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Psychology

http://www.whitworth.edu/psychology

PsychologyThe Whitworth University Psychology Department is committed to academic rigor and sensitive human service through the promotion of the scientific study of "mind and heart." As part of a Christian liberal arts institution, we seek to train and produce responsible, enlightened citizens who think critically and contribute actively to the field of psychology. Following a scientist-practitioner model, the curriculum is designed to develop both breadth and depth of knowledge in core areas of psychology. Students engage in research and practice that encompass foundational and advanced requirements and electives, culminating in dual senior capstone experiences. Students apply their learning as they design their own research projects, critically evaluate scientific information and other claims, and reflect on the integration of psychology with Christian faith and other worldview perspectives. They gain experience working in the community at a practicum placement of their choice and have the opportunity to travel to destinations that bring their classroom learning to life. We offer an enduring foundation in the investigation and understanding of human behavior, emotion, and mental processes in an atmosphere that nurtures just relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and offers mutual support and friendship among faculty and students. 

The learning outcomes of this major prepare the student to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  2. Understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  3. Respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and when appropriate, methods of discovery to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  4. Understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  5. Value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a science.  Engage both mind and heart in order to "honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity," incorporating the tools that psychology has to offer in this endeavor.
  6. Demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology effectively for many purposes.
  7. Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  8. Recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural diversity.
  9. Develop insight into one's own and others' behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
  10. Pursue realistic, yet creative, ideas about how to implement psychological, interdisciplinary, and personal knowledge, skills, and values in vocational pursuits in a variety of settings that meet personal goals and societal needs.

Requirements for a Psychology Major, B.A. (46)

Introductory course
PY 101Introductory Psychology3
Complete three content courses:9
Developmental Psychology
Cognitive Psychology
or
Cognitive Psychology
Personality and Individual Differences
or
Personality and Individual Differences
Biological Psychology
Social Psychology
Methodology Courses:
PY 351Research Methods and Statistics I3
PY 352Research Methods and Statistics II3
Senior Capstone Courses
PY 400Senior Pre-Practicum1
PY 401WSenior Thesis3
PY 402WSenior Practicum3
Complete three upper-division psychology courses9
Applied Developmental Psychology
Psychology of Poverty and Social Class
Poverty, Altruism, and Hope in Tanzania
Love, Altruism and Forgiveness
Psychology and Christian Faith
Psychological Assessment
Developmental Psychopathology
Psychopathology
Theories of Counseling
Sports Psychology
Four additional upper- or lower-division psychology courses (other than Directed Studies)12

*

Counts as upper-division elective if not utilized to fulfill the History, Philosophy, and Methodology requirement.

Requirements for a Psychology Minor (15)

PY 101Introductory Psychology3
Four additional lower-division psychology courses12

