Department Chair: Paula J. Martasian, Ph.D.
Modern Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes and, as such, will interest anyone intrigued by the "why" of emotions, personal achievements, interpersonal interactions and cultural practices. It is an invaluable resource for anyone planning a career in which success is dependent upon understanding human motivations. Ultimately, the science of behavior and mental processes enables us to take an objective approach to analyzing complex personal and social problems and separate valid ideas from pseudo-psychology.
Psychology informs students to understand themselves better, to grow as a result of the experience, and to gain a healthy respect for others. Psychology also offers students an opportunity to study multifaceted issues that illuminate the total human experience. These issues include emotional and intellectual growth, developmental processes and changes throughout the life cycle, social forces affecting individual and group behavior, deviation from mental health, human cognition, the quantification and measurement of behavior, ways of learning, biological factors, motivational forces, optimal human functioning and what makes humans unique in this world.
Our program seeks to individualize student's education based on the major subareas in current psychology with our student's interests, talents and passions. Coursework is based on the American Psychological Association guidelines and faculty areas of expertise. Motivated and independent learners are encouraged to augment their coursework with independent research and fieldwork. We encourage students to work closely with their advisor to make the most of their education and to reach their fullest potential.
In the courses offered by the department and, perhaps as important, in the personal one-on-one approach we take to our student's education outside of the classroom, we strive to carry on the goals of the University Mission. Our Goal is to nurture the enduring values of honesty, hard work, altruism, compassion, dignity, respect and service necessary for harmonious living in today's global family. The Psychology Department's goal is to assist our students in developing the skills and drive they will need to prepare themselves for the challenge of lifelong learning.
Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program Leading to the Master of Science in Behavior Analysis
Salve Regina University is the first in the U.S. to offer an accelerated program of study that leads to both a bachelor's in Psychology and a master's degree in Behavior Analysis in five years and summer work. This program is designed for the University's highly motivated, academically talented and qualified undergraduates with a required grade point average of 3.30, are 6 credits ahead starting their senior year or permission of the Program Director. Current undergraduates must complete the application process by February 15 of the junior year.
Undergraduate students considered for the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree program are conditionally accepted into the master's program and can take up to four graduate courses (12 credits) during their senior year and adjacent summers. Of these 12 credits, six elective credits can be applied to the undergraduate degree. Final program acceptance is contingent upon successful completion of the undergraduate degree and satisfactory academic progress in the graduate courses in the senior year. The total number of credits required to complete the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree program is 150, with 12 graduate credits completed during the senior year of undergrad and 24 graduate credits in the fifth year. Undergraduate students may register for no more than two graduate courses per semester and for a total of no more than four graduate courses while having undergraduate status.
Requirements for the Psychology Major or Minor
Students considering the Psychology major or minor should contact the department early in their University career to discuss their long-term goals, suggested sequences for courses, and the departmental requirements, as it is a great advantage to complete certain required courses such as PSY-100 Introduction to Psychology in their freshman year and PSY-325 Statistics and Research Methods I and PSY-326 Statistics and Research Methods II in their sophomore year (see below). Failure to get started early may jeopardize a student's ability to complete the major within the traditional four-year undergraduate career. We highly recommend semester study abroad experiences in the junior year or summer study abroad programs.
Psychology Student Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the program, students will be able to:
Goal 1: Knowledge Base in Psychology
1.1 Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology
1.2 Develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains
1.3 Describe applications of psychology
Goal 2: Knowledge, Comprehension and Application of Research Methods
2.1 Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena
2.2 Demonstrate psychological information literacy
2.3 Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving
2.4 Interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research
2.5 Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry
Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World
3.1 Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice
3.2 Build and enhance interpersonal relationships
3.3 Adopt values that build community at local, national, and global levels
Goal 4: Communication
4.1 Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes
4.2 Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes
4.3 Interact effectively with others
Goal 5: Professional Development
5.1 Apply psychological content and skills to career goals
5.2 Exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation
5.3 Refine project-management skills
5.4 Enhance teamwork capacity
5.5 Develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation
This workshop is designed to provide a broad overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder from many different facets, including diagnosis and characteristics, history, causes, treatments, societal attitudes, and neurodiversity.
This course is designed to provide the student with a general overview of this diverse field. It surveys such areas as basic research design and quantification in the behavioral sciences, growth and development throughout the life cycle, cognition and learning, motivation and emotion, personality and conflict, maladaptive behavior, adjustment, and mental health. The course integrates the cultural, ethnic and gender factors influencing human actions and thus provides an important global framework for enhancing the students' understanding of behavior, behavior change, and cognitive processes. This course is the prerequisite for several psychology courses listed below.
