Psychology | Albright College

Psychology

The study of the mind can be applied in almost limitless ways, making the psychology major applicable to a variety of fields and disciplines. At Albright College, you take both theoretical and applied courses that convey essential knowledge as well as laboratory skills, preparing you for a multitude of careers.

Albright’s Department of Psychology offers programs in Psychology and Psychobiology. Students majoring in psychology at Albright can choose to focus on a general psychology program or specialize with an interdisciplinary major in Psychobiology, Health Psychology, or a specialized track in child psychology. And with Albright’s emphasis on interdisciplinary study, you can combine psychology with art, business, or anything you choose, allowing you to customize your educational experience.


The Psychology Programs

Psychology Major: Preparation for a wide range of careers and graduate study in psychology.

Psychiobiology: Two interdisciplinary programs, behavioral psychobiology and molecular psychobiology, combining psychology and biology.

Health Psychology: One of the only undergraduate Health Psychology programs in the country, using a biopsychosocial perspective in helping students to understand factors that influence health and wellness.

Child track: A specialized course track within the psychology major for those interested in careers working with children.

The Psychology Co-Major: Take advantage of Albright’s flexible interdisciplinary programs, by combining a co-major in psychology with a co-major in a discipline of your choice.

Learn more about these programs by clicking on the Requirements link below.


Opportunities for Psychology Students

All psychology students complete independent research, learn computer technology skills, and receive personalized mentoring by faculty members.

Junior- and senior-level independent research, fieldwork internships, service learning and seminars are highly valued components of the psychology undergraduate experience. You will work closely with your adviser to select courses that complement your major interests and career goals.

Every student works on independent research with a faculty member as part of our undergraduate curriculum, and those wishing to pursue further research can apply to collaborate with faculty on summer or January Interim projects, or complete honors or independent study research. Our faculty have expertise in every major area of psychology, so whatever your interests, you’re likely to find a faculty member who shares them.

Psychology’s versatility – its relevance to so many facets of everyday life – makes it a terrific major to prepare for a variety of fields. U.S. News & World Report lists numerous psychology-related professions on its list of the 100 Best Jobs. An Albright psychology degree produces positive outcomes both while you’re a student here and after you’ve graduated:

  • The great majority of Albright psychology students who apply are accepted to graduate school.
  • Approximately 50% of Albright psychology students complete an internship in a psychology-related field.
  • Psychology students complete at least one major research project, conferring important, in-demand skills they can use in grad school and their careers.
  • Each year, many psychology students present research at regional or national conferences, each receiving up to $750 to fund their travel expenses.
  • Our graduates are employed in a variety of positions in social services, mental healthcare, and human resources.

Psychology Department Learning Outcomes

The mission of the Albright College Psychology department is to strive for implementation of the American Psychological Association goals; implementation and integration of those goals within the context of the liberal arts tradition of Albright College; to prepare student to use their knowledge of the field in the diverse futures they face upon graduation.

  1. Knowledge Base in Psychology — Students should demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavioral problems.
  2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking — Students will develop skills in scientific reasoning, problem solving, interpreting behavior, studying research, and applying research design principles to drawing conclusions about psychological phenomena.
  3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World — Students will learn to apply ethical standards, build and enhance interpersonal relationships, and adopt values that build a community at local, national, and global levels.
  4. Communication — Students should demonstrate competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills.
  5. Professional Development — Students will learn to apply psychology-specific content and skills, effective self-reflection, project-management skills, teamwork skills, and prepare for their careers.

Majors and Minors in the Psychology Department

 

 

Major in Psychology

The bachelor of arts degree program in psychology provides a balance of theoretical and applied courses in the discipline and prepares you for graduate study, professional school, or careers in social services, business, research and educational settings.

Requirements

  • All of the following core requirements:
    • PSY 100: General Psychology (fulfills GS Foundations Social Science course)
    • PSY 200: Research Design and Analysis I (fulfills GS Foundations Quantitative course)
    • PSY 201: Research Design and Analysis II
    • PSY 405 or 406: Senior Seminar
  • One of the following research laboratory courses:
    • PSY 395: Psychological Assessment (recommended for those pursuing careers in clinical or school psychology)
    • PSY 396: Advanced Research Lab in Social, Personality, or Developmental Psychology
    • PSY 397: Advanced Research Lab in Biological, Cognitive, or Evolutionary Psychology
  • Three from Group I (Social, Developmental, and Clinical Approaches):
    • PSY 206: Social Psychology
    • PSY 210: Health Psychology
    • PSY 250: Personality
    • PSY 230: Human Development -OR- PSY240: Child Development
    • PSY 390: Adult Psychopathology -OR- PSY391: Child Psychopathology
  • Three from Group II (Biological, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Approaches):
    • PSY 205: Biological Psychology
    • PSY 305: Behavioral Neuroscience
    • PSY 319: Evolutionary Psychology
    • PSY 340: Cognition
    • PSY 350: Animal Behavior and Cognition
    • PSY 355: Motivation
    • PSY 360: Sensation and Perception
    • PSY 306: Special Topics (Biologically-based)
  • Three from Group III (Elective courses):
    • *Any of the above courses not already taken
    • PSY 215: Positive Psychology
    • PSY 220: Theories/Treatment of Addictive Behavior
    • PSY 265: Ecological Psychology
    • PSY 271: Organizational Psychology
    • PSY 290: Diversity
    • PSY 291: Cross-cultural Psychology
    • PSY 294: Drugs, Addictions and Society
    • PSY 306: Special Topic courses in any area
    • PSY 310: Health Behavior Change
    • PSY 321: Close Relationships
    • PSY 330: Human Sexuality
    • PSY 345: Language Development
    • PSY 346: Social Development
    • PSY 377: Epigenetics and Behavior
    • PSY 394: Counseling
    • IDS 303: Sex Roles
    • PSY 401: Fieldwork
    • PSY 396 or 397: Advanced research lab (with a different emphasis as taken above)
    • PSY 281, 381, 481: Independent Study/Advanced Research
    • PSY 282, 382, 482: Internship
  • One related course (200-level or higher) in the social or natural sciences or an additional psychology course (200-level or higher)

