CANs List

Curriculum Action Notice


Academic Affairs Committee


November 13, 2002

This is a bulletin from the Academic Affairs Committee concerning proposed curriculum actions. Within the next 10 days, please forward any comments or concerns to the AAC Chair, Helen Biblehimer, Elliott Hall 203, ext. 4521,

The Department of Psychology has requested the following curricular change:

#1 Action: New Course Request: Psy 1191 Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology

Purpose and Nature of Course: After several years of assessing student learning outcomes, the Psychology department has identified a need to add a course designed to increase students' understanding of and proficiency with social science research methods. This includes topics related to experimental and survey design, literature search and evaluation, and data collection and analysis. This course is designed to provide an introduction to these areas prior to students taking one of the two required research courses (Psy 204 or 250).

Course Description for Catalog (limit to four sentences):
A practical, skills-based introduction to research methods in psychology including the scientific method, experimental design, survey construction, data collection, and data analysis. Students will be exposed to a variety of computer programs including Excel, SPSS, and Survey Pro as well as information technology resources including PILOT, Psych Info, EBSCOhost, and web search engines.

Prerequisites: (Courses which MUST be completed prior to taking this course)
Psy 1101, Psy 1151 or permission of instructor

List 1 - 3 sample textbooks for this course:
Conducting Research in Psychology; Pelham & Blanton, (2002)
Questionnaire Research: A Practical Guide, Patten, (2001)

Provide support for this request.
Students will be exposed to a variety of on-line and library resources, and complete a number of exercises designed to teach them how to research specific topics and evaluate information sources, both library-based and on-line.

#2 Action Course Change: PSY 3391 Abnormal Psychology

Purpose and nature of change:
The psychology department would like to have Psy 391 Abnormal Psychology accepted as a General Education course in the Social Sciences block. This course covers material of vital importance to all our students.

Course Description for Catalog (limit to four sentences):
Provides a general introduction to the field of abnormal psychology. Major models of psychopathology and the causes and symptoms of abnormal thinking and behavior are considered. Prerequisite: PSY 101.
List 1 - 3 sample textbooks for this course:
a. Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, Ronald Comer, 2002;
b. Abnormal Psychology, Durand and Barlow, 2002

Request that Course be considered for General Education Credit. Please check all applicable boxes.
a. __X___ Satisfy a Group Requirement - specify Group __Social Science

Provide support for this request.
The course provides coverage of a wide range of psychological disorders including diagnostic, etiology and treatment issues from a variety of models (social/cultural, psychodynamic, biological, humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, etc.)
Students also explore and evaluate the enormous amount of information on the Internet related to psychological disorders. One goal of the course is to encourage students to become actively involved in researching issues related to psychological disorders that may affect them, their friends or family members.
Students will demonstrate competency in one or more of the following:

  • Understanding of differences in customs, practices, and values among various cultural groups.
    • How different societies and cultures define "abnormal" and how this relates to the European/American medical model of mental illness.
    • Alternative models for explaining "abnormal" behavior
  • Understanding of individual and social behavior.
    • Covers the many symptoms, causes, and treatments of mental illness and psychological disorders.
    • Focus is on the impact of the disorder on both the person, their family, and the society.
  • Understanding of social science theories and research methods.
    • Discusses how psychologists and other mental health professionals conceptualize and study psychological disorders including how to assess disorders, the diagnostic rubrics involved, how research is conducted to determine causes and evaluate efficacy of treatments, etc.
    • Reviews the different psychological theories of abnormal behavior including the psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, biological and social/cultural models.


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