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Department of Psychology
133 Holmes Hall
Chairperson and Professor: Robert J. Miller; Professor: Frederick Gravetter; Associate Professors: David Abwender, Stacy Birch, Kelly Brennan-Jones, Lori-Ann Forzano, Janet F. Gillespie, Susan Shonk; Assistant Professors: Melissa Brown, John J. Chelonis, Marcie Desrochers, Herbert C. Fink, Matthew K. Mulvaney.
Psychology is the science of behavior. It covers the behavior of humans and animals, normal and abnormal behavior, and behavior across the life span. The field is concerned both with the development of principles of behavior and with their application to individuals, society, and the institutions of government, business, and mental health.
The undergraduate major in psychology is often taken in preparation for graduate education in the field, which is necessary for professional work in psychology. However, the study of behavior relates to almost any program of study or vocation, and courses in psychology are required or recommended for many programs offered at SUNY Brockport.
At SUNY Brockport, the psychology major provides students with a broad exposure to these different aspects of the discipline, while allowing concentration in a particular area of interest.
The following psychology courses meet the Knowledge Areas requirement in the General Education core:
- Natural Sciences: PSH 110
- Natural Sciences with lab: PSH 112
The following course meets the Contemporary Issues requirement in the General Education core:
- PSH 457
The following course meets the Perspectives on Women requirement in the General Education core:
- PSH 433
All majors are required to complete a minimum of 36 credits of psychology, half of which (18 credits) must be taken at SUNY Brockport. Courses graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory may not be counted toward the major. One may elect to take more than the minimum, but not more than 54 credits in psychology will count toward a degree. The major consists of a required core, one course from each of four content areas, and five electives to be selected with advisement.
To ensure a common foundation, all majors must take, in the listed order, a general psychology course (either PSH 110 or 112), PSH 202 Introductory Statistics, and PSH 301 Research Methods in Psychology.
Group I (one required):
- PSH 341 Biopsychology
- PSH 342 Animal Behavior
- PSH 352 Sensation/Perception
Group II (one required):
- PSH 331 Personality
- PSH 332 Social Psychology
- PSH 384 Child Psychology
Group III (one required):
- PSH 334 Abnormal Psychology
- PSH 336 Clinical Psychology
- PSH 397 Health Psychology
Group IV (one required):
- PSH 322 Conditioning and Learning
- PSH 325 Motivation
- PSH 351 Cognitive Processe
Group V (five required):
Each student selects at least five additional psychology courses with the approval of a faculty advisor. To make normal progress in the major, a student should complete some of the knowledge courses, as well as the general psychology course (PSH 110 or 112) and PSH 202, before entering his/her junior year. Transfer students should see a psychology faculty advisor as soon as possible.
Minor in Psychology
A minor in psychology consists of 18 credits, nine of which must be upper-division. There are three specifically required courses: a general psychology course (PSH 110 or 112), Introductory Statistics (PSH 202), and Research Methods in Psychology (PSH 301). The remaining nine credits (three courses) are to be selected from the Department of Psychology course offerings with advisement. Courses graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory may not be counted toward the minor. At least half of the minor credits (nine) must be taken at SUNY Brockport.
NOTE: 100- and 200-level courses are core course prerequisites (an introductory psychology course is a prerequisite for nearly all other courses offered; a statistics course is a prerequisite for PSH 301 Research Methods). Those courses at the 300 level cover basic content areas in the discipline of psychology and comprise the breadth requirement in the major; 400-level courses cover more specific content areas in the discipline (the distinction between 300- and 400-level courses is one of content focus, not necessarily content difficulty).
NOTE: Courses at the 100, 200, and 300 level are generally offered every semester. Information regarding scheduled offerings of 400-level courses can be obtained from the department secretary or from the Schedule of Courses published each semester.
NOTE: Students may not receive credit for more than one of PSH 110 and 112. If students wish to repeat one of these courses, they must take the same course again; substitutions are not permitted.
