Department Chair

  • Dean Amadio
    Associate Professor of Psychology
    Roger Bacon 403
    (518) 782-6768
    damadio@siena.edu

Course Descriptions

PSYC—100. General Psychology 
3 credits
A study of the basic topics in psychology that lay the foundation for courses leading to a major in psychology and are relevant to assisting students in understanding themselves and others. This course is recommended to students seeking an elective in psychology and as the initial course for psychology majors. (ATTR: ARTS, CAS)

PSYC—120. Psychology of Women 
3 credits
This course introduces the student to theory and research issues that explore the psychological experiences of women. Topics covered include various conceptual models of women, biological influences on their behavior, theories of female development, gender differences in personality and behavior, and problems of adjustment. It concludes with an examination of alternative lifestyles for women today. (ATTR: ARTS, WSTU)

PSYC—200. Child Psychology
3 credits
A study of human growth and development from conception to puberty, including motor, emotional, intellectual, language and social development, and children’s imaginative activities, ideals, morals, religion, and interests with particular emphasis on contemporary theories. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—205. Adolescent Psychology 
3 credits
The experience of adolescence as a distinct period of development is examined. Topics include biological processes and their psychosocial significance including health problems. Issues related to adolescent sexuality are also examined including sexual attitudes and behavior and gender roles. Intellectual changes during adolescence and their effects on social cognition, moral reasoning, and political thought are described. Selected family issues and relationships as influences on adolescent development are considered as well as peer group relationships, friendships, and other social relationships. The issue of identity formation is examined in detail. The effects of school experiences on academic achievement and career development are also discussed as are adjustment problems and disturbances during adolescence. (Same as EDUC—270.) Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—210. Adult Development
3 credits
This course introduces the student to the field of adulthood using a developmental approach as a systematic framework. The focus of the course is on issues that involve both change and continuity across early, middle and later years of the adult life cycle. The interaction of psychological, sociological and biological factors as well as the interaction between individuals and their environment is emphasized. In order to provide a comprehensive look at behavioral age changes, various theories and models of development and aging are discussed. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—215. Theories of Personality 
3 credits
Theories of personality including psychoanalytic, neo-analytic, trait, learning, and humanistic paradigms are examined and evaluated.
Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—220. Abnormal Psychology 
3 credits
Maladaptive behaviors are studied from theoretical and research perspectives. Topics include the psychoses, anxiety disorders, personality, social and sexual disturbances, disorders of childhood, organic mental disorders, and substance abuse. Therapeutic interventions and legal issues are also considered. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS, JMN)

PSYC—225. Health Psychology
3 credits
Health psychology is a basic research and clinical practice area within psychology that focuses on understanding the scientific relationships between social, behavioral, and psychological processes and health. Topics will include health beliefs and health-enhancing behaviors, the effects of stress and coping on illness and disease recovery, adjustment to chronic or terminal illnesses, and clinical interventions such as pain management, behavioral management of diseases like HIV-spectrum illness and cancer, the relationship between the health care provider and patient, and cross gender and cross-cultural variations in prevention and development of disease and in the factors related to positive coping with illness. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS, HSMR)

PSYC—240. Learning
3 credits
This course surveys historical and contemporary theories of human and animal learning. The psychological study of learning is traced as it has developed over the past 100 years. Among the earlier theorists surveyed are Thorndike, Pavlov, Guthrie, Hull, and Tolman. The more recent theories of Skinner and Bandura are given extended treatment. Current perspectives from cognitive science and neurophysiology are also reviewed. A general theme of this course is to demonstrate the relevance of each learning theory to matters of practical human importance. This course provides background that is of special relevance to individuals interested in education, child development, counseling, and clinical psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC—100.
(ATTR: ARTS, PXEX)

PSYC—245. Human Motivation 
3 credits
Motivational questions are fundamental to all of Psychology. The psychology of motivation inquires about the conditions which serve to initiate, maintain, direct, and terminate ongoing behavior. This course considers theory and research associated with the major perspectives on human motivation including instinct, ethological, and sociobiological theories, drive theories, arousal theory, expectancy-value theories, humanistic theories, cognitive consistency theories, and theories of causal attribution. The experimental and clinical significance of these viewpoints receive comparable attention. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS, PXEX)

PSYC—250. Comparative Psychology 
3 credits
A critical analysis of the several approaches to the study of behavior, including the comparative method. Examples will be drawn from representative levels of human and animal behavior. Students will participate in a project or term paper. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS, PXEX)