This course is designed to provide the student with a general overview of this diverse field while participating in 28 hours of service in the Newport are identifying the psychological issues and needs of the population served. Enrollment is contingent on co-enrollment in a designated PSY-100 3 credit course. PSY-100 surveys such areas as basic research design and quantification in the behavioral sciences, growth and development throughout the life cycle, cognition and learning, motivation and emotion, personality and conflict, maladaptive behavior, adjustment, and mental health. The course integrates the cultural, ethnic and gender factors influencing human actions and thus provides an important global framework for enhancing the students understanding of behavior, behavior change, and cognitive processes. In PSY-100S students will have assignments where they connect their service component to specific psychological theories, principles, and /or research findings encountered in the readings in PSY-100. This 1-credit course experience is open to all majors.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of behavioral principles, with a focus on the application of the principles to areas of social significance. Topics include measurement of behavior, acquisition of new skills, assessment and reduction of behavioral problems, and areas of research and practice.
Child growth from conception to adolescence is explored to gain an understanding of individual differences, healthy personality development, and maladjustment. Typical behavior patterns and common transient divergences from these patterns will be discussed with reference to their hereditary and environmental antecedents.
This course studies the experience of adulthood, beginning at the onset of adolescence, by examining the tasks which are unique to different periods of adult life. The physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and intellectual developmental processes during the adult years are examined in depth.
Social Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of how our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are influenced by other people. Through Social Psychology you will come to see the power of the situation in influencing behavior, the potential power of the person in overcoming this influence, the importance of cognition in determining how we react to the situation, and the wide-ranging applicability of social psychological principles.
This course focuses on the production and application of psychological research findings and methods to law-related issues. The course looks at what psychology has discovered about how people think and behave and how these discoveries can be useful when making decisions about how law should be shaped, administered, evaluated and improved.
This course provides students with an opportunity to see how prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination can occur across a wide variety of settings and target many different populations. Students will learn how such beliefs and behaviors produce their debilitating effects and what might be done to prevent or remedy such effects.
In this course, students will survey the most important theories of personality in contemporary psychology. The way each theorist views the structure, dynamics, and development of personality is emphasized to facilitate comparisons. Additionally, each theory will be evaluated as to its validity and the reasonableness of its underlying assumptions. Some discussion of applications is included.
The purpose of this course is to persuade students of the importance of critical thinking in matters both academic and personal. Its two primary objectives are to help students distinguish science from pseudoscience, by examining how scientific principles can be used to evaluate claims about a variety of phenomena, from auras and astrology, to ESP and UFOs, and to help students recognize how thinking can be easily biased and distorted.
This course will examine the nature of culture and its psychological correlates. Topics will include perceptions of reality, world view, cognition, motivation, personality development, values, beliefs and psychopathology based on current research on psychology across cultures. This course will also examine the effects of technology on personality development as observed by non-western traditional societies.
In this course, students engage with the major theories, empirical research, and current controversies on contemporary families. Contemporary families are notably diverse, varying in terms of their racial/ethnic makeup, number of parents, gender of parents, biological relatedness among family members, and many other factors. In turn, modern families are the subject of considerable debate and discussion, with questions centering on whether "the family" is in transition or in decline, whether certain families are more valid than others, and so on. This course examines the varied contextual forces and social locations that are fundamentally intertwined with, and serve to shape, family life (e.g., race, social class, immigration status), as well as the many forms that contemporary families take (e.g., single-parent families, lesbian/gay-parent families, adoptive families). Special attention is paid to timely but understudied topics related to family life, such as the influence of reproductive technologies (e.g., donor insemination) and information technologies (e.g., social media, text messaging, the Internet) on family life. Emphasis is placed on the major theoretical perspectives that have been used to understand and theorize about families. Finally, media representations of diverse families, as well as resources aimed at addressing the needs of contemporary families, are examined and critiqued based on the empirical literature.
This course is designed to examine the theoretical frameworks, research findings, neuropsychological links and applications in cognition in regard to the higher mental processes. Topics include, but will not be limited to, cognitive neuroscience, attention and consciousness, perception, memory, knowledge representation, language, problem solving and creativity, decision-making, and intelligence. Students will learn about the questions posed and research methods employed by Cognitive Psychology to facilitate their study of these aforementioned subtopics.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of behavioral principles, with a focus on basic research and theories of learning and behavior. Topics include theories of respondent and operant conditioning, observational learning, and the relationship between biological and environmental influences on behavior.
This course must be taken with a designated section of PSY-320. This course is intended to familiarize students with learning principles and theories, specifically respondent and operant conditioning. The course will introduce basic and applied research in these areas with a focus on applying the learning principles in real-world situations. Students in this course will complete 28 hours of service applying behavioral principles to address socially significant problems in the area.
This course integrates curricula from introductory Statistics and Research Methods courses into a two-sequence, year-long course. Both descriptive and inferential statistics principles and procedures will be taught in the context of applied research practices including the development and implementation of student group research projects. Computer lab session will introduce students to statistics software to aid in the computation of statistics.
