Psychological Science

Faculty

Andrew N. Christopher, chair and professor.
B.B.A., 1992, Stetson University; M.B.A., 1994, Southern Methodist University; M.S., 1996, Ph.D., 1999, University of Florida. Appointed 2001.

Edward J. Bujdos, Jr., visiting instructor.
B.A., 1973, Cleveland State University; M.A., 1978, Central Michigan University. Appointed 2008.

Jacqueline Carlson, visiting assistant professor.
B.S., 1990, University of Washington, Seattle; M.S., 1994, Ph.D., 1998, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Appointed 2007.

Holger B. Elischberger, associate professor.
B.A., 1993, M.A., 1998, University of Würzburg; Ph.D., 2004, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Appointed 2005.

Andrea P. Francis, research associate.
B.S., 2001, Colorado State University; M.A., 2006, Ph.D., 2010, Michigan State University. Appointed 2010.

Eric D. Hill, assistant professor.
B.A., 2004, Oglethorpe University; M.A., 2007, Ph.D., 2010, Arizona State University. Appointed 2010.

Tammy J. Jechura, associate professor.
B.S., 1994, Bowling Green State University; M.A., 1999, Ph.D., 2002, University of Michigan. Appointed 2004.

Barbara J. Keyes, professor.
B.A., 1970, College of Wooster; M.A., 1973, Ph.D., 1976, Bowling Green State University. Appointed 1975.

Mareike B. Wieth, assistant professor.
B.A., 1999, Kenyon College; M.A., 2001, Ph.D., 2005, Michigan State University. Appointed 2005.

W. Jeffrey Wilson, professor.
B.A., 1977, Haverford College; M.A., 1978, Ph.D., 1983, University of California, Los Angeles. Appointed 1999.

Introduction

Psychological science studies the behavior and mental processes of humans and other animals. As a discipline, psychology spans the natural and social sciences and is based on rigorous scientific analysis and methodologies. Specialty areas represented in the department include clinical, cognitive, developmental, industrial/organizational, physiological, health, and social psychology.

Students who major in psychology become involved in research through laboratory courses, directed study projects or honors theses. These undergraduate research opportunities teach students to develop testable questions and hypotheses, operationally define variables, gather and analyze data, interpret results, and write research reports using APA format, all of which are skills that are valued in many work settings and necessary for graduate study. Finally, in both lecture and laboratory courses as well as in our research with students, the Department of Psychological Science emphasizes the importance of critical thinking, communication and research skills.

Psychology Department Web site

Career Opportunities

The Department of Psychological Science offers a variety of courses designed to prepare students for graduate work in psychology as well as for positions in research, human services settings and secondary education. The psychology major at Albion College also provides excellent preparation for a variety of other professional areas, including law, medicine and business.

During their junior and senior years, students are able to participate in the department's internship program (Psychology Practicum) that allows them to work in a variety of field settings (e.g., mental hospitals, juvenile homes, counseling centers, schools and human resource departments), thus exploring various career options. The students are encouraged to conduct independent research projects that, in many cases, culminate in an honors thesis.

Special Features

Because the department has a firm commitment to research, upper-level students are strongly encouraged to make use of Olin Hall's laboratory facilities for investigating memory, psychophysiology, perception, language, learning, motivation, behavior and developmental/social processes in collaboration with faculty. Instruction in the Department of Psychological Science includes lecture and class discussion as well as laboratory experiences. Computers are used in many courses for data analysis, experiments and simulations.

Our major has been approved as a certifiable secondary school teaching major by the State Department of Education.

Albion maintains a chapter of Psi Chi, the national psychology honorary society.

Majors and Minors

Requirements for Major

  • A minimum of nine units in psychology, including: 101, 204, 206 and two courses from each of the three lists below. Students must complete a 200-level lecture class or attain junior status before starting the research design and analysis course sequence. One List I or one List II class must be a 300-level laboratory course. All List III courses require at least Psychology 204 as a prerequisite. Students must plan their course schedules carefully to ensure that all prerequisites are met and in proper sequence, particularly for the research courses: 336, 348, 351, 378.
LIST I: Social Science  
Psyc 236: Social Psychology
Psyc 251: Child and Adolescent Psychology
Psyc 265: Abnormal Psychology
Psyc 267: Psychology of Personality
Psyc 336: Research in Social Psychology
Psyc 351: Research in Developmental Psychology
LIST II: Natural Science
Psyc 241: Neuroscience I
Psyc 243: Psychology of Perception
Psyc 245: Psychology of Learning
Psyc 348: Research in Behavioral Neuroscience
Psyc 378: Research in Cognitive Psychology
List III: Applied Science
Psyc 304: Psychological Assessment
Psyc 330: Health Psychology
Psyc 346: Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Psyc 353: Psychology of Adolescence
Psyc 354: Lifespan Developmental Psychology
Psyc 380: Introduction to Counseling
Psyc 390: Neuropsychopharmacology
Psyc 395: Forensic Psychology
Psyc 396: History and Philosophy of Psychology
Psyc 398, 399: Practicum
Psyc 416: Senior Seminar
Psyc 389: Special Topics (e.g., eyewitness testimony, behavioral finance)
  • All courses for the major must be taken for a numerical grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.
  • Completion of the department's senior assessment examination.