Courses

PY 101 Introductory Psychology3
Use of scientific method of examining human behavior. How to deal objectively with questions about behavior. Topics include biological psychology, development, perception, states of consciousness, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, disorders and therapy, social psychology and human diversity. Fall and spring semesters. Periodically offered on-line during summer semester.
PY 191 Independent Study1-4
PY 192 Foreign Study/Exchange1-17
PY 196 Topics in Psychology1-3
Selected lower-division topics in psychology. Periodic offering.
PY 200 Psychopathology and Film3
Introduction to social issues of psychopathology using film. Exploration of various symptoms, disorders, interpersonal dynamics, influences, treatments and legal and ethical issues. Prerequisite: PY 101. Jan Term, periodic offering.
PY 205 Belief in Weird Things3
Psychological research on belief in extraordinary, 'weird' phenomena, including, but not limited to, the paranormal, superstition, divination, projective tests of personality, alternative healing practices, and unconscious mind control and repression. Prerequisite: PY 101. Jan Term; periodic offering.
PY 206 Sleep and Dreams3
An exploration of sleeping and dreaming. Considers the scientific study of sleep along with both historical and cultural understandings of dreams. Jan Term.
PY 210 Developmental Psychology3
The biological, psychological and cultural influences on human behavioral development from conception through death. Fall and/or spring semester.
PY 223 Psychology of Women3
Introduction to theory and research about the psychology of women. Topics covered include the concepts of masculinity and femininity, theoretical perspectives on sex and gender, sex-role development in childhood and adolescence, gender differences and similarities, sexuality, reproduction, therapy, personal growth, gender and the media, and issues in the workplace. Periodic offering.
PY 225 Cognitive Psychology3
An examination of important concepts in Cognitive Psychology, including attention, memory, language, problem solving and decision making, and cognitive neuroscience. Special consideration will be placed on important experimental findings and the applications of cognitive principles in education, the legal system, counseling, marketing, and other fields. Prerequisite: PY 101. Fall or spring semester.
PY 227 Personality and Individual Differences3
This course explores historical and current perspectives on the nature of human personality, including personality development, assessment, and change. Other important dimensions along which humans can vary, such as gender, culture, intellectual ability, and genetic/biochemical composition, are also considered. Prerequisite: PY 101. Fall or spring semester.
PY 227W Personality and Individual Differences3
This course explores historical and current perspectives on the nature of human personality, including personality development, assessment, and change. Other important dimensions along which humans can vary, such as gender, culture, intellectual ability, and genetic/biochemical composition, are also considered. Writing intensive. Prerequisite: PY 101. Fall or spring semester.
PY 232 Faith, Marriage and Parenting3
Examination of the practice of marriage and a variety of parenting practices including evaluation of them in the light of the Christian worldview. Consideration of the factors that make for successful marriages and parenting. Jan Term, periodic offering.
PY 236 Biological Psychology3
An examination of the biological underpinnings of human thought, feeling and action. Considers neuronal and hormonal communication, along with behavioral genetics and evolutionary psychology. Fall semester.
PY 241 Social Psychology3
An attempt to understand how an individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. Trends and findings of current research and its limitations. Prerequisite: PY 101. Fall or spring semester.
PY 290 Internship1-4
PY 291 Independent Study1-4
PY 302 Philosophical Issues in Study of Psychological Science3
An attempt to understand how historical figures, classical theories of human nature and events familiar to and distant from other scientific disciplines have molded the development of psychology. Prerequisite: PY 101. Fall semester.
PY 311 Applied Developmental Psychology3
Integrates research in applied developmental psychology with issues related to programs and politics for younger children and older adults. Through classroom instruction and university-community partnerships students learn to apply research to real world problems and come to appreciate the bidirectional relationship between research and practice. Prerequisite: PY 210.
PY 325W Cognitive Psychology3
An examination of important concepts in Cognitive Psychology, including attention, memory, language, problem solving and decision making, and cognitive neuroscience. Special consideration will be placed on important experimental findings and the applications of cognitive principles in education, the legal system, counseling, marketing, and other fields. Prerequisite: PY 101. Fall or spring semester.
PY 330 Psychology of Poverty and Social Class3
Examines how social class affects cognitive, emotional, and social development; how the more affluent make attributions of behavior and circumstances of the poor; and how these attributions affect helping behavior and psychological outcomes. Prerequisite: PY 101. Sophomore level and above. Alternate fall semester.
PY 331 Poverty, Altruism, and Hope in Tanzania Prep Course2
Serves as preparation for the Psychology in Tanzania course. Topics include the history and culture of East Africa; altruism and its effect on the psychology of those served; and mastery of beginning Swahili. Prerequisite: PY 101. Fall semester, odd years.
PY 332 Poverty, Altruism, and Hope in Tanzania3
