Psychology at Bluffton College

Psychology literally translated means "study of the mind." To some extent that definition still holds today, but since the workings of the mind are manifested in behavior, a more contemporary definition highlights the "study of behavior."

The Psychology Department offers a variety of courses intended to provide the student with an understanding of influences on behavior, both biological and socio-cultural, and of the uniquely individual dimensions of experience. Psychologists assume that behavior is lawfully determined or caused by prior events. The task of psychology then is to discern these multiple sources of behavior and to formulate general statements or theory about them and their inter-relationships. Psychological theories that stand up to testing provide useful insights for many areas of human endeavor such as mental health, education, work organization, parenting, law enforcement, technology design and so forth.

For all students, the department attempts to present through PSY 110 an introduction to the diverse, fascinating field of psychology and its basic principles of behavior ranging from the biological to the social, from the normal/adaptive to the abnormal/maladaptive aspects of behavior. In addition to a greater appreciation for the diversity of all behavior, human and animal alike, the student can also experience greater self-understanding, awareness and the potential for personal growth. PSY 110 is a prerequisite for all courses in psychology except PSY 141 and PHY 254.

For students majoring in Psychology, the department provides training in research philosophy and methodology. Thus students become accustomed to: 1) examining issues in terms of research; and 2) designing, executing and effectively communicating their own research. In addition, Psychology majors are exposed to a wide range of theory and research in a variety of areas of psychology as well as to issues of ethics, social policy and applications of psychology. The major is designed to afford a thorough preparation for graduate work in psychology for students desiring advanced degrees.

For those planning church-related or service-oriented careers, the department fosters an appreciation for the complex relationship between psychology and Christianity and the development and exercise of skills relating to human problems.

Major (40 hours minimum)
The major in Psychology consists of a minimum of 40 semester hours: 18 hours of required courses and 22 hours selected, with advice and consent of the faculty adviser, from a list of psychology elective courses.

PSY 110 General Psychology (3)
PSY 184 General Statistics (3) or EBA 184 General Statistics (3)
PSY 230 Tests and Measurements (3)
PSY 270 Research Methods in Psychology (3)
PSY 392 Psychology Research Seminar 1 (2)
PSY 411 Psychology Research Seminar 2 (1)
PSY 412 Psychology, Faith and Ethics (3)

Students anticipating a Psychology major begin with the introductory survey course, PSY 110. During the sophomore year or otherwise early in the major, students enroll in PSY 184 followed by PSY 230 and PSY 270. These form the research methods core of the major and are necessary early in the major to gain maximum benefit from electives. A minimum of 22 hours of electives are selected according to interest, career goals and adviser consent. Psychology practicum, an on-the-job supervised experience, is open to junior and senior Psychology majors.

In addition to completing a Psychology major, students often choose a complementary second major or area of emphasis, such as Sociology, Child Development, Biology or Criminal Justice, as a way of enhancing employment possibilities.

Psychology majors preparing for graduate school need a broad, solid grounding in the fundamentals of psychology to build upon. Additional electives from the natural sciences, sociology, philosophy and literature are encouraged.

Minor (20 hours minimum)
Students who would like to combine a minor in Psychology with a major in one of the other disciplines may do so by taking PSY 110 (3 hours) and 17 additional hours of elective psychology courses for a total of at least 20 hours. Elective courses must include at least two courses with 300-level numbers or above; and may include PSY 184.

In addition to the courses listed here,
BIO 340 may also be used to meet the requirements for elective courses in psychology.

PSY 110 General Psychology (3)
An introduction to the study of behavior covering the many and varied areas of psychological inquiry, including "world views," methodology, biological contributions to behavior sensation, perception, learning, motivation, personality, abnormal and social psychology, among others. Lecture and lab.

PSY 141 Aging in the Modern World (3)
A survey of the experiences, needs and roles of older people in modern societies. Psychological, medical and socio-political aspects of aging are considered in connection with such specific issues as health care, housing, retirement and income and social relationships. Field visits to relevant community facilities illuminate these issues and offer an overview of career opportunities in the area of aging.

PSY 184 General Statistics (3)
A study of applied statistics for psychology and related behavioral and social sciences. This course covers descriptive statistics and statistical inference for parametric and non-parametric situations (z-and t-tests, one and two-way analysis of variance, correlation and regression, chi-square, and other non-parametric techniques). Emphasis is on statistics for experiments and on computer based analysis. Prerequisites:
MAT 100 or placement into MAT 114 or MAT 105.

PSY 214 Child and Adolescent Psychology (3)
An exploration of human psychological growth and development from conception through adolescence. Lecture and lab. Prerequisite:
PSY 110.

PSY 230 Tests and Measurements (3)
An introduction to the study of psychological measurement and evaluation. Individual and group tests in the areas of intelligence, achievement, aptitudes and personality will be introduced. Test administration, scoring and interpretation will be included. Prerequisites:
PSY 110 and PSY 184.

