Undergraduate Courses | Psychology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



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Courses in the Psychology Department cover a full range of topics within psychology.

100- & 200-Level Courses

102 (3 credits) – Introduction to Psychology. (University Core Curriculum) [A] Course: S6 900]  An examination of the variables related to the origins and modifications of human behavior using the viewpoints and techniques of contemporary psychology. Purchase of syllabus from local vendor required.

202 (1 credit) – Careers in Psychology. A survey of fields of psychology from the perspective of available career options.  Activities, required skills, rewards, and external constraints that characterize different career paths are practiced and discussed in relation to students' abilities and interests.  Required of psychology majors, but open to any interested student.  No prerequisite.

207 (3 credits) -- Peace Psychology--Harmony with Nature and Human Beings. (University Core Curriculum) Peace psychology is a broad discipline that addresses human conflict and the need for peace in all arenas of life, including the need to establish harmony between nature and human beings. Key concepts, theories, research, and resolutions pertaining to peace, harmony, competition, and conflict (war, violence) from a variety of disciplines will be reviewed and discussed. Topics will include competition and conflict between different species, individuals, groups, and ethnic/cultural communities in regional, national, and international contexts. Although the theme of peace will be addressed from a psychological perspective, the course is of relevance to many different disciplines.

211 (4 credits) – Research Methods in Psychology. An introduction to the use of scientific methods in the study of behavior. Considerations of experimental design and methodology are integrated with the treatment of data analysis, interpretation of results and writing of a research report. Students will write a research proposal, conduct an experiment and write a report of the experiment. This course satisfies the CoLA Writing-Across-the-Curriculum requirement. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite:  Psyc 102.

222 (3 credits) – Effects of Recreational Drugs on Mind and Body. Describes the physiological and psychological effects of substances used as recreational drugs for their psychoactive effects. Drugs discussed will include alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine and other stimulants, the barbiturates, methaqualone, the psychedelics, marijuana, tranquilizers, and the opiates. The purpose of the course is to provide the student with the facts concerning the effects of these drugs and the potential for their abuse and physiological and psychological dependence on them.

223 (3 credits) – Diversity in the Workplace. (University Core Curriculum) Examination of factors affecting the full utilization of women, racio-ethnic minorities, older workers, disabled workers and workers with nontraditional sexual orientations in the workplace. Individual processes, such as group identities, stereotyping, prejudice; group processes such as inter-group conflict; and organizational processes such as structural barriers and informal integration will be studied. The class utilizes a lecture and small discussion-section format with in-class, team, and individual exercises and projects.

233 (3 credits) – Psychology of Gender in Diverse Context. (University Core Curriculum) The course examines how gender affects all aspects of our lives at the individual, societal and cultural levels. It will cover psychological theories and topics related to gender, and will examine issues of diversity, such as race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, disability and age as they interact with gender.

237 (3 credits)Psychology of Crime. This course examines core concepts in psychology, including the effects of biology, genetics, personality, development, learning, and cognition on behavior, with an application to criminal behavior. These theories will be used to analyze and explain criminal behavior depicted in a range of popular films.

250 (3 credits) Lifespan Development. Examines growth and development through the lifespan including physical, social, cognitive and neurological development. This course covers topics in each of these areas across infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.

300-Level Courses

301 (3 credits) – Child Psychology The biological and psychological development of the child from birth through puberty, and relevant research methods and results. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

302 (3 credits) – Introduction to Neuroscience. A survey of the role of biological processes in the behavior of humans and other species. Topics include structure and function of the nervous system, behavioral endocrinology, psychopharmacology, sensorimotor functions, sleep and waking, motivation and emotion, reinforcement, psychopathology, and learning and memory.  Prerequisite:  PSYC 102.

303 (3 credits) – Adolescence and Young Adulthood. Examines interrelated psychological, biological and social aspects of development during adolescence and young adulthood based on a life-span perspective of development. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

304 (3 credits) – Adulthood and Aging. Examines the interrelated psychological, biological, and social aspects of development during middle and later adulthood based on a life-span perspective of development. Neuropsychological changes associated with normal and pathological aging will also be considered. Prerequisite:  PSYC 102

305 (3 credits) - Psychology of Personality. The inferred patterns underlying an individual's unique reactions to the environment. Investigates the motivation, development, and methods of changing these patterns, and how personality processes are studied. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

306 (3 credits) – Positive Psychology and Human Strengths. An introduction to a contemporary movement seeking to understand the nature of human strengths, characteristics, resources, and aspirations. Surveys this emerging discipline, emphasizing theory and practical applications promoting human potential. Topics include happiness, creativity, confidence, wisdom, and intelligence among other aspects of optimal human functioning. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

