Department of Psychology

Department Objectives

  • To provide a general foundation in the various content areas of the field of Psychology;
  • to provide suitable preparation in methodology for students planning to attend graduate school;
  • to provide a sound basis for enhanced understanding of self and others;
  • to prepare students for careers in human service areas and high school teaching;
  • to support other departments by offering courses applicable to other majors and minors.

For departmental assessment purposes, all students will be required to complete a comprehensive examination in Psychology during their final semester.

Psychology Major

Four options are available in this major:

  1. Psychology - Bachelor of Arts Degree
    or Psychology - Bachelor of Science Degree
  2. Psychology Comprehensive - Bachelor of Science Degree
  3. Psychobiology Comprehensive - Bachelor of Science Degree
  4. Psychology 7-12 Teaching Subject Endorsement - Bachelor of Arts in Education Degree

A minor in Psychology or Gerontology is available for students pursuing majors in other disciplines.

The Psychology department participates in the Social Science 7-12 Teaching Field Endorsement.

Theresa Wadkins, Chair

Professor: Krista Forrest, Krista Fritson, Yozan Mosig, Robert Rycek, Theresa Wadkins, William Wozniak

Assistant Professor: Evan Hill, Julie Lanz, Megan Strain, Christopher Waples

Psychology (PSYC)

PSY 188 – GS Portal     3 credit hours

Students analyze critical issues confronting individuals and society in a global context as they pertain to the discipline in which the Portal course is taught. The Portal is intended to help students succeed in their university education by being mentored in process of thinking critically about important ideas and articulating their own conclusions. Students may take the Portal in any discipline, irrespective of their major or minor. Satisfies the General Studies Portal course requirement. Students may take their Portal course in any discipline. Students who transfer 24 or more hours of General Studies credit to UNK are exempt from taking a portal course.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: First year freshman standing or sophomore standing only.

PSY 192 – Death and Dying     1-3 credit hours

Issues of death and dying are discussed from the perspectives of medicine, psychology, religion, philosophy, law and other fields.
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00

PSY 203 – General Psychology     3 credit hours

The fundamental concepts of psychology as derived through the scientific investigation of behavior are described.

PSY 220 – Introductory Psychology Seminar     1 credit hour

Small group activities in laboratory, discussion group, or seminars that supplement an introductory course.
Corequisite: PSY 203 or PSY 230 or PSY 231.

PSY 230 – Human Development     3 credit hours

Human growth and development is surveyed from the prenatal period through old age and death. Emphasis is placed on physiological, cognitive, and social/personality developments at the various age levels.

PSY 231 – Abnormal Behavior and Society     3 credit hours

An introduction to the various models for understanding abnormal behavior, e.g., genetic and developmental models; the descriptions of predominant mental disorders, and major modern treatment interventions. The course is recommended for those majoring in fields other than psychology.

PSY 250 – Behavioral Statistics     4 credit hours

The methodology used in scientific research is described along with the special problems that psychologists face in the interpretation of research results. Prior completion of college algebra is recommended. One laboratory each week.
Total Credits Allowed: 4.00
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 270 – Experimental Psychology     4 credit hours

Advanced methods in data collection are presented. Research designs and their appropriateness for specific areas of study are reviewed. One laboratory each week.
Prerequisite: PSY 250
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 280H – Special Topics     1-3 credit hours

An interdisciplinary General Studies course for Honors students that examines the connections between disciplines.
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00

PSY 300 – Orientation to Psychology     1 credit hour

An informal review of academic, professional, and career planning issues of a psychology major.
Prerequisite: PSY 203 and declared major in Psychology.

PSY 310 – Learning and Conditioning     3 credit hours

The concepts and principles of learning are studied in detail. Data from human and animal experimentation are considered. Prior completion of PSY 270 is recommended.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 310L – Learning and Conditioning Laboratory     1 credit hour

Aspects of conditioning and learning are demonstrated. Must be taken concurrently with PSY 310.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 310.
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 312 – Sensation and Perception     3 credit hours

Sensory and perceptual systems are examined in detail. Prior completion of PSY 270 is recommended.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 312L – Sensation and Perception Laboratory     1 credit hour

Sensory and perceptual phenomena are reviewed within a laboratory setting. Must be taken concurrently with PSY 312.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 312.
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 313 – Physiological Psychology     3 credit hours

