Course Descriptions

100 Introduction to Psychology
A survey of the major topics of psychology and an introduction to the methodology of psychological research. Students are normally expected to be involved with ongoing research in the department by participating in experiments as subjects during the course of the academic year. Six credits.

155 Introduction to Psychology for Nurses
A survey of the major topics of psychology applicable to the health professions, with a focus on age-related changes from conception to adolescence. Special emphasis will be placed on using critical thinking to evaluate scientific research, biological psychology, physical, cognitive and social development, health, stress, and coping, and the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 155, PSYC 100 or PSYC 354. Restricted to students in the B.Sc.Nursing program. Three credits.

210 Learning
A review of research on animal and human learning, and a consideration of the major issues that have shaped the study of learning. Topics include: general principles of learning; classical conditioning; operant conditioning; radical behaviorism and its limitations; biological constraints on learning and social-cognitive learning. Recommended for students considering graduate work in clinical psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Lab component. Six credits.

220 Cognitive Psychology
This course deals with the basic cognitive processes: perception, attention, memory, language, thinking, and problem-solving. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Lab component. Six credits.

225 Sensation and Perception
An examination of how the physical structure of sensory systems and the psychological interpretation of sensory information influence what is perceived. Major sensory systems will be covered. Theoretical and empirical work will be explored. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Lab component. Six credits.

230 Brain and Behavior
An introduction to behavioral neuroscience, including analysis of the anatomical, physiological, and biochemical mechanisms underlying behavior. Recommended for students considering graduate work in clinical psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Lab component. Six credits.

240 Social Psychology
This course covers relationships among individuals and the effect of those relationships on behavior and personality. Topics may include: aggression, altruism, conformity, attributions, and attitudes. Lab component. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Six credits.

260 Developmental Psychology
The study of major environmental and maturational influences and their relationship to the growing person. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 260 or PSYC 354. Lab component. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Six credits.

290 Research Methods in Psychology
An introduction to methods used to collect and analyze data in psychology. Topics include: measurement; correlation and experimental design; research ethics; descriptive statistics; hypothesis testing; inferential statistics including correlation and regression, z-tests and t-tests, basic analysis of variance. Students will use statistical software. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 290 (291/292) and STAT 201, 224, 231.Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Lab component. Six credits.

301 History & Theory of Psychology I: From Ancient Times to the Rise of Experimental Psychology
An examination of psychology’s evolution, including the theoretical issues that underlie past and present debates about the discipline’s subject matter and methodology. Approaches to historiography within the history of the sciences will also be discussed. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 301 or PSYC 300. Prerequisites: 6 credits of PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

302 History & Theory of Psychology II: From the Beginnings of Experimental Psychology to Current Psychological Science
An examination of psychology’s evolution, including the theoretical issues that underlie past and present debates about the discipline’s subject matter and methodology. Approaches to historiography within the history of the sciences will also be discussed. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 302 or PSYC 300. Prerequisites: 6 credits of PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

313 Health Psychology
This course provides an introduction to key issues in health psychology. In adopting a bio-psycho-social approach the course will examine the ways in which biological, psychological, and social factors interact to affect health. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 313 or PSYC 310. Prerequisite: 12 credits PSYC. Three credits.

327 The Psychology of Pain
Contrary to popular belief, the experience of pain is not necessarily linked to bodily injury or detection of intense energy. Pain can be caused by various factors, including: tissue injury, visibility of wound or noxious stimulus, attentional state, expectation, mood, previous pain experience, conditioned responses, etc. This course provides a basic understanding of pain perception and of the physical and psychological means of modulating pain. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 327 or PSYC 325. Prerequisite: 12 credits PSYC. Three credits.

328 Neural Mechanisms of Pain and Analgesia
This course examines the neurophysiological mechanisms of pain perception and related analgesic treatments.It provides a basic understanding of the neural activities underlying pain perception and the mechanisms that underlie pain-related neuroplasticity and various means of modulating pain. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 328 or PSYC 325. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

341 The Self
This course explores contemporary perspectives and research on the self as it relates to social behavior. The nature and function of the self and the ways in which the self is both influenced by and influences other people will be examined from a social-psychological perspective. Topics will include: knowledge of the self, self-motivation, self-esteem, self-regulation, self-prediction, the self in the context of relationships with others, and the influence of culture on views of the self. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

347 Communication and Language
This course explores the social psychology of language and communication. Topics include: basic concepts in language; language attitudes; language variation; bilingualism and multiculturalism; language and culture; discourse analysis; the relationship between language and social identity. This seminar will consist largely of student presentations. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 347 and PSYC 345. Prerequisite: 12 credits PSYC. Three credits. Not offered 2016-2017.

