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Department of Psychology
296 Eberhart Building

Major / Minor Information


Anthony DeCasper, Professor and Head of Department

Professors Eason (Emeritus), Gottlieb, (Emeritus), Guttentag, Hunt, Johnston, Logan, Lumsden, Nelson, Salinger, Shull, Smith (Emeritus), Soderquist, Wells, White; Associate Professors Anastopoulos, Hicks, Keane, Lawrence, Rabiner, Seta; Assistant Professors Calkins, Dunlosky, Zuwerink

The Department of Psychology approaches its subject matter as a scientific discipline with emphasis placed on understanding behavior and cognition through experimentation and observation.

All of the major areas of specialization in psychology are represented among the interests of the departmental faculty. Biopsychologists study the biological foundations of behavior. Experimental psychologists investigate problems related to cognition, learning, sensation and perception, personality, development, and social functioning. Clinical psychologists emphasize the application of psychological principles to clinical problems and other aspects of adult and child behavior.

The objectives of the curriculum are:

1. To provide an understanding of the use of scientific methodology in psychological research at both intermediate and advanced levels. This understanding will include a familiarity with the design of observational, survey, and experimental studies; principles of inference from scientific data; the logic of statistical testing; and the use of scientific literature.
2. To provide basic knowledge in primary areas of the discipline through an array of required intermediate-level core courses.
3. To develop depth of understanding in areas of the discipline specific to students' individual interests.
4. To ensure that students can write clearly and effectively in an appropriate professional style.

In addition to the BA program for undergraduates, the department has a PhD program for graduate students.

Students who wish to seek teacher licensure should see "Teacher Education Programs", Chapter 7, as well as below. Such persons should contact the departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies as early as possible.

Psychology Major (Bachelor of Arts)

Required: 122 semester hours

The Psychology Major provides a background for entry into a variety of professions other than psychology where understanding the principles of behavior and cognition is important. It also provides the necessary background for individuals planning to do graduate work in either basic or applied psychology.

The curriculum provides students with a structured, sequenced exposure to six domains of knowledge in psychology. Majors must sample from at least four domains at the intermediate (200) level but can sample as few as two at the higher (400) levels. Thus, they can choose a narrower or broader sampling of upper level courses. The curriculum also affords hands-on experience with scientific psychology via laboratory courses and field experiences.

College of Arts and Sciences Liberal Education Requirements (CLER) (54-55 hours)

All students must meet the All-University Liberal Education Requirements (AULER). The College of Arts and Sciences, however, has established liberal education requirements for its programs which, while including those of AULER, contain additional requirements in several categories. Therefore, students following this program should adhere to the College requirements. Please note that students who satisfy the College Liberal Education Requirements (CLER) will also satisfy the All-University Liberal Education Requirements (AULER). See pp. 70-73 for a complete description of the College requirements and pp. 65-66 and 71-72 for a listing of courses meeting AULER/CLER requirements.

Major Requirements

Minimum 31 semester hours in psychology including: 121 and 300; at least four of the six intermediate level core courses (230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280); a total of at least four upper level courses selected from at least two different core areas, denoted by groups in parentheses-(435, 436, 438), (442, 444), (455, 456, 457), (460, 461, 462), (470, 471), (481, 483); and at least one upper-level laboratory course: 435L, 442L, 456L, 460L, 481L.

Related Area Requirements

No specific courses required.


Electives sufficient to complete the 122 semester hours required for degree.

Teacher Licensure in Social Studies

Students majoring in psychology may elect to pursue teacher licensure in Social Studies. Completion of this means of teacher licensure will enable one who wishes to teach Social Studies curricula in the secondary schools to gain the background for teaching psychology courses as well. The requirements for completion of teacher licensure in Social Studies are listed in Chapter 7 of this catalog. The University, College, and departmental major requirements are the same as for any other psychology major. Those intending to gain teacher licensure are encouraged to choose electives in the Department of Sociology, Philosophy, Religious Studies, or Anthropology that address human behavior and experiences from complementary or, perhaps, alternative perspectives.

Concentration in Psychology

for Teacher Education Students

A minimum of 24 semester hours to include:

PSY 121
A minimum of three (3) 200-level courses
A minimum of two (2) 400-level courses from core areas
Plus other psychology courses to total a minimum of eight (8) courses or 24 semester hours

Psychology as a Second Major

Psychology courses required are the same as for a Psychology Major. (See College Requirements for Second Majors, p. 72).