PSYC—255. Sexual Behavior 
3 credits
Exploration of the contributing elements of sexual behavior in a wide range of animal and human situations. Coverage of the psychological controls and implications of sexuality will include group and individual sexual development, norms of behavior, attraction, gender development and identification, birth control, art, and literature. Additional attention will be paid to the involvement of the retarded, the handicapped, and the aged in sexual behavior. A research paper or class presentation will be required. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—260. Social Psychology 
3 credits
This course is designed to familiarize students with a broad array of classic and current theory and research that are studied primarily by psychologists in the area of social psychology. Students will become familiar with the topics of social psychology and the methods used to study it. Topics include social cognition, social perception, attitudes and attitude change, love, hate (prejudice), conformity, compliance, obedience, and influence. In addition to becoming familiar with theory and research findings, the course emphasizes ways in which the information can be useful to students in their daily lives. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS, PXEX)

PSYC—265. Introduction to Group Psychology 
3 credits
An introduction to the study of small group interaction through theoretical perspectives and current research. Group life, leadership, and development are discussed in the context of group cohesion, pressures to conform, and allowance for the expression of member differences. This course serves as a general survey in the area of the psychology of groups. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—285. Topics in Psychology 
3 credits
This course will explore a topic not covered in regular course offerings. Particulars will be announced during the semester previous to that in which the course will be offered. May be taken more than once with different content. An additional fee may be required, depending on the topic offered. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—300. Research Methods in Psychology I
(3 hours lecture, 2 hours laboratory)
4 credits
This course familiarizes students with basic principles of psychological research through lecture and laboratory experience. Drawing examples from various areas of psychology the course trains students to design and conduct experiments, to evaluate the internal and external validity of studies, and to analyze and interpret data in the context of relevant research literature. Students gain familiarity with technical sources in psychology. The social and ethical aspects of psychological research are also examined. The course features practice regarding the standard elements of format and style used to report the results of psychological investigations. Prerequisites: PSYC—100, ATDV—110. Lab fee. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—310. Tests and Measurements
3 credits
This course is designed to familiarize the student with the rationale of test construction and with the more popular intelligence, achievement, aptitude, interest and personality tests used in clinical, industrial and academic settings. Each student is required to complete a research project utilizing test data. Prerequisites: PSYC—100, ATDV—110. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—320. Counseling Theories and Techniques 
3 credits
This course provides students with an in-depth introduction to three prominent counseling theories as well as basic training in some of the tools and techniques that are needed by the entry-level counselor. In light of the demographic makeup of many clinical populations, issues related to working with women and members of minority populations will be heavily emphasized. Because a major goal of the course is to impress students with the importance of grounding counseling practice in sound psychological theory, theoretical issues and practical applications will be interwoven continuously throughout the semester. Prerequisites: PSYC—100, PSYC—220. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—325. Childhood and Adolescent Psychopathology
3 credits
This course will examine some of the most well-researched and interesting psychological disorders of childhood and adolescence, including clinical descriptions, DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, and theoretical bases for the explanation and treatment of these disorders. Included will be an overview of some psychosocial contributors to psychological problems of childhood, including child sexual and physical abuse. In addition, the course will cover psychotherapeutic interventions with children and adolescents. Prerequisites: PSYC— 100, PSYC—220. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—340. Human Cognition
3 credits
This course surveys human mental processes. Cognition involves the ability to store, retrieve, and use knowledge. In-class demonstrations and activities supplement lecture material on attentional processes, memory, imagery, concept formation, language, reasoning, problem-solving, and creativity. The course emphasizes theoretical and experimental aspects of cognitive psychology as well as everyday applications, and relates cognitive processes to other areas of psychology such as development, clinical, social, and neuropsychology. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS, PXEX)

PSYC—342. Human Intelligence 
3 credits
Offered when there is sufficient student interest
This course surveys theoretical and applied issues relating to the nature of human intelligence. The history of intelligence testing is covered, with emphasis on its impact on social policy in the United States throughout the 20th century. The question “What is intelligence?” is examined from several viewpoints, including psychometric, information processing, and cross-cultural perspectives. Theory and research regarding hereditary versus environmental influences on intelligence are studied. Finally, prospects for training intelligence through the use of thinking skills programs are evaluated. Prerequisite: PSYC—100, ATDV—110 or equivalent. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—345. Drugs and Human Behavior 
3 credits
This course examines the actions of psychoactive drugs on brain and behavior. Drugs of abuse and psychotherapeutic drugs are given about equal emphasis. Drug use as a social problem is examined in historical and current perspectives, covering substances such as narcotics, stimulants, hallucinogens, marijuana, and alcohol. Drugs of abuse are examined with regard to their mechanisms of action, effects on the body and on behavior. Addiction and treatment approaches are examined from multiple perspectives. Medicines for psychological disorders (affective, anxiety, schizophrenia) are studied by examining the mechanisms of drug action on the brain; major and minor tranquilizers and antidepressant medications are covered. Also discussed are “non-drug” drugs caffeine and nicotine. Prerequisites: PSYC—100, and either BIOL—130 or SCDV—210. (ATTR: ARTS, HSMR, JMN)

