Undergradute Psychology Course Information

This page lists all undergraduate psychology courses. They are also listed in the University Catalog

Click on WWU ClassFinder to view the days, times, and openings for courses during the academic year.

Wait list policy: The Department reserves the right to manage wait lists for Psychology courses and give priority to students who have applied to graduate that quarter and who must take the course to satisfy graduation requirements. Students who are on the wait list for a course should not attend the first day of class for that course unless the course instructor notifies the student to attend.

PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology (5)

Examination of basic psychological processes utilizing results of research investigations: participation in at least two experiments or equivalent activities is expected.

Psy 116 - Human Sexuality (5)

This course examines human sexual behavior from biological, psychological, social, and cultural perspectives. Course content includes issues pertaining to sexual anatomy, the sexual response cycle, sexual orientation, sexuality across the lifespan, the reproductive process, variations in sexual behavior, sexual health, romantic relationship processes, and sexual violence.

PSY 117 - The Psychology of Identity (5)

This course examines the development of identity throughout the lifespan with consideration of gender, social class, ethnicity, culture, autobiographical memory, social roles, and self-presentation.

PSY 118 - The Psychology of Happiness and Well-Being (5)

In this course, students will address the question of what comprises happiness and a sense of well-being in life. In particular, students will be exposed to the scientific literature on happiness and well-being within the framework of philosophical perspectives on life. Students will compare and contrast the findings on happiness and well-being in the scientific literature with advice provided in the various popular sources of information (e.g. self-help books, self-help websites, magazines, popular self-help television programs).

PSY 119 - Psychology of Gender (4)

Basic concepts, foundations for sex roles; similarities and differences between the sexes; historical customs, personality theories, cultural, subcultural and cross-cultural perspectives.

PSY 210 – Cognition (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

Provides an overview of the theories, methods and practical applications of cognitive psychology. The higher mental processes, particularly the ways in which knowledge is acquired, stored and used, will be emphasized. The course also examines how theories and findings from cognitive psychology can help us to understand mental activities in everyday life.

PSY 220 - Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

An overview of the biological bases of behavior. Basic concepts in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry will be used to understand the neural bases of normal and abnormal behavior.

PSY 230 - Lifespan Developmental Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

This class covers biological, cognitive, and psychosocial changes that occur across different periods of life, as well as contexts of development (e.g., culture, school, families, peers). Topics include basic developmental tasks from infancy to old age and theories of development.

PSY 240 - Social Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

Socialization (moral development, racial, ethnic and class differences), attitudes and attitude change, conformity, interpersonal attraction. Theories and methods of social psychology stressing applicability of social psychological research and knowledge to contemporary social problems.

PSY 250 - Introduction to Personality and Abnormal Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

An overview of the research on individuals within social contexts. Topics include models of personality development, stress and coping, social influence on behavior, the relationship between psychological and physical health and development adjustment issues. Also addresses common psychological problems.

PSY 274 - Psychology of Child Rearing (3)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

Discipline at different developmental stages; parental influences on social and cognitive development; influences on parenting; a systems approach to understanding families; the changing American family.

PSY 301 - Overview of Research Methods (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: 15 credits in psychology with a minimum of 5 credits at WWU.

Introduction to research psychology. A variety of research methodologies will be explored. Students will also learn basic description of research data and how to write psychology papers.

PSY 302 - Research Methods and Statistical Analysis: Correlational Approaches (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 301 with a C- or better

Introduction to correlational research methods in psychology and associated statistics. Review of correlational research methods, design of correlational studies, and development of research instruments such as questionnaires and behavioral observation forms. Methods of data analysis include graphs, bivariate and multivariate descriptive correlational statistics, sampling distributions of statistical inference regarding correlations, and introduction to the t and F tests. Nonparametric statistics such as chi square also will be discussed.

PSY 303 - Research Methods and Statistical Analysis: Experimental Approaches (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 302 with a C- or better

Continuation of statistical inferencing introduced in PSY 302 as it applies to the special cases of the general linear model. Two sample t-tests and ANOVA models will be introduced at the conceptual and computational level. Appropriate follow-up tests also will be covered. Computer data analysis will be utilized for problem sets and the individual project.

PSY 310 - Sensation and Perception (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 301

The basic principles involved in seeing, hearing, touch, taste and smell will be presented. Ecological constraints on perceptual processes will be discussed in the context of illusions and other perceptual demonstrations as well as underlying physiological mechanisms.

PSY 311 - Human Memory (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 301

Reviews memory theories, empirical findings, and applications. Topics include encoding, storage, and retrieval from short- and long-term memory; implicit and explicit memory; autobiographical memory; eyewitness memory.

PSY 318 - Psychology of Language (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 301

An overview of the psychological study of language. Topics include language comprehension, language acquisition, speech errors, bilingualism, dyslexia, language and the brain, and animal communication systems.

