MaconCatalog : College of Liberal Arts and Sciences : ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS : PSYCHOLOGY (PSY)
 
PSYCHOLOGY (PSY)
Amy R. Borchardt, Co-Chair/Associate Professor of Psychology
Keegan Greenier, Co-Chair/Professor of Psychology
Sara Appleby, Assistant Professor
Dorothy Buchli, Assistant Professor
Travis Hardin, Lecturer
William J. Jenkins, Associate Professor
Kevin Karl, Assistant Professor
Shan Ran, Assistant Professor
Joshua Rodefer, Assistant Professor
Tanya L. Sharon, Professor
 
The curriculum in the Psychology Department is designed to: (a) give the student a background in the philosophical, theoretical, and empirical aspects of the field; (b) develop the student’s basic skills in critical thinking, reading, writing, speaking, computer use, and research; (c) emphasize the role of liberal education in enhancing personal and professional development; and (d) assure that students have the background experiences necessary to pursue graduate education.
 
Major in Psychology: B.A. degree
31 semester credit hours minimum
PSY 101. Introduction to Psychology
PSY 150. The Psychology Major & Career
PSY 306. Research Methods & Statistics I
PSY 307. Research Methods & Statistics II
One Group 1 course from
PSY 205. Psychology of Learning
PSY 210. Biopsychology
PSY 212. Drugs and Behavior
PSY 215. Cognitive Psychology
PSY 221. Health Psychology
PSY 225. Sensation & Perception
PSY 285. Special Topics (Depending on the topic and with permission of the chair, PSY 285 may be used to fill Group 1 or 2 but not both.)
One Group 2 course from:
PSY 230. Social Psychology
PSY 235. Industrial Organizational Psychology
PSY 240. Theories of Personality
PSY 250. Child & Adolescent Psychology
PSY 256. Forensic Psychology
PSY 265. Abnormal Psychology
PSY 270. Psychology of Gender
PSY 275. Cross-Cultural Psychology
PSY 285. Special Topics (Depending on the topic and with permission of the chair, PSY 285 may be used to fill Group I or 2 but not both.)
One Lab course from:
PSY 312. Animal Behavior
PSY 318. Language
PSY 321. Health Behaviors Laboratory
PSY 325. Tests and Measurement
PSY 326. Behavior Modification
PSY 344. Investigations in Developmental Psychology
PSY 385. Special Topics
One Seminar course from:
PSY 401. History and Systems of Psychology
PSY 414. Hormones and Behavior
PSY 416. Evolutionary Psychology
PSY 421. Stress and Coping
PSY 430. Group Dynamics
PSY 451. Current Issues in Psychology
PSY 485. Special Topics in Psychology
One additional course from:
Group 1
Group 2
Lab course
PSY 490a and b. Empirical Project in Psychology I & II
PSY 496a and b. Honors Project in Psychology I & II
Three additional PSY hours
 
Major in Psychology: B.S. degree
38 semester credit hours minimum
PSY 101. Introduction to Psychology
PSY 150. Psychology Major & Career
PSY 306. Research Methods & Statistics I
PSY 307. Research Methods & Statistics II
One Group 1 course from:
PSY 205. Psychology of Learning
PSY 210. Biopsychology
PSY 212. Drugs and Behavior
PSY 215. Cognitive Psychology
PSY 221. Health Psychology
PSY 225. Sensation & Perception
PSY 285. Special Topics (Depending on the topic and with permission of the chair, PSY 285 may be used to fill Group I or 2 but not both.)
One Group 2 course from:
PSY 230. Social Psychology
PSY 235. Industrial Organizational Psychology
PSY 240. Theories of Personality
PSY 250. Child & Adolescent Psychology
PSY 256. Forensic Psychology
PSY 265. Abnormal Psychology
PSY 270. Psychology of Gender
PSY 275. Cross-Cultural Psychology
PSY 285. Special Topics (Depending on the topic and with permission of the chair, PSY 285 may be used to fill Group I or 2 but not both.)