The relationships between physiological processes and human behaviors are studied. Prior completion of PSY 270 is recommended.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 313L – Physiological Psychology Laboratory     1 credit hour

The techniques and methodology used in the study of the biological influences on behavior are introduced. Must be taken concurrently with PSY 313.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 313.
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 317 – Biopsychology     3 credit hours

Biopsychology deals with the interaction of biology and behavior from the molecular to the molar level. All levels of interaction are investigated. Prior completion of PSY 270 is recommended.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 317L – Biopsychology Laboratory     1 credit hour

Biopsychology Laboratory uses the methods of Ethology and Comparative Psychology to investigate the relationship between biology and behavior. Must be taken concurrently with PSY 317.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 317.
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 318 – Experimental Social Psychology     3 credit hours

An exploration of the theories, methods and research regarding the relationship of the individual to others and to society. Topics include person perception, interpersonal attraction, attitudes, and attitude change, conformity and leadership. Prior completion of PSY 270 is recommended.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 318L – Experimental Social Psychology Laboratory     1 credit hour

A review of social psychological research methods, including experimental and quasi-experimental designs, unobtrusive measures, field studies, behavioral and verbal measurement, the avoidance of bias, and ethical issues in research.
Prerequisite: PSY 270
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 350 – Ethics in Psychology     3 credit hours

This course will cover common issues encountered by psychologists and other practitioners in various research and applied paths. The goal of the course is to introduce students to the APA Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct as well as other pertinent ethical guidelines. Topics include: the history of ethical codes, ethics and the law, ethical decision making, personal and professional boundaries, ethics in a clinical setting, animal care, ethical publishing, and international codes of ethics.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 370 – History and Systems of Psychology     3 credit hours

The ideas of individuals who have influenced the development of psychology as a science from the ancient Greeks to the 20th century are reviewed.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 371 – Environmental Psychology     3 credit hours

The relationships between behavior and natural and man-made environments are addressed.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 372 – Cross-Cultural Psychology     3 credit hours

Examines psychological processes related to perception, cognition, human development, psychopathology, gender influences and social behavior from a cross-cultural perspective. Current theories, methods and research findings are discussed. Prior completion of PSY 270 is recommended.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 374 – Psychology of Gender     3 credit hours

Motivational levels, goals, self-concept, and various personality characteristics which differentiate between women and men are studied. Rearing differences between boys and girls and their accompanying behavioral expectations are studied as well as the development of sex differences in intellectual and biological functions.

PSY 376 – Psychology and Criminal Behavior     3 credit hours

Criminal behavior and rehabilitative efforts will be investigated in light of psychological research, theory and clinical experience. Various potential causes of criminal behavior will be explored. Psychology's role within the legal system will also be addressed.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 388 – GS Capstone     3 credit hours

An interdisciplinary experience where students apply the knowledge, cognitive abilities, and communication skills they have gained from General Studies in designing and completing an original project or paper. Students employ methods and interpretive means of two or more disciplines to integrate knowledge and synthesize their results. Satisfies the General Studies capstone course requirement. Students may take their Capstone course in any discipline.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior level standing or within 6 hours of completing general studies requirements.

PSY 388L – GS Capstone Lab     1 credit hour

PSY 399 – Psychology Apprenticeship Programs     1-3 credit hours

Students assist faculty members as research assistants, as classroom discussion leaders, as proctors in PSI courses, or in preparing special lectures or programs. Departmental permission required. PSI proctoring is recommended for those students preparing to take the Graduate Record Exam.
Total Credits Allowed: 12.00
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 400L – Advanced Psychology Lab     1 credit hour

A review of psychological research methods, including experimental and quasi-experimental designs, field studies, behavioral and verbal measurement, the avoidance of bias, and ethical issues in research. Students will work individually or in groups to formulate a research hypothesis based upon their review of the literature within the field. Individuals or groups will then design and implement a scientific study. Must be taken in conjunction with a 300 or 400 level psychology course. Permission of the instructor required
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00
Prerequisite: PSY 270
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 403 – Psych of Motivation     3 credit hours

The principal issues, methods, and theories of motivation are thoroughly examined.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 406 – Theories of Personality     3 credit hours

Personality theories from Freud to contemporary theorists are discussed. Prior completion of PSY 370 is recommended.

