Department of Psychology
Professor Michael Russell, PhD
Professor Cynthia Turk, PhD, Chair
Associate Professor Linzi Gibson, PhD
Associate Professor Jericho Hockett, PhD
Associate Professor Michael McGuire, PhD
Associate Professor Dave Provorse, PhD
Associate Professor and Dean of College of Arts and Sciences Laura Stephenson, PhD
We promote the value of psychological science through a personalized, quality education that helps students to create a more fulfilling life, prepares them for future careers, and builds stronger communities.
Student Learning Outcomes
Psychology students at Washburn University, upon graduation, are expected to be able to:
- Identify and distinguish between the major subfields of psychology, comparing and contrasting the different content and emphasis of each.
- Use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
- Apply the peer-reviewed psychology literature to a specific issue or situation.
- Apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis and interpretation.
- Recognize the necessity for ethical behavior in all aspects of the science and practice of psychology.
Psychology majors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in all Psychology classes are eligible for departmental honors by demonstrating superior research skills or scholarship. To graduate with departmental honors in psychology, students must complete one of the three options outlined in the Departmental Honors Worksheet.
- Option one requires the student to complete PY 390 Directed Research, produce an Honors Thesis based upon their study, and defend it before a faculty committee.
- Option two requires the student to complete two Washburn Transformational Experiences in Psychology.
- Option three requires the student to complete PY 336 Internship, publically present their internship experience and related scholarly research, and provide significant service to the Psychology Department.
Students are encouraged to begin these projects no later than the first semester of their senior year. More information about honors is available from a departmental advisor.
Psi Chi: The national honorary psychology society, Psi Chi, is represented at Washburn University by a chapter chartered in 1968. Membership is conferred each year upon advanced psychology students whose grades in psychology meet the prescribed national and local requirements.
Students may graduate with Departmental Distinction by either scoring in the 75th percentile or higher on the overall ACAT, or scoring at least 600 or above on any three sections of the exam. More information about distinction is available from a departmental advisor.
Independent Work in Psychology
The department encourages all interested and qualified students to pursue a program of independent work in psychology by participating in one or more of the following three courses:
|PY 336||Internship 1||1-3|
|PY 389||Independent Study 1||1-3|
|PY 390||Directed Research 1||1-3|
It is generally recommended that a student should have completed at least 15 hours in Psychology, including PY 251 Research Methods in Psychology, prior to enrolling in any of the above courses.
Interested sophomores, juniors, and seniors are required to arrange independent work with their departmental advisor during the semester prior to enrolling in these courses.
Students interested in Sport Psychology should meet with either the Psychology Department Sport Psychology advisor (Dr. Provorse) or an advisor in the Kinesiology Department to obtain a list of courses which prepare students to meet application eligibility requirements for graduate programs which offer training leading to careers in Sport Psychology.
PY 100 Basic Concepts in Psychology (3)
An introduction to fundamental areas of Psychology including an overview of the concepts and methods of such areas as perception, learning, motivation, memory, development, personality, abnormal and social.
PY 151 Psychological Statistics (3)
The course will introduce students to descriptive and inferential statistical techniques used in contemporary psychology. The course will not only to help students understand the mathematical and statistical concepts presented but also to assist in the application of the procedures. Prerequisite: PY 100 with a grade of C or better, or concurrent enrollment, and MA 104.
PY 209 Psychological Development through the Life-Span (3)
Psychological research and theories which describe and explain life-cycle stability and change in perception, cognition, language, psychomotor behavior, personality, interpersonal relationships, etc. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 210 Psychology of Infancy and Childhood (3)
Overview of theory and research on the psychological development of infants and children. Included are the development of sex roles, aggression, friendship, attachment to parents, perception, cognition, language, and moral reasoning and behavior. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 211 Adolescent Psychology (3)
Theory and research on adolescent personality, social and cognitive development, including problems of adjustment during the teenage years. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 212 Psychology of Adulthood and Aging (3)
Psychological theory and research on the changes and continuities of the adult years: personality, intelligence, memory, sex roles, interpersonal relationships, death and dying, and the psychological consequences of physical and health changes. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 215 Consumer Psychology (3)
Survey of the psychological principles, theories, and methodology in learning, perception, motivation, attitude formation, personality, etc. as they affect consumer behavior. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 231 Abnormal Psychology (3)
A survey of the origins, processes, and diagnostic characteristics of representative syndromes of maladaptive behavior. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 234 Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
Elementary principles of learning & their application for managing the behavior of normal & abnormal populations in a variety of settings including schools, mental institutions, hospitals & businesses. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 251 Research Methods in Psychology (3)
This course is an introduction to research methods in psychology. The goals of the course are for the student to learn how research is planned, carried out, communicated, and critiqued. Although only a few of students may pursue a career as a research psychologist, everyone is a consumer of research from psychology and other scientific disciplines. As such, a major goal of this course is to develop the capacity for critically evaluating "scientific evidence" that is communicated in journals, magazines, newspapers, and news programs. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 295 Special Topics (1-3)
Selected topics in psychology, announced in advance. Prerequisite: Specified for each topic.
PY 299 Psychological Forum (1)
Survey of applied issues in the profession of Psychology including an overview of employment and graduate school opportunities as well as vocational techniques for achieving those goals. Pass/Fail Only. Prerequisites: PY 100 and Sophomore Psychology Major.
