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Department of Psychology

133 Holmes Hall
(585) 395-2488

Chair and Assistant Professor: Melissa M. Brown, PhD, Indiana University; Dean of Letters and Sciences and Professor: Stuart Appelle, PhD, George Washington University; Associate Professors: David Abwender, PhD, University of Miami; Stacy Birch, PhD, University of Illinois; Kelly Brennan-Jones, PhD, SUNY Buffalo; Lori-Ann B. Forzano, PhD, SUNY Stony Brook; Janet F. Gillespie, PhD, Southern Illinois University; Susan Shonk, PhD, University of Rochester; Assistant Professors: John C. Chelonis, PhD, SUNY Stony Brook; Marcie Desrochers, PhD, University of Manitoba; Herbert C. Fink, PhD, University of Rochester; Sara J. Margolin, PhD, University of Florida; Laurel McNall, PhD, SUNY Albany; Matthew K. Mulvaney, PhD, University of New Hampshire.



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 course meets the Natural Science without a lab Knowledge Area requirement in the General Education core:

Course Code Course Number Course Name
PSH 110 Natural Sciences
The following courses meets the Perspectives on Women requirement in the General Education core
PSH 431 Close Relationships
PSH 433 Psychology of Gender
The following courses meet the Contemporary Issues requirement in the General Education core
PSH 430 Close Relationships
PSH 457 Creativity

Major in Psychology

All majors are required to complete a minimum of 36 credits of psychology, at least 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.

If a student substitutes PSH 202 Introductory Statistics with an approved non-psychology statistics course, a sixth elective will be required.
To ensure a common foundation, all majors must take, in the listed order, PSH 202 Introductory Statistics and PSH 301 Research Methods in Psychology.

Course Number Course Name
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 Processes

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 19 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 10 of the minor credits must be taken at SUNY Brockport.

Psychology Courses

PSH 110 Principles of Psychology (A,N). 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.

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. 3 Cr. Every Semester

PSH 301 Research Methods in Psychology (A). Prerequisite PSH 202 or equivalent statistics course. Introduces the philosophy and methods of research in psychology, including measurement and data-collection techniques, research ethics, design and evaluation of research methodologies, data analysis, preparation of research reports and understanding of the scientific method. Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. 4 Cr.

PSH 322 Conditioning and Learning (A). Prerequisites: PSH 110 and PSH 301. 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. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week. 4 Cr.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

PSH 402 Industrial/Organizational Psychology (A). Prerequisite PSH 110 or PSH 112. Survey of theory, research, and applications in major topical areas of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Topics include work motivation, job attitudes, teams and teamwork, leadership, performance appraisal, training and development, and personnel selection. PSH 202 or equivalent statistics course is recommended. 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.

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 430 Close Relationships (A,W,I). 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.

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.

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). 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.

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

Last Updated 10/27/20

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