307 (3 credits) – Social Psychology. Surveys contemporary issues such as love and friendship, shyness and loneliness, sexual attitudes and behavior, management of impressions made on others, attitude change and persuasion, leadership, group processes, aggression, and helping behavior. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

308 (3 credits) – Psychology of Motivation. Examines variables affecting motivation in animals and humans. Topics include motivation based on cultural processes as well as those based on biological needs. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

309 (3 credits) – Psychology of Learning. Principles and laws of learning as derived from the classical and instrumental learning literature — acquisition, extinction, punishment, persistence, generalization, discrimination, motivation, drives, and incentives. Prerequisite: PSYC 211.

310 (3 credits) – Cognitive Psychology. A survey of theory and research on attention, memory, language behavior, and problem solving. The principal orientation will be the information processing approach to the study of behavior. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

311 (4 credits) – Field Research Methods in Psychology. An introduction to field and other quasi-experimental methods appropriate for use in settings in which the researcher can exercise minimal control and manipulation. Included are designs and analytical methods for exploring cause-effect relationships in naturalistic settings. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: 211 or consent of instructor.

312 (3 credits) - Sensation and Perception. Surveys the structure and function of the sensory organs as well as the perceptual experiences associated with these systems (e.g., color perception, speech perception). Examines physical, neural, and chemical mechanisms responsible for sensory and perceptual experience. Prerequisite: PSYC 102

320 (3 credits) Psychology of Work and Play. The course is a survey and review of a variety of interdisciplinary topics related to the interconnection between human work and play. Course content includes theories of the function of play in human lives, the evolution and development of play and games, workplace design, motivating excellence and top job performance, and the relationship between working and playing in teams. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

322 (3 credits) – Personnel Psychology. Examines the methods of psychology used in the selection, placement, and evaluation of employees. Government regulations requiring equal opportunity, psychological measurement concepts, and employee performance evaluation in the work environment are covered. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

323 (3 credits) - Organizational Psychology.  Applied human relations at work focusing on interpersonal and small-group behavior. Covers effective communication, employee morale and motivating others, behavior modification, leadership and group dynamics, human relations and the law, and stress and coping. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

328 (3 credits) -- Health Psychology. Introduces students to the scientific principles and processes underlying the field of health psychology including interactions between biological, psychological, and social foundations of health. The course will provide clear connections between science and the real world to increase student understanding of how to live a long and healthy life. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

331 (3 credits) – Abnormal Psychology. An introduction to the major forms of psychopathology (e.g., depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders). Topics include the symptomatology of different mental disorders, their etiology from psychological, biological, and sociocultural perspectives, and issues pertaining to diagnosis and treatment. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

333 (3 credits) – Psychology of Women. (Same as Women's Studies 341.) An examination of empirical evidence on the biological, psychological, and social functioning of women, describing women's roles, the genetic versus social determinants of women's behavior, and the implications for women's potential. Prerequisite: PSYC 102 or consent of instructor.

334 (4 credits) – Psychology of African American Experience. (Same as AFR 334.) Course examines psychological characteristics of people of African descent, using an Africentric conceptual model. Theoretical models will be critiqued and empirical data will be examined. Selected issues include: critiques of research methodologies involving African descended population; African American identities and personality development, psychopathy, and cognitive development issues (i.e., language). Special approval needed from the instructor.

337 (3 credits) -- Introduction to Forensic Psychology. Exploration of several topics in forensic psychology. Topics may include, but are not limited to, landmark legal cases, career options in forensic psychology, fundamentals of forensic psychology, forensic assessment, ethics, mental health law, criminal and civil aspects of forensic psychology, police psychology, and children and families in the legal system. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 or equivalent with a C- or better.

340 (3 credits) – Introduction to Clinical and Counseling Psychology. Provides an in-depth understanding of the nature of two major specialties in the field of psychology: clinical and counseling psychology. Students will examine the historical origins of the two areas, study their major theoretical definitions, compare and contrast the areas, and sample empirical and practitioner activities unique to them. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

345 (3 credits) – Second Language Acquisition. (Same as LING 340.) Introduction to key concepts and major theoretical and methodological issues in SLA research. Examines major developments in SLA in the areas of phonology, morphology, lexis, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and discourse and provides students with hands-on experience in describing and accounting for L2 data. An opportunity to design and implement a data-based study in an area of interest to students. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

371 (3 credits) – Problem Solving and Decision Making. Indicates how problem solving and decision making can be characterized and evaluated and how they might be modified or improved. Research and theory in related areas of psychology are reviewed with emphasis on the role of thinking, problem solving, expert judgment, and decision making in man-machine systems. Prerequisite: PSYC 102.

