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Undergraduate Courses

The psychology department at Radford University offers a diverse array of psychology courses. Listed below is some basic information about each course that is offered, including: the name of the course, its prerequisites, the number of credit hours the course fulfills, and a brief description of the course.

PSYC 121. Introductory Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite to all other courses in psychology.
An introduction to the study of behavior. Topics include essential concepts in brain function, motivation, learning, personality, social and abnormal psychology, along with methods used to study them, and their applications. General Education credit - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSYC 218. Adolescent Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Emotional, social, physical, personality and cognitive aspects of human development in adolescence. General Education credit - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSYC 222. Orientation to the Psychology Major. (1)

One hour lecture.
Prerequisites:
Psychology major; PSYC 301 as prerequisite or corequisite; recommended for majors with less than 18 hours of PSYC courses.  Introduces the student to the academic and professional field of psychology in order to assist students in understanding the possibilities of psychology as a career field, and also to assist students to better understand the requirements of the major at RU.

PSYC 250. Psychology of Diversity. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisites: PSYC 121 and junior standing.
Provides an overview of the psychology of race/ethnicity, sex/gender, and minority groups in a multicultural context. This course will cover issues of psychological development, mental health, sex/gender, and power inequity within minority groups residing in North America, including but not limited to: African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and Asian Pacific Islanders. It provides a means of critical analysis and integration of diverse perspectives that exist within contemporary psychology. Major emphasis will be on developing an understanding of the variation within and between racial/ethnic groups; psychological issues relevant to women and their minority or out-group status; psychological issues or regarding gender within minority groups; and the psychological processes that underlie the perpetuation of group conflict and inequity and the multicultural approach to confronting these issues. Students may not receive credit if previously taken PSYC 350.

PSYC 282. Consumer Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Study of relationship between organizations that provide goods and services and individuals who receive them; emphasis on research findings which help consumers derive greater satisfaction and pleasure from the products they consume. General Education credit - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSYC 230. Lifespan Developmental Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Will contribute to understanding of the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of people throughout the lifespan.  Areas of development that will be covered include motoric and perceptual skill development, social/emotional and personality development, linguistic and intellectual development from conception through old age.  This course will not substitute for PSYC 317 as a Psychology social science core class.  General Education credit - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSYC 301. Analysis of Psychological Data. (3)

Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121
Pre-or Co-requisites: STAT 200, or permission of the instructor. Introduces students to the major methods and techniques employed in the analysis of behavioral data, including descriptive statistics, graphing, measures of the degree of association between two variables, and techniques in statistical inference. During the laboratory portion of the class, students will complete exercises providing hands-on experience with concepts presented in lecture and they will analyze data addressing empirical questions in a variety of areas in psychology.

PSYC 302. Research Methods in Psychology. (3)

Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: PSYC 301.
Introduces students to the major methods and techniques employed in psychological research, including descriptive, correlational, and experimental approaches to empirical research. During the laboratory portion of the class, students will design and conduct empirical research projects, analyze data from those projects, and write reports describing the research in American Psychological Association (APA) format.

PSYC 317. Child Psychology. (3) (SS)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Motor, perceptual, linguistic, social and intellectual aspects of human development from conception through middle childhood. Fulfills one of the Social Sciences core requirements for the psychology major and minor. General Education credit - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSYC 320. Introduction to Cognitive Psychology. (3)(NS)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisites: PSYC 121.
A survey of basic principles in cognitive psychology. Topics include problem solving, memory, attention, language, perceptual processes, development of cognitive abilities across the lifespan, the biological basis of cognition, and the application of cognitive principles to the fields of mental health, business and human factors. Fulfills one of the Natural Sciences core requirements for the psychology major and minor.

PSYC 333. Principles of Learning. (3)(NS)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
An introduction to the basic principles of experimental and applied learning. Data from animal and human experiments will be considered. Selected areas of application to human social problems included. The laboratory will consist a set of graduated which the student will be required to complete, including training a rat in a set of standard exercises. Fulfills one of the Natural Sciences core requirements for the psychology major and minor.