One course from:
BIO 110. General Concepts of Biology
BIO 202. Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO 211. Introduction to Biology I
BIO 212. Introduction to Biology II
STA 126. Introductory Statistics
One Lab course from:
PSY 312. Animal Behavior
PSY 318. Language
PSY 321. Health Behaviors Laboratory
PSY 325. Tests and Measurement
PSY 326. Behavior Modification
PSY 344. Investigations in Developmental Psychology
PSY 385. Special Topics
One Seminar course from:
PSY 401. History and Systems of Psychology
PSY 414. Hormones and Behavior
PSY 416. Evolutionary Psychology
PSY 421. Stress and Coping
PSY 430. Group Dynamics
PSY 451. Current Issues in Psychology
PSY 485. Special Topics in Psychology
4 additional hours of research:
PSY 290. Research Practicum
PSY lab course
PSY 495. Directed Independent Research
PSY 490a and b
PSY 496a and b
Six additional PSY hours
 
Students intending to pursue graduate studies in psychology are encouraged to take PSY 401.
 
Majors may attain Departmental Honors in Psychology by first filing an application to attempt Honors with the chair. To be eligible to apply, the student must fulfill the following requirements: (1) have a minimum grade point average of 3.50 in all Psychology courses and a 3.00 overall grade point average; and (2) have completed at least three courses in Psychology, which must include PSY 101, 306, and one course from either Group 1 or 2. To earn Departmental Honors, the student must then: (1) maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.50 in all Psychology courses and a 3.00 overall grade point average; and (2) complete PSY 496A and 496B, Honors Project in Psychology.
 
Minor in Psychology
15 semester credit hours minimum
PSY 101. Introduction to Psychology
PSY 394. Foundations in Research Methods and Statistics
PSY 395. Perspectives in Psychology
One course from Group I:
PSY 205. Psychology of Learning
PSY 285. Special Topics (Depending on the topic and with permission of the chair, PSY 285 may be used to fill Group I or 2 but not both.)
PSY 210. Biopsychology
PSY 212. Drugs and Behavior
PSY 215. Cognitive Psychology
PSY 221. Health Psychology
PSY 225. Sensation & Perception
PSY 275. Cross-Cultural Psychology
PSY 285. Special Topics
One course from Group 2:
PSY 230. Social Psychology
PSY 235. Industrial Organizational Psychology
PSY 240. Theories of Personality
PSY 250. Child & Adolescent Psychology
PSY 260. Introduction to Clinical Psychology
PSY 265. Abnormal Psychology
PSY 270. Psychology of Gender
PSY 275. Cross-Cultural Psychology
PSY 285. Special Topics (Depending on the topic and with permission of the chair, PSY 285 may be used to fill Group I or 2 but not both.)
 
PSY 101. Introduction to Psychology (3 hours)
An introduction to and survey of the major content areas of psychology. The topics include biological, cognitive, social, and environmental influences on behavior, as well as the variety of philosophical, theoretical, and empirical approaches adopted by the discipline. (Every semester)
PSY 150. The Psychology Major and Career (1 hour)
Prerequisites: PSY 101 and declared psychology major.
An orientation course which serves to teach students about the many different sub-disciplines within psychology (e.g., biological, clinical, cognitive, developmental, health, industrial, personality, social, and others). Students will learn about career options in these fields and what path through the Mercer Psychology major curriculum will best prepare them in their pursuit of their career goals. Graded S/U. (Every year)
PSY 190. Introduction to Research Process (1-3 hours)
Prerequisite: permission of the department chair.