Total: 15 courses (2 captured for General Studies)


Combined Major in Psychology   
Students may elect to combine Psychology with any other major. Required courses in Psychology are:

  • All of the following core requirements:
    • PSY 100: General Psychology (fulfills GS Foundations Social Science course)
    • PSY 200: Research Design and Analysis I (fulfills GS Foundations Quantitative course)
    • PSY 201: Research Design and Analysis II
    • PSY 405 or 406: Senior Seminar

Note: Sociology co-majors may take SOC210 Research Methods and SOC211 Statistics instead of PSY200 and PSY201, and if so, they must take any 2 additional psychology courses in place of PSY200 and Psy201.

Two from Group I (Social, Developmental, and Clinical Approaches):

    • PSY 206: Social Psychology
    • PSY 210: Health Psychology
    • PSY 250: Personality
    • PSY 230: Human Development -OR- PSY240: Child Development
    • PSY 390: Adult Psychopathology -OR- PSY391: Child Psychopathology
  • Two from Group II (Biological, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Approaches):
    • PSY 205: Biological Psychology
    • PSY 305: Behavioral Neuroscience
    • PSY 319: Evolutionary Psychology
    • PSY 340: Cognition
    • PSY 350: Animal Behavior and Cognition
    • PSY 355: Motivation
    • PSY 360: Sensation and Perception
  • One from Group III (Elective courses):
    • *Any of the above courses not already taken
    • PSY 215: Positive Psychology
    • PSY 220: Theories/Treatment of Addictive Behavior
    • PSY 265: Ecological Psychology
    • PSY 271: Organizational Psychology
    • PSY 290: Diversity
    • PSY 291: Cross-cultural Psychology
    • PSY 294: Drugs, Addictions and Society
    • PSY 306: Special Topic courses in any area
    • PSY 310: Health Behavior Change
    • PSY 321: Close Relationships
    • PSY 330: Human Sexuality
    • PSY 345: Language Development
    • PSY 346: Social Development
    • PSY 377: Epigenetics and Behavior
    • PSY 394: Counseling
    • PSY 395: Psychological Assessment
    • PSY 396/397:Advanced research lab
    • IDS 303: Sex Roles
    • PSY 401: Fieldwork
    • PSY 281, 381, 481: Independent Study/Advanced Research
    • PSY 282, 382, 482: Internship

Total: 9 courses (2 captured for General Studies)


Child Development Track
The Psychology Department offers a track in Child Development. This track is primarily for full Psychology majors but may be completed by Combined Psychology majors and students in other majors (such as Child & Family Studies and Psychobiology) who have the prerequisites.

  • Requirements
    • PSY 240: Child Development
    • PSY 391: Child Psychopathology
    • 400-level Child-Focused Psychology course
    • Three from the following, one MUST be a PSY course:
      • PSY 345: Language Development
      • PSY 346: Social Development
      • PSY 306: Psychology Special Topics, Child Focused
      • PSY 395/396/397: Advanced Lab or Assessment, Child Focused Project
      • PSY 401: Child-Focused Field Experience/Internship (if not used for requirement #3)
      • PSY 406: Child-Focused Seminar (if not used for requirement #3)
      • SOC 203: Human Services
      • SOC 261: The Family
      • SOC 302: Juvenile Delinquency
      • SOC 270: Parenting and Technology
      • SOC 271: Work and Family Conflict

Interdisciplinary Major in Psychobiology
The bachelor of science in psychobiology is intended for students with an interest in both the behavioral and natural science approaches to psychology and biology. The major is especially ideal for developing an appreciation of the emerging fields of neuroscience and health psychology. Individuals arrange courses to satisfy their particular interests and prepare for advanced study in psychology, psychobiology, biology, behavioral ecology, veterinary medicine and the health professions (medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry), or employment in varied areas including pharmaceutical research or sales and allied health professions. Psychobiology majors must declare one of two tracks:  Molecular Psychobiology Track (more biologically oriented) or Behavioral Psychobiology Track (more psychologically oriented). Contact Dr. Keith Feigenson at kfeigenson@albright.edu for more information.

Behavioral Psychobiology Track 
The Behavioral Psychobiology track is more psychologically-oriented and is intended for those pursuing graduate work in health psychology, behavioral research, and some mental health related fields.