PSYC 343. Social Psychology. (3) (SS)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Study of the effects of others on the behavior of individuals, including social perception, attitude change, attraction and conformity, as well as the structure and behavior of groups including leadership, competition and decision making. Fulfills one of the Social Sciences core requirements for the psychology major and minor. General Education credit - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSYC 347. Environmental Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Covers topics related to the interrelationship between human behavior and experience and the built and natural environment.

PSYC 353 (BIOL 353). Comparative Behavior. (3)

Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: PSYC 121 and eight credit hours of Biology.
Study of animal behavior from viewpoints of zoology, ethology and comparative psychology. Emphasis on review of animal phyla for sensory capacities, motor capabilities and coordinating mechanisms; classification of behavioral traits; analysis of instinctive behavior, learned behavior, social behavior, animal communications and evolutionary significance of social organization.
Note: Does not fulfill the lab course requirement.

PSYC 361. Psychology of Personality. (3) (SS)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Introduction to descriptions, dynamics and determinants of personality. The major theories of personality are discussed and compared. Fulfills one of the Social Science core requriements for the psychology major and minor. General Education credit - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSYC 377. Introduction to Sensation and Perception. (3)(NS)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
An introduction to the basic concepts and theories of sensory and perceptual psychology. Selected areas of application to everyday life will also be included. Fulfills one of the Natural Sciences core requirements for the psychology major and minor.

PSYC 378. Brain and Behavior. (3)(NS)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Examines the brain and its role in mediating behavior and psychological processes in humans and other animals. Topics to be covered include neuronal functioning and communication, structure of the nervous system, common neurological disorders, neural bases of perception and action, learning, memory and cognition, motivation, and biological foundations of psychological disorders. Fulfills one of the Natural Sciences core requirements for the psychology major and minor.

PSYC 381. Psychology of Work Behavior. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Study of human behavior in relation to personnel, worker motivation, satisfaction, efficiency, work training, leadership and organizational communications. General Education credit - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSYC 391. Psychology of Women. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Investigates changing roles of women, and the factors of education, intelligence, personality, physical characteristics and socialization that contribute to these roles. General Education credit - Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSYC 401. Psychology of the Exceptional Child. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisites: PSYC 317.
Gives students an understanding of children who are different intellectually, behaviorally, socially and physically from the average child, as well as an understanding of the ecology of an exceptional child; provides student with some knowledge of special needs and techniques used in the assessment of and education of such individuals as well as information about capacities and abilities.

PSYC 405. Forensic Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture and discussion.
Prerequisites: PSYC 121.
Course provides a survey of the forensic psychology areas. Topics will include aggression, serial killers, jury psychology, eyewitness testimony, detecting deception, insanity plea, hostage negotiation, and critical incident counseling.

PSYC 415. Evolutionary Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Application of evolution theory to understanding human behavior, including the topics of learning, intelligence, mating strategies and gender differences, kinship and social interaction, motivation, emotion, health, and psychopathology. 

PSYC 420. Research in Cognitive Psychology. (3)

Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: PSYC 302, 320.
An introduction to social learning theory and to current cognitive theories of perception, attention, memory, language, comprehension, decision making, problem solving, computerized cognition, and social cognition.

PSYC 429. Maturity and Aging. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Examines aging process and resultant changes in psychomotor skills, learning, thinking and intelligence, employment and productivity, personality, maladjustment and life review.

PSYC 434. Research in Learning. (3)

Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: PSYC 302, 333.
An empirical and theoretical survey of the major areas in the psychology of learning. Data from both animal and human experiments discussed from varying points of view. Requires student to design an experimental project, construct apparatus as needed, collect data, analyze data and submit a report in the American Psychological Association (APA) format. Fulfills lab course requirement.

PSYC 439. Abnormal Psychology. (3) (SS)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Study of abnormal psychology that emphasizes the history, major perspectives and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV categories. Fulfills one of the Social Sciences core requirements for the psychology major and minor.

PSYC 440. Abnormal Child Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121.
Provides a survey of the most common childhood and adolescent psychological disorders.  Topics will include theories of abnormal psychological development, current classification (DSM) and assessment techniques and treatments.

