The Department of Psychology offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Students study principles of human growth and development and the processes of learning, cognition and emotion. Particular attention is given to knowledge related to personality development, maladaptive behavior, social diversity and group interactions, and the biological bases of behavior. The major provides the foundation for careers in human services and counseling, in business and industry, and in working with children, adolescents and adults in schools or clinical settings. The major program also prepares students for graduate study in all areas of psychology, social work, business, education, and other related professions.
Students graduating with a major in Psychology will be able to:
- Develop knowledge base of content domains, themes, and applications of psychology
- Demonstrate competence in interpreting, designing, and conducting psychological research
- Demonstrate competence in applying ethical standards to evaluation of psychological science and to multiple social issues
- Communicate proficiently for a variety of purposes, both orally and in writing
- Develop career goals through application of psychological knowledge and refinement of self-regulation and teamwork capacity
Seminars, Research and Topics Courses, Senior Thesis and Internships
Seminars offered at the 200, 300 and 400 levels allow students interested in advanced study or in pursuing graduate work in psychology or related fields to identify aspects of contemporary psychology of sufficient personal interest to support directed or independent scholarly work. Topic courses are offered to address special areas of psychology not included in the general curriculum. Students discovering such interests are encouraged to pursue them by enrolling in PSYC 397 Research Seminar:, PSYC 391 Research Assistant in Psychology, and PSYC 496 Research in Psychology and/or PSYC 500 Independent Study. During the senior year, and with departmental approval, a student may then register for PSYC 550 Senior Thesis. Students are also encouraged to seek out an internship in a wide variety of mental health and social services placements during their junior or senior year.
Introduces students to the science of psychology, presenting the basic principles of mental processes and behavior. To introduce the process of empirical investigation, research participation is required.
Introduces new psychology majors to the scientific basis of psychology through interactions with faculty, student mentors, and community professionals. Explores unique opportunities within the major and the college (research, internships, study away/abroad). Students will create a psychology major portfolio and will begin to document their learning and engagement with the discipline. Required for all MCLA psychology majors.
Examines developmental theory and research from an applied perspective. Physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development from early childhood through adolescence will be covered with an emphasis on application. (Students cannot receive credit for both PSYC 208 and PSYC 210).
Examines developmental theory and research from an applied perspective. Physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development from early childhood through adolescence will be covered with an emphasis on application.
Examines the development of the child through adolescence, including neonatal and prenatal development. Major theories of physical, cognitive and social development are discussed. The research methods and controversial issues in developmental psychology are emphasized. (Students cannot receive credit for both PSYC 210 and PSYC 208).
Examines human social behavior emphasizing environmental and situational factors. Theoretical and applied issues are considered within selected topics. (Psychology majors cannot receive core Self & Society credit for PSYC 230).
Examines theoretical perspectives of maladaptive behavior and the concepts of stress, coping, normality and abnormality. Emphasis on assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological disorders of childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
Introduces the nature of empirical investigation in psychology and the role of data analysis in psychological research. Students learn the value of research methodology as applied to the field of psychology with a focus on concepts and interpretation of basic research design and statistical analysis. A weekly lab introduces data analysis software applications.
A continuation of PSYC 290, extending the nature of empirical investigation in psychology to specific research designs and statistical analyses. The course focuses on concepts, interpretation and applications of methodology and data analysis used by psychologists, including topics of ethics and APA style. Mastery of course material will be demonstrated by a completed research paper; weekly lab extends students' knowledge of statistical analysis software applications.
Introduces and explores empirical research, theory and applications in selected areas of psychology. Emphasis will be placed on library research and class discussion. Critical reading and analysis skills will be assessed through several papers and presentations.
Provides junior and senior psychology majors with an opportunity to reflect on their past work in the major. Explores opportunities and interests in preparation for careers and graduate study in the field. Students will work with the instructor and other professionals to develop and implement strategies for success after MCLA. Required for all MCLA psychology majors.
Studies knowing, learning, thinking and language. Topics include theories of cognition, language, attention, problem solving, memory, consciousness and creative thinking.
Introduces the field of behavior analysis, examining behavior analytic history, philosophy, concepts and principles. Techniques and strategies inside and outside the laboratory will be discussed in detail. Students learn the basics of data-based approaches to behavior treatment. Concepts will be illustrated during discussion of a wide variety of behavior problems associated with developmental disabilities, substance abuse, physical fitness and academic delays.
Examines the relationship between the natural and built physical environment from a multidisciplinary perspective. Focuses on the behavioral effects of spatial design, noise, privacy, personal space and climate.
Examines the relationships between brain function and behavior using concepts from psychology and biology. Topics include motivation and emotion, learning and memory, sensory systems and perception, language disabilities and mental disorders.
Examines the use and abuse of drugs from biological, psychological and cultural points of view. Addresses contemporary efforts in education, prevention and treatment of abuse.
Emphasizes the application of psychological theory and techniques to the management of behavior in structured organizations. Focuses on the concepts of motivation, leadership, and interpersonal and group process.
Examines the special needs of children, the methods used to determine these needs, and the procedures used to meet these needs.
Examines classical and contemporary approaches to personality theory. Emphasizes application and empirical support for theoretical positions.
Examines the field of human sexuality from psychological, biological and sociological perspectives. In covering a wide range of contemporary topics, emphasis is on empirical, verifiable scientific information.
Focuses on the similarities and differences between males and females, masculinity and femininity. Explores the origins and maintenance of gender stereotypes and their consequences.
Explores psychological and sociocultural issues concerning women in our society. Women's experiences will be covered in areas that are stereotypically thought of as male-oriented as well as those more exclusive to females.
