The Psychology Department emphasizes an empirical approach to psychology - one based on observation and experience that, in turn, builds the skills needed to think through the challenges of the field.
The breadth of experience in the Psychology Department is a major reason why graduates are routinely accepted to the nation's leading graduate programs - in fact, more than half of the department's graduates go on to graduate school.
As a whole, students of psychology at Gettysburg College aren't simply "given the answers" - rather, they are given the tools that enable them to ask the questions.
Psychology requires only ten courses for a major. This provides students with maximum flexibility to explore other disciplines and integrate that new knowledge into their ongoing study of psychology.
Double Major/Minor: With early planning, many psychology majors double major in psychology and one of the other disciplines, or minor in neuroscience, education, or another field.
Departmental Honors are awarded to graduating majors who have:
Other Psychology Courses (must be taken in sequence)
Prerequisites for "Group A" Labs: (must take 2)
*Please Note: majors are strongly encouraged to take an additional Group A 200-level even if they've already completed both 236 & 237.
Prerequisites for "Group B" Labs: (must take 2)
*Please Note: majors are strongly encouraged to take an additional Group B 200-level even if they've already completed both 221 & 222 or both 225 & 226.
Advanced Laboratory Courses (taken in separate semesters after completing Psych 206)
Group A: (must take 1)
Group B: (must take 1)
Other Laboratory Courses (not in Psychology)
Important Notes for Majors:
Majors must complete a capstone experience, which will provide evidence of the mastering of significant content and the communication conventions of the major.
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to basic scientific logic, facts, theories, and principles of psychology, including topics such as human motivation, learning, emotion, perception, thought, intelligence, and personality.
Statistics & Research Methods I
Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistical methods with applications in psychology. Laboratory work involves the use of a computer software package that allows for the application of statistical procedures. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Required of all majors in Psychology; open only to declared Psychology majors. Three class hours and three laboratory hours.
Stats and Research Methods II
Introduction to scientific method and experimental design. Emphasis is on the logical development of new ideas, kinds and sources of error in experimentation, methods of control, design and analysis of experiments, and scientific communication. Three class hours and three laboratory hours. Prerequisite: Psychology 205.
Introduction to cross-cultural study of areas such as personality, motivation, socialization, interpersonal behavior, psychological environments, cognitive development, ethnocentrism and stereotypes. The course emphasis is on the bi-directional relationship between cultural factors, such as cultural traditions, environments and psychological processes and its application to cross-cultural differences. The focus of the course is on cultural psychology theories and methodological issues. Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Review of current psychological theory and research in social psychology. Topics include attitude and behavior change, conformity, attraction, stereotypes, helping behavior, aggression, and other aspects of social interaction. Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Introduction to cognitive psychology. Topics covered include perception, attention, memory, learning, forgetting, language comprehension, reasoning, and problem solving. Theories are presented concerning cognitive processes, and empirical evidence is considered that might challenge or support these theories. Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Sensation and Perception
Explores phenomena of sensation and perception from the perspective of experimental psychology. Emphasis is on understanding the mechanisms and processes that underlie our experiences of the material world. Research projects explore special topics and areas of current research. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or Biology 101 or 111.
Introduction to contemporary research in personality in the context of major theoretical perspectives that have shaped the field, including psychodynamic, behavioral, humanistic, social-cognitive, biological, and trait models. Issues that arise in the conceptualization, assessment, and empirical study of personality are emphasized. Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Introduction to psychopathology, with particular attention to conceptual, methodological, and ethical issues involved in the study of abnormal behavior. Approaches to defining, assessing, and treating psychological disorders are discussed and evaluated in light of current empirical evidence. Prerequisites: Psychology 101
Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
Child and Adolescent Psychopathology provides a general introduction to psychological disorders seen in children and adolescents, specifically, neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. Autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD), behavioral disorders (e.g., conduct disorders) and emotional disorders (e.g., mood and anxiety disorders). This course covers issues related to the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of specific disorders. Each disorder is also examined in the context of family, peer group, school, and community. Please refer to the attached syllabus for a listing of topics.