PSH 110 Principles of Psychology (A,N). (Students who have received credit for PSH 112 may not receive credit for this course.) Provides an introduction to the scientific study of mind and behavior. Includes topics such as sensation and perception, biopsychology, personality, motivation, emotion and experience, learning, memory, development, and abnormal psychology. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 112 General Psychology with Laboratory (A,L). (Students with credit for PSH 110 may not receive credit for this course.) Provides an introduction to the scientific study of mind and behavior. Includes topics such as sensation and perception, biopsychology, personality, perception, social interaction, learning and memory, development, and abnormal psychology. Requires three hours per week in lecture and one hour per week in small group labs with an additional one or two hours of independent lab work each week. Requires data collection and analysis, and written reports for the labs. 4 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 202 Introductory Statistics for Psychology (A). Covers evaluation of experimental results, analysis and interpretation of data from psychological research using traditional inferential and descriptive techniques, and psychology as a quantitative science. Students who have received academic credit for ECN 204, HLS 488, MTH 243, PLS 303, or SOC 200, or transfer credit for an elementary statistics course at another institution, may not receive credit for this course, but psychology majors and minors may request a waiver of PSH 202 based on having completed and passed one of these other statistics courses. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 301 Research Methods in Psychology (A). Introduces the philosophy and process of research in psychology, including measurement and data-collection techniques, research ethics, design and evaluation of research methodologies, data analysis, the preparation of research reports, and understanding of the scientific method. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 322 Conditioning and Learning (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Covers the psychology of learning theory. Studies basic concepts of classical and instrumental conditioning, basic parameters of acquisition and extinction, stimulus control of behavior, and aversive conditioning. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 325 Motivation (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Analyzes the factors (biological, emotional, behavioral and cognitive) that determine human and animal behavior. Addresses theories and research in motivation from major perspectives in psychology, with an emphasis on the influence of stress, anxiety, and achievement motivation on human behavior. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 331 Personality (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Covers the application of scientific methods to the study of personality, and major theoretical approaches to personality. Examines research findings in major content areas from several experimental and measurement perspectives. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 332 Social Psychology (A). Prerequisites PSH 110 or PSH 112. Provides a scientific study of human social behavior. Includes topics such as attraction, attitudes, aggression, conflict, social cognition, social influence, and groups. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 334 Abnormal Psychology (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Surveys major categories of abnormal behavior and their causes. Focuses on understanding and treating maladaptive behavior. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 336 Clinical Psychology (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Recommended: PSH 334. Provides an empirical overview of clinical psychology, emphasizing the appraisal of assessment strategies and modalities of treatment. Includes research, professional, and ethical issues in clinical psychology. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 341 Biopsychology (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Covers the biological bases of behavior, including anatomy and function of the nervous system, neurotransmitter systems, sleep, biological bases of mental illness, physiological mechanisms in hunger and feeding, brain mechanisms in reward, and physiology of emotions. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 342 Animal Behavior (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Covers the function, mechanics, development and evolution of perception, orientation, motivation, reproduction, and social behavior of human and non-human animals. Integrates films and lab exercises with lectures and readings. 3 Cr.
PSH 351 Cognitive Processes (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Examines the basic processes of thinking, pattern recognition, memory, language, and problem solving. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 352 Sensation and Perception (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Examines the sensory systems and their roles in responding to, and producing experiences of, the physical world. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 384 Child Psychology (A). Recommended prerequisite: PSH 110 or 112. Studies human growth and development from conception through early adolescence. Includes mechanisms of development, theories of development, genetic and prenatal influences, and physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 397 Health Psychology (A). Prerequisites: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Presents the combination of educational, scientific, and professional contributions of psychology to the promotion and maintenance of health, the prevention and treatment of illness, the identification of causes and correlates of health and illness, and the analysis and improvement of the health care system. Focuses on the examination of how biological, psychological, and social factors interact to influence individual behavior related to promoting health, preventing illness, and coping with illness. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 423 Practicum in Teaching Conditioning and Learning (B). Prerequisites: PSH 322 and instructor's permission. Requires participants to work with students in a tutorial capacity. Allows participants to develop tutorial techniques, learn how to tutor small groups of students, supervise students' lab work, and perform interactive tasks. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 427 Psychology of Thinking (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Increases students' understanding of thinking through review and evaluation of the development of new theories and their applications. Focuses on human thinking, particularly problem-directed, undirected, critical, and creative thinking. 3 Cr.
PSH 431 Close Relationships (A). Prerequisites: A general psychology course (PSH 110 or 112) and instructor's permission; PSH 301 highly recommended. Investigates various approaches to the study of close relationships. Explores theories of attachment, evolutionary psychology, communications, and extant social/psychological approaches, including interdependence theory, that are useful in understanding close relationships. Examines the best means of characterizing close relationships, including the development of a single, integrative framework. 3 Cr.
PSH 432 Psychology of Social Issues (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Covers psychological factors related to contemporary social issues and provides evaluation of research. 3 Cr.
PSH 433 Psychology of Gender (A,W). Cross-listed as WMS 433. Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Surveys the psychological and social impact of sex differences, sex roles, and the development of gender identity on behavior. Examines historical antecedents of gender differences, development of gender identity, and sex differences in performance, attribution, achievement, cognition, interpersonal behavior, psychopathology, and response to therapy to illustrate facts and fictions in gender research. 3 Cr.
PSH 436 Psychology of Aging (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Provides an overview of adult development, including genetics and longevity, sexual changes with age, cognitive processes and intelligence, social change, work and retirement, sex roles, moral development, and mental health and mental disorders associated with aging. 3 Cr.
PSH 437 Psychology and Jewish Studies (A). Explores psychological factors related to Jewish people, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Holocaust. 3 Cr.
PSH 440 Practicum in Teaching Biopsychology (B). Prerequisite: PSH 341. Entails tutoring small groups of students in a biopsychology course, conducting review sessions, assisting in evaluation, and developing tutorial techniques or a class lecture. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. 3 Cr.