An opportunity for students to be introduced to the research process and to begin to engage in psychological research. Students will assist faculty and upper-level students in conducting research. Students are expected to complete assignments requiring at least three hours of work per week for every hour of credit. Graded S/U. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (Every semester)
PSY 198. Special Introductory Topics in Psychology: (Subtitle) (1-3 hours)
Study of an introductory topic in Psychology not covered in any of the departmental offerings. Students must engage in projects or assignments requiring at least one contact hour, or equivalent, per week for every hour of credit. This course may be applied to the Psychology major or minor. (Occasionally)
PSY 205. Psychology of Learning (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
This course will provide an overview of empirical and theoretical perspectives on learning. Topics will include classical and operant conditioning, observational learning and many applied extensions of the basic learning process. (Every year)
PSY 210. Biopsychology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
An investigation of the ways the nervous system interfaces with behavior to determine what we perceive, feel, think, say, and do. The course will provide an overview of the major divisions of biopsychology—neuropsychology, psychopharmacology, psychophysiology, and physiological psychology—with an emphasis on their relationship to behavior. (Every year)
PSY 212. Drugs and Behavior (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
This course will provide an overview of the basic pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and behavioral outcomes of the major categories of drugs. Both licit and illicit drugs will be considered with particular emphasis on the most commonly used drugs in our society and those drugs that are associated with a high abuse potential. (Every year)
PSY 215. Cognitive Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
An introduction to the major theoretical approaches and empirical research related to human thought processes. Topics include perception, attention, memory, thinking, problem solving, and decision making. (Every year)
PSY 221. Health Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101 or GHS 200.
This course will explore theoretical and empirical approaches to studying the influence of thought, feeling, and behavior on physical health. The class will examine the mind-body problem and how physical health is influenced by personality, social relationships, stress, expectations, behavior, and emotion expression. (Every year)
PSY 225. Sensation and Perception (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
This course will provide the student with an understanding of how humans sense and perceive the surrounding environment. Topics will include the visual, auditory, vestibular, olfactory, and somatosensory systems. (Every two years)
PSY 230. Social Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
An examination of behavior influenced by other people. The topics include interpersonal relationships, attitude development and change, group interaction, and the impact of culture and physical environments. (Every year)
PSY 235. Industrial-Organizational Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
An introduction to the science of studying human behavior and mental processes in the workplace. Topics covered include personnel selection, performance appraisal, training and development, employee motivation, leadership, and occupational health. (Every year)
PSY 240. Theories of Personality (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
A critical review of the major theoretical explanations of the development, structure and organization of personal attributes. The course also considers the empirical evidence which supports these theories. (Every year)
PSY 245. Lifespan Development (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
An introduction to the study of the psychological development of the individual. The focus of this course is both theoretical and empirical, including coverage of growth in physical, social, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and personality traits across the life span. Students may not take this course if they have already received credit for PSY 250. (Every year)
PSY 250. Child and Adolescent Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
An overview of human development in infancy through adolescence, encompassing physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional changes. Introduces the major theories of development and explores their ability to accurately describe and explain normal development. Central issues (e.g., nature versus nurture, mechanisms of development) are also explored. Students may not take this course if they have already received credit for PSY 245. (Every year)
PSY 256. Forensic Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
This course will examine the application of psychological theory and research to the legal system. Topics will include a survey of the major topics in the field including eyewitness identification, police interrogations and confessions, jury decision-making, and criminal competency and insanity evaluations. (Every year)
PSY 265. Abnormal Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
A survey of the major categories of behavior pathology, including a consideration of etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. (Every year)
PSY 270. Psychology of Gender (3 hours)
(Same as WGS 270)
Prerequisite: PSY 101 or consent of instructor.
Examination of the theory and context in which the social construct of “gender” develops, and the impact this has on our perceptions of ourselves, how others perceive us, and how we relate to others. Emphasis will be placed on the diversity of such experiences. (Every two years)
PSY 275. Cross-Cultural Psychology (3 hours)
(Same as ANT 275)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
An introduction to the perspectives, methods, and controversies in studying human psychology across cultures. Explores the dimensions along which cultures vary and examines specific differences and similarities between cultures in areas such as identity, social relations, child-rearing, and mental disorders (Every year).
PSY 285. Special Topics: (Subtitle) (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
A survey of a content area in psychology that is not available through other departmental course offerings. May be taken more than once, for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (Occasionally)
PSY 290. Research Practicum (1-3 hours)
Prerequisites: PSY 101 and permission of the department chair.