  • Psychology core requirements: (6 courses)
    • PSY 100: General Psychology (fulfills GS Foundations Social Science course)
    • PSY 200: Research Design and Analysis I (fulfills GS Foundations Quantitative course)
    • PSY 201: Research Design and Analysis II
    • PSY 205: Biological Psychology
    • PSY 397: Advanced Research Lab in Biological, Cognitive, or Evolutionary Psychology
    • PSY 405 or 406: Senior Seminar
  • Biology core requirements:  (2 courses)
    • BIO 151: General Biology I: Structure & Function (fulfills GS Foundations Natural Science course)
    • BIO 203: Introduction to Genetics
  • One from Group I (Social, Developmental, and Clinical Psychology):
    • PSY 206: Social Psychology
    • PSY 210: Health Psychology
    • PSY 250: Personality
    • PSY 230: Human Development -OR- PSY240: Child Development
    • PSY 390: Adult Psychopathology -OR- PSY391: Child Psychopathology
  • Two from Group II (Biological, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Psychology):
    • PSY 305: Behavioral Neuroscience
    • PSY 319: Evolutionary Psychology
    • PSY 340: Cognition
    • PSY 350: Animal Behavior and Cognition
    • PSY 355: Motivation
    • PSY 360: Sensation and Perception
  • Three from Group III (Biological Science): (one MUST be at least 300 level)
    • BIO 152: General Biology II: Systematics, Ecology, and Evolution
    • BIO 220: Evolution (152 or203)
    • BIO 234: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    • BIO 235: Human Anatomy and Physiology II
    • BIO 319: Vertebrate Natural History (152)
    • BIO 327: Histology and Microtechniques (151)
    • BIO 331: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (151)
    • BIO 333: Developmental Biology (151, 203)
    • BIO 337: Comparative Animal Physiology and Ecophysiology (151, 152, CHE105)
  • Two Elective courses:
    • Any PSY course not previously taken
    • Any BIO course not previously taken
    • CHE105- General Analytical Chemistry I

Total: 16 courses (3 captured for General Studies)

Molecular Psychobiology Track 
Students must declare one of two tracks for the Psychobiology major. The Molecular Psychobiology track is more biologically-oriented and is intended for those pursuing graduate work in neuroscience, the medical field, and other related fields.

  • Psychology core requirements:  (5 courses)
    • PSY 100: General Psychology (fulfills GS Foundations Social Science course)
    • PSY 200: Research Design and Analysis I (fulfills GS Foundations Quantitative Reasoning course)
    • PSY 201: Research Design and Analysis II
    • PSY 205: Biological Psychology
    • PSY 397: Advanced Research Lab in Biological, Cognitive, or Evolutionary Psychology
  • Biology/Chemistry core requirements:  (4 courses)
    • BIO 151: General Biology I: Structure and Function (fulfills GS Foundations Natural Science course)
    • BIO 203: Introduction to Genetics
    • CHE 105: General Analytical Chemistry I
    • CHE 106: General Analytical Chemistry II
  • Two from Group I (Biological, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Psychology):
    • PSY 305: Behavioral Neuroscience
    • PSY 319: Evolutionary Psychology
    • PSY 340: Cognition
    • PSY 350: Animal Behavior and Cognition
    • PSY 355: Motivation
    • PSY 360: Sensation and Perception
  • Two from Group II (Molecular Biological Sciences):
    • CHE 207:Organic Chemistry I
    • BIO 220: Evolution (BIO152 or 203)
    • BIO 321: Microbiology  (BIO151, 203, CHE207)
    • BIO 322: Cell Biology (BIO151, 203, CHE207)
    • BIO 325: Molecular Genetics (BIO151, 203, CHE207)
    • BIO 327: Histology and Microtechniques (BIO151)
    • BIO 329: Virology (BIO203 and CHE207)
  • One from Group III (Organismal Biological Sciences):
    • BIO 152: General Biology II: Systematics, Ecology, and Evolution
    • BIO 234: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    • BIO 235: Human Anatomy and Physiology II
    • BIO 331: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BIO151)
    • BIO 333: Developmental Biology (BIO151 and 203)
    • BIO 337: Comparative Animal Physiology and Ecophysiology (BIO151, 152, CHE105)
    • BIO 398: Animal & Human Nutrition (BIO151 and CHE207)
  • One Elective course in any PSY or BIO not previously taken
  • One Senior Seminar:
    • PSY 405 or 406: Senior Seminar
    • BIO 490’s: Senior Seminar

Total: 16 courses (3 captured for General Studies)


Interdisciplinary Major in Child and Family Studies
The interdisciplinary major in Child and Family Studies is for students interested in psychosocial approaches to child development and family dynamics. This B.A. degree program, which combines Psychology and Sociology (Family Studies Track), provides the breadth and depth required to work in human services or to pursue graduate studies in human development, psychology or family studies.

Psychology Requirements:

  • All of the following core requirements:
    • PSY 100: Introductory Psychology (fulfills GS Foundations Social Science course)
    • PSY 405 or 406: Senior Seminar
  • One of the following research methods sequences must be completed to satisfy core requirements:
    • SOC 210: Research Methods and SOC211 Statistics
    • PSY 200: Research Design I and PSY201: Research Design II. (PSY200 or SOC211 fulfills GS Foundations Quantitative reasoning requirement)
  • Two from Group I (Social, Developmental, and Clinical Approaches):
    • PSY 206: Social Psychology
    • PSY 210: Health Psychology
    • PSY 250: Personality
    • PSY 230: Human Development -OR- PSY240: Child Development
    • PSY 390: Adult Psychopathology -OR- PSY391: Child Psychopathology
  • Two from Group II (Biological, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Approaches):
    • PSY 205: Biological Psychology
    • PSY 305: Behavioral Neuroscience
    • PSY 319: Evolutionary Psychology
    • PSY 340: Cognition
    • PSY 350: Animal Behavior and Cognition
    • PSY 355: Motivation
    • PSY 360: Sensation and Perception
  • One from Group III (Elective courses):
    • *Any of the above courses not already taken
    • PSY 215: Positive Psychology
    • PSY 220: Theories/Treatment of Addictive Behavior
    • PSY 265: Ecological Psychology
    • PSY 271: Organizational Psychology
    • PSY 290: Diversity
    • PSY 291: Cross-cultural Psychology
    • PSY 294: Drugs, Addictions and Society
    • PSY 306: Special Topic courses in any area
    • PSY 310: Health Behavior Change
    • PSY 330: Human Sexuality
    • PSY 321: Close Relationships
    • PSY 345: Language Development
    • PSY 346: Social Development
    • PSY 377: Epigenetics and Behavior
    • PSY 394: Counseling
    • PSY 395: Psychological Assessment
    • PSY 396/397: Advanced Lab
    • IDS 303: Sex Roles
    • PSY 401: Fieldwork
    • PSY 281, 381, 481: Independent Study/Advanced Research
    • PSY 282, 382, 482: Internship