PSYC—350. Physiological Psychology
3 credits
A course consisting of the physiological and neurological bases for behavior, including the study of the nervous system, endocrine system, sensation and perception, the motor system, and the physiological basis for motivation. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS, PXEX)

PSYC—355. Sensation and Perception
3 credits
This course examines how humans take in information through the senses, and the relationship between sensory input and conscious experience. The visual system is examined in detail as a prototype, and examples from other senses (hearing, taste, touch, pain) are included throughout the course. Among topics included are psychophysics, physiological bases of sensation, attention, perception of form, depth, contrast, motion, object constancies, and perceptual development. Lecture material is supplemented by demonstrations designed to allow students to experience many of the perceptual phenomena studied in the course. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS, PXEX)

PSYC—365. Industrial and Organizational Psychology 
3 credits
This course introduces students to the range of activities and issues of major concern to contemporary industrial and organizational psychologists. The evolution of the field is viewed in historical perspective. Major topics in personnel psychology include personnel selection and placement, utility models and profitability, employee training and development, and performance appraisal concepts and techniques. The current legal guidelines regarding Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action are considered as they impact on personnel practice. Topics in organizational psychology include work motivation, job satisfaction and the quality of life, and perspectives on leadership and supervisory role. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. Not open to students who have taken PSYC—110. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—370. Intimate Relationships 
3 credits
This course will focus on current, prominent, and clinically applicable theories of intimate relationships. Students will be exposed to the writings of theorists, clinicians, and researchers who have examined relational dynamics and the factors that contribute to relationship satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Included will be an examination of hypothesized and empirically established gender differences in intimate relationship functioning. Clinical applications of theories and case studies will be emphasized. Prerequisite: PSYC—100.
(ATTR: ARTS, MINR)

PSYC—375. Forensic Psychology
3 credits
Forensic psychology is a cutting-edge interdisciplinary arena that spans the fields of psychology, sociology, law, criminal justice, and public policy, among others. Forensic psychology unites various areas of clinical psychology, with its emphasis on psychopathology (e.g., the insanity defense) and psychological assessment (e.g., the use of assessment devices in determinations of competence and in child custody evaluations) and social psychology, with its body of literature on psychological phenomena salient to legal processes (e.g., interpersonal persuasion, the reliability of memory in eyewitnesses, psychological factors relevant to jury selection, the detection of lying) with the theory and practice of law. As a profession, the subspecialty of forensic psychology prepares psychologists to interact with the legal arena in a variety of roles, including expert witness, child custody evaluator, determiner of mental competence and dangerousness of criminal defendants, police psychologist, prison psychologist, and consultant to military, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Prerequisite: PSYC—100. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—380. History and Systems of Psychology 
3 credits
Offered when there is sufficient student interest
A study of the intellectual roots of modern psychology, including contributions from philosophy and physiology. Major figures in the history of psychology are discussed as well as their schools of thought: Structuralism, Functionalism, Gestalt Psychology, Behaviorism, and Psychoanalysis. Additional topics included are the history of clinical psychology (views and treatment of mental illness), and the rise of mental testing. Prerequisites: 12 credits in psychology. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—400. Research Methods in Psychology II
(3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab)
3 credits
This course is designed to extend students’ knowledge of research methods beyond PSYC—300 and to give students opportunities to apply their knowledge by conducting original research. Advanced topics in research design and statistical analysis, including the use of computer software, are featured. An oral presentation and formal written report of the investigation are required. Prerequisites: ATDV—110, PSYC—300. Lab fee. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—480. Internship in Psychology 
3 credits
Field experience in a setting specializing in research and/or clinical activities in professional psychology may be arranged for Junior and Senior Psychology majors. Interns spend eight hours/week in the field for 14 weeks where they are supervised by agency personnel. Interns are also required to meet weekly with a campus supervisor and to develop a paper appropriate to the placement. Course prerequisites include a minimum of 15 credits in Psychology including PSYC—310 (Tests and Measurements) and other courses considered relevant to specific placements. The department also screens applicants based on academic record and judged personal readiness to function effectively in a professional setting. Additional information may be obtained from the department. Interested students must submit a formal application to the department during the first three weeks of the semester preceding the proposed placement. (ATTR: ARTS, INT)

PSYC—490. Seminar
3 credits
Intensive scrutiny of a specific topic in psychology will be undertaken in a small group with emphasis on primary sources. This course may be taken more than once with different content. Prerequisite: 15 credits in psychology or permission of instructor. (ATTR: ARTS)

PSYC—499. Independent Study 
1 - 3 credits
A course consisting of individually planned research projects in the area of student’s interest under the supervision of a member of the Psychology Department. (ATTR: ARTS)