and contraindications for their use, and potential side effects. Prerequisite: 111. Alternate years.

343 Health Psychology. (4)
This course will survey various models of the mind-body interaction as related to physical health. Topics may include: psychoneuroimmunology, the role of stress on mental and physical health, psychosomatic disorders, behavioral medicine, and the psychology of illness and wellness. Recommended for pre-med, pre-physical therapy, and pre-occupational therapy majors. Prerequisite: 111.

344 Evolutionary Psychology. (4)
This course will review basic topics in psychology while taking an evolutionary perspective. We will, for example, look at our sensory systems, emotions, interpersonal relationships, and mental disorders, asking the question, “Why did this particular attribute of human nature evolve?” Why do all people in all cultures share similar sensory experiences, emotions, and developmental stages? Why do our sensory systems, emotions and developmental stages differ from those of other animals? Why do we have biases in what we remember (and do not) and what we like to do (and do not)? In sum, what is human “nature”? Prerequisite: 111. Spring, alternate years.

345 Human Sexuality. (4)
This course surveys human sexual behavior from a variety of perspectives including: biological, cross-cultural, developmental, clinical, legal, historical and inter-personal. In addition students will address the more controversial issues in greater detail through class discussions. For juniors and seniors only.

347 Tests and Measurements. (4)
Develops the most basic concepts of evaluating psychological measures: reliability, validity, and normative data and then proceeds to show how these principles can be used to evaluate new and existing measures. Topics covered include basic review of descriptive statistics, ability and achievement assessment, personality assessment, and factor analysis. Prerequisite: 221. Spring.

349 Motivation and Emotion. (4)
The words "motivation" and "emotion" come from the same root: both refer to the psychological "forces" underlying action (behavior). This course will examine the biological, psychological, and social bases that consciously or unconsciously direct our behavior. Topics may include: the physiology of emotion, moral development, attachment and "free will." Prerequisite: 111.

350 Social Psychology. (4)
The study of how people think about, are influenced by, and behave in relation to others. The course considers theories and methods in social psychology, person perception, social influence, interpersonal attraction, personal relationships, behavior in groups, gender, helping behavior, aggression, and social psychological applications in health, politics, and the law. Prerequisite: 111. Fall and Spring.

354 Psychology of Ethnic Diversity. (4)
The purpose of the course is to educate, sensitize, and stimulate critical thinking about the role of culture and ethnicity in human social behavior. The course will include the following topics: definition of basic concepts in ethnic psychology, social stratification, and ethnicity, acculturation and acculturative stress, ethnic identity, risk behaviors, adaptive health behaviors, psychopathology, and clinical and treatment issues. Prerequisite: 111. Alternate years.

360 Developmental Psychology. (4)
The study of age-related changes which occur as the individual moves through life. Major theoretical perspectives, concepts, research methods for examining physical, cognitive, moral and social-emotional development. Prerequisite: 111.

363 Psychology and Law. (4)
The major theories, studies, and findings of psychological science are reviewed in the context of forensic psychology and criminal law. We start at the level of the individual (crime and criminality, policing, victimology, eyewitnesses and expert witnesses), then look at social process (jury dynamics, interrogation, lawyering and persuasion, concepts of “insanity”, sentencing and rehabilitation.) Prerequisite: 111. Fall.

370 Clinical and Counseling Psychology. (4)
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the fields of clinical and counseling psychology. Historical antecedents to the fields will be explored in addition to educational background of professional use of assessment techniques and types of clientele. Basic helping skills, which are useful in any form of communication, are developed. In addition, the theories most representative of the various schools of psychotherapy are explained. Prerequisite: 111.

371 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first and second-year students.

372 Child, Couples, and Family Therapy. (4)
The purpose of this course is to understand and develop psychotherapeutic skills in working with children, couples, and families. The major difficulties which arise with each constituency will be explained. Assessment and treatment for these difficulties will be emphasized. Prerequisite: 370 or permission of instructor.

381 Abnormal Psychology. (4)
This course is designed to be an overview of the various forms of abnormal behavior. Etiology, assessment and treatment for each disorder will be included. Diagnostic classification will be emphasized. Prerequisite: 111.

382 Neuropsychology. (4)
This course explores one of the fastest growing areas of psychology. Neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships in health and disease. This course will cover assessment, diagnosis and treatment of various difficulties from infancy through old age. Central to this will be a working understanding of the central nervous system. Prerequisite: 111.

390 Group Dynamics. (4)
Study of groups and group processes: formation, development, structure and general characteristics of groups; social influence, power and leadership; group performance and decision making; intergroup relations, group conflict and conflict resolution; the group environment, collective behavior; groups as agents for change. Prerequisite: 111. Fall and Spring.

392 History of Psychology. (4)
An historical analysis of psychology from the field's beginnings in philosophy and the natural sciences through the 1950s. Students will give presentations and engage in other activities (e.g., class discussion) based on their own research on the history of psychology. Prerequisites: Senior standing and 20 credits in psychology.

393 Psychology Seminar. (4)
Detailed consideration of special topic; library research and possible laboratory work included; participants will prepare and present a major paper to seminar participants. Prerequisites: Senior standing and 20 credits in psychology.

396 Senior Research Project. (4)
Limited study examining a student's own researchable hypothesis in consultation with one or more department members. Prerequisites: Senior standing and 20 credits in psychology. Fall only.

397 Psychology Internship. (4-8)
Internship in an approved setting. Work experience in an area of applied psychology supervised by agency personnel and department coordinator. Prerequisites: Senior standing, 20 credits in psychology and signature of chair.

398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with "Distinction in Psychology." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the department chair and director of the Honors Thesis program. For further information see HONR 398.

399 Psychology Teaching Practicum. (4)
Meet twice per cycle for a teaching seminar plus direct experience developing and teaching introductory psychology laboratories. Based on a broad review of psychology, the practicum emphasizes acquisition of skills in teaching, facilitating discussion, developing organizational skills and interacting with students in a leadership role. Prerequisites: 20 credits in psychology, upper-division standing and permission of instructor.