PSY 254 Educational Psychology and Classroom Management (3)
A survey of psychological theories and principles as they apply to teaching. Topics include behavioral and cognitive learning theory, motivation, individual differences and cognitive, moral and social development. A significant portion of the course is devoted to classroom assessment. Assessment topics include reliability, validity, standardization, test scores, test construction, and performance and authentic assessment.

PSY 258 Social Psychology (3)
The psychological study of individuals in relation to groups and society. Offers insight into the dynamic interaction between persons and their social environment and various social problems related to such interaction. Topics include group dynamics, attitude development and attitude change, aggression and violence and helping behavior. Prerequisite:
PSY 110.

PSY 262 Cross-cultural Psychology (3)
A study of the psychological importance of cultural differences; this course examines some of the ways in which human perceiving, thinking, feeling, striving and relating to others are conditioned by cultural membership. Included is a consideration of the contributions of work in cross-cultural psychology in such areas as education, training for cultural awareness, definition and assessment of intelligence and other human characteristics, understanding and treatment of psychopathology. Prerequisite:
PSY 110 or permission of instructor. Alternates with PSY 141.

PSY 270 Research Methods in Psychology (3)
An introduction to methods used in psychological research with emphasis on experimental methodology. Students receive training for laboratory and field-based research, including instruction in experimental design, data interpretation and the writing of formal research reports. Lecture and lab. Prerequisites:
PSY 110 and PSY 184.

PSY 310 Personality (3)
A survey of theory and research on the development and modification of personality characteristics. Lecture and lab. Prerequisites:
PSY 110 or permission of instructor, upper-division standing. Alternates with PSY 370.

PSY 315 Biological Psychology (3)
This course combines concepts in the physical and natural sciences with the basic principles of behavior. It introduces strides made in neuroscience during the past decade and unravels some of the mysteries of how the brain controls behavior. It includes vocabulary and description of the most recent research tools for studying and visualizing the brain. Prerequisites:
PSY 110, NSC 112 and three other psychology electives. Alternates with PSY 356.

PSY 340 Abnormal Psychology (3)
The study of facts, theories and attitudes concerning abnormal behavior. Various ways in which individuals deviate from the norm in their thinking, feeling and behaving are discussed from the perspectives of psychologists' major theories of personality. Possible causes of abnormal behavior and approaches to treatment and prevention are also presented. Prerequisite:
PSY 110.

PSY 356 History and Systems of Psychology (3)
A survey of the history of psychological issues from prepsychological to modern times. Students will study the development of important psychological attitudes and theories and their impact on contemporary psychology. Prerequisite:
PSY 110. Alternates with PSY 315.

PSY 370 Psychology of Learning (3)
A study of the fundamental principles of conditioning and learning ranging from Pavlovian conditioning through cognitive processes including concept formation, verbal learning and memory. Prerequisites:
PSY 110 and upper division standing. Alternates with PSY 310.

PSY 375 Therapeutic Psychology (3)
An introduction to counseling and psychotherapy for students who are contemplating graduate training and/or careers in human service professions. Readings, discussion, role-playing, case conferences and activities utilizing audio-visual resources will acquaint the student with certain knowledge and skills essential to the process of therapeutic intervention. Prerequisites:
PSY 110, PSY 310, PSY 340 and junior or senior status.

PSY 385 Psychology Practicum (2-3)
A supervised work/study social science placement in a setting consistent with the studentís interest and career goals. Students enrolled in the practicum will also meet one hour weekly to process their experiences with one another and with the instructor. Prerequisites: junior or senior status in psychology, 20 semester hours of psychology courses and permission of faculty supervisor. Students who want to enroll for the practicum experience will need to obtain the permission of the instructor at least two weeks prior to registration for the term in which the student plans to complete the practicum.

PSY 390 Independent Study (1-3)
Provides the student with an opportunity for empirical investigation or extensive reading in an area of one's own choosing. By arrangement and permission.

PSY 392 Psychology Research Seminar 1 (2)
The first of a two course research seminar for upper level psychology majors. Students select topics according to their individual interests and those of the instructor, review research and theoretical literature on the topic, and develop a research proposal based on a preliminary tryout of their data collection methods and involving specification of data analysis techniques. (The proposed research is conducted and a report written in the context of the follow-up seminar, PSY 411). Prerequisites:
PSY 270 and junior status.

PSY 411 Psychology Research Seminar 2 (1)
Students collect and analyze data based on the proposal developed in PSY 392. They write a formal report of the research, and develop and deliver a formal conference style oral presentation of it. Prerequisite:
PSY 392.

PSY 412 Psychology, Faith and Ethics (3)
This course is a concluding seminar for psychology majors. Areas of convergence and divergence between psychological and spiritual approaches to the human condition will be explored, and various models of integration will be presented and discussed. This course will also review the ethical principles identified by the American Psychological Association as important in working with humans, either in research or in areas of applied psychology. Prerequisites:
PSY 411 and senior status.

Modified 10/18/00