Sociology Requirements:

  • All of the following core requirements:
    • SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology (fulfills GS Foundations Social Science requirement)
    • SOC 213: Social Theory
    • SOC 490: Senior Seminar
  • Additional specialized family course requirement:
    • SOC 261: The Family
  • To Complete Core – Either Group Below:
    • SOC 210 & SOC211
    • PSY 200 & PSY201
  • One of the following lower level specialized courses:
    • SOC 203: Human Services
    • SOC 270:  Parenting and Technology
    • SOC 271:  Work & Family Conflict
  • Two of the following intermediate specialized courses:
    • SOC 302: Juvenile Delinquency
    • SOC 311: Domestic Violence
    • ANT 320: Sex, Gender, Culture
  • One of the following advanced application courses:
    • SOC 470: Immigration & Transnat’l Families

Total: 17 courses (2 captured for General Studies)


Interdisciplinary Major in Health Psychology

The interdisciplinary major in health psychology provides students with a strong foundation in general psychology, while also providing a concentrated focus on the emerging discipline of health psychology. The program will employ a biopsychosocial perspective in helping students to understand factors that influence health and wellness. Students will use this approach to create treatments that prevent illness and improve health outcomes. In addition, courses provided through other departments, such as Public Health, will enhance student understanding of the medical and mental healthcare systems at a broader policy level. Students graduating with a degree in health psychology will be prepared to pursue careers or graduate study in counseling, nursing, research coordination, and occupational health. Contact Dr. Bridget Hearon, bhearon@albright.edu for more information.

  • All of the following core requirements:
    • PSY100: General Psychology (fulfills GS Foundations Social Science course)
    • PSY200: Research Design and Analysis I (fulfills GS Foundations Quantitative course)
    • PSY201: Research Design and Analysis II
    • PSY405 or 406: Senior Seminar
    • PSY210: Health Psychology
    • PSY205: Biological Psychology
  • PSY390: Adult Psychopathology -OR- PSY391: Child Psychopathology
  • PUH101: Intro to Public Health
  • One of the following research laboratory courses:
    • PSY396: Advanced Research Lab in Social, Personality, or Developmental Psychology
    • PSY397: Advanced Research Lab in Biological, Cognitive, or Evolutionary Psychology
    • PSY395: Assessment

Note: Students are encouraged to design a research project relating to health psychology

  • Three Health-Focused Psychology Electives
    • PSY215: Positive Psychology
    • PSY220: Theories and Treatment of Addictive Behaviors
    • PSY305: Behavioral Neuroscience
    • PSY310: Health Behavior Change
    • PSY330: Human Sexuality
    • PSY355: Motivation
    • PSY377: Epigenetics and Behavior
    • Independent study in health psychology or internship (PSY401) in a health-related setting
  • Health-related Psy306 (subject to chair approval)
  • Two Public Health Electives
    • POL/SYN330: Global Health
    • PUH310: Epidemiology
    • HIS205 History of US Medicine/Public Health
    • HIS206 History of Urban Public Health
  • PHI260: Biomedical Ethics
  • SOC203: Human Services
  • SOC311: Domestic Violence
  • ANT303: Food and Culture
  • REL236: God & Doctors: Religion/Health/Medicine

Evolutionary Studies Minor
The Evolutionary Studies Minor is meant to create opportunities for faculty and students at Albright to (a) develop a deep understanding of evolutionary ideas, (b) conduct cross-disciplinary research using evolution as a synthesizing paradigm, and (c) contribute to novel ideas across disciplines guided by evolutionary reasoning. Contact Dr. Susan Hughes at 610-929-6732, shughes@albright.edu for more information.

  • Curriculum:
    • PSY 100: General Psychology
    • BIO 203: Genetics or BIO 152 General Biology II: Systematics, Ecology and Evolution
    • Two of the following:
      • PSY 319: Evolutionary Psychology
      • BIO 220: Evolution
      • ANT 342: Human Evolution
    • One of the following:
      • PSY 319, BIO 220 or ANT 342 (if not already taken from course 3 & 4 options)
      • PSY 205: Biological Psychology
      • PSY 350: Animal Behavior and Cognition
      • PSY 265/ANT 265: Ecological Psychology
      • BIO 319: Vertebrate Natural History
      • BIO 331: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
      • BIO 494: Mammalian Evolution
      • ANT 285: The Human Animal
      • ANT 320: Sex/Gender/Culture
      • PHI 140: Human Nature
  • Additional courses: If special Seminars or Special Topics classes arise that may be pertinent to this program, students may petition their advisors to have other courses count toward this program.
  • Includes opportunities for Independent Study and involvement in faculty research to fulfill program requirements.

PSY 100
General Psychology

This course introduces students to the broad discipline of psychology, focusing on theories and research explaining behavior. Major areas include, but are not limited to, biopsychology, motivation, sensation, perception, learning, cognition, development, stress and health, personality and psychopathology. May be used by non-majors to fulfill the general studies foundations social science requirement.

