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Psychology Course Descriptions

Dr. Marya Howell-Carter, Chairperson

View current course offerings

Course Descriptions

Courses offered by the Psychology Department have been designed to expose the student to a broad spectrum of opinion regarding the nature of human behavior. In addition to meeting the specific program requirements of Farmingdale State, the courses assist the student in understanding and coping with processes experienced on a personal and societal level. The course offerings in Psychology seek to inform, stimulate, and promote an inquisitive attitude regarding human behavior. It is hoped that as a result of exposure to courses within the Department, misconceptions and prejudices will be reduced.

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology

This course is designed to present basic psychological concepts and to introduce students to the scientific study of behavior. Core topics include methods of Psychological research, biological basis of behavior, principles of learning perception, personality, and Psycho pathology. Other selected topics to be covered would include the following: Statistics, Altered States of Consciousness, Motivation, Emotion, Human Development, Human Sexuality, Social Psychology, Stress Management, Sensation, Cognition and Memory, and Intelligence.
Note: Students who have taken PSY130 or PSY131 may not receive credit for this course.
(3,0) 3 credits   Fall, Spring, Summer

Course Outline

PSY 130 Introduction to Psychology (PLMP)
(Perception, Learning, Motivation, Physiology)

This course is designed to present basic Psychological concepts and to introduce students to the scientific study of behavior. Topics covered include methods of Psychological research, biological basis of behavior, altered states of awareness, principles of learning, memory/forgetting, sensation/perception, language/thought, and motivation/emotion/stress. Psychological theories, uses of Psychology (individual and general), and careers in Psychology will be discussed.
Note: PSY131 may either precede or follow PSY130
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline

 

PSY 131 Introduction to Psychology
(Personality, Abnormal, Therapy, Social)

This course is designed to present basic concepts in the scientific study of interpersonal behavior. Topics covered include methods of Psychological research, Psychology as a profession, human development, intelligence, theories of personality, mental health/abnormality/stress, Psychological assessment of emotional/behavioral disorders, Psychotherapy, and social Psychology. Psychological theories, uses of Psychology (individual and general), and careers in Psychology will be discussed.

Note: PSY 131 may either precede or follow PSY 130
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline

PSY 230 Femininity and Masculinity: A Psychological Perspective

This course will examine sex role stereotypes and their effects, research on Psychological sex differences, theories of male and female development, sex roles and social institutions - how perceptions of males and females are influenced by schools, religion, and the media; and male and female approaches to sexuality, marriage, and parenthood. Readings and class discussions will be used to help students achieve a greater understanding of the female and the male experience.

Prerequisite: PSY101 PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department Chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline 

PSY 231 Group Dynamics

This course blends theory and application of the principles of group interaction and development. This is not a lecture course. Through actively participating in class exercises, students will have an opportunity to develop their sense of self in relation to others and to develop skill in effective group functioning. The general content of the course involves group formation, communication, leadership, decision-making, problem solving, goal setting, power and influence, conflict and conflict resolution, cohesion norms, and stages of group development.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline

PSY 232 Child Development

In this course the student will explore human development from preconception through the end of childhood. Course material will include historical and modern concepts of attitudes toward children, theories and models of child development, research methods in the study of children genetics, prenatal development and influence, pregnancy, and birth. Within each age range the emphasis will be on factors influencing the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of the child. Developmental disorders, both physical and psychological, will also be explored.
Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) credits  

Fall, Spring, Summer

Course Outline

PSY 233 Adolescent Development

A focus on adolescent behavior. The emphasis is on growth and change physiological, psychological/interpersonal and socio-cultural. Issues of particular concern to adolescents will be presented and discussed. Some selected topics are: peer pressure, the sexual issue, the availability of drugs, establishing a separate identity, dating and relationships and finally the transition to adulthood.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits   Spring

Course Outline

PSY 234 Social Psychology

This course introduces the student to the study of how people influence each other. Topics to be covered include: liking and loving, aggression and violence, obedience and compliance, helping in emergencies, attitudes, prejudice and gender bias. In addition, social perception and group behavior will be examined.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits   Fall, Spring, Summer

Course Outline

PSY 237 Theories of Personality

The course will examine the concept of personality from four theoretical perspectives: Psychodynamic, trait, learning, and humanistic. Representative theories of each perspective are discussed in terms of basic conceptualizations, methods of assessment, development, research and clinical applications.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline 

PSY 238 The Psychology of Human Sexuality

This course presents a scientific foundation for the understanding of the Psychological, physiological, social and behavioral aspects of human sexuality. In addition to studying historical changes in sexual practices and attitudes, the course will review and evaluate current research, issues and concerns about sexuality in order to provide contemporary and relevant curriculum material. Topics include Psychosexual development, gender roles, sexual orientation, sexual anatomy, alternate methods of reproduction, pregnancy/birth, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, sex education. sexism, love and attraction, sexual abuse, sexual dysfunctions, sex therapy, paraphilia, and sexuality through the life cycle.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY 131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits   Fall, Spring