Biopsychology Second Major

This second major is designed for students interested in behavior and the structure and function of nervous systems. Topics will span molecular, cellular, organ, and organismal levels.

Basic requirements: BIO 111, 112, 277, 355; CHE 111, 112, 114, 115; MAT 121 or 191; and PSY 121, 230, 435, 438, and 436 or 457 (Note: PSY 300, a prerequisite for upper level Psychology courses, will be waived for Biology majors pursuing a Biopsychology second major).

Additional requirements: a minimum of six additional hours in Biology courses selected from BIO 425, 453, 464, 477, 479, 567, and 575.

Strongly recommended: CHE 351, 352, 354; MAT 191, 292; and PHY 211, 212.

Honors in Psychology

Requirements for Honors in Psychology

(to be completed in the junior and senior years)

Completion of the following courses in Psychology:

1. PSY 433H (HSS 330) Honors Independent Study
2. PSY 515H Honors History of Psychology or PSY 495H Senior Honors Seminar
3. HSS 490 (PSY 493) Senior Honors Project (3-6 hours)

The following additional honors courses in Psychology are strongly recommended:

1. PSY 121H
2. PSY 300H (available Fall 1997)

Total minimum hours required: 18

Qualifications for Honors in Psychology

1. Maintenance of a 3.3 or above cumulative GPA; 3.3 GPA in Psychology
2. Enrollment in and successful completion of the University Honors Program
3. A declared Psychology Major or Minor

Psychology Minor

A student may earn a minor in psychology by completing a minimum of 15 hours in the department. The Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies will be glad to recommend courses appropriate to the student's interest.


For Undergraduates

121 General Psychology (3:3). Students may not receive credit for 121 if they have prior credit for either 221 or 223.

Survey of psychology. Includes psychology as science, nervous system, growth and development, sensory and perceptual processes, motivation, emotion, learning, social behavior, personality (normal and pathological), statistics, testing, intelligence, aptitudes, and achievement. [SB, CSB] (Formerly PSY 221)

230 Biological Psychology (3:3). Pr. 121.

An introduction to the contributions of molecular, genetic, cellular, developmental, physiological, and evolutionary biology to the scientific understanding of psychological processes. [NS, CLS]

240 Learning and Motivation (3:3). Pr. 121.

Survey of scientific theories and research on learning and motivation according to classic theorists and contemporary behavioral psychologists. Topics include reinforcement, punishment, stimulus control, Pavlovian conditioning, and escape and avoidance.

250 Developmental Psychology (3:3). Pr. 121.

Survey of scientific theories and research findings in human psychological development, including its biological, behavioral, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects.

260 Social Psychology (3:3). Pr. 121.

Survey of scientific theories and research on the nature, causes, and consequences of individual behavior in social context. Topics include relationships, groups, attitudes, persuasion, aggression, altruism, and prejudice.

270 Theories of Normal and Abnormal Behavior (3:3). Pr. 121.

Comparative study of representative theories of personality from the psychodynamic, trait, behavioral, and humanistic perspectives. Additional focus on development of and classification of abnormal behavior. (Formerly PSY 345)

280 Cognitive Psychology (3:3). Pr. 121.

Survey of scientific theories and research in cognitive psychology. Topics include human learning, attention, memory, and problem solving. (Formerly PSY 452)

300 Research Methods in Psychology (3:2:3). Pr. 121.

Introduction to the research methodologies of psychology and to the analysis and interpretation of data. Experience with different methods of data collection, with basic statistical ways to display and analyze data, and with writing reports.

310 Statistics in Behavioral Science Research (3:3).

Moment and product-moment statistics; description and inference; estimating parameters and testing significance. Taught at introductory level. Requires knowledge of elementary algebra.

314 Industrial and Organizational Psychology (3:3). Pr. 121.

Introduction to industrial and organizational psychology with special emphasis on employee motivation, selection, training, and organizational determinants of employee behavior. (Same as MGT 314)

341 Abnormal Psychology (3:3). Pr. 121.

A description of the various psychological disorders is presented along with the research methods used to study them. Each disorder is approached from a number of perspectives: Biological, psychosocial (psychodynamic, interpersonal, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic) and sociocultural.

346 Sex, Gender, and Behavior (3:3). Pr. 121.

Evaluation of effects of biological sex and gender role socialization on personality and behavior through examination of empirical research.

