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Delve into the Behavior of Humans and Animals

Psychology Major

Division of Natural Sciences

At Bridgewater, you’ll delve deep into the physiological, behavioral and mental processes of both humans and animals. The study of psychology can apply to clinical, counseling, educational, industrial or social settings. Through psychology, you can play a central role in the fields of health, sports, politics and business.

The best way to learn about psychology is to do psychology – apply it in labs, presentations, research, brain dissections, internships, experiments and other types of engaged learning. Get ready.

Psychology Major

A minimum of 38 credits including the following courses:

Core Courses (17 credits)

Introduction to psychology as a natural and a social science. Topics include the methods of science biological bases of behavior developmental processes sensation and perception states of consciousness conditioning and learning memory and cognition motivation and emotion theories and assessment of intelligence and personality diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders and social-cultural influences on behavior. General Education Social Sciences

Unit(s): 3

Introduction to the biological bases of human and animal behavior. General introduction to the nervous system including its development structure and function with particular emphasis on the role of brain mechanisms in movement circadian rhythms hunger and thirst sexual behavior emotional behaviors and stress learning and memory and psychological disorders. Prerequisite PSY 101

Unit(s): 4

Exploration of descriptive correlational and experimental research methods and statistics. Topics include the scientific method ethical research hypothesis testing reliability and validity the nature and correct use of inferential statistics and how to interpret main effects and interactions. Lab focus on SPSS analyses and a group designed research project. Three lecture hours and one lab per week. Prerequisite PSY 101

Unit(s): 3

Introduction to the experimental analysis of behavior. Historical and modern approaches in the scientific study of learning are discussed. Students are required to demonstrate factual knowledge in the major content areas procedures and other advanced issues in regards to simple forms of learning such as habituation and sensitization and more complex forms of associative learning exemplified in classical and operant conditioning. Prerequisite PSY 101 Prerequisites or Co-requisites PSY 210 or 230 or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Introduction to basic principles of data analysis. Topics include data distributions preparation of data and graphs measurement of central tendency and dispersion hypothesis testing and descriptive and inferential statistics. Students develop expertise using SPSS and Excel through lab experiences and a summative group project. Prerequisites PSY 230

Unit(s): 4

Fundamental Courses (9 credits)

Empirical findings related to the description classification assessment etiology and treatments of various psychological disorders. Specific disorders examined include anxiety disorders mood disorders substance-related disorders personality disorders and schizophrenia. An important emphasis is understanding the impact of mental illness on individuals and their family and friends. Prerequisite PSY 101 or SOC 101 or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Investigation of the major areas of cognitive psychology. Topics include perception and attention representation of knowledge models of memory problem solvingreasoning language and intelligence. Analysis of the validity and reliability of measuring cognitive processes occur through participation in hands-on experiments and demonstrations. Prerequisite PSY 101 or permission of the instructor

Unit(s): 3

Overview of the study of how peoples behaviors attitudes and feelings are shaped by other people and the social environment. Topics include attraction prejudice deindividuation persuasion cognitive dissonance social cognition attribution theory and the social self. Emphasis on classic research and the latest studies in the field and their applicability to everyday experiences of the students. Prerequisite PSY 101 or permission of the instructor

Unit(s): 3

Examination of the contribution of neuroscience techniques to the understanding of sensationperception attention learning memory language and consciousness. Lectures and papers involve an analysis of the interdisciplinary methods such as functional neuroimaging electrophysiological methods and the neurological impairments of brain-damaged patients. Prerequisites PSY 101 and 210 or BIOL 110 or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Surveys historical approaches basic issues recent research and current theoretical perspectives in developmental psychology. Emphasis on describing and explaining the changes that characterize physical perceptual cognitive social and emotional development across the lifespan. Prerequisite PSY 101 or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Survey of theories principles and facts concerning the sensory sciences. Emphasis on the study of physical physiological and psychological principles governing how we acquire information from the environment through the senses and the organization of these sensations into meaningful interpretable experiences. Although the focus is on mechanisms the influence of disease development and aging are also considered. Prerequisite PSY 210 or permission of the instructor

Unit(s): 3

Examination of the psycho-analytic neo-analytic trait biological and adjustment approaches to normal and abnormal personality. The contributions of major personality theorists (Freud Adler Erikson etc.) are examined as well. Coursework emphasizes reflective essays and assessments to foster insight into the students own personality. Prerequisite PSY-101 and sophomore or higher standing or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Applied Courses (6 credits)