Course Outline

PSY 240 Health Psychology

Health Psychology is the study of psychological factors that affect health and illness. This course will apply a scientific and research perspective to the study of health promoting and health damaging behaviors. Using a biopsychosocial approach, behavioral patterns that result in cardiovascular disease, cancer, alcoholism, sexually transmitted diseases and other conditions will be explored. Course content will focus on stress and the immune system, stress management techniques, the health care system, risk taking, culture-bound syndromes, diversity issues, social support and the role of the patient. Prerequisite(s) required or permission of the department chair.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY 131 or permission of Department chairperson.

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 242 Educational Psychology

This course will present current scientific theory and research related to formal learning environments. Individual differences in cognitive, social, and emotional development, and the implications for the teaching/learning process will be explored. These general areas will be addressed through more specific topics including growth development, learning theories, moral development, motivation, and classroom management. In addition, issues related to teaching in a diverse society will be addressed. Prerequisite(s) are required or permission of the department chair.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY 131 or permission of Department chairperson.

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 242W Educational Psychology (Writing-Intensive)

This course will present current scientific theory and research related to formal learning environments. Individual differences in cognitive, social, and emotional development, and the implications for the teaching/learning process will be explored. These general areas will be addressed through more specific topics including growth and development, learning theories, moral development, motivation, and classroom management. In addition, issues related to teaching in a diverse society will be addressed.This is a writing-intensive course.

Prerequisites: PSY 101 and EGL 101

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 248 Statistics for Psychology

This course will introduce students to the basic descriptive and inferential statistics used in the behavioral and social sciences. Topics will include the organization of data, measures or central tendency and variability, correlation and regression, hypothesis testing, and various parametric and nonparametric tests of significance including t-tests, ANOVA, and chi-square analysis. Students will learn the interconnections between theory, research methods, and statistical techniques in order to use statistics to analyze experimental data and research objective conclusions regarding research questions in the social sciences. The course will also provide an introduction to using statistical software for data summarization, presentation and analysis. Prerequisite(s) are required or permissions of the department chair.

Prerequisites: PSY 101 and MTH 110

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 252 Adult Development

This course will deal primarily with the Psychological correlates of development and transitions during adulthood. Specifically, the course will focus on such topics as what it means to be an adult, the meaning of marriage, the meaning of work, being a parent, divorce, the empty nest syndrome. mid-life crisis, retirement, and facing death. Biological and social factors will be taken into consideration, as will Psychological theories and individual responses to stages and passages throughout adulthood.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline

 

PSY 253 Life Span Development

This course provides a comprehensive overview of normal human development throughout the life span. It will apply a scientific and research perspective to understanding both age-related change and consistency. The course will examine physical, cognitive, social and emotional development at every stage of life, with an emphasis on continuity and discontinuity of development as we progress from one stage of life to the next. Additionally, students will learn about those theories and research methods which are most pertinent to the study of lifespan development.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson

(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline

PSY 255 Special Topics in Psychology - Honors

This course will enable students to explore a specific subfield or topic of interest in Psychology, in a challenging atmosphere, with emphasis on student participation and written assignments. The subject for a particular semester will be announced prior to registration. Possible topics include but are not limited to: consumer behavior, health psychology, Psychology and the Law, sports psychology, and parapsychology.

Prerequisite: PSY101. PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline

PSY 257 Teaching of Psychology

This course is designed to expose students to current thinking about teaching and learning and the underlying content in the field of Psychology. In addition it aims to promote understanding of Psychology as a profession as it related to a career in academia. This is accomplished by offering students a unique opportunity to attend a professional conference on the Teaching of Psychology. During the conference students will have the unique opportunity to listen to, and participate in presentations on some of the newest ideas in the teaching of Psychology. In many cases the presentations they hear will be the first time the ideas have been presented in public. Students will be able to observe and interact on both a formal and informal level with a group of professional Psychologists. This course is designed especially for students who have expressed an interest in continuing in the field of Psychology and/or teaching. However, it can be a valuable experience for virtually all students, regardless of their career plans.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline

PSY 260 Research Methods

This course will present the scientific method within the context of applied psychology. Research techniques and methods will be examined for the formulation of hypotheses, development of testable objectives, experimental design, subject selection, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and report preparation. This course will focus on laboratory based methods and simple statistical procedures for the analysis of data. Students will apply the concepts and methods in laboratory exercises. Prerequisite(s) are required or permission of the department chair.