200-Level Courses: PSY 100 or permission of the instructor is required to enter all 200-level courses (except for PSY 220, PSY 290, PSY 294).

PSY 200
Research Design and Analysis I 

This course covers the basic principles of research design and analysis in psychology, including the formulation, testing and evaluation of empirical questions. Students learn methodological and statistical techniques utilized in the research process. Specifically, the course focuses on experimental designs and statistical techniques including descriptive statistics and preliminary inferential techniques (i.e., probability theory, z-tests and t-tests). The final product of the class for each student is an independent research proposal. Computers are used extensively; students learn to use word processing for APA writing and a statistical software package (SPSS). Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. (Fulfills general studies foundations quantitative reasoning requirement.)

PSY 201
Research Design and Analysis II 

This course is a continuation of PSY 200. Advanced statistical techniques, including factorial analysis of variance and nonparametric statistics (i.e., correlation, regression, chi-square) are covered. Nonexperimental designs such as surveys, observational research, case studies and program evaluation are also covered. Each student is responsible for conducting the research proposed in PSY 200, including data collection, analysis, oral presentation and a written empirical report. Computers continue to be used, such that students enhance their APA writing, statistical analysis and PowerPoint presentation skills. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory.
Prerequisite: PSY 200

PSY 205
Biological Psychology
A study of the evolutionary basis of human and animal behavior. The biological foundations of emotions, motivation, sleep and dreaming, and memory are examined. The nature-nurture issue is discussed as well as the extent to which mind and emotions create stress, sickness and health.

PSY 206
Social Psychology

The psychological study of human social interaction. Special consideration is given to the following topics: models of individual-society relationships; social cognition and attribution processes; social influence processes; prosocial and altruistic behavior; and antisocial behavior (models of human violence and social-cultural determinants of prejudice).

PSY 210
Health Psychology

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of the central concepts of adult health psychology, utilizing a biopsychosocial approach. The emphasis of the course is on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of illness as well as practical application and the ways in which information can and should be utilized in multidisciplinary care. Theory and content will be applied to specific acute and chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain and cancer. Prerequisite: PSY100 or PUH101

PSY 215
Positive Psychology

This course is designed to introduce the relatively new and emerging discipline of positive psychology. Rather than the more traditional focus of how individuals may experience difficulties with functioning due to psychopathology and other psychosocial stressors, positive psychology aims to determine what helps drive success and happiness. Theory will be applied from a cross-cultural perspective to increase understanding of specific emotions, cognitions, and behaviors that drive flourishing across a number of domains including work, relationships, and physical health.

PSY 220
Theories and Treatment of Addictive Behavior

This course is an overview of the major theories of addictive behaviors and their corresponding treatment approaches. The disease, cognitive, psychoanalytic, behavioral, multicultural, public health and prevention model explanations for the origins of addictions will be examined along with the applications of the various techniques used by each model in treatment.

PSY 230
Human Development
A normative, eclectic approach to the study of the individual from conception to senescence. A review of physical, sensorimotor, cognitive, emotional, personality, moral and social development through the life span.

PSY 240
Child Development
This course describes and examines the interrelationships among the physical, cognitive, social and emotional dimensions of human development from conception through adolescence.

PSY 250
Theories of Personality 

A review of the theoretical orientation to the study of personality as viewed by Freud, Jung, Adler, Horney, Fromm, Sullivan, Murray, Lewin, Allport, Maslow, Rogers and the existential psychologists.

PSY 265
Ecological Psychology
The objectives of this course are to understand the psychological origin and scope of current environmental problems and how they relate to our values, attitudes and behaviors; to study human experiences and behavior in their environmental, political and spiritual contexts; to question the human institutions and values that lead to environmental problems; and to explore the role of humans within the larger ecosystem.

PSY 271
Organizational Psychology
Focus in this course is on the study of the principles of human behavior in organizational settings. Emphasis is on the practical applications of topics such as training, group/team dynamics, leadership, decision making, communications, organization cultures and structures from a human resource professional perspective.

PSY 290
Human Behavior and Diversity Issues
This course examines the variety of ways in which one can construe issues of diversity. An introduction to issues including racial identity and affirmative action is provided. Students are exposed to models of understanding diversity from psychological, political, economic and industrial perspective. The contents of this course compel students to conduct a personal examination of their own belief systems as they critically explore the dynamics of race, ethnicity, culture and gender in American society. Students are challenged to broaden their perceptions of differences and increase their cultural knowledge and sensitivity.

PSY 291
Cross-cultural Psychology
We will focus on the critical and comparative study of culture on human cognition and behavior. Psychological diversity, cross-cultural interactions as a function of globalization, and the establishment of psychological universals will be explored. The utility of western psychological concepts, theories, and assessment instruments to explain human behavior and thought in different cultures and indigenous psychologies will be criticized constructively. You will be introduced to different perspectives, fundamentally different views of the world, and asked to draw connections between commonly held concepts and the assumptions that underlie them. This will involve learning about the traditions and values of other cultures, which may require you to role-play and entertain foreign ideas. We will also discuss cross-cultural research and evaluate scientific principles from different worldviews.  General Studies Connections-Global

PSY 305
Behavioral Neuroscience
This course focuses on the biological mechanisms that mediate behavior. Students will become familiar with the anatomy of the nervous system as well as the different research methodologies employed. The relationship between nervous system and topics such as motivation, learning, sensation, psychopharmacology and abnormal behavior is examined. Prerequisites: PSY 205 OR BIO 151

PSY 306
Advanced Topics in Psychology
This course offers special topics of current interest in psychology. The topic and course description are available in the department at least one month before registration. The student is to select this course only if there is a sincere interest in pursuing the topic at an advanced level. There are lectures and exams, but a major component is a term paper or similar scholarly project based on current literature. This course is an excellent basis for senior internships, independent research or departmental honors. This course may be taken more than once if the topics are different. It counts toward the psychology major, but permission of the department is needed for the specific topic to count in psychobiology or any co-major. The title of the topic will appear on the transcript.
Prerequisite: Individual topics will have different prerequisites.