Comprehensive analysis of the organization of vertebrate nervous systems is approached from a structural perspective with emphasis on the human central nervous system. Principles of organization are stressed. Laboratory component introduces students to neuroanatomical and neurohistological methods and techniques. Both he gross and fine microscopic anatomy of the nervous system are studied. Prerequisites PSY 101 and 210 or BIOL 110 or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Introduction to the field of Clinical Psychology. Emphasis on covering the two main tasks of clinical psychologists psychotherapy and testing. Content includes a variety of treatment approaches and therapeutic techniques as well as testing situations and common clinical applications. Special emphasis given to clinical competence client rights and matching therapeutic techniques and tests with specific referral questions. Theoretical and applied material will be integrated so as to provide students with the rationale for and a hands-on feel of clinical psychology. As appropriate students will have the opportunity to observe andor informally administer psychological testing instruments and therapeutic techniques. Prerequisite PSY-300 and PSY 310 or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Exposes students to a broad view of public mental health and psychology in the public interest. Stimulates the interest of future researchers clinicians and policy makers toward improvement of public mental health. Specific attention is given to discerning science from pseudoscience in the practice of psychology. Prerequisites PSY 310 or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Introduction to selected topics from the study of drug effects on behavior and other psychological processes including memory motivation and perception. Special emphasis on the reinforcing properties of drugs and substance abusedependence. Prerequisite PSY 210 or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Multidisciplinary course in neuroscience with clinical ties to neurology psychiatry and psychology as well as basic scientific links to biology computer science and cognitive studies. Examines how the structure and function of the brain relate to specific cognitive processes and overt behaviors through the use of neuropsychological testing methods. Topics include orientation learning and memory intelligence language visuoperception and executive functioning. The administration scoring and interpretation of various neuropsychological measures are discussed. Prerequisites PSY 230 or MATH 140 or SOC 322 and PSY 210 or PSY 317 or 319 or BIOL 110 or permission of instructor Alternate years offered 2017-2018

Unit(s): 3

Overview of the psychological social and biological aspects of sexuality that will be of use for communicating with romantic partners doctors and family members. Topics include sexual anatomy and physiology sexually transmitted diseases methods of contraception prenatal sexual differentiation sex research attraction and love sexual orientation and sexual dysfunction and sexual ethics. Prerequisite PSY 101 or SOC 101 and junior or senior standing.

Unit(s): 3

Emphasizes basic principles procedures and ethical concepts of ABA. Specific topics include complexities and schedules of contingencies antecedent analyses prompting shaping and fading in establishing alternative adaptive behaviors. Theory and application of techniques for improving communicative behaviors are covered as are the evidence-based conditions for ABA. Completion satisfies part of the requirements needed for admission to the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst examination (BCaBA). Prerequisite PSY 240.

Unit(s): 3

Course covers ABA tasks and responsibilities in specific intervention situations. Ethical issues related to intervention are addressed. Focus is on person-centered responsibilities including problem identification problem measurement and assessment task analyses selecting developing and modifying individual and group interventions based on data analyses of support systems in the environment the fidelity of the implementation of the intervention precision teaching and the management and supervision of contingency systems. Completion satisfies part of the requirements needed for admission to the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst examination (BCaBA). Prerequisites PSY 240 and PSY 400 or permission of instructor.

Unit(s): 3

Integrative Course (3 credits)

Reviews the history of psychology by focusing on its recurring theoretical issues (specific focus may vary). The course will include historical foundations cultural zeitgeist influences identification of influential persons track historical progression or cycles and conclude with the current state of the discipline - with some projection of the future. Prerequisites PSY-101 and juniorsenior standing or permission of instructor 2017 Interterm Estimated Extra Cost 500

Unit(s): 3

Overview of the psychology of social interactions involving status rituals and politeness expectations. Contemporary topics include forgiveness lying apologizing teasing and gossiping. Discussion based seminar causes students to examine their daily interactions more closely and gives them insight into their own status in their social groups. Daily reflective essays class participation seminar leadership and a final self-analysis paper are the bases of the course grade. Prerequisites PSY 101 or permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Directed study of a selected research topic. Designed to help the advanced student develop knowledge of a specific area of research or practice. Prerequisite Permission of instructor

