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Psychology Courses

The department offers a variety of core and elective courses in many of Psychology’s sub-fields. These courses provide broad preparation for students desiring entry into helping professions, graduate study in psychology or related disciplines, and careers in a variety of areas, such as human resources, public relations, and social services.

Research facilities available to students include an animal colony, individual experiment rooms, computers, one-way mirrors, and psycho-physiological instruments.

Psychology 100 is the pre-requisite for all other courses in the department. Please see the Registrar's page for course offering schedules.

PSY 100 General Psychology - 3 credits

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the field of psychology. Topics covered include an overview of the field of psychology, methods of psychological research, biological foundations of human behavior, sensation and perception, basic principles of learning, memory, intelligence, developmental psychology, personality theories, abnormal behavior, psychotherapy, and social behavior. This course is a prerequisite for all other psychology courses.

PSY 102 Educational Psychology - 3 credits

This course is a foundational review of the impact and utilization of psychology in the classroom. The course examines the basic requirements for teachers to work effectively with concepts of learning and behavior across the school age developmental spectrum. Special attention is noted with the inclusion of multicultural and special educational concerns relating to learning and behavior. Students will be introduced to the process of identifying best practices to address the needs of students, including those students with exceptionalities who may or may not need special education services.
Cross-listed as EDU 102 Educational Psychology.

PSY 201 Mind-Body Medicine - 3 credits

This course follows the biological, psychological, social and spiritual model of health and wellness. While disease prevention, health-related research and rehabilitation issues are discussed, the main focus of the course is on exploring the mind-body-spirit connections. This course will also examine the latest literature in the area of disease-prone and disease-resistant personality.

PSY 202 Stress, Disease and Psychophysiological Interventions - 3 credits

It has been estimated that 70 to 90% of medical and psychological office visits are due to stress-related conditions. The purpose of this course is twofold. During the first half of the course, the psychobiology of stress and the effects of exposure to prolonged stress are discussed. The second half of the course focuses on specific stress-related conditions and their psychophysiological treatments.

PSY 204 Psychology of Religion - 3 credits

An exploration of the historic connections between Psychology and Religion which are understood as foundational to both disciplines in Western thought. Students explore the work of William James, Carl Jung and other theorists and apply their understanding of religious phenomena and experience to both patterns of praxis and thought. The class probes the role of mysticism, prayer and meditation as manifestations of religion that can be best understood through the application of psychology.
Cross-listed as REL 204 Psychology of Religion.

PSY 206 Positive Psychology - 3 credits

Positive Psychology examines empirically informed perspectives on what leads to happiness and living a purposeful life. This course will provide an overview of the research and applications in the field of Positive Psychology. Topics will include happiness, resiliency, optimism, relationships, self-efficacy, goals and optimal performance, well-being, gratitude, character strengths, motivation and flow, positive coping, and mindfulness.

PSY 209 Family Dynamics - 3 credits

This course is designed to help students acquire an understanding of a variety of issues affecting family functioning. Issues discussed will range from couples issues, stages of relationships, codependency in relationships, communication skills and how they affect the family dynamic, work and families, blended/stepfamilies, parenting styles, and different theories of family therapy.

PSY 211 Experimental Methods - 4 credits

An introduction to the scientific field of research and data analysis that is required for working in any area of psychology. Topics include qualitative and quantitative experimental methods, selection of subjects, validity and ethical considerations, literature searches, and composing APA-style documents. The SPSS computer package will be introduced along with descriptive statistics, and mini-field experiments will be conducted.

This course is for declared psychology majors only. 
This course must be taken concurrently with SPS 170 Understanding and Using APA Editorial Style, and this course MUST be taken the semester immediately before PSY 212. Students must receive a grade of D or better in PSY 211 before going on to PSY 212. However, a student who does not earn at least a C or better in PSY 211 must retake PSY 211 at its next offering. A grade of B or better in PSY 211 is required to enroll in PSY 365 Psychology Thesis I and PSY 366 Psychology Thesis II.

PSY 212 Statistical Methods - 4 credits

A continuation of the exploration of the scientific field of psychology research and data analysis. Topics include theory, computation, and application of various descriptive and inferential (nonparametric and parametric) statistics. The SPSS computer package will be used for each data analysis method, and data analyses will be tied to specific research designs and mini-field experiments.

