Courses

Pitt-Johnstown Psychology

PSY 0200 Introduction to Psychology   3 credits       

A summary of the present knowledge in areas such as scientific research methods, learning, sensation and perception, the biological basis of behavior, developmental patterns, consciousness, cognition, personality, social influences, memory, psychopathology, and psychotherapies. Prerequisite to all other courses in psychology.

Psychology

PSY 0210 Social Psychology   3 credits

The study of behavior in the social environment. Social psychology concerns the manner in which the behavior, feelings, or thoughts of one individual are influenced or determined by the behavior of and/or characteristics of others. Primary emphasis is on current theories and research in social psychology with applications to problems of society also considered. Prerequisite: PSY 0200.

PSY 0211 – Comparative Psychology   3 credits

This course will examine non-human organism learning and cognition in comparison to humans, with an emphasis on the adaptive value of behavior and cognition. Topics will include the theory of evolution, classical and operant conditioning, category formation, memory, altruism and sharing, optimal foraging, language, and intelligence. Prerequisites: Introduction to Psychology, General Biology I and lab.

PSY 0230 Child Development    3 credits

Provides an understanding of the basic principles of change as they apply to the development of infants and children. Topics include the relative influences of environmental, hormonal, and genetic factors on physical, socioemotional, and cognitive development. Prerequisite: PSY 0200.

PSY 0240 Theories Of Personalities  3 credits

Study of the structure and organization of the normal personality through a survey of basic theoretical viewpoints ranging from psychoanalytic theory to modern social cognitive theories. Prerequisite: PSY 0200.

PSY 0260 Adolescent Development   3 credits

Provides an understanding of the basic principles of human development as applied to the adolescent. Theories and research findings are examined with regard to the areas of physical and sexual development, intelligence and cognitive functioning, and social and emotional development. This course does not count toward a psychology degree. Prerequisite: PSY 0200.

PSY 0270 Introductory Statistics 4 credits

Provides a basic understanding of statistical techniques. Includes introduction to experimental design, descriptive and inferential statistics. Course involves the rationale, logic, and statistical computation of parametric hypothesis testing, as well as criticisms of that method and alternatives. The class includes a co-requisite lab. Prerequisites: PSY 0200.

PSY 0351 Psychopharmacology  3 credits

This course will focus on the physiological, psychological, and social aspects of drug use and abuse. Legal, illicit, and drugs for mental disorders will be covered as well as the prevention and treatment of drug dependence. Prerequisite: PSY 0200.

PSY 0384 Adult Development And Aging    3 credits

This class is intended to educate students about the biological, social, and psychological changes that occur in people as they progress through the second half of life. In addition to these topics, the class will review the reasons for the increasing need to study and understand these changes, as well as research designs and research related problems commonly seen in this area. Prerequisite: PSY 0200.

PSY 0470 Introduction To Behavior Modification 3 credits

An introduction to the use of instrumental and classical training procedures in the modification of human behavior. The course covers the theoretical background (including ethical issues), the principles of instrumental and Pavlovian training, the principles of cognitive change, and applications to psychotherapy, education, and self modification. PREQ: PSY 0200.

PSY 0501 Lifespan Development 3 credits

This class is a description of both normal and abnormal physical, cognitive and social development over the lifespan, from conception until death. While primarily taught from a psychological perspective, the content of this class is intended for students planning to enter healthcare-related fields. As such, the class is based on the practical application of established theory and will include information on genetic and physiological processes in addition to psychological ones. PREQ: PSY 0200.

PSY 1000 Psychology Seminar     0.5 credits

One hour per week provides a forum for the discussion of professional issues in psychology along with a dissemination of information related to the Department of Psychology and what happens after a student graduates. Required for all psychology majors; two terms, 5 credits per term, are needed for graduation. PREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING

PSY 1031 Research Methods       4 credits

The course introduces students to the fundamentals of psychological research, including the nature of psychology as a science, the selection of a research problem, research designs, the nature of research variables, and ethical considerations. Course includes a laboratory involving practical experiences in the design of experiments, conducting experiments, analyzing and interpreting data, and writing research papers. Prerequisites: PSY 0200, PSY 0270.

PSY 1065 Cognitive Psychology   4 credits

An examination of the mental activities that constitute human cognition. Topics include perception, attention, memory, language, problem solving and reasoning, artificial intelligence, and consciousness. The course has an accompanying lab where computer, laboratory, and real-world techniques for studying cognitive processes are demonstrated and practiced. Prerequisites: PSY 0200, PSY 0270, PSY 1031.     

PSY 1121 Tests And Measurements         4 credits

This course reviews the rationale and use of many psychological tests. Ethical considerations, report writing, and current issues in testing are covered. Course includes a laboratory that focuses on the application of psychometric concepts, test development, and evaluation of psychological tests currently used in the field, as well as the development of skills in interpreting testing data and assessment reports. Prerequisites: PSY 0200, PSY 0270, PSY 1031.