PSY 310
Health Behavior Changes
Although most individuals know which behaviors are associated with greater longevity and health, many find it difficult to initiate and maintain such behaviors in the long term. This course is designed to build upon PSY 210 (Health Psychology) by providing an in depth examination of theories and treatment models of health behavior change. Topics will include motivation, attribution theory, risk perception, stage models, theory of planned behavior, social cognition models, and behavioral theory. Application of these models will be discussed in the context of the individual, patient-provider relationships as well as the role of media and technology in the context of population-targeted interventions. Prerequisite: PSY 210

PSY 319
Evolutionary Psychology

This course examines the hypothesis that the behavior, physiology and psychology of modern human beings have been shaped by our ancestral past.  The goal of the course is to review different human traits as evolved adaptations.  An emphasis is placed on human mating strategies and sex differences.  This course explores specific topics relating to mate choice, biological differences between the sexes, attraction, human reproduction, breeding patterns across species, jealousy and infidelity, physical markers of fitness, selection, inclusive fitness, and social order and interaction.
Prerequisite: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of instructor

PSY 321
Close Relationships

This course is designed to provide an overview of the field of relationship science. The course will primarily use a social psychological perspective to promote an understanding of close relationships. Various theoretical perspectives will be explored, including attachment theory, interdependence theory, evolutionary, and social cognitive approaches. Topics covered include relational needs; conflict; attraction; jealousy; communication; friendship; love; relationship development, maintenance and trajectories; and individual differences in relationship styles.
Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 330
Human Sexuality

This course examines the psychological and biological theories and research in human sexuality. This course will explore topics relating to sexual behavior, sex differences, sexual arousal and anatomy, gender issues, attraction and love, sexual deviations and problems, sexually transmitted diseases/infections, contraception, sexual victimization, and social and legal sex issues. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 340
Cognitive Psychology
The goal of this course is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the major theories, research methods, and findings in cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychologists ask questions about perception, attention, learning, memory, language, decision making, and other mental processes. We will explore the different ways in which cognitive psychologists study these mental processes and their psychobiosocial correlates, and learn to interpret their results. Also, since all of these processes are extremely relevant to your daily life, what you learn should help you understand and improve your own everyday thought processes. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 345
Language Development
This course introduces students to the area of language development. Focus is on the structure of language and linguistic theories in order to understand the task the child faces when acquiring language. Competing hypotheses about how children become fluent speakers of their language are examined. Additional topics to be considered include abnormal language development, bilingualism, animal communication and deafness.
Prerequisite: PSY 200 and PSY 230 or 240

PSY 346
Social Development

What are the beginnings of our understanding and feelings about ourselves and others?  How do our early relationships influence our later development?  This course will introduce students to social development from birth through early adolescence. We will begin with the major theories of social development, and progress to specific topics (e.g., temperament, attachment, moral development, gender development, friendship, and theory of mind).  Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 350
Animal Behavior and Cognition
An evolutionary approach to the study of human and animal behavior with emphasis on animal minds, including perception, attention, conditioning, representation, concept and rule learning, tool use, communication, self-awareness, awareness of the other, ecological significance, and adaptive function. The methods, research and theories of comparative psychologists, ethologists, and sociobiologists are discussed in relation to reproductive strategies, social behavior, aggression, and especially cognition. Includes discussion of the evolution of behavior as determined by selection pressures in the organism’s environment, the role of genetics and the environment in the development of behavior, and the pros and cons of ethological method of studying behavior in a natural environment versus a laboratory setting. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 355
Motivation
This course introduces students to the study of motivational theories of human behavior from several psychological perspectives including physiological, evolutionary, behavioral, cognitive, and social viewpoints. A variety of topics will be covered such as examining motivational incentives, emotion, physiological needs and the motivation for hunger, sleep, and sex, and the basic and applied principles of learning and conditioning as it relates to motivation. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 360
Sensation and Perception
The goal of this course is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the major theories, research methods, and empirical findings in sensation and perception.  Perception deals with the physical and mental processes that are involved in experiencing the physical world and making sense of our senses.  How do you see color? Or taste food? Or hear sound? Or feel pain?  We will explore the different ways in which psychologists study these mental processes (and others), learn the anatomical, physiological and neural underpinnings of these phenomena, and learn to interpret experimental results in this field. Perceptual processes make up our most basic interactions with the world, and they are therefore the base on which all other mental processes rest.  Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 377
Epigenetics and Behavior 

In this course, students will explore the growing field of epigenetics, with specific applications to human behavior, including a focus on how nature and nurture interact throughout the lifespan. Students will learn how altering DNA expression without altering the sequence of DNA can affect a variety of outcomes, such as mental health disorders, neurodevelopment, cancer, and many aspects of brain functioning. Students should leave this class with a full understanding of how epigenetics is applied to not just the academic world, but also how it applies to everyday life. This will be accomplished through in person discussions, online forums, and presenting primary peer reviewed research. Prerequisites: PSY 205 OR BIO 203