PSY 407 – Psychopathology     3 credit hours

Current theoretical models and research are applied toward understanding the descriptions and causes of the predominant mental disorders. The course is based on the diagnostic system employed by most mental health professionals.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 407L – Psychopathology Laboratory     1 credit hour

Must be taken concurrently with PSY 407. The methodology used in the study of common psychopathological patterns is reviewed and applied in original group projects. Ethical considerations in this research area are emphasized. Special permission must be obtained.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 407.
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 408 – Introduction to Clinical Psychology     3 credit hours

The student will be introduced to the various professional activities and settings of clinical psychologists (psychologists trained to independently assess, diagnose, and treat mental disorder). Special emphasis will be given to psychotherapeutic interventions.
Prerequisite: PSY 407 and junior standing

PSY 408F – Intro to Clinical Psy Field Exp     1 credit hour

Students will visit a clinical facility for three hours a week and process their learning experiences in a one hour weekly lab. Opportunities to interact with patients and staff are included. Must be taken concurrently with PSY 408. Permission of instructor required.
Department Consent Required
Prerequisite: PSY 203 and junior standing and permission of instructor.
Corequisite: PSY 408.

PSY 410 – Industrial Psychology     3 credit hours

A survey of human behavior and psychological principles related to industrial/personnel issues. Topics include: job and work analysis; personnel recruitment, selection and training; performance appraisal and management; and implementation strategies.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 411 – Organizational Psychology     3 credit hours

A survey of the prominent theories, principles, and research related to organizational psychology. Topics include: work motivation; leadership; job satisfaction and other attitudes; decision-making; employee socialization; and the design of jobs and organizations.

PSY 411L – Organizational Psychology Laboratory     1 credit hour

This laboratory allows students to review historical and contemporary research in the area of organizational psychology. In addition to reading and discussing existing works, students will develop and complete a research project targeting an area of interest within the broader field of I/O psychology.
Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in PSY 410 or PSY 411

PSY 415 – Group Dynamics     3 credit hours

Group Dynamics includes the study of group development; structure; influence and interaction and group outcomes. Students will apply material covered to various types of groups such as dyads or couples, teams, collaborative learning groups, juries, cults and crowds.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 415L – Group Dynamics Laboratory     1 credit hour

Designed to be taken with the Group Dynamics course, this laboratory option allows students to use research strategies for better understanding how individuals influence or are influenced by groups and entities. In addition to discussing the work of others, students will develop and complete a research project targeting their specific area of interest within group dynamics.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 415.

PSY 416 – Eastern Psychology     3 credit hours

The psychological aspects of various Eastern philosophical traditions including Sufism, Yoga, Taoism, and Buddhism are examined. The psychology of Zen is emphasized. Experiential as well as theoretical approaches are used.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 417 – Humanistic Psychology     3 credit hours

The tenets and methods of humanistic psychology, its historical roots, theoretical concepts, and how it is distinguished from Psychoanalysis and Behaviorism are reviewed. Group discussion format is used.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 420 – Advanced Research Design and Analysis in Psychology     3 credit hours

Advanced multivariate statistical techniques are explored, including Multiple Regression, Canonical Correlation, MANOVA, Discriminant Function Analysis, and Factor Analysis. Special emphasis is placed on computer analysis and on deciding which techniques are appropriate for various data sets.
Prerequisite: PSY 270 or permission of instructor

PSY 430 – Memory and Cognition     3 credit hours

Topics concerning intellectual functioning are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on the information processing approach to the study of mental life. Topics include perception, attention, consciousness, memory, problem solving, and language. Prior completion of PSY 270 is recommended.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 430L – Memory and Cognition Laboratory     1 credit hour

The methodology used in the study of cognitive processes is reviewed. Must be taken concurrently with PSY 430.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 430.
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 435 – Psychology of Humor     3 credit hours

Survey of psychological theories, principles, and facts in areas such as social psychology, personality, psychobiology, development, cognition, industry/organizations, and health as they apply to humor. Specific topics include: why we laugh, how we understand humor, prejudice and humor, multicultural similarities and differences, humor in applied settings (e.g., workplace, education), and humorous media.
Prerequisite: PSY 203 and PSY 270 is recommended.

