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Course Descriptions

You can read course descriptions for all the PSY courses below.  Please check the MyKU database for all of the details about the PSY courses. The courses are arranged alphabetically by prefix. To select Psychology, search for PSY prefix.

PSY 011 - General Psychology
An introduction to the psychological bases of behavior in motivation, learning, memory, development, personality, perception, abnormal behavior, psychotherapy, attitude change, and group behavior. 

PSY 110 - Child Psychology
This course deals with the organization of psychological processes within the individual as he/she develops from conception to adolescence. It will focus on the physical, social, cognitive, and emotional aspects of child development as well as techniques of child study, theories of learning, genetics, and individual differences.
Students may not exceed 6 credits to be used toward graduation from the following group: PSY 110, 120,125. Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 120 - Adolescent Psychology
A study of the interacting physical, social, and psychological characteristics of the adolescent stages of human development. Special attention will be given to means that parents and professionals might employ to facilitate positive growth and development of the adolescent. 
Students may not exceed 6 credits to be used toward graduation from the following group: PSY 110, 120,125. Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 125 - Life Span Development
This course examines human development across the life span from infancy to old age. The emphasis will be on physical, cognitive, social and personality development. Normal development will be stressed but aspects of abnormal functioning will also be considered. 
Students may not exceed 6 credits to be used toward graduation from the following group: PSY 110, 120,125. Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 140 - Educational Psychology
The focus of this course is the study of the human learning process, with an emphasis on the application of the principles of psychology to the problems of learning and teaching. The social, cultural, and political contexts within which the educational system is embedded is examined. Special emphasis is given to teacher effectiveness and to the procedures involved in facilitating learning, both at the elementary and secondary levels. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 160CD - Human Exceptionalities
The course is designed to give a functional understanding of the various types of exceptional or atypical individuals. Attention is given to the psychological problems arising out of the interaction of exceptional children and the environment. Individuals with physical, mental, neurological, sensory, and behavioral exceptionalities are studied. Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 200QL - Statistics for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the concepts of descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of any research should be summarized by appropriate descriptive statistics such as central tendency, variability, and the shape of the distribution. Relationships will be studied using correlation, regression, and chi-square. Research which involves sampling will be analyzed by appropriate inferential statistics such as t-tests and ANOVA. Sampling error, hypothesis testing, significance levels, Type I Error, Type II Error, and power will be discussed. In addition, the student will be introduced to SPSS for Windows, Microsoft Excel, and/or other appropriate software for performing descriptive and inferential statistical procedures presented throughout the course. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 (Psychology majors need a 'C' or better) and MAT 017 or higher (except  040 Geometry, and 045 Women in Mathematics).

PSY 202 - Psychology of Personality
A study of the methods and concepts used in studying personality. Consideration is given to various theories as well as the experimental and clinical findings on personality. Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 205CD - Psychology of the Black Experience
This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth examination of the factors that have historically, culturally, politically, educationally, and scientifically shaped the consciousness of black Americans. Specific attention will be paid to how these factors have explicitly and implicitly influenced the self-concept development of black Americans and how such self-awareness influences their interactions among themselves as well as other individuals from different racial and cultural groups. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 215CD - Psychology of Prejudice
Prejudice will be defined and its origins, benefits to the prejudger and its implications for our society will be discussed. Antecedents of prejudice and means of reducing prejudice will be identified. Prejudice against specific groups of individuals will be explored. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 217 - Psychology and the Law
An overview of the area of psychology and law. Topics covered will include psychological aspects of criminal behavior, the insanity defense, competency, commitment of the mentally ill, scientific jury selection and professional issues such as the duty to warn. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 220 - Industrial/Organizational Psychology
The interactive relationships between organizations and the individual will be analyzed. Psychological principles involved in personnel selection, training, performance appraisal, motivation, group processes, leadership, organizational dynamics, and the work environment are considered. A minor focus on career planning. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 240 - Social Psychology
The behavior of the individual in society, the actions of humans in relation to other persons, the development of social goals, and social behavior. Prejudice and its effects on the individual as well as attitude formation and change will be discussed. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 242 - Performance Psychology
This course investigates the psychological factors associated with skilled performance and how these factors can be applied to understand elite performance in various areas such as sport, music, and surgery. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 245 - Conflict and Conflict Resolution
This course will primarily focus on the critical issues in interpersonal, intragroup, and intergroup conflict. The course will present a balanced and integrated overview of theory and research on the psychological underpinnings of conflict, the roots of conflict in schools and organizations, and the social, cultural, and ethnic causes of international conflict. The dynamics and complex nature of conflict resolution will also be addressed. This course will be of particular relevance to students interested in organizational behavior, social psychology, issues of diversity, and international affairs. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 250 - Abnormal Psychology
This course reviews the history, causes, symptoms, and treatment of the various types of abnormal behaviors. Special emphasis is placed on neurosis, psychosis, and psychosomatic disorders as well as organic bases of psychological functioning. Each diagnostic category is considered in light of traditional as well as current theory with special attention given to current research in the field. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 255 - Environmental Psychology
The study of individual and group behavior as it relates to natural and human-made environments. Emphasis is placed on aspects of the environment such as space, physical arrangements, crowding, pollution, etc. as they relate to perception, development, and adjustment. Research methods for studying aspects of the environment are an integral part of the course. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 260 - Psychology of Human Communication
Cognitive, emotive, and perceptual development and processes of communicative behavior. Included will be an overview of applicable theories and research, the influence of psychological, situational, and personality factors, and the interactive active processes of verbal and non-verbal communication. Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 265 - Human Sexual Behavior
An overview of the current scientific knowledge and research methods concerning human sexuality. The influence of learning, feelings, motivations, interactions, subtleties, problems and therapies of sexual behavior will be discussed.
Prerequisite: Instructor consent required.