This course is for declared psychology majors only. 
This course MUST be taken the semester immediately after PSY 211. Students must receive a grade of D or better in PSY 211 before going on to PSY 212. However, a student who does not earn at least a C or better in PSY 211 must retake PSY 211 at its next offering. A grade of B or better in PSY 212 is required to enroll in PSY 365 Psychology Thesis I and PSY 366 Psychology Thesis II.

PSY 213 Introduction to Research Methods - 3 credits

An introduction to the scientific field of research design, data collection, and data analysis required for working in any area of psychology. Topics include an introduction to and application of various experimental designs, the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, participant selection, validity and reliability, literature review, and APA-style.
This course is for the SAGE Applied Psychology major only. This course must be taken concurrently with SPS 170 Understanding and Using APA Editorial Style. This course may be taken before or after PSY 214. A grade of B or better in PSY 213 is required to enroll in  PSY 365 Psychology Thesis I and PSY 366 Psychology Thesis II.

PSY 214 Introduction to Statistics - 3 credits

An introduction to the scientific field of research design and data collection with an emphasis on data analysis required for working in any area of psychology. Topics include descriptive and inferential statistics for the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. Students will learn to analyze data using SPSS.
This course is for the SAGE Applied Psychology major only. This course may be taken before or after PSY 213. A grade of B or better in PSY 214 is required to enroll in  PSY 365 Psychology Thesis I and PSY 366 Psychology Thesis II.

PSY 217 Careers in Psychology - 1 credit

This course will provide students with information and skills that will help them develop a portfolio, and select and pursue a career in psychology or a related field. This course should be taken in the sophomore or junior year.

PSY 220 Sensation and Perception - 3 credits

An in-depth study of sensory systems including vision, taste, olfaction, audition and somatic senses. Lab is required for Neuroscience majors.
This course fulfills a 3 credit SCI requirement for an Applied Psychology major, Psychology major or minor, and is cross-listed as NEU 220 Sensation and Perception.

PSY 222 Psychology in Current Events - 3 credits

The media and press play an enormous role in providing information and stories to the public; many are related to the field of psychology. This course will explore current news events and bridge the gap between psychological principles and theories and application in the real world. Discussion, dialogue, and debate will be used to stimulate critical thinking on controversial psychological issues.

PSY224 Women in the Workplace - 3 credits

This course examines the theory, research, and practice of various issues involving women in the workplace. Topics include: the history of women at work; nontraditional occupations and roles; gender differences in communication, leadership, and work styles; management and associated psychological paradigms; relevant legal and political issues; work-life dilemmas and personal planning and growth strategies. Active participation is required.

PSY 227 Principles of Helping Relationships - 3 credits

The goal of this course is to enhance student’s ability to establish and maintain effective interpersonal relationships. Through experiential exercises and examples, students will learn the important skills necessary for successful relationships such as effective communication skills, building trust, and conflict resolution.

PSY 229 Introduction to Biological Psychology - 3 credits

The goal of this course is the study of the biological mechanisms of behavior. In this course, students gain knowledge about the various neuro-chemical and bio-psychological processes that are involved in behaviors. The course moves from an overview of how the nervous system works, how it regulates the various functions of the body, to how the biology of the nervous system influences individuality and behavior.
This course does NOT fulfill a SCI requirement for an Applied Psychology major, Psychology major or minor. This course is cross-listed as NEU 200 Introduction to Neuroscience

PSY 230 Team Building and Group Dynamics - 3 credits

An overview of teams and groups in a social and work context. Discussion will include: the evolution and development of teams, the emergence of member roles and leaders, decision-making and problem-solving techniques, communication processes, power and conflict issues, management of diversity, and teambuilding strategies. Experiential exercises will be emphasized.

PSY 231 Social Psychology for Psychology - 3 credits

This course will examine theoretical perspectives as well as laboratory and field research demonstrating the importance of situational influences on behavior. Topics include: self-concept and presentation of self, attitude formation and persuasion, conformity and obedience, as well as factors influencing interpersonal attraction, interpersonal aggression, and pro-social behavior.

PSY 234 Ergonomics - 1 credit

This course introduces students to the area of “Human Factors”, which applies knowledge of human behavior, abilities, and attributes to the design of tools, equipment, and large-scale systems (e.g., cars, kitchens) for human use. Psychologists in this growing area aim to solve “real-world” problems by improving the usability, efficiency, comfort, and safety of various products. Assignments provide hands-on analysis and discussion for design improvement.

PSY 235 Psychology of Adjustment - 3 credits

A study of the universal search by individuals for happiness, security and a healthy, meaningful life. Topics covered will include, but are not limited to: self-discovery in adolescence and adulthood, sickness, health and coping, and intimate relationships. The course will cover the adjustments to natural changes and tasks that accompany growth and development.