PSY 440 – Health Psychology     3 credit hours

Examines how thoughts, emotions, behaviors, physiology, and culture influence health and well-being. Topics include: physical systems of the body, stress and illness, health-related behaviors, health services, and end-of-life care.

PSY 440L – Health Psychology Laboratory     1 credit hour

Designed to be taken concurrently with PSY 440, this lab provides experience in critically analyzing quantitative and qualitative health research. In addition, students will develop and conduct a research project in their area of interest within the field of health psychology.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 440.

PSY 450 – Psychometrics     3 credit hours

Basic measurement concepts, the selection, administration, and interpretation of standardized tests are reviewed. Prior completion of PSY 270 is recommended.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 450L – Psychometrics Lab     1 credit hour

Must be taken concurrently with PSY 450. Practical experience in test construction and the application of concepts such as norms, standardization, reliability and validity. Prior completion of PSY 270 is required.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 450 or PSY 850P.
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 453 – Experimental Child Psychology     3 credit hours

The psychology of child development is studied. Special emphasis is placed on experimental findings related to the development of physical, intellectual and cognitive functioning, and the development of personality. Prior completion of PSY 270 is recommended.
Prerequisite: PSY 203 or PSY 230

PSY 453L – Developmental Psychology Laboratory     1 credit hour

Methods of studying children and adolescents are investigated. Must be taken concurrently with PSY 453.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 453.
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 455 – Adolescent Psychology     3 credit hours

Adolescent development is comprehensively reviewed. The intellectual, physical, and social/moral development of adolescents is discussed, along with the special problems of young adults.
Prerequisite: PSY 203 or PSY 230

PSY 462 – Adult Development and Aging     3 credit hours

The changes in physical, cognitive and social/personality development during adulthood are addressed.
Prerequisite: PSY 203 or PSY 230

PSY 465 – Psychopharmacology     3 credit hours

The course consists of an introduction to pharmacology as a science followed by a discussion of therapeutic and recreational psychoactive drugs. Psychoactive drugs are discussed in relation to their effect on behavior and nervous system physiology. Prior completion of PSY 203, background in physiological psychology, or background in biology is recommended.
Department Consent Required

PSY 470 – Neuropsychology     3 credit hours

The relationship between human brain function and behavior is investigated. Special emphasis is placed on the behavioral effects of brain injury and methods of neuropsychological assessment.
Prerequisite: PSY 313

PSY 475 – Practicum in Psychology     1-3 credit hours

This course gives the student the opportunity to gain experience in the application of psychological principles in various settings.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00
Prerequisite: 24 completed hours of Psychology coursework and permission of the department chair

PSY 475G – Practicum in Gerontology     3 credit hours

This course gives the student the opportunity to work with professionals in the field of aging. Includes 120-180 actual contact hours during the practicum experience.

PSY 477 – Psychology and Law     3 credit hours

Within this course, students will learn how psychology has influenced legal processes and outcomes. Topics covered include theories of criminology, factors associated with police questioning, jury selection and deliberation and punishment and sentencing. Students will also study how psychologists ranging from researchers and clinicians to expert witnesses and advocates work within the legal system.
Prerequisite: PSY 203

PSY 477L – Psychology and Law Laboratory     1 credit hour

Designed to be taken with the Psychology and Law Course, this laboratory option allows students to critically evaluate both historical and contemporary research in the area of psychology and law. In addition to discussing the work of others, students will develop and complete a research project targeting their specific area of interest within the broader field of psychology and law.
Prerequisite: PSY 270.
Corequisite: PSY 477.
Additional Course Fee Required

PSY 480 – Advanced Seminar in Psychology     3 credit hours

An in-depth examination of a particular topic in one of 13 designated areas of psychology. Taught in seminar format. Topics will be announced during the preceding semester.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: At least 12 completed hours of Psychology coursework and junior or senior standing and permission of the instructor.

PSY 493 – Readings in Psychology     1-3 credit hours

The student designs a set of readings in a chosen area of psychology. The work is completed under the supervision of the Department Chair.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 18.00
Prerequisite: 24 completed hours of Psychology coursework and permission of the department chair

PSY 499 – Research in Psychology     3 credit hours

The student engages in a research project of his/her own design. The project is supervised by a psychology faculty member.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: 24 completed hours of Psychology coursework including PSY 270 and permission of the department chair