PY 301 Principles of Learning (3)
Examines factors involved in acquiring and changing behaviors. Theories, historical and current models, and empirical findings in the field of learning and memory are explored. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 305 Sensation & Perception (3)
Focus on the anatomy and functions of sensory systems (vision, audition, olfaction, gustation, haptics). Emphasis on differences in theoretical backgrounds. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 306 Cognition (3)
A study of the intellectual structures and processes involved in the acquisition, storage, transformation, and use of knowledge. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 307 Physiological Psychology (3)
Examines the physiological basis of psychological phenomena (e.g., behavior). Concentrates on the function of biological systems on both general and specific behaviors. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 309 Theories of Personality (3)
Psychological theories of personality, including psychoanalytic, learning, and humanistic approaches. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 310 Social Psychology (3)
Theory and research on cognitive and behavioral responses to social stimuli. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 312 Psychology of Creativity (3)
Exploration of the many facets of creativity, including the nature, measurement, prediction, and cultivation of creativity, and its relationship to other cognitive abilities. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 314 Personality and Social Behavior (3)
Description of the characteristics that distinguish individuals and a review of the processes by which these characteristics are thought to be established and changed. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 317 Music and the Brain (3)
Study of the biological processes of active and passive music involvement and the resulting effect on individuals' learning, physical health, and mental well-being. Includes an experimental component. Prerequisite: EN 101 and BI 100 or higher; or PY 100; or consent of instructor.
PY 320 Psychological Testing and Measurement (3)
Theory and methods in psychological measurement, and their application to the construction, selection, and interpretation of psychological tests. Includes a survey of representative personality and ability tests. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 325 Community Psychology (3)
The study of community and organizational approaches to intervention and prevention strategies for mental health care, general health care, and various social problems. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 326 Health Psychology (3)
Introduction to the contributions of psychology to the prevention and treatment of illness, promotion and maintenance of health, and the improvement of the healthcare system. Topics include the role of stress and physiological factors in illness, chronic pain disorders and pain management, lifestyle and psychosocial influences on health, complementary and alternative methods for health promotion, and interpersonal factors involved in illness and health. Prerequisites: PY 100.
PY 327 Correctional Psychology (3)
An introduction to the field of Correctional Psychology. Applies psychological theories, principles and research to correctional issues. Topics include inmate behavior, women in prison, and psychological disorders found among offenders and prevention of fatigue, stress, and burnout in staff members. Prerequisite: PY 100 or consent.
PY 333 Counseling Psychology (3)
Major theories and techniques of psychological counseling. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 336 Internship (1-3)
Supervised experience in the application of psychological concepts and methods or volunteer work. Work in non-classroom situations required. Arrangements for enrollment must be completed prior to registration. (May be used to meet Senior Capstone Experience requirement). Pass/Fail Only. Prerequisites: One related advanced course and consent of instructor.
PY 338 Childhood Psychopathology (3)
An overview of psychological and behavioral disorders of children and adolescents, including their characteristics, origins, and treatment. Prerequisite: PY 231.
PY 339 Psychology of Sex and Gender (3)
This course will examine and analyze ways biology, culture, and society shape females' and males' identities, life experiences and other aspects of psychology. To study the psychology of sex and gender, we will examine historical views, physiology, socialization, friendships, sexuality, romantic relationships, childbearing and rearing, work, and mental and physical health. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 350 Introduction to Clinical Psychology (3)
Clinical Psychology as a science and a profession. The history, scope, ethics, theories, and methods of clinical psychology. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 353 Psychology of Everyday Life (3)
Applications of psychological theory and research in common life arenas, including family, work, and interpersonal relationships. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 356 Psychology of Marital and Family Processes (3)
An overview of psychological theories and research pertaining to family processes and the influence of the family on the psychological development of the individual. Topics to be covered include various psychological theories pertaining to family functioning, family dysfunction and divorce, and relationships between family functioning and psychopathology. Prerequisite: PY 100.
PY 385 From Classroom to Career (3)
Students work with the instructor and career services to hone professional development skills to transfer from the classroom into their careers and review academic literature relating to some aspect of professional development. This course helps to address APA's Professional Development guidelines for undergraduate psychology majors. Pre-requisite: PY 100.
PY 386 Advanced Research Design/Scientific Writing (3)
This course is primarily designed for students considering directed research and graduate school. This course will provide students with hands-on experience with regard to experimental research methods. Students will gain the skills necessary to conduct a literature review that will then be used to design, conduct, and analyze a novel empirical investigation. This course will enhance student's writing skills, with an emphasis on scientific writing using APA format. Prerequisites: PY 151 and PY 251 with grades of "C" or better; 3.0 cumulative GPA.
PY 387 History and Systems of Psychology (3)
An examination of philosophical and empirical roots that led to the development of the discipline of psychology and the historical progression of ideas central to modern psychology. (May be used to meet Senior Capstone Experience requirement). Prerequisite: Psychology Senior or consent.
PY 388 Directed Collaborative Research (3)
Supervised small group research project(s) designed to provide the opportunity to work collaboratively with peers. (May be used to meet Senior Capstone Experience requirement). Prerequisites: PY 386 and consent of instructor.
PY 389 Independent Study (1-3)
Individual problems planned and executed by the student under supervision. (May be used to meet Senior Capstone Experience requirement.) May be repeated up to a total of 6 hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
PY 390 Directed Research (1-3)
Supervised independent research involving gathering, analysis, and reporting of empirical data. This course serves as a culminating experience for Bachelor's degree students and may be used to meet the Senior Capstone Experience requirement. May be repeated up to a total of 6 hours. Prerequisites: PY 386 and consent of instructor.
PY 395 Special Topics (1-3)
Selected topics in psychology, announced in advance. Can be repeated for credit under different topic areas. Prerequisite: Specified for each topic.