Averett University Undergraduate Catalog


Courses of Instruction in Psychology

Number Title Credits Description
110 Psychology as a Social Science 3 A survey of major problem areas in psychology emphasizing the application of psychological principles to the improvement of the human situation.  Students are encouraged to analyze human problems and everyday behavior to discover how psychology can explain and improve these situations.  This course may be used to satisfy three semester hours of the Social Sciences portion of General Education requirements.
120 Psychology as a Natural Science and Lab 4 A survey of major problem areas in psychology emphasizing the scientific process involved in gaining new knowledge.  Students study the classic experiments in psychology and participate in the research process by conducting weekly laboratory exercises.  The data generated by these exercises then serve as the basis for exploring naturalistic explanations of the behavior.  This course may be used to satisfy four semester hours of the Natural Sciences portion of General Education requirements.
200 Effective Behavior 3 An applied course with a central focus on the area of personal adjustment.  Working from the assumption that individuals encounter a variety of problems in life, and must work effectively with others, the course examines issues of personality and social adjustment, stress and coping, interpersonal relationships, and behavior in groups.
205 Developmental Psychology 3 A survey of the theories and research pertaining to human development across the life span.  Special attention is given to the changes in cognitive and social behavior during development and to factors responsible for these changes.
206 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis 3 This course introduces the field of behavior analysis examining its history, philosophy, concepts and principles.  Students will learn behavior-change procedures and the basics of data-based approaches to behavior treatment.
210 Human Sexuality 3 A course utilizing reports, discussion, and lectures to explore the biological, social, and personal aspects of human sexual identity and behavior.
219 Social Psychology 3 An examination of the ways in which behavior, feelings, and thoughts are affected by others through their physical presence and interaction with us, through the media, or through the environmental changes they make.  Students study various theories of social behavior, learn about classic experiments in social psychology and their interpretations, and apply the discoveries in social psychology to human problems.
232 Designing User-centered Websites 3 This course introduces the area of human factors known as human‑computer interaction design.  The course uses a modification of the case method in which successful computer environments are explored by the student in hands‑on exercises, and features of the environments are used to illustrate underlying psychological principles. Primary emphasis is placed on the design of effective websites.  Students critique websites and other user environments and use principles from the diverse areas of design, sensation and perception, cognitive science, cognitive development, and ergonomics to recommend improvements. Neither programming or previous experience with computers nor a background in psychology is assumed, but a general familiarity with computers and their typical uses would be beneficial.
288 Computing in Psychology 2 A practical introduction to computer use in the field of psychology.  Students learn computer applications for collecting, filing, retrieving, calculating, and graphing data.  Co-requisites: PSY 323, PSY 333, and PSY 338.
303 Stress Management 3 This course is designed to provide a broad overview of the nature of stress, as well as selected approaches for effectively managing and coping with stress.
305 Abnormal Psychology 3 A study of the concepts of normal and abnormal behavior.  Emphasis is on the causes and patterns of expression of maladaptive behavior throughout the life span, as well as the problems in assessment and intervention.
306 Principles of Professional Conduct in Psychology 3 This course explores the professional standards and ethical considerations pertinent to the use of varying practice approaches, including a thorough examination of the professional conduct required for the ethical application of behavior analysis.
309 Personality Theory 3 A comparative survey of the major theories of personality with emphasis on different theorists' models for understanding and predicting human behavior.
315 Physiological Psychology 3 A study of the physiological events that underlie behavior.  Students learn the physiology of individual cells in the nervous system, neurotransmitters, the general structure of the nervous system, and brain structures and physiological processes underlying psychologically important behaviors.
323 Learning 3 An introduction to the principles of learning fundamental to the analysis and interpretation of human conduct in the clinic, the classroom, the workplace, and social situations. The course acquaints students with the structure of behavioral science and serves as a tool for lifetime analysis of human behavior. Prerequisite:  PSY 206. Co-requisites:  PSY 288, PSY 333, PSY 338. 
325 Helping Relations 3 An experience which provides the foundation for understanding the helping process.  Students develop an understanding of the nature of the helping/therapeutic relationship and develop and practice basic interpersonal communication skills that are the core of the helping process. Prerequisites: PSY 200 and permission of instructor.
332 Evaluating Website Usability 3 Studies of techniques available for evaluating the relative usability of various interface designs with an emphasis on assuring effective website design. Traditional experimental methods are covered and compared with discount usability testing methods and other methods such as usability inspection (heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthroughs, surveys, focus groups, and field testing.)  Wherever possible, the course provides hands-on testing opportunities as the best way to learn and compare the effectiveness of these methodologies.
333 Research Practicum I 3 Fundamental skills required for the ethical conduct of research are introduced.  Students develop competence through direct experience to accurately observe behavior and develop detailed narratives of their observations, to operate computer systems that automatically record data and control experimental events, to electronically store and retrieve data, to analyze findings and to graphically present the results of those analyses.  Students write an APA-style research report summarizing their findings and conclusions.  Finally, students develop a proposal for original, presentation-quality research to be conducted in a subsequent semester.  Co-requisites: PSY 288, 323, and 338.
334 Research Practicum II 3 A practicum in which students conduct a literature review, design and conduct original research either in a laboratory or community setting, and present their findings in an APA-style report and in a poster session open to the college community. Prerequisite: PSY 333 and permission of the instructor.
338 Research Design 3 A study of the methods of research in psychology.  Students learn the research designs and statistical procedures encountered in psychology and gain experience in the analysis and visual inspection of data. Co-requisites:  PSY 288, PSY 323, and PSY 333.  Recommended: MTH 160. 
373 Memory and Cognition 3 An examination of cognitive psychology as an approach to the study of psychology and a study of the major issues and problems considered by cognitive psychologists.  Attention is given to the history and perspective of cognitive psychology, as well as to theories and data pertaining to information processing, memory and representation of knowledge, language, and problem-solving.  This course is strongly recommended for students planning to pursue graduate studies in psychology.
387 Sensation and Perception 3 A study of the behavior and physiological approaches to the study of sensory systems and the perceptions they stimulate.  The visual system is emphasized.
395 Animal Behavior 3 A study of the behavior of animals emphasizing the role of evolutionary processes in the development of species-typical behavior.
401 Applied Behavior Analysis 3 This course emphasizes the design of appropriate behavior change strategies and the particular issues involved in implementing such behavior change strategies in the home, school, workplace, and clinic.  Students will acquire the specific skills necessary to design, implement, and evaluate effective behavior change in various applied settings.  Prerequisites:  PSY 206 and PSY 323.
425 Field Education in Psychology 3  A supervised experience in a community mental health agency.  Open to selected students with at least a 2.0 grade point average.  Permission of instructor required.
444 Senior Seminar I 3 Student conducts a year-long original research project. Prerequisites:  PSY 334.
445 History and Systems 3 A systematic overview of the development of the discipline of psychology from its philosophical origins through contemporary laboratory-based theories. Attention is given to the major attempts at theory development in psychology. Prerequisite:  PSY 323, –334, and 387.
446 Senior Seminar II 3 A seminar in which senior psychology students bring together their diverse perspectives about the nature of psychology for an integrating experience.   Students will demonstrate their critical and analytic abilities and their command of the facts and theories of psychology through presentations of their significant works to psychology faculty and fellow students.  Prerequisites:  PSY 334 and 444.
466 Psychological Measurements 3

An introduction to the theories and practice of psychological test construction, interpretation, and use.  This course develops skills in evaluating tests, interpreting test results, and understanding test manuals. Recommended: MTH 160.