PSY 270CTWI - Experimental Psychology
Experimental Psychology deals with various aspects of research in the field of psychology. Experience will be provided with the design of research, the collection of data, the analysis of data, and the presentation of results. An individual research project utilizing the theories and methods is required. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 280 - 289 - Selected Topics in Psychology
Topics in the fields of psychology that are of current interest will be selected for in-depth study. The course content will normally change each time the course is offered. The course may be repeated for credit provided that the same topic is not repeated. 
Prerequisite: PSY 011.

PSY 290CD - Culture and Personality
The course is designed as an interdisciplinary survey of the field of culture and personality. The key problem involves investigating the concepts of culture and personality and the nature of the relationship between them. 
Prerequisite: ANT 010 or PSY 011.

PSY 305 - Practicum in Psychology
This is a supervised practicum in an approved research or applied setting that may be on or off-campus. Experiences might include, but are not limited to, working as a research assistant in a laboratory or other facility, volunteer work for a service organization or government agency, or work with a school district. This practicum is not designed for activities related to the provision of clinical/counseling or I/O services to agencies and businesses. Early in the semester prior to the practicum, the student, with the help of the faculty supervisor, must contact the site and develop a proposal outlining the work location and the anticipated practicum activities. The proposal must be approved before the student can register for the course. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better. Department consent required.

PSY 310CTQL - Principles of Psychological Measurement
An introduction to the theory of measurement of human behavior, its application to test and survey design and the application and evaluation of tests and survey tools in practice clinical, industrial, educational, and research situations. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 311 - Psychology of Learning, Motivation, and Emotion
A study of the basic processes in the areas of learning, motivation, and emotion as viewed through the major theoretical systems and empirical research. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 312 - Sensation and Perception
An overview of visual and auditory perception combining the empirical and phenomenal approaches. Sensory and perceptual bases of color, form, space, sound, and music are covered.
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 325 - Physiological Psychology
This course is designed to explore the relationship between physiological functions and their behavioral manifestations. The sensory systems, the central and peripheral nervous systems, and the glands will be covered as they affect motivation, emotion, learning and memory, and psychopathology. Normal as well as abnormal functions are examined. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 331 - Health Psychology: Biopsychosocial Factors in Health and Illness
Health psychology is the scientific study of behaviors that relate to health enhancement, disease prevention and management, and rehabilitation. This course will examine the biological, psychological, and social factors in health and illness. The course is organized into three parts: foundations of health psychology, biopsychosocial factors in health, and biopsychosocial factors in illness. Health psychology is both an applied field and a basic research field. Accordingly, scientific accomplishments are examined as they impact on clinical application. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 333 - The Psychology of Leadership in Organizations
The primary focus of this course is on managerial leadership. The course will present a broad survey of theory and research on leadership in formal organizations, with special emphasis on leader effectiveness. Conceptual and methodological issues pertaining to leader effectiveness will be explored from four major research approaches: (1) the power-influence approach; (2) the trait approach; (3) the behavior approach; and (4) the situation approach. An integrating model of leadership will also be examined.
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better, and PSY 220. 