PSYC 443. Research in Social Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisites: PSYC 343, PSYC 301, and PSYC 302.
Students will directly study the effects of others on the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals. Students will become familiar with empirical investigations of specific topics in social psychological research, and will be required to conduct research and submit a research report in American Psychological Association (APA) format.

PSYC 445. Psychological Tests and Measurements. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisites: PSYC 301 and junior, senior, or graduate standing.
Foundations and methodologies of psychological testing, including achievement, ability, interest and personality assessment; problems, issues, developments and future prospects in psychological assessment. Students research, administer, score, interpret and report results of selected psychological tests.

PSYC 461. Research in Personality. (3)

Two hours lecture, two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: PSYC 302, PSYC 361.
PSYC 461 examines scientific investigations of various aspects of human personality including development, change, and characteristics. Students will become familiar with empirical investigations of specific topics in personality research, and will be required to conduct their own research project and to submit a research report in American Psychological Association (APA) format. Fulfills lab course requirement.

PSYC 470. History and Systems of Psychology. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisites: PSYC 121 and junior status as a psychology major or minor.
Develops understanding of the history of thought as it relates to the field of psychology. Centers on significant issues which have persisted through history and the methods used by great men and women in their efforts to grapple with these issues. Deals with the systems of psychology and contemporary theories.

PSYC 477. Research in Sensation and Perception

Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: PSYC 302, 377
An introduction to research methods and experimental investigations in sensory and perceptual psychology. Meets the lab course requirement for psychology majors.

PSYC 478. Research in Physiological Psychology. (3)

Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: PSYC 302 and 378.
Survey of the structure and functions of the nervous and endocrine systems in controlling and organizing various psychological events and processes. These include perception and movement, emotion, motivation, memory, language and consciousness and clinical uses of physiological psychology. The laboratory is designed to introduce the student to various scientific ways of studying the relationships between physiology and behavior. Fulfills lab course requirement.

PSYC 480. Human Neuropsychology. (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisites: PSYC 121 and senior standing or permission of instructor.
Disorders and diseases of the human brain will be examined to familiarize students with the causes, consequences, and treatment of brain disorders, and to illuminate the role of the brain in normal psychological functioning. Students will learn about the structure and function of the nervous system, causes of brain damage, common neuropsychological disorders and syndromes, disorders of brain function in children and adults, and assessment and rehabilitation of brain function.

PSYC 488H. Final Honors Project. (2-3)

Prerequisites: Enrollment in the Honors Academy, completion of all other Honors Academy requirements, a minimum of 3.5 GPA in all courses and in psychology.
Project and topic to be determined by the student, the faculty member with whom the student works, and the department. In order to receive honors credit, a student must earn a grade of "A" or "B" for the final project. Course may not be repeated.

PSYC 490. Seminar in Psychology. (1-3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: PSYC 121
Presentation and discussion of current issues in psychology.

PSYC 491. Research Lab: Special Topics. (3)

Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: PSYC 302 and Permission of Instructor
Will expose the psychology student to research in a particular area of interest which may not be addressed in any of the other research lab courses offered by the psychology department faculty. It will allow students to have an in-depth exposure to a specific research topic, through lecture, discussion, and empirical investigation. Students will be required to conduct a research project and to submit a research report in APA format. This course will count as meeting the lab requirement for the major.

PSYC 498. Independent Study. (1-6)

See "Independent Study" in the Undergraduate Catalogue.

PSYC 499 Internship. (3-12)

Prerequisites: Must have a psychology major, a minimum of 75 semester hours credit with at least 18 hours of psychology credits and a GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.2 in the major. Students also must have completed the series of "Success Seminars" conducted by the Center for Experiential Learning.
Full- or part-time placement in a professional setting to provide students with appointed experience relative to their interests and goals.  Supervision will be provided by both internship site personnel and university faculty, and will include weekly on-site and scheduled campus-based seminars.  Permission from the internship committee required for enrollment.  Graded pass-fail.