The remaining courses (400- and 500- levels) require the successful completion of PSY 121:

433, 434 Special Problems in Psychology (1 to 3), (1 to 3). Pr. juniors and seniors with at least 9 hours of psychology; student should consult instructor before registering for this course.

Opportunity for students to work individually or in small groups on psychological problems of special interest. Survey of given field or intensive investigation of particular problem. Paper or other formal evaluation required.

435 Brain and Psychological Processes (3:3). Pr. 230 and 300. When offered in the same semester with 435L, both must be taken for credit.

Study of brain mechanisms for feeding, aggression, sexuality, cognition, consciousness, sleep, learning, memory, thinking, and communication. Examination of brain defects in abnormal behavior and responses to drugs and psychotherapy.

435L Brain and Psychological Processes Laboratory (1:0:3). Pr. 230 and 300. Coreq. 435.

When offered in the same semester with 435, both must be taken for credit.

Laboratory course focusing on methods to investigate brain processes related to behavior, sensation, or animal behavior.

436 Sensory and Perceptual Processes (3:3). Pr. 230 and 300.

Survey of sensory modalities including pain, balance, touch, olfaction, gustation, audition, and vision and how they receive, process, and modify environmental stimuli leading to perception of the world.

438 Animal Behavior (3:3). Pr. 230. Students cannot receive credit for both this course and BIO 438.

Application of theory of evolution to the explanation of animal behavior. Surveys a variety of species, addressing several behavioral categories as well as issues in sociobiology and human evolution. (Same as BIO 438) (Formerly PSY 425)

442 Behavioral Approaches to Complex Human Behavior (3:3). Pr. 240. When offered in the same semester with 442L, both must be taken for credit.

Examination of contemporary behavior-analytic research and theory pertaining to the social origin of conceptualizing, language, self-awareness, self-control, problem solving, and remembering.

442L Behavioral Learning Laboratory (1:0:3). Pr. 240 and 300. When offered in the same semester with 442, both must be taken for credit.

Laboratory course focusing on experimental methods used to investigate elementary and complex behavioral phenomena.

444 Applied Behavioral Psychology (3:3). Pr. 240 or 270.

Principles of behavior and their current applications to educational and human service settings. Recommended for psychology majors, and graduate and undergraduate students in counseling, speech pathology, social work, physical education, nursing. Field experience in applied behavioral psychology is available through Clinical Field Experience (PSY 473). (Formerly PSY 505)

455 Social and Personality Development (3:3). Pr. 250.

Examination of current theories and empirical research concerned with social, emotional, and personality development.

456 Cognitive Development (3:3). Pr. 250.

When offered in the same semester with 456L, both must be taken for credit.

Examination of current theories and empirical research concerned with perceptual and cognitive development.

456L Cognitive Development Laboratory (1:0:3). Pr. 250 and 300. Coreq. 456. When offered in the same semester with 456, both must be taken for credit.

Laboratory course focusing on research methods of cognitive development.

457 Developmental Psychobiology (3:3). Pr. 250 and 300 or permission of instructor.

Examination of current research and theory in behavioral development in non-human animals. Topics include instinct theory, role of experience in development, and the relation between development and evolution of behavior. (Formerly PSY 525)

460 Interpersonal Behavior and Group Processes (3:3). Pr. 260. When offered in the same semester with 460L, both must be taken for credit.

In-depth analysis of interpersonal behavior and group processes. Topics include aggression, prosocial behavior, attraction, prejudice and discrimination, social comparison, close relationships and groups.

460L Interpersonal Behavioral and Group Processes Laboratory (1:0:3). Pr. 260. Coreq. 460.

When offered in the same semester with 456, both must be taken for credit.

Laboratory course focusing on research methods of social psychology.

461 Attitudes and Social Influence (3:3). Pr. 260.

In-depth analysis of attitudes and social influence. Topics include attitude structure, formation and change, propaganda and persuasion; attitude-behavior consistency; conformity; compliance; and obedience.

462 Social Cognition: Perceiving and Thinking in a Social Context (3:3). Pr. 260.

In-depth analysis of how we think about ourselves and others. Topics include impression formation, attribution, affect and cognition, social judgement, stereotyping and the self in social context.

470 Psychological Disorders of Children (3:3). Pr. 270.

Etiology, assessment, and treatment of various psychological disorders of children, e.g., conduct disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety.

471 Psychological Disorders of Adults (3:3). Pr. 270.

Etiology, assessment, and treatment of various psychological disorders of adults, e.g., schizophrenia, depression, anxiety.