PSY 336CD - Diversity in Organizations
Organizations have been continuing to diversify their workforces by employing people of various genders, ethnicities, national cultures, ages, and abilities. This course will examine a wide range of workplace issues as they related to diversity, starting with understanding the advantages of a diverse workforce, individual and organizational challenges experienced with regard to diversity, and best practices in how to maintain a diverse workforce.
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 340 - Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of mental representations and processes. Cognitive psychology, for example, focuses on how people take in, mentally represent, and store information; how they perceive and process that information; and how these processes affect everyday behavior. Its diverse topics include attention, pattern recognition, learning, memory, language processing, problem solving, and reasoning. The discoveries of cognitive psychologists are used in a variety of disciplines, including applied psychology, psychiatry, engineering, computer science, and linguistics. The goal of this course is to provide a foundation in many of the major areas within cognitive psychology.
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 350 - Personnel Psychology
The focus of this course is an examination of individual work behavior in the context of organizations. Personnel psychology (also referred to as industrial psychology) is a sub-field within the broader applied discipline of industrial and organizational psychology (Cascio, 1998). Personnel psychology overlaps with human resources management (HRM). Like industrial and organizational psychology, personnel psychology is based on the "Scientist-Practitioner" model with emphasis on principles of individual, group and organizational behavior through basic research and the application of scientific knowledge to the solution of human problems at work. Personnel psychology has its origins in the first half of the twentieth century where basic psychological theory and principles were applied to assist in the selection and staffing of personnel during World War I (Cooper and Locke, 2000). Following the War, psychologists continued to apply psychological theory and principles to solve real world problems in industry, commerce, and the public sector. Since its early roots in personnel selection, personnel psychology has extended beyond recruiting and hiring processes. As such, in addition to the traditional area of personnel selection, this course will examine such topics as applied psychometrics, job analysis and criteria development, testing, performance management systems, training and development and HRM. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 351 - Organizational Psychology
This course examines the science and practice of organizational psychology. Organizational psychology is a sub-area of the broader filed of industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology. While industrial or personal psychology (PSY 350) concentrates on topics associated with the management of human resources in organizations (i.e. employment law, criterion development, recruitment, test validation, selection, performance management, training, human resource planning), organizational psychology examines individual and group behavior in formal organizations (i.e., socialization, motivation, job attitudes, occupational stress, leadership, group performance, organizational culture).
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 355 - Organization Development and Change
This course will introduce the student to the basic theory and practice of Organization Development (OD). OD, a sub-field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology, can be defined as a system-wide application of behavioral knowledge and practice to the planned development and reinforcement of organizational strategies, structures, and processes for improving an organization's effectiveness (Cummings and Worley, 2001). The course will focus on six major OD processes and interventions: (1) the process of how OD is applied to organizations; (2) human process interventions aimed at the social processes occurring within organizations; (3) technostructural interventions aimed at organization structure and at better integrating people and technology; (4) human resource management interventions that are directed at integrating people into the organization; (5) strategic interventions that focus on organizing the firm's resources to gain a competitive advantage in the environment; and (6) evaluating OD interventions and stabilizing them as a permanent part of the organizational functioning.
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 360 - Introduction to Clinical Psychology
This course is a survey of the field of Clinical Psychology, its problems, methods, and areas of application. The student will be presented with rudimentary background knowledge in testing techniques, interviewing, and psychotherapy.
Prerequisites: PSY 011 with a "C" or better,  PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120 with a "C" or better and PSY 250.

PSY 362 - Internship in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
This is an academically based, supervised work experience designed to apply theory to practice. Students will have the opportunity to interact with professionals in their area of interest, develop the communication skills needed in their field, and begin to build a strong resume and references. This experience will provide not only career focus but also increased self-confidence and maturity.  

PSY 363 - Clinical Internship
One semester supervised internship at agencies and organizations offering clinical/counseling services. Students spend either one or two days a week at the internship site and have the opportunity to observe and/or provide psychometric services, interviews, counseling, and other clinical services under supervision. In addition, students participate in a weekly meeting at the university during which they present their fieldwork experiences and discuss the relationship between clinical practice and theory.
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" or better and PSY 360.