PSY 390
Adult Psychopathology and Behavior Disorders
This course focuses on a biopsychosocial approach to the classification, etiology and treatment of abnormal behavior patterns in adults. In addition, research and treatment strategies are explored within the context of clinical, counseling, school and forensic psychology settings. Emphasis is on adult psychopathology including anxiety disorders, affective disorders, schizophrenic disorders, personality disorders and substance abuse disorders.
Prerequisite: PSY 200

PSY 391
Child Psychopathology and Behavior Disorders
This course focuses on a biopsychosocial approach to the classification, etiology and treatment of abnormal behavior patterns in infants, children and adolescents. In addition, research and treatment strategies are explored within the context of clinical, counseling, school and forensic settings. The examples of exceptionalities emphasized include anxiety disorders, affective disorders, attention disorders, communication disorders, mental retardation, autism, schizophrenia, substance abuse disorders, conduct disorders and eating disorders. Behavior disorders affecting both individual development and relationships in the child’s home, school, and other social settings are examined critically.
Prerequisites: PSY 200 and PSY 230 or 240

PSY 394
Introduction to Counseling
This course introduces students to the process of counseling and psychotherapy. Clinical methods are explored through theory and application. Students actively learn various counseling techniques using the mediums of role-playing, peer critiques, videotaping and discussions. Ethical considerations are emphasized. The primary goals of this course are to provide the student with a deeper understanding of the work of clinical and counseling psychologists and to facilitate the acquisition of practical skills that can be used in the helping professions.
Prerequisites: PSY 230 or 240 and PSY 390 or 391

PSY 395
Psychological Assessment
This course introduces students to the methods of assessment/testing that psychologists use for children, adolescents and adults. This course explores issues of test construction, administration and neuropsychological tests. Issues of validity, reliability, cultural relevance and ethics are examined. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.
Prerequisites: PSY 201 and PSY 230 or 240 and  PSY 390 or 391

PSY 396
Advanced Lab in Social, Clinical, Health or Developmental Psychology
This course provides students with an opportunity to work in depth on a semester-long research project in the field of social, clinical, health or developmental psychology. Students will explore advanced methods and data analytic techniques. This course is designed to provide a bridge between students’ initial learning of statistics and research methods in PSY 200/201 and their participation in more advanced research via independent studies, ACREs, or senior theses. Prerequisite: PSY 201; additional prerequisites may be required depending on the topic of the course

PSY 397
Advanced Lab in Cognitive, Biological or Evolutionary Psychology
This course provides students with an opportunity to work in depth on a semester-long research project in the field of biological, cognitive, or evolutionary psychology. Students will explore advanced methods and data analytic techniques. This course is designed to provide a bridge between students’ initial learning of statistics and research methods in PSY 200/201 and their participation in more advanced research via independent studies, ACREs, or senior theses. Prerequisite: PSY 201; additional prerequisites may be required depending on the topic of the course

PSY 400
Independent Research in Psychology/Psychobiology
Students design and conduct a research project. Prior to beginning this course, students must have a research proposal approved by the Psychology Department faculty. The proposal must be based on a thorough literature review, use APA style, meet all APA ethical guidelines and be a realistic test of a major hypothesis. Data collection and analysis will be under faculty supervision. Results will be presented to a forum of psychology students and faculty. Selected papers will be submitted for presentation at professional meetings or for publication.
Prerequisites: PSY 201 and permission of instructor

PSY 401A
Field Work in Psychology/Clinical and Counseling Interests
A practicum in which students spend 10 or more hours per week doing an internship in a hospital, school or social service agency. Students meet two class hours each week with an adviser to discuss assigned readings, problems/questions and applications involving the internship placement. A major paper on a topic related to the particular placement is also required. Admission in this course is by permission of the instructor, and is open to juniors and seniors. Contact Professor Brenda Ingram-Wallace for details.
Prerequisites: Junior Standing and Permission

PSY 401B
Field Work in Psychology/Business and Human Resources Interests

In this practicum students spend 10 or more hours per week doing an internship at business or human resources sites. A major paper on a topic related to the particular placement is also required. This course is open to juniors and seniors.

PSY 405
Psychobiology: Seminar on Selected Topics
This is a discussion-based course that serves as a senior capstone class.  Students are expected to engage in extensive reading, participation in class discussions, and the writing of a comprehensive, capstone paper/project.  Individual seminars focus on psychobiological and/or evolutionary approaches to understanding human and/or animal behavior. Examples of seminar topics include consciousness, evolution and human sexuality, the neurobiology of mental health, and other current topics in biological psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 201

PSY 406
Psychology: Seminar on Selected Topics
This is a discussion-based course that serves as a senior capstone class. Students are expected to engage in extensive reading, participation in class discussions, and the writing of a comprehensive, capstone paper/project.  These seminars focus on contemporary issues and perspectives in psychology. Examples of seminar topics include infant cognition, decision theory, exercise and cognitive functioning, the self, social/cognitive development, current topics in social psychology, metacognition, healthy psychology, mental health, and multicultural psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 201

PSY 407
Applied Psychology: Seminar on Selected Topics
In these seminars, the applications of psychological principles and theories in business-industry, private-clinical practice, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and schools are explored. Examples of these seminars include clinical psychology, minority mental health issues, psychology of the African-American experience, human resource issues in business and industry, and special topics in child psychopathology. Prerequisite: PSY 201

Special Courses

Independent Study: May be taken at 200-, 300- or 400-level.
Internship: May be taken at 200-, 300- or 400- level.
Permission of the department is required for any of the above.