Developmental Psychology: Infancy & Childhood
Psychological development of the individual, from conception up to early adolescence. Theory, methodology, and research are presented in the areas of perception, learning, cognition, language, social, and moral development. Prerequisite: Psychology 101.
Developmental Psychology: Adolescence
A developmental approach to the study of adolescence and emerging adulthood. Theory, methodology, and research are presented in the areas of physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and moral development. This course will discuss research addressing the role of family, peers, schools, and culture in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Prerequisite: Psychology 101
Human Growth and Development through the Lifespan
This course provides an overview of development across the lifespan from the prenatal period to death. We will examine various theoretical currents in developmental psychology and explore the physical, cognitive, and social/emotional changes in each major developmental stage: prenatal, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood. Particular topics will be expanded upon to increase your understanding of current issues in development using empirical research. Prerequisite: Psych 101. This course is intended for students, primarily those majoring in Health Sciences, who plan to pursue a career in the health professions. Does not count toward the psychology major. Credit may not be granted for this course and Psychology 225.
Introduction to Brain & Behavior
Introduction to the anatomical, physiological, and biochemical bases of human behavior. Topics include the neurobiology of motivation, emotions, and psychopathology. Topics are discussed within comparative and evolutionary frameworks, with a particular emphasis on developing an ability to conceptualize psychological phenomena in biological terms. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or permission of instructor.
Examination of how psychoactive compounds affect the brain, behavior, and cognition. The major neurochemical systems of the brain and how psychoactive compounds affect these systems are discussed at length. Topics include both recreational and psychotherapeutic agents. Methods used in psychopharmacology research are emphasized throughout the course. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or permission of instructor.
An exploration of the field of cognitive neuroscience. Emphasis is on understanding the neural bases of higher mental functions such as memory, attention, emotion, and language. Major themes include the relationship between the mind and brain, localization of function, and the multi-methodological approach to cognitive neuroscience research. Students will be introduced to basic neuroanatomy, brain imaging, and research involving people with focal brain damage. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or permission of instructor.
Mentored Research Internship
Quarter credit internship graded S/U.
Laboratory in Cultural Psychology
Advanced reading and discussion concerning specific cultural psychology topics. The focus of this course is on empirical research and methodological limitations. Systematic study of the effect of cultural factors on individual and group behaviors is central to the course. Students design, conduct, analyze and write up their own research project. . Prerequisites: Psychology 206 and 210. Three class hours and three laboratory hours.
Laboratory in Social Psychology
Advanced study of specific content areas in social psychology. Discussion focuses on current theories, experimental research, and methodological issues specific to social psychology. Laboratory work includes design, execution, and analysis of original experimental research. Prerequisites: Psychology 206 and 214. Three class hours and three laboratory hours.
Laboratory in Thinking and Cognition
In-depth examination of the theory of embodied cognition. Current empirical support for this theory is discussed, and we consider whether this may be a unifying perspective in psychology. Students design, conduct, analyze, and present an independent research project concerning a topic in advanced cognition. Prerequisites: Psychology 206 and 215. Three class hours and three laboratory hours.
Laboratory in Perception
In-depth investigation of current topics in perception through review of empirical research and theory. Focus is on high-level vision, taste/flavor perception, or the perception-action system, with an emphasis on cognitive and developmental influences on the perceptual process. In laboratory, students design and conduct original research. Prerequisites: Psychology 206 and 216. Three class hours and three laboratory hours.
Laboratory in Memory and Social Cognition
Introduction to human memory and social cognition. Focus is on the cognitive structures and processes involved in social judgment. Errors and biases in human judgment are also examined. Three class hours and three laboratory hours. Prerequisites: Psychology 206 and 215.
Laboratory in Personality and Psychopathology
Advanced study of topics in personality and abnormal psychology. Discussion focuses on current theories and methodological issues specific to the experimental study of individual differences. Laboratory work includes design, execution, and analysis of original experimental research. Prerequisites: Psychology 221 or 222 and 206. Three class hours and three laboratory hours.
Laboratory in Cognitive and Perceptual Development
Intensive study of one or more areas of cognitive and perceptual development. Emphasis is on the unique characteristics of research with children. Laboratory work is conducted in a preschool or day care center. Design, execution, and analysis of several research projects is required. Prerequisites: Psychology 216 or 225 or 226 and 206. Three class hours and three laboratory hours.
Laboratory in Social and Emotional Development
Intensive study of one or more areas of social and emotional development, utilizing observational and experimental methods. Emphasis is on the unique characteristics of research with children. Laboratory work is conducted in a preschool or child care center. Requires design, execution, and analysis of a research project. Prerequisites: Psychology 225 or 226 and Psychology 206. Three class hours and three laboratory hours.
Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience
Advanced discussion of topics included in Psychology 236, as well as an in-depth treatment of brain development and the neurochemical basis of behavior. Prerequisites: Psychology 236 or 237 and 206; or permission of instructor. Three class hours and three laboratory hours.
Laboratory in Cognitive Neuroscience
Advanced study of one or more specific content areas in cognitive neuroscience. Discussion focuses on current theories, experimental research, and the multi-methodological approach to cognitive neuroscience research. Laboratory work includes design, execution, and analysis of original research involving cognitive neuroscience methods. Three class hours and three laboratory hours. Prerequisites: Psychology 206 and 238.
History of Psychological Science
Review of the historical development of scientific psychology. Emphases are on early foundations of major conceptual issues and on the role of the reference experiment in setting the course of modern psychological research. Prerequisite: Psychology 206.
Opportunity to work on a selected topic in a small group under the guidance of a faculty member. Not offered every year. Topic for a given semester is announced in advance. May be repeated. Open to junior and senior majors. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Tutorial opportunity to do intensive and critical reading and to write a term paper on a topic of special interest. Student is expected to become thoroughly familiar with reference books, microfilms, and scientific journals available for library research in the field of psychology. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. May be repeated.
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U
Design and execution of an empirical study involving the collection and analysis of data in relation to some psychological problem under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are required to present an acceptable research proposal no later than four weeks following the beginning of the semester or to withdraw from the course. Research culminates in a paper. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. May be repeated, graded A-F.
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U
Design and execution of an empirical study involving the collection and analysis of data in relation to some psychological problem under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are required to present an acceptable research proposal no later than four weeks following the beginning of the semester or to withdraw from the course. Research culminates in a paper. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. May be repeated. Does not count in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U
Students in the Honors Research Program take this course in their senior year. Course has two components: (a) a research project, similar to that described under Individualized Empirical Research, in which each student designs and executes an empirical study under the supervision of a staff member; and (b) an honors seminar in which honors students present and discuss their research projects. Students may elect to do their research project in either the fall or spring semester. Seminar meets both semesters, and all students participate in all of the seminar meetings. One course credit is given in the spring semester. Prerequisites: Participation in the Honors Research Program is by invitation of the department. Best consideration is given to students who have completed an advanced lab by the end of their junior year.
Designed to meet needs of the clearly superior student. During the senior year each participant engages in an original program of research under the direction of a thesis committee. In addition to completing a formal thesis, each student presents and discusses his or her research before the entire staff. Successful completion of the program entitles the student to receive credit for two courses that can be applied towards a psychology major. Prerequisite: By invitation of the department only.
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F
A minimum of 160 hours of on-the-job experience in a mental health, human service, human resource, or research position. Interns also complete a daily log of their job activities and write a review of related research literature. Students must be sponsored by a faculty member, and receive approval by the internship coordinator. Available during the fall or spring semesters or during the summer. Does not count in the minimum requirements for the major; graded S/U.
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.
Half Credit Internship
Half credit internship, graded S/U.