PSY 236 Sex and Gender:  Critical Facts and Myths – 3 credits

Critical thinking will be the core theme in this course as we critique research and media on sex and gender. Topics ranging from whether there are sex differences in the brain and hormones; sexuality and sexual orientation; math, spatial, and verbal abilities; aggression, dependency, and masochism; and mother-blame will be examined. Different approaches to thinking critically about sex and gender research will be studied.

PSY 237 Addictions: A Biopsychosocial Approach  - 3 credits

This course explores the nature of addiction in a seminar and small group discussion format. Video case studies, professional interviews, as well as video documentaries are presented. Particular emphasis is placed on biopsychosocial factors that influence the development, maintenance, and treatment of addictions. 

PSY 242 Child and Adolescent Psychology - 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of child and adolescent psychology. Theory, research, and applied issues will be considered. Topics will include major theories and themes in developmental psychology, neural bases of cognitive development, temperament, parental and peer relations, development of the self, language and thought, emotional development, pro-social development, and diversity in development.

PSY 246 Motivation and Emotion - 3 credits

The course will cover motivation and emotion from various perspectives, including physiological and developmental factors, learning and cognitive factors, social and personality factors. Theories will be augmented by a careful examination of the empirical work in motivation and emotion, and the application of motivational strategies to everyday life.

PSY 250 Lifespan Development - 3 credits

A theoretical and empirical exploration of human development from conception through the later years and death. Course content covers bio-social, cognitive and psychosocial development during each stage of life.

PSY 251 Health Psychology - 3 credits

Health Psychology is a rapidly growing field within the discipline of psychology. It is devoted to the understanding of psychological factors that affect health and disease. The course emphasizes theoretical developments and empirical findings in Health Psychology.

PSY 260 Seminar: Special Topics - 3 credits

Depending upon student interest, this seminar course at the 200 level covers topics, problems and/or methods not ordinarily included in regularly scheduled courses.

PSY 270 Psychology Internship - 3-6 credits

Many internships are available for students in the psychology program, any time of the year, in the Lehigh Valley, or near home.  The internship program is a practical supplement to classroom education under the supervision of a faculty supervisor, on-site supervisor and the Director of Career Planning. It is a valuable way to “try out” a field or position that a student may think he/she might be interested in, and get involved in its daily activities. Internships may lead to employment opportunities or help make career decisions. Students may receive 3-6 credits for each individual internship and can accumulate up to 12 internship credits during the course of their college career. The program is open to all traditional and SAGE students who have completed 60 credits. Transfer students must complete at least one semester at Cedar Crest College to be eligible for an internship. Students must have at least 2.0 cumulative grade-point average to be eligible for an internship. Additional information regarding the procedures and requirements of the internship program are contained in the "Internship Program Guidelines" obtainable at the Career Planning Office as well as on the Career Planning home page. Please see your Psychology Advisor and the Career Planning Office for any questions and assistance with seeking a Psychology-related internship.

NOTE:  PSY 270 does NOT count towards the Psychology/Applied Psychology major or Psychology minor, as PSY elective credit(s).

PSY 301 Psychology at Work - 3 credits

A study of psychological concepts and methods applied to the workplace. Topics include: personnel selection and legal issues, training, evaluation, worker motivation and satisfaction, organizational culture and behavior, and workflow design. Assignments provide hands-on experience.
This course is cross-listed as BUA 329 Organizational Behavior.

PSY 303 The Psychology of Anxiety - 3 credits

Anxiety is a complex construct that has played a key role in the development of several theories and systems of psychology. This course explores the many dimensions of this construct through the lens of theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalysis, behaviorism, existentialism, humanism, psychophysiology, and cognitive psychology. The course will make a deliberate distinction between healthy and pathological states of anxiety. Additionally, students will gain knowledge about the differences and similarities between the experience of fear and anxiety with emphasis on the ontological nature of the latter.
Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in PSY 229/NEU 200 or permission of Instructor.

PSY 304 Stress, Disease and Psychophysiological Interventions - 4 credits

The focus of this course is twofold.  During the first half of the course, the psychobiology of stress and the deleterious effects of exposure to prolonged stress will be discussed.  The second half of the course will focus on specific stress-related conditions, their etiology, and their treatment from a psychophysiological perspective. The course contains a formal laboratory component which will be used to demonstrate a variety of psychophysiological instruments. Students will be required to conduct basic experiments with the use of these instruments.