353 Psychology of Personality
The purpose of this course is to explore the diverse body of contemporary research and theory on personality psychology. Although the course will also present some sense of history of personality psychology, the focus will be on the most recent empirical research. The course may involve small group research projects and/or an APA-style research proposal. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 353 or PSYC 350. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits. 

354 Lifespan Developmental Psychology for the Health Sciences I (Childhood & Adolescense)
The field of developmental psychology is the scientific study of age related changes in our bodies, behaviours, thinking, emotions, social relationships, and personalities. The course will provide a basic understanding of human development from conception through adolescence in relation to environmental influences, cultural expectations, maturational processes, and individual development. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 354 or PSYC 260. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. Three Credits.

355 Lifespan Developmental Psychology for the Health Sciences II (Adulthood & Aging)
Lifespan development is an exploration of the biological, cognitive, and psychosocial changes that occur across different periods of life. This course will provide a basic understanding of human development from early adulthood until death. Age related changes in behaviour, thinking, emotions, personalities, and social relationships will be explored in relation to maturational processes, individual differences, and cultural expectations. Prereqisite: PSYC 260 or PSYC 354. Three credits.

356 Forensic Practicum I
Students in this concentration will be required to complete two practica in approved forensic-related settings; one practicum in each year of the program. The minimum number of hours per practicum will be 40 hours. Students will be encouraged to explore options and opportunities for doing a placement in their home communities. Restricted to BA students in the forensic concentration. Three credits.

357 Forensic Practicum II
Students in this concentration will be required to complete two practica in approved forensic-related settings; one practicum in each year of the program. The minimum number of hours per practicum will be 40 hours. Students will be encouraged to explore options and opportunities for doing a placement in their home communities. Restricted to BA students in the forensic concentration. Three credits. 

362 Applications of Psychology to the Health Sciences
This is a lecture and seminar course in which contemporary applications of psychology to the health sciences will be considered. The psychological issues related to the design and implementation of technologies to improve the well being and functioning of individuals with disabilities will be covered. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 362 and PSYC 375. Prerequisite: 6 credits of PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits. Not offered 2016-2017.

363 Applications of Psychology to Society
This is a lecture course in which applications of psychology to society will be considered. This course provides students with an in depth understanding of the tools of persuasion (e.g., consistency, reciprocity, liking, social proof, persuasive language, non verbal cues), how to use these tools in an ethical manner, and apply them to solving everyday life and real world problems. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 363 and PSYC 375. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits. 

364 Psychology of Gender
This course will review theories and research regarding gender in psychological development, social roles, and personality. Topics to be covered will include the history of research in gender; issues to consider in conducting gender research; gender role development and the socialization of gender; gender as a social variable in education and the workplace. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 364 or PSYC 360. Cross-listed as WMNS 343. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

365 Developmental Social Psychology of Gender
This course will review theories and research that integrate developmental and social perspectives on gender. Topics will focus on gender as a social construct and and include gender role development, gender role socialization in the family, gender development in cross cultural perspective. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 365 or PSYC 360.  Cross listed as WMGS 344. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

367 Basics of Psychopharmacology
This course surveys basic neuropharmacology and the actions of psychoactive drugs used to treat psychological disorders. It covers basic principles of neuropharmacology, distribution and elimination of drugs, drug receptor interactions, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry and neurophysiology. This course is designed to provide an introduction to the pharmacological treatment of psychological disorders and to provide a foundation for advanced study in behavioural neuroscience, neuropsychopharmacology and related areas. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 367 or PSYC 377. Prerequisite 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level; PSYC 230 recommended but not required. Three credits.

368 Pharmacology of Drugs of Abuse
This course covers various topics in the study of drug addiction, including
pharmacological and pathophysiological effects of recreational drug use. Topics
such as mechanisms of action, tolerance, long-term effects, side effects, and toxicity
will also be included. The primary emphasis is on biological aspects of addiction,
with only minor attention given to social aspects. The pharmacological properties
of both legal and illegal addictive drugs will be examined. Credit will be granted
for only one of PSYC 368 or PSYC 377. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level; PSYC 230 recommended but not required. Three credits.

