Content Areas

Biological and Behavioral Processes

This realm of the curriculum provides courses for those interested in brain/mind issues, in evolutionary or comparative issues, and in clinical issues for which there is an animal model. The topics range from animal and human learning, comparative aspects of cognition, neuroscience and neuropsychology, mental retardation, and emotional and motivational bases of behavior. In conjunction with courses in biology and chemistry, a focus in this area can provide significant training in neuroanatomy and behavioral neuroscience. Aspects of this area can also provide an essential background for field observational or laboratory studies of humans and animals as they learn and think. Finally, the area offers connections between animal work and human clinical, medical and behavioral problems through courses like Clinical Psychobiology, Evolutionary Trends in Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology, and Neurobiology of Motivated Behaviors.

Courses include PSYC 210*, 212, 216*, 218, 220*, 263 and 267.

Cognitive Studies

Cognitive studies examines different approaches to questions concerning the nature of mind, the representation of knowledge, the acquisition, comprehension, and production of language, the development of learning and intelligence, and the assessment of "goodness of fit" between purportedly similar systems (e.g., the computer and the mind). Within psychology, this area encompasses topics such as memory, attention, language, thinking and reasoning, problem-solving, cognitive development, conceptual representation, human learning, and intelligence. These topics form a foundation for students interested in how people take in information, think and communicate about the world and themselves. Many of the courses grouped in this area count toward the Cognitive Studies concentration (see Concentrations Section). Students interested in these topics are also urged to explore relevant courses in philosophy, linguistics, computer science, and education.

Courses include PSYC 220*, 232*, 234*, and 236, 238 and CGSC236. 

Social Behavior, Development, Personality, and Clinical Psychology

This area includes topics such as personality, social interaction, social cognition, psychopathology, counseling, and social and personality development. In addition, courses in this area address cultural and gender differences. Students interested in this area are urged to consider related courses in philosophy, political science, education, and sociology/anthropology.

Courses include PSYC 224, 248, 250, 252*, 254, 256*, 258*, and 260*.


* Designates courses with a laboratory. Those labs can contribute to the fulfillment of the 4 credit Laboratory requirement for a Psychology major.