Prerequisite: PSY 248

(4,0) Credits: 4

Course Outline

PSY 265 Culture and Cognition

This course explores the methods, research, and theory in the field of culture, cognitions, and psychology in general. The main aim of the course is to introduce and familiarize students with the role of culture across a variety of psychological areas including perception, cognition, emotion, developmental processes, as well as social and abnormal behavior. The course is organized into three, inter-dependent modules. The first module concerns the exploration of culture as a determinant of one's socialization and development of personality. The second module provides an excursion into the role of culture in cognition; the way we think, perceive and organize our knowledge. The third module explores anthropological works on morality, religion, ritual, and emotion.
Prerequisite: PSY 101
(3,0) 3 credits


Course Outline

PSY 272 Cognitive Psychology

This course covers the psychological study of human information processing in terms of structure, process, and application. The representation of knowledge in memory is addressed as is the cognitive processes used for information acquisition, information retrieval, and forgetting. The cognitive processes of attention, pattern recognition, language, comprehension, and thinking will be reviewed in terms of their application to cognitive activities such as decision-making, reasoning, problem solving, and creativity. The application of cognitive theory to artificial intelligence is also discussed.

Prerequisite(s) are required or permission of the department chair.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY 131 or permission of Department chairperson.

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 280 Preparation for Graduate Training in Psychology

This course will provide those Applied Psychology majors who are considering graduate training in psychology with the opportunity to explore the various specialties in psychology (and related fields) as well as the graduate training required by each sub-field.  Students will explore their own interests while simultaneously researching and being provided with information regarding the many types of graduate training available. Self-assessment regarding standardized entrance examinations such as the GRE will be provided.  Developmental plans will be generated based on self-assessment results.  Applied Psychology majors who are considering graduate training are encouraged to take this one credit elective course during their sophomore year of the program.  Course grading is Pass/Repeat. 

Prerequisite: PSY101 PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department Chairperson.

(1,0) 1 Credit

Course Outline

PSY 300 Forensic Psychology

This course introduces the student to the study of forensic psychology, a discipline that applies psychology to the law and the criminal justice system.
Topics to be covered include: the psychologist's role in the criminal courts, ethical dilemmas of psychologist working in the criminal justice system, psychological perspective on the nature of criminality and the investigation of crime, criminal profiling, the effects of psychological empirical research on the outcome of criminal trials, and the psychology of the police, witnesses, offenders, and victims. Other new research topics in the field, such as the use of brain fingerprinting technology to determine criminal culpability will also be explored. Students cannot receive credit for both CRJ 300 and PSY 300.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY 131 or permission of Department chairperson.

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 301 Learning

This course examines the principles and theories of learning including the methodology and evaluation of research pertaining to learning processes. Topics will include a broad range of learning paradigms, from relative simple processes such as classical conditioning and operant conditioning, to more cognitively complex processes such as concept formation and schema development. The research describing information acquisition, transfer, and forgetting will be reviewed. In addition, the influence of conditions such as motivational factors, will be examined. Prerequisite(s) are required or permission of the department chair.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY 131 or permission of Department chairperson.

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 304 Multicultural Psychology

Reflecting the 21st century global theme of acculturation, PSY 304 will focus on the ways in which the study and practice of psychology intersect with race, culture, and diversity. Topics include racial/ethnic/religious group differences, cultural norms, gender and sexual orientation issues, family structure and identity development. Primary focus will be given to the ways that race and culture contribute to disparities in access to mental health treatment as well as differences in beliefs about mental illness and its treatment. Consistent with an applied psychology approach, the student will develop an understanding of how diversity issues affect the workplace, i.e., discrimination in hiring/firing practices, affirmative action laws, multicultural competence, and sensitivity training. Prerequisite(s) are required or permission of the department chair.

Prerequisite: PSY101. PSY130. or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 311 Organizational Behavior

This upper-division course presents the concepts of organizational behavior and structure as well as topics relating to motivation content and process
theories; group communications and dynamics; decision making; causes and resolutions of organizational conflicts; and factors pertaining to
influence, power, and politics in organizations.

Prerequisite: PSY101. PSY130. or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline

PSY 315 Abnormal Psychology

In this course the student will learn about concepts. theories and issues in Psychopathology (the study of mental illness and behavioral disorders). Topics will include historical background, mental health professionals, legal issues, normality/abnormality, etiology/assessment/diagnosis/therapy, anxiety/stress/depression, personality disorders. sexual deviance, schizophrenia, neurological dysfunction, substance abuse, and Psycho physiological disorders. The application of Psychology to personal problem solving will also be explored.
Prerequisite: PSY 101, PSY130 or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits   Fall, Spring, Summer

Course Outline

 

PSY 317 Organizational Development

This course examines the behavioral science based theories, strategies and interventions that organizations use to execute planned, organization-wide changes to increase organization effectiveness and health. Theoretical models and processes will be reviewed and used to evaluate an organization's capacity to improve and change. The course is structured to cover the background, process, and content of organizational development. Real–world examples of organizational development will be presented to illustrate current and best practices used by modern organizations
Prerequisite: PSY 101
(3,0) 3 credits