Requirements for Minor

  • A minimum of five units in psychology, including Psychology 101 and 204.
  • At least one course from List I and one course from List II.
  • All courses for the minor must be taken for a numerical grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.

Requirements for Major with Secondary Education Certification

  • A minimum of nine units in psychology, as specified above.
  • Psychology 251 counts toward education certification requirements and will not be counted toward the psychology major.
  • All courses for the major must be taken for a numerical grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.
  • Completion of all other requirements for teacher certification.

Requirements for Minor with Secondary Education Certification

  • A minimum of five units in psychology, including Psychology 101 and 204.
  • One course from List I and one course from List II.
  • Psychology 251 counts toward education certification requirements, and will not be counted toward the psychology minor.
  • All courses for the minor must be taken for a numerical grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.
  • Completion of all other requirements for teacher certification.

Psychological Science Courses

101 Introduction to Psychology (1)
Covers the principal areas of psychology. Participation in faculty-supervised experiments required of students age 18 and over. Psychology 101 is a prerequisite for all other psychology courses. Staff.

187, 188, 189 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

204 Research Design and Analysis I (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 101 with a grade of 2.0 or higher and a 200-level lecture-based course, or permission of instructor.
An introduction to the theory and practice of research methods in psychology with an emphasis on descriptive designs. Focuses on naturalistic, archival, and survey methodology with discussion of descriptive statistics, probability, Chi-square, z-scores, correlation, and multiple regression. Lecture and laboratory. Course normally taken during second year. (Laboratory fee.) Christopher, Elischberger, Hill, Jechura, Wieth, Wilson, Staff.

206 Research Design and Analysis II (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 204 with a grade of 2.0 or higher, or permission of instructor.
Further exploration of the theory and practice of research methods in psychology with an emphasis on experimental designs. Focuses on both simple and complex designs with discussion of z-test, t-test, ANOVA (one-way, repeated measures and factorial), and MANOVA. Lecture and laboratory. Course normally taken during second year. (Laboratory fee.) Christopher, Elischberger, Hill, Jechura, Wieth, Wilson, Staff.

236 Social Psychology (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
The scientific study of the ways people think, feel and behave in social situations. Topics include self-perception and self-presentation, person perception, stereo-typing and prejudice, interpersonal attraction and close relationships, altruism, aggression, attitudes and persuasion, conformity, and group processes. Also examines theory and research in several applied areas of social psychology, including law and health. Christopher, Hill, Staff.

241 Neuroscience I: Brain Structure and Function (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101, or Biology 195, or permission of instructor.
An introduction to brain structure and function. Emphasis on the way the nervous system is organized to process information, construct representations of the world and generate adaptive behavior. Lecture, discussion, dissection. Same as NEUR 241. Jechura, Keyes, Schmitter, Wilson.

243 Psychology of Perception (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Operation of sensory systems and major principles of perception. Addresses the classical question, "Why do things look as they do?'' Not offered every year. Wieth.

245 Psychology of Learning (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
A survey of major concepts and issues in conditioning, learning and memory processes. Emphasizes research dealing with the ways learning and memory interact with other variables such as development and species-typical behavior. Lecture and laboratory. Not offered every year. Jechura, Wieth, Wilson.

251 Child and Adolescent Development (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Focuses on physical, cognitive, social and emotional development with emphasis on the periods of infancy, childhood and adolescence. Reviews methods for studying the developing person and major theoretical approaches. Elischberger, Keyes, Staff

260 Psychology of Language (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Examines the relationship between the uniquely human cognitive capacity of language and other cognitive processes. Acquisition, comprehension, production, and utilization are studied with particular reference to structure and meaning. Not offered every year. Staff.

265 Abnormal Psychology (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Reviews major theories of abnormal behavior as well as related techniques of diagnosis and therapy; considers various emotional/behavior problems (e.g., schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and depressions). Keyes, Staff.

267 Psychology of Personality (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Examines the major theories of personality. Attention is given to the relevance of each personality theory to the students' own personality development. Staff.

287, 288, 289 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

304 Psychological Assessment (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 204.
The principles of psychological assessment and the general process of clinical diagnosis. Deals with the construction, evaluation, administration and interpretation of widely-used measuring instruments. Offered in alternate years. Staff.

330 Health Psychology (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 101 and 204, or permission of instructor.
The role of behavior in the prevention of disease and in the enhancement of health. Looks at behavior in relation to stress, pain, cardiovascular disease, cancer, alcohol abuse, weight control, psychoneuroimmunology. Contrasts biomedical and biopsychosocial approaches to health and disease. Jechura.