psychology

Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D.
Gwendolyn Seidman, Associate Professor of Psychology and Department Chair
610-929-6742
gseidman@albright.edu

psychology

Justin J. Couchman, Ph.D.
Justin J. Couchman, Associate Professor of Psychology
610-929-6738
jcouchman@albright.edu

psychology

Keith Feigenson, Ph.D.
Keith Feigenson, Assistant Professor of Psychology
610-921-7584
kfeigenson@albright.edu

psychology

Marsha Green, Ph.D.
Marsha Green, Professor of Psychology
610-921-7580
mgreen@albright.edu

psychology

Bridget A. Hearon, Ph.D.
Bridget A. Hearon, Assistant Professor of Psychology
610-929-6556
bhearon@albright.edu

psychology

Julia Heberle, Ph.D.
Julia Heberle, Associate Professor of Psychology
610-921-7581
jheberle@albright.edu

psychology

Susan Hughes, Ph.D.
Susan Hughes, Professor of Psychology; Director of Evolutionary Studies Program
610-929-6732
shughes@albright.edu

psychology

Brenda Ingram-Wallace, Ph.D.
Brenda Ingram-Wallace, Associate Professor of Psychology
610-921-7585
bingramwallace@albright.edu

Facilities, Equipment & Technology

Albright’s psychology research labs feature state-of-the-art equipment:

  • Eye-tracking software, which allows researchers to track participants’ eye movements as they view images to determine what they’re looking at and how long they examine different areas of an image
  • Physiological equipment to measure stress responses, including blood pressure, respiration, heart rate and galvanic skin response
  • EEG equipment to measure brain activity
  • Virtual reality equipment that allows researchers to place participants into an immersive 3D environment

 

Sara Isgate ’16 tests her eye-tracking experiment on Toe Aung ’17.

 

 

 

 

Shannon O’Hara ’17 looks at her brain activity using an EEG device.

 

Using a pulse oximeter to measure stress, Natalie Wilson ’17 was able to measure the extent to which virtual reality can help people relax.

 

 

 

Ashleigh Weidner ’15 doing human-animal interaction research with Blue, a certified therapy dog.

Meg Froehlich ’15 used a computer program to test for self-agency deficits in people who wore goggles that simulated the visual impairment caused by alcohol.

 

 

 

All psychology students take Research Design and Analysis, a class that involves designing and participating in an experiment. Here Okema Smith ’17 tests whether watching a funny or neutral video changes the perception of pain caused by putting your hand in ice-cold water.

 

 


What Can I do With a Major in Psychology?

 

Student Research

Our majors have many opportunities to work outside the classroom and get unparalleled preparation for graduate school and employment. Students in the psychology department are active researchers, and there are many ways for you to get involved in research. These include Albright’s ACRE program for collaborative student-faculty research, honors theses, conference presentations, and opportunities to apply for travel funding.

The Albright Collaborative Research Experience (ACRE)

The Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE) program allows students to work closely with a faculty mentor on a research project during the January interim or summer session. Accepted students receive a stipend and free on campus housing during the summer or interim.


Senior Thesis

All students enrolled in the Honors Program, as well as any students with a major GPA of 3.5 and a cumulative GPA of 3.25 may complete an honors thesis in their senior year.


Conference Presentations

Students in the psychology department frequently present their research at regional and national conferences:

  • Eastern Psychological Association
  • Association for Psychology Science
  • The Berks County Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference:
    • This conference takes place every Spring and is sponsored by the Higher Education Council of Berks County. The location of the conference rotates between the five Berks County Colleges: Albright College, Alvernia University, Penn State Berks, Kutztown University, and Reading Area Community College.

Students traveling to conferences to present their research may apply for up to $750 in funding to cover their expenses. Please visit this page for more information.


Here’s how one Albright psychology alumna who is now in grad school describes the Albright advantage:

“There were so many examples of times when I could tell that my Albright education was so far above anything that these other students had experienced that I was stunned. … I can’t even list all the examples of times when I could tell that Albright has prepared me for graduate school beyond compare. I am beyond not-nervous to go, but am instead incredibly excited because I know 100 percent that I am going to be able to learn everything I need to since I have the best foundation from undergraduate school that I possibly could have.”

Working with Dr. Hughes, Toe Aung ’17 has recently published articles in the Journal of Evolutionary Studies Consortium and Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. He has explored everything from mate selection and attractiveness to free will, and is now in a prestigious Doctoral Program in Anthropology.

Stephanie Michel ’17 investigated the effects of meditation on social connection and health with Dr. Hearon. She used the knowledge she learned, as well as many years of experience working in hospitals, to win a spot in a very competitive Public Health Scholars Program.

Ellie Herman ’15 and Amanda Havens ’14 worked with Dr. Seidman to find out why people overshare on Facebook. Ellie is currently pursuing a Master’s in Social Work, while Amanda is studying to be a Physician’s Assistant.

photo

Lauren Pupko ’14 discusses her senior thesis research on Perceptions of Criminal Behavior Based on Physical Appearance, Voice-Pitch Manipulation, and Gender. She is currently in a Clinical Forensic Psychology graduate program.

photo

John Vasko ‘15, Kristen Gerzewski ‘17, Toe Aung ‘17, Brianna Miller ‘17, and Elizabeth Place ’17 at the 2015 Eastern Psychological Association Annual Conference

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Amanda Osterlind ’15 presents her research on Perceived Education Outcomes at the Eastern Psychological Association in Boston. Amanda is now the Assistant Director of Admissions at Albright. Contact her if you have any questions!