Course Outline 

 

PSY 326 Introduction to Behavioral Health Science

Behavioral Health Science is the scientific study of the ways that human behavior can affect health/mental health status and health/mental health outcomes. Introduction to Behavioral Health Science will explore how human actions, cognitions, relationships, interactions and systems, affect health, well-being, and quality of life. This course will examine the integration of mental health care and health care from a historical, practical, and policy perspective. Students completing the course will understand the significance of health care policy changes as they relate to psychology, and the dramatic shift in thinking about how and where health/mental health care can be integrated and administered.
Prerequisite: Abnormal Psychology (PSY 315), or permission from the Department chairperson
(3, 0) 3 credits


Course Outline

 

PSY 330 Organizational Training and Development

An upper level offering, this course will provide a greater understanding of the theory, research, techniques, and current and future issues in the field of organizational training and development through an experimental learning approach. Topics shall include training systems, needs analysis, organization intervention, program evaluation, adult learning theory, cognitive issues, conditions for learning transfer, instructional techniques and current social and organizational issues in training.

Prerequisite: PSY101. PSY130. or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson. PSY331 Industrial/0rganizational Psychology recommended.
(3,0) 3 credits

Course Outline

PSY 331 Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Current issues in the field of industrial/organizational Psychology will be examined. The subfields of personnel Psychology, human factors engineering, industrial social and industrial clinical Psychology will be viewed from practical and theoretical perspectives. Behavior in organizational settings will be examined on the individual, group and macro level.

Prerequisite: PSY101, PSY130, or PSY131 or permission of Department chairperson.
(3,0) 3 credits   Fall, Spring, Summer

Course Outline

PSY 410 Individual and Group Counseling

This course will explore what counseling is, who is a counselor, and what is known about changing behavior in both individual and group settings.
Historical concepts of counseling will be examined as well as the scientific foundations of counseling. Research findings related to counseling techniques will be presented and analyzed. The course will focus on a variety of counseling approaches, the therapeutic relationship, legal and ethic issues, and the realities of therapeutic practice. Cultural influences on behavior will be emphasized as a way of understanding and helping clients from diverse backgrounds. Prerequisite(s) are required or permission of the department chair.

Prerequisite: PSY 235

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 414 Applied Personnel Psychology

This upper level offering is designed to provide students with the tools for understanding the underlying theory, research and techniques of personnel psychology. It will provide the background for understanding the practical application of the concepts and techniques studied. This will be accomplished through a combination of lectures, group projects involving application of the principles of personnel psychology, group presentations >of the projects and classroom exercise. Prerequisite(s) are required or permission of the department chair.

Prerequisites: PSY 331

(3,0) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 420 Advanced Topics in the Study of the Human Mind and Cognition

This course will provide an excursion into the most current approaches and perspectives in the field of cognitive science, neuroscience, and cultural studies. The class will cover a variety of topics such as: embodied cognition, sensory deprivation and its effects on cognition, multisensory integration, evolution of cognition and culture, and the role of cognition in rituals and religions, morality, and other topics.
Prerequisite: PSY 272
(3,0) 3 credits


Course Outline

 

PSY 442 Applied Psychology Internship/Senior Project I

This course will provide seniors in the Applied Psychology Program with the opportunity to apply psychology knowledge and methods in an actual work environment. A variety of options will be available for completion of this course: internship, research assistantship or independent project. In an internship, the student will work in a local organization. As a research assistant, the student will work with a faculty member as an assistant in the faculty member's ongoing research and/or consultation with organizations. Alternatively, the student may develop an independent project under the supervision of a faculty member. The selection of which option is best will be made by the student and his/her advisor based on which option best meets the student's educational and career goals. Regardless of the option selected, each student will attend seminars and complete a research or application project. Prerequisite(s) required and Senior Status in Applied Psychology Bachelor's Program.

Prerequisite: PSY 248

(1,6) Credits: 3

Course Outline

PSY 443 Applied Psychology Internship/Senior Project II

This second Internship-Senior Project course will provide seniors in the Applied Psychology Program with the opportunity to apply psychology knowledge and methods in an actual work environment. A variety of options will be available for completion of this course: internship, research assistantship or independent project. In an internship, the student will work in a local organization. As a research assistant, the student will work with a faculty member as an assistant in the faculty members' ongoing research and/or consultation with organizations. Alternatively, the student may develop an independent project under the supervision of a faculty member. The selection of which option is best will be made by the student and his/her advisor based on which option best meets the student's educational and career goals. Regardless of the option selected, each student will attend seminars and complete a research or application project.

Prerequisites: PSY 442 and 260

(1,6) Credits: 3

Course Outline