PSY 370 - Selected Research Topics in Psychology
This course is designed to allow students to do independent research under the direction of a faculty member. The topic must be accepted by the department member with whom the student will work. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 with a C or better, PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120 with a C or better, and PSY 270. May be repeated for credit.

PSY 375 - Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice
This course will examine the major approaches to psychotherapy through a critical review of (a) the epistemological and theoretical bases of psychotherapeutic practice, (b) evidence from outcome and process studies conducted in analogue as well as field settings, and (c) specific techniques employed in the treatment of various psychological problems. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 with a C or better, PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120 with a C or better, PSY 202 or PSY 250, or permission of the instructor.

PSY 379 - History and Systems of Psychology
This course is designed to give the student an historical introduction to the various points of view in contemporary theories of behavior.
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better.

PSY 380WI - Senior Seminar in Psychology
This course, required of all liberal arts students majoring in psychology, provides an opportunity for senior psychology majors to critically examine selected significant issues and problems within the discipline of psychology. Through critical reading, discussion and expository writing students are encouraged to integrate and synthesize prior training in psychology as they critically and creatively examine important issues and problems in the field. This course should be taken during the school year of expected graduation. 
Prerequisites: PSY 011 & PSY 200 or MAT 140 or BUS 120, with a grade of "C" of better. Senior standing or permission of the instructor.

PSY 429 - Behavior Modification
A survey of procedures used for behavior modification and behavior therapy. Practical application of these procedures to various populations will be stressed.
Prerequisites: Graduate student status, or junior/senior undergraduate with a QPA 2.9 or higher, PSY 011 and PSY 200 with a C or better or permission of the instructor.

PSY 432 - Human Neuropsychology
This course will consider aspects of the relationship between brain and behavior in the adult and the developing human through the critical examination of evidence derived from (1) the study of the effects of focal lesions of the cerebral cortex, (2) the effect of forebrain commissurotomy and (3) the neuropsychological investigation of subjects without neurological impairment. Relevant experimental literature concerned with animals other than humans will also be considered.
Prerequisites: Graduate student status, or junior/senior undergraduate with a QPA 2.9 or higher, PSY 011 and PSY 200 with a C or better or permission of the instructor.

PSY 512 - Psychological Testing
The course is designed to study the objectives of testing, procedural methods common to all testing, and the meaning of standardization, validity, reliability, and other terms related to understanding and evaluating tests and use. Familiarity with some of the leading tests in use today is expected.
Prerequisite: CPY 511.

PSY 520 - Advanced Social Psychology
A scientific study of interpersonal relationships is undertaken. The relationships of persons to other persons as individuals and as members of groups, the mutual interdependence, and reciprocal influences upon attitudes, thoughts, and behavior are studied.  

PSY 525 - Developmental Psychology of Childhood
In this course the development of heredity, environment, physical, motor, emotional, social, and intellectual patterns are studied. The culturally deprived child and current trends and issues in infant and child care are topics included in the course.  

PSY 527 - Developmental Psychology of Adolescence
Developmental problems of the adolescent period are studied. This includes the interrelationships that exist between maturational changes and cultural influences, and the effects of the home, the peers, and the social agencies.  

PSY 529 - Growth and Development Through Adulthood and Aging
This course examines physical, social, cognitive, and personality development from early adulthood through late adulthood. The emphasis is on normative behavior, but extremes in behavior are considered.  

PSY 530 - Life Span Development
This course examines human development across the life span from infancy to old age. The emphasis will be on physical, cognitive, social, and personality development. Normal development will be stressed, but aspects of abnormal functioning will also be considered.  

PSY 545 - Theories of Personality
The theoretical structure and functioning of the normal personality and the assessment of and research into the various theories of personality are analyzed.  

PSY 546 - Psychopathology
This course presents an overview of adult and child mental disorders. The causes, characteristics, and, to some extent, treatment of these disorders will be discussed. The focus is on the relationship between the psychological, biological, social, environmental and cultural influences on emotional and mental health. Differential diagnoses will be discussed as well. The current DSM diagnostic manual criteria and other diagnostic schemas will be discussed.  

PSY 565 - Theories of Learning
This course focuses on how human beings and animals learn. It covers principles and applications of classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning, and cognitive learning approaches.