PSY 319 - Cognitive Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220 and PSY 301

Discussion of the brain systems underlying human cognition, with a focus on how inferences about brain systems are drawn from neuropathological, neuroimaging, and behavioral studies.

PSY 320 - Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220; PSY 301 or comparable research course; instructor permission

Detailed examination of key areas of physiological psychology, emphasizing the anatomical, physiological and neurochemical bases of behavior.

PSY 321 – Learning (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101, PSY 301.

A survey of conditioning and learning.

PSY 322 – Motivation (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220, PSY 301

Theoretical and empirical study of human and subhuman motivational process. Topics covered range from basic physiological drives to achievement motivation and conformity. Emphasis on both biological and social sources of motivation.

PSY 323 – Psychopharmacology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220; PSY 301 or comparable research course; instructor permission

Introduction to behavioral pharmacology and the effects of therapeutic and recreational drugs on the function of the nervous system and behavior.

PSY 324 - Comparative Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 240, PSY 301

A phylogenetic comparison of animal behavior, focusing on learning, motivation and sensory processes in selected species of animals.

PSY 327 - Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220 and at least one of PSY 310, PSY 311, or PSY 319

Introduction to laboratory methods and techniques used in cognitive neuroscience. Concentration will be on large scale brain imaging of cognition using EEG. Students will collect and analyze data from participants undergoing a broad range of cognitive paradigms.

PSY 328 - Techniques in Behavioral Neuroscience (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220 and PSY 301 (or a comparable research design course and permission of instructor); and PSY 320 or concurrent

Introduction to laboratory methods and techniques used in behavioral neuroscience. Two hours lecture and four hours lab each week; students will be introduced to basic techniques in histology, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, molecular biology, or behavioral analyses. May require live animal research. Repeatable to a maximum of 8 credits.

PSY 330 - Child Development (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230 and PSY 301

In-depth coverage of social and cognitive development in children and adolescents. Emphasis on the implications and practical applications of research findings in these areas.

PSY 331 - Adult Development and Aging (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230, PSY 301

Examines developmental processes that occur in later life, with a focus on theory, research and practical issues. Topics include a) theoretical and methodological issues, b) biological changes and health issues, c) changes in memory and intelligence, d) personality across adulthood and e) death and dying.

PSY 332 - Adolescent Development (5)

Examines adolescent cognitive, social, physiological and intrapsychic development from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Emphasis on current research findings in this area. Students cannot get credit for both PSY 332 and 373.

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230, PSY 301

PSY 333 - Infant Development (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230 and PSY 301

Examines social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of infants and toddlers from diverse theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. Emphasis on current research findings, application of research findings, and considering infant development in socio-cultural context.

PSY 340 - Environmental Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 301 plus one from PSY 210-250

Theoretical, methodological and empirical problems and issues relating to behavior in constructed and natural environments.

PSY 341 - Psychology and Culture (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240, PSY 301

Cultural and ecological factors and their effect on perception, thinking, language, intelligence, sexuality and other psychological variables. An examination of the “universality” of traditional Euro-American psychological theories.

PSY 342 - Social Cognition (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 240, PSY 301

Survey of theory and research investigating the cognitive processes that underlie social judgment and behavior.

PSY 343 - Social Processes (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240, PSY 301

Examination of selected topics related to formation and functioning of groups, as well as intergroup relations.

PSY 344 - Psychology and the Law (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240, PSY 301

An examination of current issues in psychology and the law with an emphasis on the application of social psychological theories and research to the understanding of human behavior in a legal context.

PSY 345 - Evolutionary Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: One course from PSY 210 to 240; C- or better in PSY 301

The application of evolutionary theory to understanding the characteristics of human functioning including emotion, thinking, and action.

PSY 346 - Stereotyping, Prejudice, & Discrimination (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240, PSY 301

This course will examine issues of and related to stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination from a social psychological perspective with an emphasis on racism and sexism.

PSY 351 - Abnormal Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 250, PSY 301

Human behavior patterns culturally labeled as abnormalities, or as mental illness; their etiology, incidence, treatment and social attitudes toward such patterns. Historical review of the concepts used to explain such behavior and the research relating to the treatment of mental disorders.

PSY 359 - Introduction to School and Community Counseling (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 250, PSY 301; declared psychology major

Overview of professional counseling in schools, colleges and communities. Includes counselor roles, ethics, counseling theories and techniques, training and licensing, counseling minorities, outreach, use of paraprofessionals and research.

PSY 370 - Psychology and the Arts (3)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

Concepts from a wide variety of areas in psychology are used to analyze issues in art. Specific works of art - which may include literature, music and visual arts - are considered through class discussion and written essay.

PSY 375 - Health Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101 and PSY 301

The course examines health psychology with a focus on theory, research, and pratical issues. Topics include (a) health behavior and prevention, (b) stress and coping, (c) the treatment setting, and (d) management of chronic and terminal illness.

