Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of individual human and animal behavior. A student of Psychology can expect to investigate the following topics: learning, motivation, social influences, perception, cognition, neuroscience, human development, personality, and abnormal behavior. The study of psychology also involves learning how psychologists work, including the areas of experimental methods, statistical analysis, and clinical psychology. From the basic courses to the more advanced, students achieve a greater understanding of themselves and others that will serve them well in their relationships and in any career they pursue.

In addition to the basic skills in writing, critical thinking, and use of technology expected of all Western students, Psychology majors will have the opportunity to be involved in laboratory work. As students advance in their experience and knowledge, they can participate in individual projects under faculty supervision in the biofeedback laboratory, animal laboratory, or sleep laboratory. There are also internship opportunities available outside the classroom with programs for at-risk children, in domestic violence advocacy, at the local probation departments, and in other social service agencies statewide and nationally.

Student Engagement

Psychology students at Western State Colorado University have many opportunities to get involved and enhance their learning through academic clubs.  Psi Chi and the Psychology Club are open to students who want to get involved.  Some examples of club activities include:

  • Yearly attendance and presentations and national and regional conferences in psychology
  • Organize blood drives on campus and volunteer at numerous non-profit organizations in the Gunnison Valley

Colorado Statewide Articulation Agreements for Approved Majors: http://highered.colorado.gov/Academics/Transfers/Students.html

 

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Psychology Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family.

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Courses

 PSY 100 - GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

An introduction to psychology including research methodology, biological bases of behavior, human development, sensation, perception, intelligence, cognition, language, states of consciousness, learning, memory, motivation, emotion, personality, abnormal behavior and stress and health.

 PSY 200 - STATISTICS AND DATA ANALYSIS (3 credits)

An introduction to statistical procedures often encountered in the analysis of data from behavioral science research. Statistical methods covered include measures of central tendency and variability, correlation, regression, t-tests and analysis of variance. Prerequisites: PSY 100; MATH 131 or MATH 140 with a minimum grade of "C-," or instructor permission.

 PSY 210 - HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

Introduces psychology majors to the philosophical underpinnings and historical context underlying the development of the discipline. Prerequisite: PSY 100.

 PSY 258 - INTRODUCTION TO PERSONALITY (3 credits)

An examination of the fundamental theories of personality including the psychoanalytic, trait, behavioral, social-learning, humanist and existential perspectives.

 PSY 270 - DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

A critical look at the change and continuity that occurs throughout the life span, emphasizing the interrelationships among physical, cognitive and psychosocial realms of human development. Current research findings are emphasized.

 PSY 301 - RESEARCH METHODS (3 credits)

An examination of experimental and non-experimental research methods, the design of research studies, measurement issues, research ethics, research reporting and advanced topics in data analysis using computer statistical software. Students design and conduct their own study and present the results following APA approved format. Prerequisite: PSY 200.

 PSY 324 - FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

An overview of the different tasks performed by forensic psychologists, including assessment, civil commitment, jury selection, eyewitness testimony, behavioral profiling, provision of clinical services to incarcerated individuals, and custody evaluations. Prerequisites: PSY 100 or instructor permission.

 PSY 335 - LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR (4 credits)

An exploration of the relationship between behaviors and their consequences through the application of basic behavioral principles. Topics include classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, stimulus control, aversive control, and the biological constraints on learning. Students conduct their own experiments to apply the behavioral principles discussed throughout the course. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or instructor permission.

 PSY 336 - PSYCHOLOGY OF MOTIVATION (3 credits)

A systematic consideration of a theoretical context for the study of motivation. Analysis of several current theories of motivation and explanations of recurrent instrumental and consummatory behaviors. Prerequisite: PSY 200.

 PSY 338 - COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

A theoretical and empirical investigation into the processes and outcomes of thinking. Topics such as memory and forgetting, problem solving and creativity, cognitive dissonance and consistency, defensive repression, language, optimism, and attribution are studied in relation to current scientific research findings. Prerequisites: PSY 100 and minimum sophomore standing or instructor permission.

 PSY 345 - BIOPSYCHOLOGY WITH LABORATORY (4 credits)

An investigation of the physiological basis of human behavior. Topics include functional neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and the activity of the nervous system in relation to behaviors such as sexual behavior, drug effects, emotion, and memory. Prerequisite: PSY 200.

 PSY 361 - INDUSTRIAL APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

A course designed to show how psychology is directly related to the student's career and the student's life as a job applicant, employee, manager, and consumer. Topics covered include worker morale, leadership, work climate, communication networks, and productivity.

 PSY 368 - ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

A systematic study of the etiology, symptoms, assessment, and treatment of major forms of psychopathology. An interdisciplinary approach is employed as a basis for understanding disordered behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 100, PSY 258, or PSY 270.

