Department of Psychology

Dr. Brian Cronk, Chairperson
cronk@missouriwestern.edu
(816) 271-4444
www.missouriwestern.edu/Psychology

The study of psychology provides a better understanding of human nature and of the behavior of oneself and others as individuals and as members of groups. The Department of Psychology offers either a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree. The department also serves other disciplines by offering courses that meet their needs.

Admission Requirements

Students intending to major in psychology should declare their interest to the psychology department so that they can be assigned a psychology advisor. Applications to the major in psychology are reviewed twice a year.  Applications should be submitted prior to Oct. 1 or prior to March 1. Applicants must have completed and received a grade of C or higher in PSY 101 General Psychology, BIO 101 Principles of Biology (or BIO 105 Principles of Organismal Biology), PSY 200 Intermediate Psychology, ENG 104 College Writing and Rhetoric, and general studies math before being accepted into the psychology major. Admission is competitive. A selection committee reviews all applicants and determines those who will be admitted. The information used in the selection process includes:

  1. grades earned in the courses necessary for admission consideration;
  2. grades in all college work to date;
  3. ACT scores.

Applications of transfer students (upon their request) will be given a preliminary review by the department chairperson before MWSU’s pre- or regular registration. Students are strongly urged to take PSY 300 Introductory Psychological Statistics and PSY 301 Psychology Research Methods during the first two semesters after acceptance to the major.

 

Psychology (PSY)

PSY 101  General Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Course Description: General information about psychology in everyday life, designed to correct misconceptions and to give the student a better understanding of self and others.

PSY 200  Intermediate Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Introduction to scientific psychology with emphasis on methodology and critical thinking about psychological ideas. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in ENG 104 or ENG 112.

PSY 210  Psychology of Personal Adjustment     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Principles and techniques for maintaining good mental health; the approach is practical rather than descriptive. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101.

PSY 220  Health Psychology/Stress Management     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: The psychological and social factors that influence health and disease. Attention is also focused on stress management, the health care system, and the evaluation of health-related research. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101.

PSY 222  Psychology of Gender     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: The similarities and differences between the female and male gender in the following psychological areas: role acceptance, gender identity, sexuality, parenthood, achievement and ability, personality, adjustment and mental health, and relationships. LAS International/Intercultural. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in ENG 104 or ENG 112.

PSY 230  Psychology of Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: The elements of interpersonal communication; emphasizes techniques of communicating thoughts and ideas, listening techniques, understanding meaning; designed to improve the students interpersonal relationships. LAS International/Intercultural. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in ENG 104 or ENG 112.

PSY 240  Life-Span Developmental Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: The cognitive, personality, emotional, social, and physical changes that occur from conception through old age. This course is intended primarily for majors in fields which require a developmental psychology overview of the life span. Credit for this course is not applicable toward a psychology major. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101.

PSY 250  Behavior Modification     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: The application of behavioral principles to human problems. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101.

PSY 260  Cross-Cultural Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Psychological issues from a cross-cultural perspective, enabling students to appreciate the diverse ecological and cultural settings in which their behavior is increasingly influenced by global diversity and the global economy. LAS International/Intercultural. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in ENG 104 or ENG 112.

PSY 270  Psychology of Religious Experience     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Psychological theories and research methods investigates the nature, antecedents, and consequences of religious experience and behavior. Emphasis on the scientific study of religion. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101.

PSY 283  Introduction to Psychological Research     Credits: 1-2

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Introduction to research in psychology. The student will be involved in an individual or team research project or assist with a faculty member's research. Prerequisite(s): Departmental approval.

PSY 290  Introduction to Forensic Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Examines the role of forensic psychologists in police training and selection, criminal profiling, jury selection, insanity and competency, child custody, and death penalty trials. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101.

PSY 300  Introductory Psychological Statistics     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Descriptive and inferential statistical procedures used in the social sciences. Both computer and manual computations will be performed. LAS Computer Literacy. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101, PSY 200, MAT 110 or higher, all with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in BIO 101 or BIO 105.

PSY 301  Psychology Research Methods     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Techniques and methods of scientific psychology; emphasizes construction of hypotheses, experimental design, data interpretation, and style of reporting research. LAS Ethics. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101, PSY 200, and PSY 300 all with grades of C or higher.

PSY 303  Psychology Research Team     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Applied learning experience in designing and conducting original research in psychology, data analysis, writing and presenting research results. LAS Writing; LAS Ethics. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101, PSY 200, PSY 300, PSY 301 all with grades of C or higher and demonstrated proficiency in the basics of APA format and SPSS.

PSY 309  Abnormal Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Descriptive and exploratory consideration of abnormal behavior, with a survey of past and present theories, classifications, and therapies. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in ENG 104 or ENG 112.

PSY 310  Industrial/Organizational Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Research and theories of I/O Psychology and applied to the problems and issues of the work place with an emphasis on the role of cognitive activity in work-related behavior. Prerequisite(s): PSY 200 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and credit or concurrent enrollment in BIO 101 or BIO 105. NOTE: Declared Organizational Communication majors are exempt from the prerequisites.