372 Cultural Psychology
The focus of this course is on how culture influences human behaviour and mind. The evolution of culture is considered as we dissect the debate surrounding claims that culture exists outside of the human species. Contemporary research and theory in human development and socialization, self-identity and cultural constructs of collectivism and individualism, acculturation and multi-culturalism, building relationships with others, conceptions of health and healing, and the impact of culture on the basic psychological processes will be covered. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

373  Human Neuropsychology
Neuropsychology is the study of how damage to the brain causes changes in thoughts and behaviours. Cognitive changes associated with specific diseases/ conditions will be the focus of the course (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, etc.). Examples of cognitive and behavioural symptoms will be presented via videos, audio recordings, and performance on neuropsychological tests. The assessment of cognitive processes will be introduced and relevant structural and functional neuroanatomy will be reviewed. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level; PSYC 230 recommended but not required. Three credits. Not offered 2016-2017.

374 Development Across Cultures
This course examines the development of the individual from a cultural perspective. Development is considered to involve a process of co-construction of the individual and culture. The impact of cultural practices, traditions, and parental beliefs on the developing child are considered, along with the interplay between those cultural forces and the biological foundations that influence the course of development. Cognitive, social, emotional development will be studied, along with a consideration of applied issues that emerge from investigations of the impact of cultural environments on child development. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

376 Abnormal Psychology
This course deals with current perspectives and research on the various psychological disorders. Courses in learning, brain and behaviour, developmental psychology, and personality form a useful background for this course. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 376 or PSYC 370. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

378 Human Sexuality
This course provides a broad introduction to research and theory in human sexuality. It includes examination of fundamental topics such as the nature of human sexuality and contemporary issues. Specific topics include historical perspective, theories of sexuality, sex research, sexual anatomy, sexual variation, sexual response, gender, sexual dysfunction and sex therapy. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

379 Introduction to Clinical Psychology
This course provides an introduction to the theory, research and practice of clinical psychology. It assumes an evidence-based approach to assessment and treatment of psychological disorders, and examination of relevant ethical, professional, and theoretical issues. This course will be of interest to students intending to pursue graduate or professional studies in mental health or human services (e.g., 106 2016-2017 StFX clinical psychology, social work, counseling, nursing, law, medicine, corrections). Prerequisites: 12 credits of PSYC, including PSYC 370 or 376. Three credits.

381 Forensic Psychology I: Correctional Psychology
This course refers broadly to the production and application of psychological knowledge to legal issues. This course covers the history and mandate of corrections; nature of offending, behaviour assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of different types of offenders. Field trips to prisons and other correctional facilities are a required component of this course and involve significant commitment of time beyond scheduled class time.At times, trips may conflict with other classes. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 381 and PSYC 380. Prerequisites: PSYC 100, 376, 379. Three credits.

382 Forensic Psychology II: Psychology & Law
A continuation of PSYC 381, this course covers the history of the relations between psychology and law; Canadian criminal law; basic concepts in criminal justice and the study of crime. The course will include attendance at provincial and Supreme Court sessions, organization of special events as well as hosting guest speakers from the criminal justice system. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 382 and PSYC 380. Prerequisite: PSYC 381. Three credits.

386 Selected Topics
The topic for 2016-2017 is Positive Psychology. Positive psychology is the scientific study of human strengths and optimal human functioning. The history of, and precursors to, positive psychology will be reviewed. Then research and theory will be explored related to topics such as character strengths, resilience, flow, mindfulness, optimism, gratitude, positive psychology in the workplace, and altruism. Techniques and exercises that enhance each aspect of optimal functioning will be explored. The format of the course will be both experiential and research-based. Prerequisites: 12 credits PSYC. Three credits.

387 Selected Topics in Psychology
Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Six credits.

389 Selected Topics in Psychology
Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

391 Junior Seminar
The purpose of this non-credit course is to assist students in carrying out their thesis or senior paper research, choosing a career, and gaining admission to graduate or professional school. Attendance at colloquia and guest lectures relevant to psychology is mandatory. Prerequisite: junior standing in an advanced major or honours program in psychology.