389 (1 to 9 credits) – Seminar Selected Topics. Varied content.  Offered as need exists and as faculty interests and time permit.  May be repeated as topics vary. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

391 (1 to 9 credits) – Individual Project. Individual study, research or experience under the supervision of a member of the Department of Psychology faculty. Of all credits that a student completes for PSYC 391, 392, 393, and 394, a maximum of three hours from any or all of these courses may count towards the major. Mandatory Pass/Fail. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

392 (1 to 9 credits) – Individual Project. Individual study, research or experience under the supervision of a member of the Department of Psychology faculty. For use in those cases where the faculty member deems a graded course to be appropriate. Of all credits that a student completes for PSYC 391, 392, 393, and 394, a maximum of three hours from any or all of these courses may count towards the major. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

393 (1 to 9 credits) – Pre-professional Practicum. Directed experience in human services or other activities relevant to psychology at a public or private institution, agency, or organization. The experience is on a volunteer basis. Enrollment must be approved in advance by the director of undergraduate field placements for the Department of Psychology.  Mandatory Pass/Fail.  Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

394 (1 to 9 credits) – Undergraduate Practicum in the College Teaching of Psychology. Supervised practicum in the college teaching of psychology for selected senior psychology majors. Of all credits that a student completes for Psychology 391, 392, 393, and 394, a maximum of three hours from any or all of these courses may count towards the major. Prerequisite: senior psychology major and permission of instructor.

400-Level Courses

402 (3 credits) – Psychology and Medicine. This course is an extensive review of psychology concepts as they relate to medicine and medical training. The overall goal of this course is to provide review of psychology concepts as they appear in the new form of the MCAT. Prerequisite: PSYC 211.

405 (3 credits) - Psychology and Law. (Same as CCJ 405, PSYC 505) This course surveys psychological theory and research as applied to the cognitions, emotions, and behavior of individuals in the legal system. The implications of social psychology for legal settings, such as police departments, courtrooms, and jury rooms are explored.

407 (3 credits) – Theoretical Issues in Learning. An introduction to the major theoretical issues in learning and their importance. A brief review of the history of such problems will be followed by a summary of the current research concerning these issues. Traditional figures in learning theory will be considered within the context of their positions on specific questions. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and PSYC 309 or equivalent, or graduate status.

409 (3 credits) – History and Systems of Psychology. A review of the conceptual and empirical antecedents of modern psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and senior status, or graduate status.

411 (3 credits) – Principles of Training. An in-depth coverage of practical problems concerned with training to which the principles of learning derived from pure laboratory investigations can be applied. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and PSYC 309, or graduate status.

413 (3 credits) – Individual Differences. Reviews the reliable and theoretically significant individual and group differences that have been revealed by research in the behavioral sciences. Examines differences in general intelligence, specific verbal and spatial abilities, stylistic and personality characteristics, as well as such group differences as sex, race, and socioeconomic status. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and PSYC 305, or graduate status.

415 (4 credits) – Psychopharmacology. A survey of the effects of drugs on the normal and abnormal behavior of humans and animals. A primary focus is upon understanding drug influences on behavior in relation to actions on the nervous and endocrine systems. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and PSYC 302, or graduate status.

416 (3 credits) – Recovery of Function Following Brain Damage. A survey of experimental animal and human clinical research as they relate to behavioral recovery following damage in the central nervous system. Recent theories and literature are stressed. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and PSYC 302 or consent of instructor, or graduate status.

417 (3 credits) -- Neuroscience of Learning and Memory. This course will serve as an advanced discussion on the research related to the neuroscience of how learning and memory operate. Topics will discuss how the principles surrounding learning and memory are explained in terms of cellular, neural systems, and behavioral levels. Prerequisite: PSYC 302 or consent of instructor or graduate status.

419 (3 credits) – Behavioral Genetics.  Provides an overview of the experimental and quantitative methods used in studying behavior differences associated with genetic variables. Elementary aspects of genetics will be included in the course, which will examine several aspects of both human and nonhuman behavior.  Prerequisite: PSYC 211 or consent of instructor, or graduate status.  Zoology 214, Biology 305, or equivalent is recommended.

420 (3 credits) – Advanced Organizational Psychology. Topics in industrial and organizational psychology; applications of psychology to human resource management, such as job analysis, performance appraisal systems, personnel selection and training. Prerequisite: PSYC 211.