Examines global poverty and its effect on human psychology via immersion in a small town in Tanzania, one of the poorest nations in the world. Service-learning provides reflection on appropriate acts of altruism. Prerequisites: PY 101, PY 330, PY 331, and selection by instructor. Jan Term, even years.
PY 340 Love, Altruism and Forgiveness3
An examination of why people experience love and behave altruistically. Topics include the emotions of love and hate, empathy, forgiveness, hope, and courage; social categorization; and self-other relationships. Prerequisite: PY 101. Jan Term, periodic offering.
PY 345 Forensic Psychology3
Examines the relationship between psychology and the law, police psychology, investigative psychology, legal psychology, and criminal psychology. Special consideration will be placed on how concepts such as developmental, clinical, cognitive, and social psychology can be applied and integrated into the legal system. Prerequisite: PY 101.
PY 350 Psychology and Christian Faith3
Explores the integration of psychological research and Christian faith. Examines potential tensions and resolutions in integrating psychological and Christian approaches to understanding development, maturity, conversion, and counseling. Prerequisite: three courses in psychology, including PY 101. Spring semester.
PY 351 Research Methods and Statistics I3
Introduction to the process of research and the basic principles of statistics. Focus on data collection and analysis. Prerequisite: PY 101. Fall and spring semesters.
PY 352 Research Methods and Statistics II3
Introduction to the processes of research and the basic practice of statistics. Continues the introduction with focus on probability, inference and reporting results. Prerequisites: PY 101 and PY 351. Fall and spring semesters.
PY 353 Psychological Assessment3
Provides a survey of fundamental goals and principles of psychological assessment in both theoretical and applied contexts, including identifying the primary constructs assessed by psychologists. Students will explore theories, techniques, applications, and limitations of assessments and sample commonly used psychological screenings/tests. Includes overview of psychometric principles: test reliability/validity, and consideration of ethical and professional issues. Prerequisites: PY 101 and PY 227. Recommended: PY 351 and/or PY 352. Periodic offering.
PY 355 Helping Skills3
Learn to use concepts and models of research-based helping skills. Skills-based and experiential course format providing first-hand experience in simulated role-play helping situations. Prerequisites: PY 101 and PY 227. Fall semester.
PY 357 Developmental Psychopathology3
Explore the developmental psychopathology perspective and how it is used to understand selected disorders of childhood. Review of the description, assessment, epidemiology, etiology, and treatment of commonly diagnosed behavioral and emotional disorders in childhood. Periodic offering. Prerequisite: PY 101 & either PY 210 or PY 358.
PY 358 Psychopathology3
Study of behavior categorized as mental illness or mental disorder. Introduction to the DSM-IV and treatment. Pertinent issues in genetic and neurochemical factors, family interactions, and other social relationships examined. Prerequisites: PY 101 and PY 227. Fall semester.
PY 359 Theories of Counseling3
Introduction to the field of counseling, including major theoretical orientations, both historical and recent: psychoanalytic, behavioral, humanistic/existential. Prerequisites: PY 101 and PY 227 (PY 358 recommended). Fall and spring semesters.
PY 370 Sports Psychology3
Exploration of the many facets of sports psychology from both a theoretical and practical standpoint. Topics include characteristics of successful athletes, motivation, regulating anxiety and stress, aggression, team cohesion, leadership styles, and coaching youth sports. Recommended that PY 101 be taken previously. Jan Term.
PY 386 Readings1-4
PY 390 Internship1-4
PY 391 Independent Study1-4
PY 392 Foreign Study/Exchange1-17
PY 394 Research Assistantship1-3
PY 395 Teaching Assistantship1-4
PY 396 Topics in Psychology1-3
Selected upper-division topics in psychology. Periodic offering.
PY 400 Senior Pre-Practicum1
Serves as preparation for Senior Practicum course. Topics include exploring student post-baccalaureate goals and interests, selecting a practicum site, and preparing for the practicum experience. Senior psychology major. By instructor permission only. Fall semester. Prerequisite: PY 101.
PY 401W Senior Thesis3
Final learning/evaluation situation for psychology majors. Design and carry out independent research project. Seminar format. Prerequisites: PY 101, PY 351 and PY 352. Fall semester.
PY 402W Senior Practicum3
Placement in community agency or organization. Applications of psychological concepts and analysis of individual experiences in a seminar format. Prerequisite: Senior psychology major. By instructor permission only. Spring semester.
PY 475 Research Colloquium1-3
Gain firsthand experience of the process of researching, critiquing, and writing in a collaborative small-group format under the guidance of a psychology faculty member and their research. Prerequisite: PY 101 and senior psychology major. Selection by instructor. Spring semester.
PY 486 Readings1-4
PY 490 Internship1-4
PY 491 Independent Study1-4
PY 495 Teaching Assistantship1-4
PY 499 Advanced Senior Thesis1
Students will refine their original senior research project for publication in a professional journal or presentation at a regional or national professional conference. Prerequisite: PY 401W and approval of a faculty sponsor. Spring semester.
Dean of Arts and Sciences

NOELLE WIERSMA

Chair

PATRICIA BRUININKS

Associate professors

PATRICIA BRUININKSADRIAN TEONOEL WESCOMBE

Assistant professors

ELIZABETH CAMPBELLMELISSA ROGERS

Visiting Assistant Professor

MARK BAIRD