PSY 376 - Psychology of Romantic Relationships (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240, PSY 250 and PSY 301

An overview of the psychology of romantic relationships. Topics bridge social and abnormal psychology and include attraction, relationship formation, maintenance, and dissolution, and theoretical approaches to the clinical treatment of couples’ issues.

PSY 377 - Positive Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 301 or instructor permission

This course is a survey of the science of positive psychology which explores the study of human strengths and virtues. The focus of the course is on the unique characteristics of the human experience that contribute to the physical/psychological health and well-being.

PSY 410 - Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; and one of PSY 310, PSY 311, PSY 319 or PSY 320, all with a C- or better

In-depth coverage of major issues and methods in the study of cognitive neuroscience. Library and laboratory or field research.

PSY 411 - Seminar in Cognition (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; and one of PSY 310, PSY 311, PSY 319 or PSY 320, all with a C- or better

In-depth coverage of selected topics in memory, cognition, and higher order cognitive processiong. Library and laboratory or field research.

PSY 420 - Seminar in Behavioral Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250; PSY 320 or PSY 323; PSY 303 or comparable research course and permission of instructor, all with a C- or better

A detailed examination of brain-behavior relations and the neural bases of behavior, based upon review and discussion of current literature in a variety of areas. Library and/or laboratory work.

PSY 421 - Seminar in Learning (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, and PSY 321, all with a C- or better

In-depth study of major theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of learning. Laboratory and field research exercises.

PSY 422 - Seminar in Motivation (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, PSY 322, all with a C- or better

In-depth coverage of determinants of behavior in humans and other animals. Topics of interest to individual students are studied in depth and research analyzing motivational issues is conducted.

PSY 424 - Seminar in Comparative Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, PSY 324, all with a C- or better

In-depth study of animal behavior where different species in different ecological niches is a major variable. Emphasis on the genetic determinants of behavior differences. Students will examine primary research and will conduct research. Activities will also include class discussion, presentations, and a major integration paper.

PSY 428 - Advanced Techniques in Behavioral Neuroscience (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: Corresponding section of PSY 328 and PSY 303 or comparable research course and permission of instructor; PSY 420 or concurrent

Laboratory based study of integrated neural systems underlying behavior, based on advanced techniques in histology, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, molecular biology, or behavioral analyses. Two hours lecture and four hours lab each week; may require live animal research. Repeatable to a maximum of 8 credits.

PSY 430 - Seminar in Developmental Psychology (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; PSY 330 or PSY 331 or PSY 332, all with C- or better

In-depth study of central themes of human development. Contemporary research questions addressed in professional literature and field investigations.

PSY 431 - Seminar in Adult Development and Aging (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, PSY 331, all with C- or better

In-depth study of central themes of adult development and aging. Contemporary research questions addressed in professional literature and field investigations.

PSY 440 - Seminar in Environmental Psychology (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, PSY 340, all with C- or better

In-depth study of major issues and methods in the study of psychosocial adaptations to and of the physical environment. Library and laboratory or field research.

PSY 441 - Seminar in Cross-Cultural Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, and one of PSY 341, PSY 342, PSY 343, PSY 344, PSY 345, or PSY 346, all with C- or better

In-depth study of contemporary issues, perspectives, and methods used in the study of how cultural and ethnic factors affect psychological processes. A basic examination of current topics that are receiving significant attention. Library and/or laboratory and field research.

PSY 442 - Seminar in Social Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; one of PSY 341, PSY 342, PSY 343, PSY 344, PSY 345, PSY 346, all with C- or better

In-depth study of social psychological theory and research to explain patterns of thought and behavior.

PSY 451 - Seminar in Abnormal Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303,  and either PSY 351 or 354, all with C- or better

Advanced study in major issues and research methods in abnormal psychology. Focus on research design and protocols with clinical populations.

PSY 470 - Psychological Issues in Substance Abuse and Dependence (3)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 250 and PSY 351, or current enrollment in the graduate Mental Health or School Counseling Programs

This class provides advanced information about psychological issues in substance abuse and dependence. In addition to surveying the most common substances of abuse and their effects, this course also addresses etiological theories, assessment and diagnosis, treatment, issues pertinent to diverse groups of individuals, and current controversies in the field.

PSY 471 - Honors Thesis Seminar (2)

Prerequisites & Notes: instructor permission

In-depth investigation of a selected topic in psychology culminating in an honors thesis. Should be taken the quarter before the thesis is begun and while it is in progress. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr. S/U grading.

PSY 481 - Seminar in History and Systems of Psychology (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: C- or better in: PSY 210-250, PSY 302 plus completion of 45 credits in psychology

An historical perspective of the development of psychological systems and theories and their impact on contemporary psychology.

PSY 482 - Seminar in Psychological Theory (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: C- or better in: PSY 210-250, PSY 302 plus completion of 45 credits in psychology

A seminar examining the philosophical assumptions of science in general and psychology in particular.

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