Psychology

Psychology reflects the study of human behavior. Whether describing, explaining, or predicting this behavior, students come to see that people are the focus of the field. They struggle to comprehend what it means to be caught in the human condition and discover that they can make choices and take responsibility for those choices. They develop empathy with themselves, each other, and the diverse populations who live on this planet.

The program in psychology at Rocky Mountain College educates students in the basic principles, language, and theories of the science of psychology. Students learn to think critically, evaluating the evidence and reasoning upon which explanations of human behavior are based. They collect data, design and conduct studies, interpret and apply research, and discover what that research means in the real world of people. When analysis is completed, they learn to communicate their findings both orally and in writing. Such work prepares them for graduate work in psychology.

Whether using statistics to support experimental research, literary analysis to help explicate a psychological passage in a novel, or cultural history to broaden awareness of their field, students use the liberal arts as grounding for disciplinary knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a major in psychology will be able to:

  1. Describe basic psychological theories including developmental, personality, learning, motivation, cognitive, biological/physiological, social, and psychopathological;
  2. Apply the processes of scientific inquiry and descriptive statistics to questions concerning human behavior;
  3. Outline human development in terms of physiological, social, and environmental influences throughout the lifespan;
  4. Explain the theories and factors that contribute to psychological dysfunction of individuals and families.
*Also, all psychology students are required to complete an internship. Students should be able to perform well in these internships as evaluated by their internship supervisors.

Major in Psychology

A minimum of 30 semester hours is required, including:
MAT 210: Probability and Statistics
PSY 101: General Psychology
PSY 305: Abnormal Psychology
PSY 312: Behavior Management
PSY 410: Experimental Psychology
PSY 431: Psychological Testing and Assessment
PSY 450: Internship
PSY 483: Psychological Counseling

Choose one of the following:
PSY 205: Human Development I
PSY 206: Human Development II

Six semester hours of electives are also required. A course in biology and a course in chemistry are recommended.

Major in Psychology Education

A minimum of 30 semester hours is required, including:
PSY 101: General Psychology
PSY 205: Human Development I
PSY 206: Human Development II
PSY 302: Educational Psychology
PSY 305: Abnormal Psychology
PSY 312: Behavior Management
PSY 410: Experimental Psychology
PSY 420: Methods and Materials Teaching Psychology in the Secondary School
PSY 431: Psychological Testing and Assessment
PSY 450: Internship
PSY 483: Psychological Counseling

In addition, students must complete all of the requirements of the professional education program for secondary teaching (grades 5-12) as described in the "Education" section of the catalog.

Minor in Psychology

A minimum of 21 semester hours is required, including:
PSY 101: General Psychology
PSY 410: Experimental Psychology

Choose one of the following:
PSY 205: Human Development I
PSY 206: Human Development II

Twelve semester hours of psychology electives are also required.

Minor in Psychology Education

A minimum of 23 semester hours is required, including:
PSY 101: General Psychology
PSY 205: Human Development I
PSY 206: Human Development II
PSY 302: Educational Psychology
PSY 410: Experimental Psychology
PSY 420: Methods and Materials: Teaching Psychology in the Secondary School
Electives

PSY 312 and PSY 431 are recommended. In addition, students must complete all of the requirements of the professional education program for secondary teaching (grades 5-12) as described in the "Education" section of the catalog.