Introduces concepts related to psychological testing and measurement. Topics will include measurement theory, psychometric principles, ethics of measurement and assessment, and measurement design in different settings (government, clinical, educational, and/or industrial/organizational). Mastery of course material determined by design, administration, interpretation and critique of assessments. Content identified by subtitle. This course is repeatable for a maximum of 8 crs. Required laboratory.
Presents an information processing approach to how we perceive and communicate about the world. Also examines our acquisition and use of language, as well as societal influences on perception and thought.
Introduces students to the current research and theoretical perspectives related to various psychological and psychosocial components of exercise, sport participation and competition. Personality, motivation, social facilitation, anxiety, aggression and other factors that influence individuals and teams/groups are examined.
Studies the conditions and theories of classroom learning. Scope: instructional objectives, task analysis, conditioning, concept and rule learning, problem solving, memory, transfer and motivation.
Examines the cognitive, social, emotional and physical development of the adolescent from a psychological perspective. Psychological and social problems that may arise during adolescence are discussed.
Examines the etiology and clinical characteristics of behavioral disorders in infancy through adolescence, including emotional disturbances, anxiety and conduct disorders, mental retardation and learning disabilities. Emphasis on theoretical perspectives, research, assessment, early intervention and prevention.
Focuses on advanced methodology, data analysis and interpretation in psychological research. A research project is required. Required laboratory.
Provides opportunities for students to assist faculty in conducting empirical research. Particular responsibilities may include data collection, statistical analyses and other activities involved in planning and conducting research in psychology. Amount of credit will be determined by the faculty supervisor in consultation with the student. The course may be repeated up to a maximum of six credits with all grades assigned as pass/fail. Enrollment requires permission of the instructor.
Applies research design and practice to selected problems. Includes literature review, deriving and empirically testing hypotheses. Requirements involve preparation of laboratory and other research materials, recruitment of participants and collection, analysis, and interpretation of resulting data. Culminates in preparation and submission of a complete report of the research project. Content identified by subtitle. This course is repeatable for a maximum of 8 crs. Required laboratory.
Surveys and critically examines selected areas and issues in psychology. Emphasizes multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the topics selected for study. Designed for junior and senior majors intending graduate study in psychology, the seminar requires students to develop a program of reading, give oral presentations and complete a literature review paper.
Examines the development of psychology as a science, an academic discipline, and a profession. Includes a comparative analysis of major contemporary theories in psychology.
Participate in the design, implementation, analysis and dissemination of empirical research. Students will examine the strategies and rationale underlying within-subject designs through exposure to recently published articles from the behavior analytic literature. The relationship between experimental and applied research will be examined closely. All students will prepare an APA-style manuscript describing their research project. Required laboratory.
Studies techniques applicable in the helping services and counseling. Theories of counseling and basic psychotherapy will be reviewed. Experiential sessions will demonstrate established theories.
Provides the opportunity for students to assist a faculty member in the preparation and implementation of a psychology course. Particular responsibilities may include providing support with class activities and assisting students enrolled in the course. Amount of credit will be determined by the faculty supervisor in consultation with the student. The course is graded pass/fail. Enrollment requires permission of instructor.
Explores one or more special topics in psychology. Topic will be specified when the course is offered.
For junior and senior psychology majors who choose to conduct psychological research independently in a specific area. The research will be carried out under the direction of the faculty supervisor and will require a substantive scholarly report of the research. The course may be repeated for credit with the permission of a faculty member. The course is graded pass/fail. Enrollment requires permission of the instructor.
An intensive examination of a selected topic in psychology. Mastery of the seminar material will be assessed by the completion of an APA-style paper.
Open to juniors and seniors who wish to read in a given area or to study a topic in depth. Written reports and frequent conferences with the advisor are required. Enrollment requires individual application and permission of the department.
Receive an intensive overview of behavioral assessment strategies designed to determine the environmental factors that influence behavior problems. Examples from recent literature will be examined in depth with a focus on applications to educational and other settings. All students will conduct three simulated functional assessments and behavior plans.
Designed to familiarize students with the ethical principles of behavior analysis and the historical contexts in which they developed. We will examine ethics as they apply to research, clinical practice, and the role of the behavior analyst in society.
Provides opportunities in a variety of public agencies and private organizations to gain practical experience and to develop skills in applying psychological theories, principles, methods and techniques to the management of problems of human development, thought, adjustment and behavior. Enrollment requires individual application and permission of the department.
Requires completion of a formal thesis on a significant topic in psychology. Intended for senior psychology majors, a literature review and proposal, along with approval of two members of the psychology faculty, is required prior to enrollment in the thesis course.
Provides an overview of modern behavior analytic concepts and terminology. Beginning with an examination of the history and assumptions of modern behaviorism, students will learn the competencies of behavior analysis in relation to working with children with special needs. Requires acceptance and enrollment in MCLA-NECC cooperative program.
Covers the goals and strategies of behavioral assessment. Students will learn indirect, descriptive and experimental assessments. All students will perform a descriptive functional analysis and an analog functional analysis. Required acceptance and enrollment in MCLA-NECC cooperative program.
Students will read and discuss recently published articles in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Class sections will focus on student presentations and discussion of articles selected by the instructor. The goal is to further student knowledge and inquiry in applications of empirical research in applied behavior analysis. Requires acceptance and enrollment in MCLA-NECC cooperative program.
Involves working with special needs children under the mentorship of a faculty advisor. Students complete readings and research related to their classroom experiences and write a paper on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructor. Each student is assigned teaching responsibilities under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Students participate in a weekly seminar designed to raise issues and discuss topics relevant to the practicum experience and assigned readings.