421 (3 credits) – Psychological Tests and Measurements. Introduction to test theory and test development. Detailed coverage of selected tests from such areas as intelligence, aptitude and personality. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 or graduate status.

425 (3 credits) - Psychology of Positive Parenting. This course will provide a comprehensive overview of key concepts in parenting, the nature of parenting across the lifespan and specific challenges for parents with children in each of the developmental stages. We will discuss effective strategies for addressing these challenges in addition to programs and approaches that demonstrate a strong evidence base. Special focus will additionally be given to diversity issues, parenting in high risk families and in families with exceptional children. Prerequisites: PSYC 102, PSYC 301 with grades of C or better.

431 (3 credits) – Psychopathology. A comprehensive overview of major psychological problems, including emotional, personality, psychotic and developmental disorders. Problems will be described in terms of their principal features, and research and theory will be reviewed. Strategies of assessment, the utility and limitations of diagnostic systems, alternative views of abnormality, and clinical research methods will be examined. Prerequisite: PSYC 211, PSYC 311, or consent of instructor or graduate status.

432 (3 credits) – Psychopathology of Childhood. An extensive review and systematic evaluation of theories and research pertaining to the behavior disorders of childhood. Emphasis will be upon empirical data and the implications of these data for the classification and treatment of these disorders. Prerequisite: PSYC 211, PSYC 301, PSYC 311, or graduate status.

440 (3 credits) – Advanced Personality.  Comprehensive coverage of current topics in personality research and theory with an emphasis on empirical approaches to understanding complex issues in the field.  Prerequisite: PSYC 211 or consent of instructor, or graduate status.

441 (3 credits) – Helping Skills in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. Provides systematic training in helping skills for students considering clinical or counseling psychology as a career. Students learn to identify and demonstrate such skills as paraphrasing, reflection of feeling, interpretation, and confrontation, and will use them in practice situations. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and PSYC 340 and senior standing in psychology major.

443 (3 credits) -- Bilingualism. (Same as LING 443) Examines the linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and educational aspects of bilingualism, particularly as pertaining to the care and education of bilingual children. Useful for teachers, speech therapists, doctors, psychologists, counselors, and others working with bilinguals. Practical applications and data-based research. Prerequisite: PSYC 211

445 (4 credits) – Introduction to Psycholinguistics. (Same as Linguistics 445.) A broad spectrum introduction to psycholinguistics. Topics to be covered include general methodology for the study of psycholinguistics, the nature of language, theories of human communication, language comprehension and production, first and second language acquisition, meaning and thought, natural animal communication systems and language of the brain. Prerequisite: PSYC 211.

451 (3 credits) – Advanced Child Psychology. An assessment of concepts, methods, and research techniques within selected topic areas of developmental psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and PSYC 301, or consent of instructor, or graduate status.

461 (3 credits) – Advanced Social Psychology. Critical examination of contemporary theories and research in social psychology. Practice in application of scientific findings to real-life problems of individuals and groups. Issues treated in depth are chosen for relevance to student's personal needs and career interests. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and PSYC 307, or graduate status.

465 (3 credits) – Needs Assessment Techniques for Mental Health Planning. Surveys methodological techniques for assessing the need for mental health services including developing a resource inventory, use of census and other social indicator data, rates under treatments, community and consumer surveys, hearing and site visits. Attention is also paid to method of presenting results of need assessments to lay boards. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and senior standing in psychology major, or graduate status, or consent of instructor.

470 (3 credits) – Psychology of Race and Racism. This course reviews the history and evolution of the construct of race as a psychological phenomenon. While the course will be largely psychological in nature, the pervasiveness of race in practically every sphere of life necessitates a multidisciplinary approach. The course will emphasize a theoretical and conceptual approach toward understanding the psychology of racialized thinking. Prerequisite: PSYC 211.

480 (3 credits) -- Effective Correctional Practices. (Same as CCJ 480) Exploration and evaluation of correctional intervention strategies developed for the sentencing of adjudicated persons. Particular emphasis on examining empirical research literature on effective correctional practices, including programs currently implemented in institutional settings, alternatives to institutional corrections, and community-based programs. Prerequisite: PSYC 211.

489 (1 to 12 credits) – Seminar Selected Topics. Varied content. Offered as need exists and as faculty interests and time permit.  Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and consent of instructor.

499 (6 credits, 3 each semester) – Senior Honors in Psychology. Intensive study in selective areas for students qualified for honors work in psychology. A research paper or equivalent will be required. Prerequisite: PSYC 211 and consent of instructor.