PSH 441 Introduction to Clinical Neuropsychology (A). Prerequisites: either PSH 112 or PSH 110, and PSH 341 or instructor's permission. Introduces human neuropsychological function and disorders. Emphasizes methods of neuropsychological investigation and the links between specific brain regions/structures and higher psychological functions. Explores disorders of emotion, motor and social behavior, speech, memory, and visual-spatial abilities associated with organic brain impairments, including Alzheimer's disease, head trauma, stroke, and other neurologic, psychiatric, and medical illnesses. 3 Cr.
PSH 442 Psychology of Eating and Drinking (A). Prerequisites: either PSH 112 or PSH 110, and PSH 341 or instructor's permission. Provides an in-depth look at the field of eating and drinking. Draws on research from a variety of sub-disciplines within psychology, including biopsychology, learning and motivation, personality, sensation and perception, and social psychology. Includes theories and mechanisms of hunger and thirst, determinants of food preferences and choices, effects of food on behavior, eating disorders, overeating and obesity, and alcohol use and abuse. 3 Cr.
PSH 445 Psychopharmacology (A). Prerequisites: either PSH 112 or PSH 110, and PSH 341 or instructor's permission. Covers the effects of psychoactive substances on the central nervous system, behavior, and mood, with emphasis on the role of neurotransmitter systems and receptor sites in the mechanism of drug actions. Includes the pharmacology of recreational drugs as well as those used in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. 3 Cr.
PSH 457 Creativity (A,I). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Examines anecdotal, biographical, observational, questionnaire, and experimental evidence and theory from the arts, humanities, and sciences; discusses relevance of creativity to education and to healthy personal growth; explores the possibility of training for creativity. 3 Cr.
PSH 465 Practicum in Teaching Experimental Psychology (B). Prerequisites: PSH 301 and instructor's permission. Allows the student to work with a small group of students in an experimental psychology course, help them evaluate their lab research designs, and assist them in completing experiments. Also allows students to learn various forms of analysis of variance. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 468 Practicum in Teaching Research Statistics (B). Prerequisites: PSH 202 and instructor's permission. Allows students to experience the aspects of teaching basic statistical techniques (including class discussions, lab sessions, and evaluation). Requires students to supervise assigned lab sessions. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 480 Principles of Assessment (A). Prerequisites: either PSH 110 or PSH 112, and PSH 202 or instructor's permission. Explores methodological and ethical issues in assessing individuals and groups. Allows students to develop a basic understanding of assessment procedures, test design, test interpretation, and familiarity with selected intellectual, academic, employment, and neuropsychological tests. 3 Cr.
PSH 482 Community Psychology (A). Prerequisites: either PSH 112 or PSH 110, and PSH 336 or instructor's permission. Examines the discipline of community psychology, which deals with theory and practice in the prevention of socioemotional disorders and promotion of psychological well-being. Includes historical background of community psychology (e.g., the community mental health movement), the role of stressful life events/life transitions in adjustment, issues and programs in promotion of social competence, and social policy applications of psychology. 3 Cr.
PSH 483 Applied Behavior Analysis (A). Prerequisites: PSH 110 or PSH 112 or instructor's permission. Covers the application of conditioning and learning principles to the treatment of human behavior problems. Examines both child and adult applications in home, classroom and institutional settings. 3 Cr.
PSH 484 Adolescence (A). Recommended: A general psychology course (PSH 110 or 112). Covers the application of general principles and theories of development to the adolescent period. Includes physiological changes, cognitive development, social relations, identity, and other issues of adolescence. 3 Cr. Every Semester
PSH 485 Advanced Behavior Analysis (A). Prerequisites: either PSH 110 or PSH 112, and PSH 483 or instructor's permission. Investigates a number of specific areas in which basic principles and techniques of applied behavior analysis have been successfully applied. Includes areas of study such as education, business and industry, institutional behavior, family living, and interpersonal relationships. 3 Cr.
PSH 486 Psychological Disorders of Children (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Provides an empirical survey of childhood psychological disorders with discussion of theory, research and therapy. Emphasizes the application of learning principles for understanding and treating disorders. 3 Cr.
PSH 488 Developmental Disabilities (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Provides in-depth coverage of selected topics of contemporary relevance to theory and practice in the field of developmental disabilities. Issues include community integration of persons with developmental disabilities; prevention; advocacy; and special populations such as autism, behavior disorders, sensory impairments, and epilepsy. 3 Cr.
PSH 497 Behavioral Medicine (A). Prerequisite: PSH 397 or instructor's permission. Explores the interdisciplinary field concerned with the development and integration of behavioral and biomedical science, knowledge, and techniques related to the understanding of health and illness, and the application of this knowledge and these techniques to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Emphasizes mind/body relationships, stress/illness relationships, biofeedback and self-regulation, pain management, and the human brain as a health-care system. 3 Cr.
PSH 499 Independent Study in Psychology (A). Prerequisite: PSH 110 or PSH 112. Provides theoretical and/or empirical investigations into special topics in psychology. Arranged in consultation with the instructor. 1-6 Cr. By Arrangement