394 Advanced Statistics for Psychological Research
An examination of intermediate and advanced statistical procedures for the psychology researcher, with emphasis on the use of statistical software packages. Lectures and lab sessions cover topics such as factorial analysis of variance; mixed designs; contrasts and comparisons; power; multiple regression and correlation; the MRC approach to factorial and mixed designs; and multivariate analysis. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 394, 390 or STAT 331. Prerequisite: Grades of 70 PSYC 290 (291, 292). Lab component. Three credits.

421 Advanced Topics in Cognition and Perception
This seminar and laboratory course will examine current topics in cognition. Topics considered may include attention, memory, decision making, consciousness, pattern recognition and artificial intelligence. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 421 or PSYC 420. Prerequisite: PSYC 220 or 225; advanced major or honours standing or permission of the chair. Lab component. Three credits. 

422 Advanced Topics in Perception
This seminar and laboratory course will examine current topics in perception. Topics considered may include multisensory integration, attention and action, sensory impairments, brain plasticity, visual perception, and haptic perception. credit will be granded for only one of PSYC 422 and PSYC 420. Prerequisites: PSYC 220 or 225; advanced major or honours standing or permission of the chair. Lab component. Three credits. Not offered 2016-2017.

431 Advanced Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience I: Neurobiology of Psychological Disorders
Topics in the field of behavioural neuroscience will be considered. The precise topics covered in the seminar will change from year to year, however the focus of the course content will be onn various aspects of the behavioural neuroscience, including, but not limited to the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, broadly defined. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 431 or PSYC 430. Restricted to advanced major and honours students. Cross listed as BIOL 453. Prerequisite: PSYC 230 or permission of the department chair. Lab component. Three credits.

432 Advanced Topics in Behavioural Neuroscience II: Contemporary Issues
This is a seminar course in which current topics in the field of behavioural neuroscience are considered. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 432 or PYC 430. Restricted to advanced major and honours students. Cross listed as BIOL 454. Prerequisite: PSYC 230 or permission of the chair. Three credits.

441 Advanced Social Psychology
An examination of selected topics in experimental social psychology. The specific topics in this course will vary depending on the instructor. Topics include self compassion, sexuality, and relationships. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 441 or PYC 440. Restricted to advanced major and honours students. Prerequisite: PSYC 240 or 350 or 353 or permission of the chair. Lab component. Three credits.

442 Advanced Social and Personality Psychology
An examination of selected topics in experimental social psychology, and consideration of the overlap between social psychology and personality psychology. The specific topics will vary depending on the instructor. Topics include self esteem, interpersonal rejection, and prejudice and stereotyping. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 442 or PSYC 440. Restricted to advanced major and honours students. Prerequisite: PSYC 240 or 350 or 353 or permission of the department chair. Lab component. Three credits.

461 Advanced Developmental Psychology: Social & Emotional Development
This course will examine from an empirical standpoint specialized topics in developmental psychology with a focus on social/emotional development. Topics can incllude the development of emotional understanding, the development of typical and atypical attachment relationships, attachment across the life span, parent child interaction, and peer relationships. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 461 or PSYC 460. Restricted to honours and advanced major students. Prerequisite: PSYC 260 or 354 or permission of the department chair. Lab component. Three credits.

462 Advanced Developmental Psychology: Perceptual & Cognitive Development
This course will examine from an empirical standpoint specialized topics in developmental psychology with a focus on perceptual and cognitive development. Topics can include the development of intentionality, understanding self and others, language, and memory. The course includes a lab component taught by faculty. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 461 or PSYC 460. Restricted to honours and advanced major students. Prerequisite: PSYC 260 or permission of the chair. Restricted to honours and advanced major students. Lab component. Three credits.

490 Honours Thesis
Prerequisites: PSYC 394; completed r concurrent; honours standing in psychology. Six credits.

491 Senior Seminar
The purpose of this non-credit course is to assist students in carrying out thesis or senior paper research, choosing a career, and gaining admission to graduate or professional school. Students will present their thesis proposal orally in the fall term and their completed research in the spring. Attendance at colloquia and guest lectures relevant to psychology is mandatory. Prerequisite: senior standing in an advanced major or honours program in psychology.

499 Directed Study I and II
These are reading or laboratory courses in which the student pursues an individual program of study under the direction of a faculty member. See section 3.5. Three credits each.