MAT 210 - Probability and Statistics
Semester: Fall, Spring, and Summer
Semester hours: 3
This course provides a non-calculus-based study of discrete probability theory and its statistical applications. Distribution theory and its applications in hypothesis testing and setting confidence intervals are discussed.
Prerequisite: MAT 100 or satisfactory score on a placement exam
PSY 101 - General Psychology
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 3
A survey of the field of psychology investigating such topics as learning, motivation, human development, personality, social psychology, and physiological psychology. In order to make inquiry into any academic discipline, the student must first learn the language and methodology of that discipline; the field of psychology is no exception. Therefore, this course will include the study of major psychological theories, terminology, and investigative methods, as well as limited opportunity to apply those methods.
PSY 201 - Social Psychology
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
Students study the behavior of individuals as it is controlled, influenced, or limited by the sociocultural environment, social interaction, and basic interrelations of the individual, society, and culture. This course is designed to enable students to see themselves as both shaping and being shaped by their culture. Attention is also focused on inclusion and diversity. This course is cross-listed with SOC 201.
Prerequisite: PSY 101
PSY 205 - Human Development I
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
Students examine a study of human growth from conception to puberty. Physical, cognitive, personality, and social development will be investigated from theoretical and practical perspectives. The student will explore stages of human development through adolescence, be able to apply the major developmental theories, and make better choices as a parent or teacher.
PSY 206 - Human Development II
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
Students examine a study of human development from adolescence through the lifespan, which makes use of recent research studies in physical, cognitive, personality, and social development. The student will demonstrate a basic understanding of the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial changes that occur as people move through the stages of adulthood.
PSY 212 - Family Dynamics
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
This course is a study of the main theories of family systems, family patterns, and family-of-origin work. Material studied will be taken from required texts, articles obtained at the library, and class activities. The course will require some knowledge of the therapy models utilized in psychotherapy.
Prerequisite: PSY 101
PSY 299 - Independent Study
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.
PSY 302 - Educational Psychology
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
This course is designed to aid the student in continuing to develop an understanding of human behavior, especially as that understanding applies to elementary and secondary classrooms. Emphasis will be on why and how human learning takes place and how that learning relates to schools and teaching situations where the needs of each student must be considered. The course also includes participation in, and the analysis of, interpersonal relations and communication skills. This course is cross listed with EDC 302.
Prerequisite: PSY 205 or PSY 206
PSY 305 - Abnormal Psychology
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course reviews the history of mental illness from a western perspective and surveys the types of research used in the field. The symptoms, causes, and treatment of the major mental disorders are investigated from a variety of theoretical perspectives.
Prerequisite: PSY 101
PSY 312 - Behavior Management
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
Students review behavior management techniques and therapies. Principles of operant conditioning and classical conditioning are investigated in depth. The student will be able to use behavioral principles appropriately and understand the ethical issues involved.
Prerequisite: PSY 101
PSY 315 - Community Problems/Contemporary Issues in Psychology
Semester: Fall; Alternate Years
Semester hours: 3
This course provides students with the opportunity to research common issues facing mental health practitioners in today's society. Students will read conflicting arguments on each issue, write a paper from each perspective, and explore their own biases in regard to a series of issues.
Prerequisite: PSY 101
PSY 320 - Cognitive Psychology
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course will familiarize the student with basic issues and recent advances in the study of the cognitive bases of behavior. Students will be introduced to the scientific study of attention, knowledge representation, memory, problem solving, decision making, learning and expertise, reasoning, and language. Students will learn to understand and critically evaluate theory and research in cognitive psychology, apply recent developments in cognitive psychology to their own work and way of thinking about how the brain processes information, and understand sources of individual differences and diversity in cognitive abilities and processes.
PSY 342 - Psychology and The Soul
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course, delivered online, with some face-to-face sessions, is designed as an introduction of faith and psychology concepts and theories through the development of current philosophers and psychologists. The focus is to explore concepts, theories, and research that support the reunification of faith and psychological understanding of thought and behavior. Attention will be given to methods of spiritual and psychosocial review of life development and methods of interviewing. Among authors work to be explored are Frattaroli, Schumacher, Wilber, Vaughan, and Kabat-Zin.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 or PSY 205 or PSY 206
PSY 360 - History of Psychology
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course provides a detailed study of the important foundation of the science and art of psychology. Students will understand the history of the major fields of clinical psychology, psychometrics, physiological psychology, sensation perception, learning, and motivation.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 and junior standing
PSY 408 - Directed Research in Psychology
Semester: Fall and Spring; As needed
Semester hours: 3
Directed research provides opportunities for advanced students to become familiar with and participate in ongoing research projects under the direction of a faculty member. The student will first read background literature on the content area to be investigated and the experimental methodologies to be used. Procedures involved in conducting psychological research, first learned in PSY 410, will be put to practice. Potential activities include the design of research and the defining of conceptual variables and the gathering, analyzing, and interpretation of data. Finally, students will prepare a paper describing the project, using APA style, and are encouraged to submit poster proposals to the Association for Psychological Science for the annual convention.
Prerequisite: PSY 410 and permission of instructor
PSY 410 - Experimental Psychology
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
This course is designed to acquaint the student with various methods used in psychological research. The student will learn to evaluate the quality of research, will design and execute various types of research, and will be able to document research using APA guidelines.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 and MAT 210
PSY 420 - Methods and Materials: Teaching Psychology in the Secondary School
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 2
This course requires focused study and consultation with a public school psychology teacher or other acceptable professional. Hours will be arranged in consultation with the content area professor, the secondary education professor, the student, and the professional mentor. This course deals with teaching high school psychology. Particular attention is focused on diverse and at-risk student populations. Methods of teaching psychology, reviewing psychology texts for content appropriate to various grade levels, and the use of technology in the classroom constitute majors parts of the course. Attention is also given to the performance of research in the field of psychology.
Prerequisite: EDC 040, admission to the teacher education program and senior standing
PSY 431 - Psychological Testing and Assessment
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of testing and clinical assessment procedures. Emphasis will be on the development and standardization of current psychological tests. The student will become acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of the major tests in use today.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 and MAT 210
PSY 450 - Internship
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 1-12
An applied course in which interviewing techniques, listening skills, observation and assessment procedures, and counseling skills will be reviewed and practiced at a local agency. Observation of the student and feedback on developing skills will be shared throughout the training program. Pass/no pass grading. Contract is required.
Prerequisite: PSY 305; and PSY 306 or PSY 483
PSY 483 - Psychological Counseling
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
Students examine the theories and techniques used in the field of counseling. The course includes the discussion of psychopathologies, cultural diversity, privacy issues, counselor ethics, professionalism, and personality characteristics of both counselor and client as well as the effects of these issues on the counseling process.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 plus six additional semester hours in psychology
PSY 490 - Seminar in Physiological Psychology
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course provides a study of the anatomical, biochemical, and physiological aspects of human psychology. Students will have a detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the human brain and nervous system and will understand the biochemical principles that relate to the human nervous system and the physiology involved in phenomena such as sleep, memory, schizophrenia, and depression.
Prerequisite: PSY 101, one course in biology or one course in chemistry
PSY 499 - Independent Study
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing
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