PSY 1141 Psychopathology   3 credits

An overview of the etiology and symptomalogical presentation of abnormal behaviors and psychological disorders, as well as a survey of current therapeutic modalities. Prerequisite: PSY 0200.

PSY 1178 Human Sexuality   3 credits

A survey of biological, psychological, and social aspects of human sexual activity. Prerequisite: PSY 0200.

PSY 1216 Health Psychology   3 credits

A multidisciplinary field concerned with the development and integration of a behavioral and a biomedical science, knowledge, and techniques relevant to health and illness—and the application of this knowledge to diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. Prerequisite: PSY 0200 and 0270 and 1031

PSY 1251 Models Of Psychotherapy    3 credits

Examination of traditional and contemporary modalities of psychotherapy used (clinically) to treat abnormal behaviors and psychological disorders. Prerequisite: PSY 0200 and 1141

PSY 1440 Psychology Of Learning       3 credits

This course will give an introduction to the study of learning and behavior, with an emphasis in the findings from experimental studies as well as the importance of looking to the environment to find explanations of behavior. A number of different topics will be covered, including natural selection, classical and operant conditioning, schedules of reinforcement, stimulus control, and observational learning. A laboratory component applies principles learned in lecture to real-world situations. Prerequisites: PSY 0200, PSY 0270, PSY 1031.

PSY 1500 Physiological Psychology     3 credits

Covers the neuroscience perspective of psychology with emphasis on the structural and functional organization of the central and peripheral nervous system and the relationship between brain structure and behavior. Prerequisites: PSY 0200, PSY 0270, PSY 1031.   

PSY 1548 Senior Project 1     3 credits

Part 1 of individual research supervised by a Psychology faculty - This course is restricted to students with Psychology as an area of concentration. Senior status and permission of supervisor required.  PREQ: SENIOR STATUS, PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR; OTHER PREREQUISITES MAY BE ADDED DEPENDING ON THE NATURE OF THE PROJECT.

PSY 1549 Senior Project 2        3 credits

Part 2 of individual research supervised by a Psychology faculty - This course is restricted to students with Psychology as an area of concentration. Senior status and permission of supervisor required.  PREQ: SENIOR STATUS, PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR; OTHER PREREQUISITES MAY BE ADDED DEPENDING ON THE NATURE OF THE PROJECT.

PSY 1555 Internship     1–5 credits

Participation in supervised psychological activities at off-campus agencies. Particular sites selected to fit student career interests. Requires keeping a journal of daily activities, writing a final term paper relating the internship experience to the Psychology, and making a brief presentation about your internship to the Psychology Seminar class. PREQ: SENIOR STATUS, PERMISSION OF INTERNSHIP DIRECTOR; OTHER PREREQUISITES MAY BE ADDED DEPENDING ON THE INTERNSHIP PLACEMENT.

PSY 1560 Internship      6 credits

Participation in supervised psychological activities at off-campus agencies. Particular sites selected to fit student career interests. Requires keeping a journal of daily activities, writing a final term paper relating the internship experience to the Psychology, and making a brief presentation about your internship to the Psychology Seminar class. PREQ: SENIOR STATUS, PERMISSION OF INTERNSHIP DIRECTOR; OTHER PREREQUISITES MAY BE ADDED DEPENDING ON THE INTERNSHIP PLACEMENT.

PSY 1570 History And Systems Of Psychology     3 credits

An interdisciplinary examination of the chronological development of the field of psychology. Some time is spent on studying the philosophical underpinnings of the discipline of psychology before moving onto examining the evolution of the schools of thought in psychology. The emphasis is on the relationship of psychology to the fields of history and philosophy, as well as how the schools of thought in psychology fit into the empiricist and rationalist traditions. Prerequisites: PSY 0200, PSY 0270, PSY 1031.

PSY 1636 Organizational Psychology   3 credits

An examination of what psychologists have found out about people at work, the ways in which they have studied the workplace, and how psychology is practiced in human resources and other organizational settings. There is an emphasis on current perspectives and findings in this applied area of psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 0200.

PSY 1650 Advanced Seminars    3 credits

Intensive study of a specialized area, emphasizing current research and theory.  Examples of recent seminars taught include Psychology of Art, Intelligence, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Memory, Neuropsychological Testing, and Artificial Intelligence. Although the Advanced Seminar courses have the same title when listed in the course offerings, the course topic changes with each offering. Because the courses are organized as seminars, the assignments, tests, etc. change each time they are offered, even when taught by the same instructor. Students may take the course more than once for additional credit; however a grade earned in one course may not be replaced by a grade earned in another course, even when taught by the same instructor. Prerequisites: PSY 0200, PSY 0270, PSY 1031, plus any courses listed by the instructor, or permission of the instructor.

PSY 1904 Directed Individual Reading   1–3 credits

Under special circumstances, psychology majors can design an individual reading course with a member of the department and in consultation with a faculty member. Permission of instructor required.

PSY 1906 Directed Individual Research    1–3 credits

This course involves student participation in individual experimental research supervised by a member of the department faculty.  Permission of instructor is required.