Unit(s): 3

Delineates a new field of Neuroethics concerned with the social legal and ethical implications of modern research on the brain. Brings together contemporary writings from neuroscientists bioethicists public policy makers and scholars in the humanities for discussion and debate on these issues.
Taught in the style of a seminar a small group of students learn thinking skills through discussion debate peer review and brainstorming. Context varies from section to section. Incoming students rank topic preferences and then are assigned to a section. Focuses specifically on two key areas of personal development (1) intellectual growth is stimulated through systematic critical questioning and (2) a sense of community involvement and responsibility is developed through classroom group work collaborative learning and a class community engagement project. The course also contains success skill exercises and college orientation information including an introduction to the portfolio program. General education 2014 master core skills

Unit(s): 3
or
An introduction to the academic community of Bridgewater College to the liberal arts and to the skills of critical thinking and reflective writing specifically designed for transfer students. Transfer students will explore the unique challenges of integrating into a liberal arts educational environment and will begin the process of documenting their experiences and growth in the four dimensions of personal development intellectual growth and discovery citizenship and community responsibility ethical and spiritual growth and emotional maturation and physical health. general education 2014 master core skills

Unit(s): 3
ENG-110 and PSY-101 and PSY-210 or BIOL-110 or permission of instructor General education ethical reasoning Alternate years offered 2017-2018

Unit(s): 3

The internship program provides an opportunity for a student to gain field experience in an area related to the students concentration or career goals. Supervision of an intern is provided by an appropriate faculty member and by a staff member of the agency or business in which the student is an intern. A student who wishes to engage in an internship must consult with the appropriate faculty member at least eight weeks in advance of the start of the term in which the internship is to be completed. A description of the internship signed by the student and the faculty sponsor must be filed with the Director of Internships by the first day of the semester prior to the start of the internship. Approval of each application for an internship is made by the Director of Internships based upon policies and guidelines as approved by the Council on Education and the faculty. To be considered for an internship a student must have junior or senior status and at least a 2.00 grade point average. Internships are graded on an S or U basis. A student may enroll in an internship program for three credits per semester and internship credit may be earned in subsequent semesters subject to the limitations that no more than two internships may be pursued in any one agency or business and a maximum of nine credits in internships may be applied toward graduation.

Unit(s): 3

Supervised practicum experience in a public or private agency setting that provides psychological or educational services. A student may enroll in a practicum for three credit hours in a semester and practicum credit may be earned in one additional semester. Grade based on supervisor evaluations class attendance and participation setting up a specific learning agreement completing weekly note-writing compiling a scientific rationale for intervention and developing a case presentation. Prerequisites PSY 230 a minimum 2.5 GPA and junior or senior standing Experiential Learning

Unit(s): 3

Plus 3 credits from any PSY course except PSY 499 (3 credits)

Activities and Clubs

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is the international honor society for psychology majors. If you have a GPA of 3.0 or above and are at the sophomore level or higher, you are eligible for membership in Psi Chi.

Lab Research

Recent lab research subjects included:

  • Sensation and Perception (effects of light)
  • Development (animal, impact of drugs on brain development)
  • Social (bullying, gossip, status)

Professional Associations

Attend the Virginia Psychological Association’s annual meeting with the department. Attend – and even present at – the annual meeting of the Neurobehavioral Teratology Society.

You also have the opportunity to complete local internships at places such as:

  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Bridgewater Retirement Community
  • Center for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Commonwealth Center for Child and Adolescents
  • Community Services Board
  • Department of Social Services
  • Gemeinschaft Home
  • Mercy House
  • Rockingham County Public Schools
  • Sentara RMH (Rockingham Memorial Hospital)

Careers and Graduate Schools

What can you do with your psychology degree?

Like our recent graduates, you might enter graduate schools such as:

  • Albert Einstein School of Medicine
  • Baylor University
  • College of William and Mary
  • Dartmouth University
  • George Mason University
  • James Madison University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Princeton University
  • State University of New York, Binghamton
  • Towson University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington University

And pursue a career as:

  • Allied Health Staff
  • Behavior Analyst
  • Behavior Specialist
  • Case Worker/Manager
  • Child Protection Worker
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Counselor
  • Gerontologist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Medical Researcher
  • Medical/Science Writer
  • Mental Health Technician
  • Neuroscience Lab Technician
  • Pharmaceutical Researcher
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Rehabilitation Advisor
  • Residential Counselor
  • Task Force Coordinator
  • Technical Writer
  • Therapist
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

Learn more about career paths, employment and advancement in the field of psychology from the American Psychological Association.

Visit the Department Homepage

Questions? Contact Us!

Dr. Alan Eby, Department Chair
540-828-5627
leby@bridgewater.edu