 PSY 369 - HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

An overview of the emerging, multidisciplinary field of health psychology, which synthesizes research from clinical psychology, behavioral medicine and alternative therapies. Psychological aspects of prevention, health promotion and wellness are addressed. Content is both theory and application-based.

 PSY 397 - SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1-9 credits)

Special topics (1-6 credit hours, to be determined by faculty, department and student)

 PSY 399 - INTERNSHIP ( 1-9 credits)

An opportunity for psychology majors to obtain field experience through direct, supervised contact with professionals in psychology and related areas. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: completion of a minimum of 18 credits in psychology, including six credits at Western.

 PSY 437 - SENSATION AND PERCEPTION (3 credits)

Considers the relationship between the physical world and our internal perceptions. Attention is given to the visual, auditory, and olfactory systems from both a scientific and philosophical perspective. Students are involved in classroom demonstrations of various perceptual phenomena. Prerequisites: PSY 200, PSY 345.

 PSY 457 - SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

A discussion of theories and research findings concerning the individual in social situations with an emphasis on their applications to current social issues. Included are such topics as interpersonal attraction, persuasion, altruism, morality, aggression, and intra-group relations.

 PSY 460 - PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING (3 credits)

An introduction to the general methodology and theory of psychological testing. Students have the opportunity to take, score, administer and interpret several common assessment instruments. Ethics and limitations of testing are emphasized. Prerequisite: PSY 100, PSY 258, or PSY 270.

 PSY 475 - CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

An introduction to the profession of clinical/counseling psychology through the presentation and analysis of different theoretical orientations and their respective techniques. Students have in-class opportunities to practice basic skills. Professional ethics in the delivery of mental health services are addressed. Prerequisites: PSY 100, PSY 258, or PSY 270.

 PSY 480 - BEHAVIORAL GENETICS (3 credits)

A discussion of the mechanisms of genetic inheritance and the quantitative methods used to assess the relative contribution made by both genetic and environmental factors to individual differences in human behavior. Students evaluate evidence for and against genetic, environmental and evolutionary determinants of behavioral characteristics such as intelligence, personality, mate choice, and psychopathology. Prerequisite: PSY 345.

 PSY 491 - TOPICAL SEMINAR ( 1-3 credits)

A seminar involving advanced reading, discussion, and research. Different areas of study are selected as student and faculty interests dictate. A goal of this course is to stimulate critical thinking and analysis.

 PSY 492 - INDEPENDENT STUDY ( 1-4 credits)

An opportunity for detailed study and research for advanced students. Topics and course requirements are determined in consultation with the sponsoring faculty member.

 PSY 497 - SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1-6 credits)

Special topics (1-6 credit hours, to be determined by faculty, department and student)

 PSY 498 - CAPSTONE SEMINAR IN PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

This capstone course is required for all psychology majors, except those who opt to complete the capstone internship. It is intended to provide the opportunity for the synthesis of the ideas and concepts acquired during undergraduate education in psychology. The seminar includes a discussion of controversial issues and ethical considerations in both experimental and applied areas, the completion of a comprehensive literature review and a consideration of the future of the field. Prerequisites: completion of a minimum of 18 credits in psychology including PSY 210.

 PSY 499 - CAPSTONE INTERNSHIP IN PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

An opportunity for psychology majors to gain field experience through direct, supervised contact with professionals in psychology and related fields. In addition to on-site responsibilities, students write a comprehensive paper integrating the field experience and psychological theory and later formally present the paper in an open forum. Prerequisites: completion of a minimum of 18 credits in psychology, including six credits at Western.

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Assistant Professor of Psychology
B.S., Lafayette College; M.A., Ph.D., American University.
Phone: (970) 943-3022
Office Location: Kelley Hall 212
Lecturer in Psychology
B.A., Western State College of Colorado; M.A., Colorado School of Professional Psychology.
Phone: (970) 943-3018
Office Location: Kelley Hall 210
Professor of Psychology
B.A., Kalamazoo College; M.A., Ph.D., Ohio State University.
Phone: (970) 943-2645
Office Location: Kelley Hall 209
Assistant Professor of Psychology
B.S., Texas State University; M.S. & PhD, Colorado State University
Phone: (970) 943-0210
Office Location: Kelley Hall 224
Lecturer in Psychology
Phone: (970) 943-7011
Office Location: Kelley Hall 207
Lecturer in Psychology and Sociology
B.A., University of Northern Colorado, Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Denver, Curriculum and Instruction, M.S. Colorado School of Mines, Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering
Phone: (970) 943-2098
Office Location: Kelley 203