472 Experimental Course: Clinical Field Experience (3). Pr. or Coreq. 444 or 470 or 471 and permission of instructor.

Community field experience designed for practical applications of principles and concepts related to psychological disorders in children or adults or to application of principles of behavior modification/behavior management.

481 Cognition and Consciousness (3:3). Pr. 280. When offered in the same semester with 481L, both must be taken for credit.

In-depth discussion of psychological processes of attention and memory and their relationship to consciousness. Analyses of theories, experimental techniques, and results.

481L Cognition and Consciousness Laboratory (1:0:3). Pr. 280. When offered in the same semester with 481, both must be taken for credit.

Laboratory course focusing on the research methods of cognitive psychology.

483 The Psychology of Thinking (3:3). Pr. 280.

Research and theory on human problem-solving and reasoning. Topics include classification, categorization, decision making, rational thought, and a discussion of awareness in thinking.

493 Honors Work (3-6). See prerequisites under Honors Program, XXX 493 (p. 379).

495 Senior Honors Seminar (3:3). Pr. 300 and completion of core requirements for psychology major, senior standing, and GPA 3.3, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Provides students with advanced study and critical analysis of contemporary problems in psychology.

For Advanced Undergraduates

and Graduate Students

502 Psychological Problems of Childhood (3:3). Pr. 121 or permission of instructor. May not be taken by students who have credit for CUI 540.

General survey of significant psychological problems characteristic of various classes of exceptional children. Especially designed to fit the needs of teachers in special education.

506 Psychology of Aging (3:3). Pr. 121 or permission of instructor.

Adult lifespan changes in psychophysiology, cognition, personality, sexuality, social relationships, and mental health.

515 History and Systems of Psychology (3:3). Pr. minimum of 12 hours of psychology, including 121, or permission of instructor.

Discussion of prescientific thinking on psychological problems, origin of systems of psychology, and ways systems are reflected in contemporary psychology.

519 Special Topics in Psychology (3:3). Pr. appropriate introductory 200-level core course or equivalent, or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Intensive examination of current theories and research in a specific area of biopsychology, learning, development, cognition, social psychology or clinical psychology. Check with department for offerings.

524 Consumer Behavior (3:3). Pr. 121 or MGT 312 or permission of instructor.

Psychological and socio-economic factors affecting consumer motivation, behavior, and buying decisions. Emphasis on current research on, and theory about, behavior of consumers as individuals and as members of socio-economic groups. (Same as MGT 524)

For Graduate Students Only

601 Graduate Problems in Psychology (1 to 3).

602 Seminar in Systematic Issues (3:3).

604 Organizational Behavior in Management (3:3).

608 Personality and Social Development (3:3).

611 Experimental Design in the Behavioral Sciences (3:3).

612 Psychological Perspectives on Language (3:3).

614 Child Language: The Psychological Perspective (3:3).

617 Behavior Theory (3:3).

622 Theory and Methods of Psychotherapy (3:3).

623 Theory and Methods of Personality Assessment (3:3).

624 Research Methods in Clinical Psychology (3:3).

625 Advanced Animal Behavior (3:3).

626 Theory and Methods of Behavioral Assessment and Therapy (3:3).

640 Theory and Methods of Intellectual Assessment (3:3).

642 Practicum in Clinical Intervention (1 to 6).

643 Developmental Psychology (3:3).

644 Human Behavioral Development (3:3).

645 Cognitive Development (3:3).

646 Social Bases of Personality (3:3).

647 Advanced Social Psychology (3:3).

650 Physiology of Sensory and Behavioral Processes (3:3).

650L Physiological Psychology Laboratory (1:0:3).

651 Experimental Analysis of Operant Behavior (3:2:3).

652 Cognitive Processes (3:2:3).

655 Sensation and Perception (3:3).

661 Psychological Disorders in Children (3:3).

662 Psychological Disorders in Adults (3:3).

683 Contemporary Problems (3:3).

691 Advanced Clinical Seminar in Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy (3:3)

699 Thesis (6).

721 The Teaching of Psychology (3:3).

751 Independent Doctoral Research (1 to 6).

762 Internship in Clinical Psychology (1 to 12).

763 Externship in Clinical Psychology (1 to 12).

799 Doctoral Dissertation Research (12).

800 Graduate Registration (0).


Contact: University Registrar's Office
Registrar, UNCG, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170 (336) 334-5946

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