336 Research in Social Psychology (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 206 with a grade of 2.0 or higher and 236, or permission of instructor.
Focuses on either social cognitive processes or interpersonal relations. Guides the upper-division student through an intensive review of social psychological theory in either social cognition or interpersonal relations. Emphasizes how to assess and employ methodologies that affect explanations, interpretations, and applications of human social cognition and behavior. Laboratory work stresses the inextricable link between theory, methodology, and statistical analyses. Projects relating to one of these two areas closely parallel the process of professional research in social psychology. (Laboratory fee.) Christopher, Hill, Staff.

346 Industrial and Organizational Psychology (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 101 or E&M 101 and Psychology 204 or E&M 235, or permission of instructor.
Focuses on personnel selection, evaluation and employee training and development. Emphasizes criterion development, motivation, job satisfaction, leadership and conflict resolution in industrial and organizational settings. Christopher.

348 Research in Behavioral Neuroscience (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 206 with a grade of 2.0 or higher, 241, and 336 or 378, or permission of instructor.
Examines the methodology of behavioral neuroscience research. Focuses on a review of the major means by which brain/behavior relations can be determined (i.e., lesion, stimulation, and recording studies) as well as an examination of much that has been learned using these procedures. Laboratory work covers at least two of these procedures in detail: human electrophysiology and a lesion, stimulation, or drug experiment in animals. (Laboratory fee.) Jechura, Wilson.

351 Research in Developmental Psychology (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 206 with a grade of 2.0 or higher, 251, and 336 or 378, or permission of instructor.
Focuses on either social/emotional development or cognitive development in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Covers issues of ethics in research, rapport-building, and subject-recruitment. Emphasizes research techniques (design, data collection, analysis and write-up) used in the study of development. Laboratory work includes experience observing children. (Laboratory fee.) Elischberger, Staff.

353 Psychology of Adolescence (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 101 and 251, or permission of instructor.
Examines the psychological, physical, historical and social forces from early adolescence to young adulthood. Major topics include physical, cognitive and social/emotional development, as well as identity formation, ethnicity, adolescent sexuality, health, delinquency and the impact of schools. Staff.

354 Lifespan Developmental Psychology (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 101, 204, and 251, or permission of instructor.
Focuses on physical, cognitive, social and emotional development across the lifespan. Adopts an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding the human experience from birth to death. Elischberger, Keyes, Staff.

378 (278) Research in Cognitive Psychology (1)
Prerequisites for 378: Psychology 101 and 206 with a grade of 2.0 or higher.
Prerequisite for 278: Psychology 101. 204 recommended.
A review of recent studies of attention, memory, concept formation, problem solving and related areas. Focuses on the ability of humans to select, code, store, organize and retrieve information. Lecture and laboratory. (Laboratory fee.) Offered occasionally as 278, Cognitive Psychology, lecture only. Wieth.

380 Introduction to Counseling (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 101, 204, 267.
A study of the major theories and current approaches to counseling and psychotherapy. Emphasizes important communication skills necessary in providing a helping relationship to another person. Opportunity is provided through videotape for students to learn and practice some of these basic skills. Staff.

387, 388, 389 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or permission of instructor.
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. May be taken more than once for credit. Staff.

390 Neuropsychopharmacology (1)
Prerequisite: Psychology 204 and 241, or permission of instructor.
Examines the effects of drugs (recreational, therapeutic and experimental) on the physiology of the nervous system and on behavior in order to elucidate the mechanisms by which behavior is controlled by the brain. Introduces the methods and conclusions of modern neuroscience research as it relates to the pharmacology of behavior. Wilson.

395 Forensic Psychology (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 204, 251 and 265, or permission of instructor.
Explores the psychology of criminal behavior, from causes through prevention or intervention and ending with punishment and rehabilitation. Provides an understanding of the criminal mind, based on knowledge of developmental and abnormal psychology. Staff.

396 History and Philosophy of Psychology (1)
Prerequisites: Psychology 101, 204 and junior or senior standing, or permission of instructor.
Examines the emergence of modern psychology from ancient Greek speculations about the mind and its relation to physical nature. Survey of the major psychological schools and their assumptions about the subject matter and methods of psychology. Jechura, Staff.

398, 399 Practicum (1/2, 1)
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and declared psychology major, human services concentration, or neuroscience concentration, junior or senior standing.
Supervised experience in an applied setting and the opportunity to reflect upon and evaluate this experience in a weekly group meeting. May be repeated once. Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Keyes.

401, 402 Seminar (1/2, 1)
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.
The study of a specific problem area in the discipline. Examples of topics include Psychology of Women and Men, History of Psychology, Psychology and Law, and Culture and Cognition. Staff.

411, 412 Directed Study (1/2, 1)
Highly recommended for majors. Admission is by permission of instructor. Staff.

416 Senior Research Seminar (1)
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Guides students completing a senior thesis through all aspects of the research process. Focuses on data analysis, interpretation and reporting on the results of student research projects. Considers both theoretical and practical research issues. Staff.