PSY 309 Abnormal Psychology - 3 credits

This course introduces students to the multidimensional approach to psychopathology, as well as clinical assessment and diagnoses of mental disorders. Attention is given to the disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Strongly Recommended: Junior Standing.

PSY 310 Forensic Psychology - 3 credits

A study of psychology and the law including the court system and legal process, psychological assessment applied to legal issues of child custody, mens rea defenses, developmental problems, problems faced by psychologists as expert witnesses, and criminal profiling.
Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in PSY 309, and junior standing is required.

PSY 311 Criminal Behavior and Profiling - 3 credits

This course will provide a broad overview of criminal profiling, exploring both its psychological underpinnings and its practical application. A variety of types of profiling will be reviewed, but Turvey’s BEA will be used to explain the process of profiling (including equivocal forensic analysis, victimology, crime scene analysis, and subsequent ideo-deductive conclusions). Although the course content will focus on profiling, violent offenders (especially serial killers), psychopathy and other mental disorders often associated with violent offenders are also included. Exercises develop students’ observational skills, investigative skills, report writing skills, and presentation skills. 

Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in PSY 309, and junior standing is required.

PSY 312 Psychological Assessment - 3 credits

The goal of this course is to expose students to the theories and techniques of psychological testing. Students will learn the basic psychometric principles that apply to testing and learn about the applications of tests in various settings such as health, industry, clinical, and forensic settings.
Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in PSY 212 (or 214), and junior standing.

PSY 315 Counseling Children - 3 credits

This course is designed to provide students with specialized knowledge and skills necessary for counseling children. The course will address individual and group techniques used in treatment such as play therapy, the use of art, puppets, games, etc. Students will also gain an understanding of the parent’s role and family dynamics when working with children.

PSY 316 Systems of Psychotherapy 3 credits

This course is an in depth examination - on of the current major approaches to counseling and psychotherapy. The course explores psychoanalytic psychotherapies, client centered therapy, feminist therapy, cognitive therapy, existential therapy, rational-emotive therapy, behavior therapy, and multi-model therapy.
Prerequisite: Junior standing.

PSY 317 Learning & Lab - 4 credits

This course is a broad introduction to basic principles of learning, including habituation,  motivation, reinforcement, and discrimination, with emphasis on data derived from animal behavior. Laboratory research uses live rats as well as a few assignments using a virtual animal. Lecture three hours and laboratory.
Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in PSY 211 (or 213) and PSY 212 (or 214) and junior standing.

PSY 318 Introduction to Learning - 3 credits

This course is an introduction to the basic principles of learning, with an emphasis on principles of classical and operant conditioning as they apply to humans and non-human animals in both laboratory and real-world settings. 

Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in PSY 211 (or PSY 213) and junior standing.
This course is for the SAGE Applied Psychology major.

PSY 326 Behavior Modification – 3 credits

Behavior modification explores the processes of creating and changing behaviors (in others or in oneself), as these processes have been discovered and refined by psychologists in the broader field of learning.  This course is a study of the principles of conditioning and learning as applied to practical approaches of behavior management and change, including the formation of new behaviors, the elimination of existing unwanted behaviors, and the alteration of existing behaviors. Special attention will be given to behavior change in institutional and personal settings. Self-regulation and cognitive-behavioral techniques will also be discussed.

PSY332 Comparative Animal Behavior - 3 credits

This course will familiarize students with methodologies and major theories of comparative animal behavior, with an emphasis on evolutionary processes on behavior. Topics will include developmental, perceptual, cognitive, social, and physiological processes that motivate and direct behavior.

PSY 335 Cross-Cultural Psychology - 3 credits

An introduction to the field of cross-cultural psychology. Readings will be selected to demonstrate how psychologists are examining the many ways in which behavior, thoughts and feelings are influenced by an individual’s culture. Emphasis will be placed on the methods by which psychologists study cultural differences.

PSY 336 Cognitive Psychology - 4 credits

An overview of the scientific field of cognitive psychology. Students become familiar with the different areas studied in the field, including attention, perception, memory, decision-making, language and problem solving. Students critically read key research articles at the core of the field. Laboratory experiments provide an opportunity to experience the application of various principles and concepts discussed in class. Lecture three hours and one hour laboratory.
Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in PSY 211 (or PSY 213) and PSY 212 (or PSY 214) and junior standing.