An opportunity for students to apply course knowledge in either classroom or laboratory settings. Students will assist faculty and upper level students in conducting research or in providing instructional support for students enrolled in lower level psychology courses. Students are expected to complete assignments requiring at least three hours of work per week for every hour of credit. Graded S/U. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
PSY 306. Research Methods and Statistics I (4 hours)
Prerequisites: PSY 101 and completion of the CLAS Gen Ed math requirement.
An introduction to the research methods and statistics used in psychological research. Topics include research ethics, sampling from populations, descriptive research and statistics, survey research, basic experimental design and hypothesis testing, and two-group designs and t-tests. Students will gain experience conducting literature reviews, reading empirical articles, using the SPSS statistical analysis software, and beginning writing APA-style manuscripts. (Every semester)
PSY 307. Research Methods and Statistics II (4 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 306.
A continuation into more advanced study of psychological research methodologies and their associated statistical analyses. Topics include correlation and regression, multiple-group and factorial designs, quasi-experimental designs, Analyses of Variance, and non- parametric tests. Students will gain experience in formulating research hypotheses and writing all portions of formal APA-style manuscripts. (Every semester)
PSY 312. Animal Behavior (4 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 307 or PSY 394 or NEU 394.
This course seeks to describe and explain the causative and developmental factors that influence animal behavior at the level of the individual and social group. Considerations of the adaptive and evolutionary mechanisms underlying behavior will be stressed. Laboratory investigations and written reports of experimental findings are required. (Every two years)
PSY 318. Language (4 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 307.
Examination of the area of Psycholinguistics. Addresses language processes from a research and theoretical perspective. Topics include, but are not limited to, reading and writing processes, bilingualism, word recognition, speech processes, and language development. Laboratory investigations and written reports of experimental findings are required. (Every two years)
PSY 321. Health Behaviors Laboratory (4 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 307 or PSY 394 or NEU 394.
An examination of the biological, psychological, and social factors involved in health behaviors. Topics include, but are not limited to, pain, healthy habits, and complementary and alternative medicine. Laboratory investigations and written reports of empirical findings are required. (Every two years)
PSY 325. Tests and Measurement (4 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 307.
Examination of the construction, evaluation, and use of psychological assessment devices. The topics include reliability, validity, measurement theory, and factors that influence the assessment process. Laboratory investigations and written reports of empirical findings are required. (Every year)
PSY 326. Behavior Modification (4 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 307.
An examination of the applications of learning principles in solving human problems. Consideration will be given to legal, social, and ethical issues related to these applications. Experiential or practical exercises applying principles learned and written reports of these findings are required. (Every two years)
PSY 344. Investigations in Developmental Psychology (4 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 307.
Investigations into various central developmental issues across the lifespan, such as nature vs. nurture, attachment, resilience, identity, moral development, gender development, and aging. Laboratory investigations, research proposals, and written article critiques are required. (Every two years)
PSY 385. Special Topics: (Subtitle) (4 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 307.
An empirical study of some significant topic in psychology that is not available through other departmental laboratory course offerings. Laboratory investigations and written reports of empirical findings are required. May be taken more than once, for a maximum of eight credit hours. (Every year)
PSY 390. Field Placement (1-15 hours)
Prerequisite: permission of the department chair.
An opportunity to obtain experience with the activities typically performed by a practicing psychologist. Students are expected to work for the agency involved no fewer than 3 hours per week for each credit hour awarded. Specific academic assignments will also be negotiated with the faculty member involved and the agency supervisor. Graded S/U. (Every semester)
PSY 394. Foundations in Research Methods and Statistics (4 hours)
(Same as NEU 394)
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
An introduction to the research methods and statistical analyses used by psychologists and behavioral neuroscientists. Includes basic research designs, issues of reliability and validity, and parametric and nonparametric hypothesis testing. Required for psychology minors and neuroscience majors; may not be used to fulfill the major requirements in psychology. (Every semester)
PSY 395. Perspectives in Psychology (2 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 394.
An overview of the major subareas of psychology. Topics covered include biological, clinical, cognitive, developmental, industrial-organizational, legal, and social psychology. (Every year)
PSY 401. History and Systems of Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisites: PSY 307 and one course from either Group 1 or Group 2.