This course is the second of two courses which continues to integrate curricula from introductory Statistics and Research Methods. Both descriptive and inferential statistics principles and procedures will be taught in the context of applied research practices including the development and implementation of student group research projects. Computer lab session will introduce students to statistics software to aid in the computation of statistics.
This course is designed to familiarize the student with the various types of psychological tests, including, but not limited to, those of aptitude, achievement, personality, vocational interest, and intelligence, and their uses and limitations. Problems in measurement and the concepts of reliability and validity will be discussed.
This course will explore current research and theory on the psychology of mindfulness. Students will learn about the history and basic principles of mindfulness and common mindfulness-based interventions. The course will also provide students with exposure to current research on the relation between mindfulness and psychological wellbeing and the psychological mechanisms underlying the benefits of mindfulness practice.
This course will investigate the major theoretical perspectives in: biological, behavioral, and cognitive and current applications. Topics will include, but not be limited to, expectancy value, social motivation, attribution, drives, learning, incentive motivation, physiological mechanisms of arousal, and physiological mechanisms of regulation, and emotions. Emphasis will be placed on theory, basic research, and current applications of each topic studied.
Organizational behavior explores the theories and techniques for understanding human behavior in the workplace, including effective communication, organizational and personal goals, diversity, change management and more. Leadership, teamwork, job enrichment, productivity and motivation are also discussed as key elements for creating the most effective organizational culture and environment.
Biological Psychology is defined as the study of the biological bases of behavior and cognition. It is concerned with the biological factors underlying behavior and cognition with special emphasis on the nervous and hormonal systems. In this course, the research methods and strategies of Biological Psychology will be examined, while exploring the major mechanisms of synaptic transmission and holistic nervous system functioning. Additional topics will include, but not be limited to, the neurological substrates of particular behaviors, e.g., the sensory systems (vision, hearing, taste, et. al.), sleep, emotion and stress, ingestive behavior and mental disorders. Analysis will explore behavioral, cognitive, affective, anatomical, neurochemical, cellular, electrophysiological and communication mechanisms of the human nervous system.
This course examines the characteristics of abnormal behavior and mental disorders. Topics include historical foundations, present-day theoretical perspectives, diagnostic and research techniques, signs and symptoms of mental disorders, and an in-depth exploration of several currently widespread conditions, including, but not limited to, the anxiety disorders, somatoform and dissociative disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. The current edition of the multi-axial Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will serve as the explanatory basis for the description and analysis of these dysfunctional conditions.
This course is designed to investigate the current research, theories and modern perspectives in the area of optimal human functioning. Topics will include, but not be limited to, flow, the psychology of happiness, optimism, well-being theory, and creativity. Emphasis will be given to applications of the material under study for making a meaningful life experience. We will be reading current articles and several books in the area of optimal human functioning. Students will be expected to contribute in a seminar style format, researching, reflecting and making informal and formal presentations.
This course investigates a topic of current interest in the field of psychology. The topics to be covered and the focus of the course will be specified at the time of registration. This course may be repeated for different topics.
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the roles and functions of a counselor, to understand the main counseling strategies, and to provide a framework for understanding the counseling process while developing basic counseling skills.
Students in this course will practice hands-on skills that are required in research and practice in Applied Behavior Analysis, will develop a deeper understanding of concepts introduced in ABA I or Psychology of Learning and will become familiar with foundational and current research in behavior analysis.
This course must be taken with a designated section of PSY-410: Applied Behavior Analysis II. Students enrolled in this course will complete 28 hours of community-based fieldwork in which they will apply the concepts learned in class to real-world situations.
This applied practicum is designed to provide students supervised experience working with populations of need and practicing the material learned in their coursework. To accommodate a wide range of student interests, multiple sites are available that specialize in different areas of applied behavior analysis and work with different populations.
This capstone course surveys some of the historical events which have shaped modern psychology. The major perspectives of psychology explored include Structuralism, Functionalism, Behaviorism, Gestalt, Psychoanalysis, Humanistic, Biological, Cognitive and Positive Psychology. We will explore the philosophical roots of modern psychology. The political and historical events contributing to the zeitgeist that supported the development of each perspective will be analyzed. When looking at the impact of central figures in the field a more inclusive approach will be utilized. This capstone course will culminate with integrative and comprehensive written and oral presentations of the current status, political orientation and possible future directions of the modern perspectives of psychology.
Independent Study/Community Experience allows the exceptional junior or senior Psychology major in good academic standing an opportunity to conduct independent research or participate in a community experience under the supervision of a member of the department faculty. Topics to be investigated for a research focused independent study, objectives to be met, and the criteria for grading must be prearranged during the semester prior to the one in which the study will be conducted. Students must make their own arrangements for a community experience, including plans for an on-site supervisor who agrees to evaluate them at the end of the semester. A minimum of eight hours per week is required for 3 credit hours. Community experiences, although taken for credit, are evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis.