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Interesting Electives

Interesting Electives

Exploration term classes (January):

Psychology faculty members teach a variety of interesting E-term classes in January. For example, Dr. Heather Meggers has taught Gender in American Pop Culture where students explore a variety of media (magazines, books, films) and discuss how gender is represented (or misrepresented) in popular culture.

Dr. Tricia Witte and Dr. Lynne Trench have team-taught Psychology of Stress, where students learn the biological and psychological factors related to stress and practice a variety of stress-reduction techniques (e.g., deep breathing, meditation).

Dr. Shane Pitts has taught Psychology in Cinema, where students watch films and documentaries and then discuss topics portrayed in the films such as memory and amnesia, perception, prejudice, social cognition, psychological disorders, and more.

Dr. Richard Rector has taught Sport Psychology, where students learn how psychological principles apply to performance issues

Fall and Spring Term Electives:

As part of the psychology major, students need several electives in psychology, which are separate from the core courses such as Biological Psychology, Statistics for Research, and Research Methods. We have several interesting electives to choose from. See the college catalog for a complete listing. Here are some of the more popular electives:

PY 250 Heuristics and Biases in Belief: Why People Believe "Weird" Things (1)
A focus on heuristics and biases in thinking and how these phenomena can distort and deceive. Various pseudoscientific phenomena (e.g., psychics, astrology, ESP), common misconceptions of human behavior, and controversial practices within psychology (e.g., use of the Rorschach, fringe therapies) will serve as illustrative concepts. An understanding of how major characteristics of science and skepticism can be used to assess extraordinary and ordinary claims is also considered. The course considers how people tend to arrive at and maintain a variety of beliefs and how individuals can weigh evidence for and against beliefs. Prerequisite: PY 101.

PY 217 Drugs, Brain, and Behavior (1)
A study of licit and illicit drugs (focusing on drugs of abuse) examining their effects on the brain and on behavior. Topics may also include addiction and treatment, history of drug use, and the influence of drugs on the unborn child, the individual, and on society.

PY 208 Human Sexual Behavior (1)
A study of the biological, sociological, psychological, and ethical aspects of human sexuality, including the study of the biological foundations of sexuality, behavioral variations, research in sexuality, sexual decision making, social issues, and contemporary issues in human sexual behaviors.

PY 205 Introduction to Forensic Psychology (1)
An examination of forensic psychology, or the application of psychological principles to legal matters. Topics include criminal behavior, victimization, criminal investigation (e.g., criminal profiling, lie detection, eyewitness testimony), forensic assessment, and jury selection and deliberation.