An attempt to place in historical perspective the major concepts, philosophical assumptions, and theories of psychology. The course draws together content from across the curriculum and includes a critical examination of the field. As a seminar, students will be expected to read, discuss, and engage in integrative writing about published research. (Every year)
PSY 414. Hormones and Behavior (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 307 or PSY/NEU 394.
This course provides an in-depth analysis of major research findings that relate to behavioral endocrinology. Course topics include: basic endocrine function/regulation, hormonal maintenance of homeostasis, and hormonal modulation of a variety of social interactions, reproductive behaviors, and stress. As a seminar, students will be expected to read, discuss, and engage in integrative writing about published research. (Every other year)
PSY 416. Evolutionary Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 307 or PSY/NEU 394.
This seminar allows for the critical examination of the research produced under the frame of evolutionary psychology and encourages discussion about its influence on the field of psychology as a whole. Topics may include: survival, aggression, mating, parenting, kinship, social behavior, and morality. As a seminar, students will be expected to read, discuss, and engage in integrative writing about published research. (Every other year)
PSY 421. Stress and Coping (3 hours)
Prerequisites: PSY 307 and one course from either Group 1 or Group 2.
This seminar is designed to give students a better understanding of theory and research concerning stress and coping. As a seminar, students will be expected to read, discuss, and engage in integrative writing about published research. (Every other year)
PSY 430. Group Dynamics (3 hours)
Prerequisites: PSY 307 and one course from either Group 1 or Group 2.
A sub-specialization of social psychology, this seminar focuses on human thought and behavior specifically in group situations. Topics may include group formation, structure, and development; cohesiveness; influence; power; group task performance; group decision-making; leadership; crowd behavior; and intra- and intergroup conflict. As a seminar, students will be expected to read, discuss, and engage in integrative writing about published research. (Every other year)
PSY 451. Current Issues in Psychology (3 hours)
Prerequisites: PSY 307 and one course from either Group 1 or Group 2.
This seminar offers an in-depth exploration of a limited number of current issues and/or controversial questions in various areas of psychology. Prior topics have included the nature of addiction, gender differences, and the effects of social media. As a seminar, students will be expected to read, discuss, and engage in integrative writing about published research. (Every other year)
PSY 485. Special Topics in Psychology: (Subtitle) (3 hours)
Prerequisites: PSY 307 and one course from either Group 1 or Group 2.
An advanced study of psychological theories that is not available through other departmental course offerings. May be taken more than once (with different topics). As a seminar, students will be expected to read, discuss, and engage in integrative writing about published research. (Occasionally)
PSY 490a. Empirical Project in Psychology I (2 hours)
Prerequisites: PSY 307 and permission of department chair.
The development and completion of an acceptable proposal for an empirical project on a psychological topic. The student will produce a formal manuscript and orally present the proposed empirical project. (Every semester)
PSY 490b. Empirical Project in Psychology II (2 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 490a or PSY 496a.
The implementation and completion of the project proposed in PSY 490a. The student will produce a formal manuscript and orally present the results of this empirical project. (Every semester)
PSY 495. Directed Independent Research (1-4 hours)
Prerequisites: PSY 307 and consent of instructor.
Requirements include selection of a problem area, survey of the relevant literature, research and report of these findings. Students are expected to engage in projects or assignments requiring at least three hours of work per week for every hour of credit. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (Every semester)
PSY 496a. Honors Project in Psychology I (2 hours)
Prerequisites: candidate for Departmental Honors in Psychology, PSY 307, and permission of chair.
The student must make formal application to the departmental chair and, if approved, register for this course instead of PSY 490a. The student then develops and completes an acceptable Honors project prospectus for an empirical project on a psychological topic that meets the approval of a committee of three faculty members from the department. The student will produce a formal manuscript and orally present a proposed empirical project. (Every semester)
PSY 496b. Honors Project in Psychology II (2 hours)
Prerequisite: PSY 496a.
The implementation and completion of the project proposed in PSY 496a. The student will produce a formal manuscript and orally present the results of this proposed empirical project. (Every semester)