PSY 337 Introduction to Cognition - 3 credits

An introduction to the field of cognitive psychology. Topics to be covered include attention, perception, memory, decision-making, language and problem solving. Emphasis will be placed on human cognitive abilities and limitations. Outside readings and other media will provide students an opportunity to experience the application of various principles and concepts discussed in class.
Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in PSY 211 (or PSY 213) and junior standing.
This course is for the SAGE Applied Psychology major.

PSY 339 Existential Psychology and the Search for Meaning - 3 credits

Explores the contributions of existentialism to the field of clinical psychology. Central to existentialism are concepts such as freedom, responsibility, anxiety, suffering, and search for meaning. These and other existential concepts will be explored through close examination of the works of authors such as Kierkegaard, Kafka, Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Frankl, Yalom and May.

PSY 344 Professional Ethics - 3 credits

This course uses the case study approach to provide general and specific guidance for ethical conduct in the science and practice of psychology. A variety of issues will be covered, including professional competence, confidentiality, client rights, animal and human research, informed consent, integrity and respect, as well as other topics. The primary goal of the course is to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary for ethical decision-making and ethical behavior. A secondary goal is to familiarize students with the history and current role of the American Psychological Association in establishing guidelines and professional codes of ethics for research, teaching, and practice in psychology. In addition, students learn about federal mandates (e.g., HIPAA), state licensure boards, and other legal and professional guidelines that apply in situations commonly faced by clinicians, researchers and instructors.
Prerequisite: Junior standing.
This course fulfills the Ethics requirement for the SAGE Applied Psychology major and also counts as a PSY elective.

PSY 350 History and Systems of Psychology - 3 credits

A study of major schools and systems of psychology, their historical and philosophical foundations and the people associated with the evolution of the field of psychology. This course is intended to provide an in depth understanding of the issues that have been important to psychology and an understanding of the discipline as it exists today.

PSY 351 Theories of Personality - 3 credits

Introduces the works of selected personality theories that explore human behavior and personality development. It includes representatives of the psychodynamics, trait, humanistic, and existential orientations.
Strongly Recommended: Junior Standing.

PSY 360 Seminar: Special Topics - 3 credits

Depending upon student interest, this seminar course at the 300 level covers topics, problems and/or methods not ordinarily included in regularly scheduled courses.

PSY 363 Senior Capstone – 3 credits

Taken in the senior year, this capstone course for psychology and applied psychology majors integrates the knowledge students have learned in the various subfields of psychology; all graduating majors must register.  This course includes current psychology topics, application of the field, and preparation for future careers. 

PSY 364 Psychology Literature Review - 3 credits

A study of the steps involved in preparing literature reviews in the behavioral sciences. The primary focus is on collecting original research published in academic journals, selecting appropriate pieces, and writing and presenting a sound and comprehensive research review.
Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in PSY 211 (or PSY 213) and PSY 212 (or PSY 214), and junior standing.

 

HIGHLY recommended for Applied Psychology and Psychology majors:

PSY 365 - ST: Psychology Thesis I - 3 credits

Provides the student with an opportunity to initiate and complete a research project in one of several areas predetermined by the course instructor. Grounded in the psychological literature, students will design a novel empirical investigation based on wok being done in the faculty mentor’s lab/areas of research interest. Under faculty supervision, the student will be responsible for developing all stimulus materials and measures, and getting approval to carry out their research through the Cedar Crest College Institutional Review Board (IRB). Students will submit an APA-formatted research proposal at the conclusion of the fall semester, and will share their proposal with the college community at a poster session. At the end of the spring semester students are required to submit an APA-format manuscript based on their completed research, and present their research results at both the annual Cedar Crest College Health and Wellness Conference and the annual LVAIC Undergraduate Psychology Conference.
Prerequisites: A grade of B or better in both PSY 211 and 212 (or PSY 213 and PSY 214 for the SAGE students) is required to enroll in PSY 365.
Senior standing is normally required, but advanced juniors may receive permission to enroll. An application/proposal must be submitted the spring semester prior to the planned research.

PSY 366 - ST: Psychology Thesis II - 3 credits

Continuation of year-long research project started in fall semester (PSY 365). Students will carry out their investigation, collecting and analyzing their data. Students will submit an APA-formatted research manuscript at the conclusion of the semester. Students are also required to present their research results at the annual Cedar Crest College Health and Wellness Conference, as well as at the annual LVAIC Undergraduate Psychology Conference, both at the end of the spring semester.
Prerequisites: A grade of B or better in PSY 365 is required in order for a student to continue on in PSY 366.