PSY 314  Technology and Society     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Participatory course emphasizing a particular problem and/or issue related to technology and society. Class participants will investigate the semester's theme using currently available technologies. Same as BIO 314, ENG 314, HUM 314, PSC 314. Prerequisite(s): Completion of Category one -- Basic Skills General Studies courses.

PSY 319  Child/Adolescent Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Life-cycle changes that occur from conception through early adolescence, emphasizing the origins and principles of normal development. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101, and either PSY 200 or EDU 225, and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. (Declared minors in Childhood Studies are exempt from the PSY 200/EDU 225 prerequisite.)

PSY 321  Adult Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Life-cycle changes that occur from middle and late adolescence through old age and death; explores the changes in physical and sensory development, intelligence, personality, friendships, and work and family roles. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and credit or concurrent enrollment in BIO 101 or BIO 105.

PSY 325  Psychology of Personality     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Dynamics of personality development and human behavior; emphasizes theories of personality. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in ENG 104 or ENG 112.

PSY 335  Learning     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: Major theories of learning in contemporary psychology, with a brief historical introduction. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 200 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in BIO 101 or BIO 105.

PSY 340  Cognitive Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall (even-numbered years).

Course Description: The field of Cognitive Psychology, including human learning, memory, problem solving, language, and attention. Artificial intelligence will be examined. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 200 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in BIO 101 or BIO 105.

PSY 345  Animal Behavior     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Introduction to the comparative method in exploring and classifying behavior in animals. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 200.

PSY 350  Introduction to Neuroscience     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Introduction to the relationships between brain, mind, and behavior; includes brain mechanisms underlying perception, motivation, emotion, learning, memory, and higher cognition. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 200 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in BIO 101 or BIO 105.

PSY 355  Sensation and Perception     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall (even-numbered years).

Course Description: Data and theory concerning sensory and perceptual processes; includes sensory mechanisms, neuropsychological bases of perception, perceptual development, and psychological phenomena encountered in the various senses. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 200 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in BIO 101 or BIO 105.

PSY 360  Motivation and Emotion     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (even-numbered years).

Course Description: Theoretical and research issues on such motivational topics as drive, goal, directedness, incentive, reinforcement, external stimulation, emotion, instinct, and self-actualization. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 200 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in BIO 101 or BIO 105.

PSY 365  Social Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: The individual in relation to society; includes theoretical foundations, socialization, social cognition, group dynamics, and leadership. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 200 with a grade of C or higher, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and credit or concurrent enrollment in BIO 101 or BIO 105.

PSY 400  Introduction to Psychological Testing and Assessment     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Basic principles of tests, measurements, and assessment. Detailed study and evaluation of some of the most useful and meaningful person assessment techniques. Professional and ethical standards as well as social issues related to testing. LAS Ethics. Prerequisite(s): PSY 300 or equivalent with a grade of C or higher.

PSY 410  Introduction to Counseling Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: An overview of counseling as applied in a variety of institutional settings; reviews differing counseling techniques and theories as well as types of problems encountered in counseling; includes survey of research related to counseling. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 325.

PSY 415  Intermediate Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Basic statistical procedures applied to behavioral research; focuses on the integration of the use of computers for data collection and analysis. LAS Computer Literacy. Prerequisite(s): PSY 301 with a grade of C or higher.

PSY 419  Animal Behavior     Credits: 4

Typically Offered: Fall (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: An introduction to the principles of animal behavior, including the evolutionary, ecological, physiological, and psychological basis of animal behavior. Topics will include social interactions, mating behavior, communication, learning, foraging, predator-prey interactions, and habitat selection. Three hours lecture and three hours lab. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in BIO 105, or a grade of C or higher in both BIO 101 and PSY 101.

PSY 420  Practicum in Psychology     Credits: 4

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Senior students in psychology apply their knowledge to an actual situation in the field. Prerequisite(s): Senior standing, declared Psychology major, and departmental approval.

PSY 430  History and Systems in Psychology     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: The major historical approaches to defining, organizing and explaining psychological phenomena. Prerequisite(s): PSY 300 with a grade of C or higher.

PSY 440  Human-Computer Interaction     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Understanding human behavior and cognition at the human computer interface level. Particularly, it examines the emergent interactive technologies, human computer interaction, user centered design, usability analysis, and usability testing. LAS Computer Literacy. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and CSC 201 both with grades of C or higher.

PSY 450  Independent Research/Project     Credits: 1-5

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Investigation of a research problem, project, or topic on an individual conference basis. Prerequisite(s): A minimum of 2.5 GPA and departmental approval.

PSY 460  Study Away in Psychology     Credits: 1-6

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: This course focuses on aspects of Psychology that require study away from the main campus. Examples include historical research or research in the lab of a faculty member at another institution. Content and objectives of the course will be negotiated before enrollment and approved by the department chair. May be repeated for up to 12 hours of credit. Prerequisite(s): Completion of 45 college credit hours and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

PSY 470  Child Psychopathology and Exceptionalities     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: An overview of the theories, research diagnosis, and treatment of childhood disorders, exceptionalities, and special needs. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101, PSY 200, and either PSY 240 or PSY 319. Declared minors in Childhood Studies are exempt from the PSY 200 prerequisite.

PSY 490  Senior Seminar     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: An integrative, capstone experience for senior psychology majors. Emphasizes written and oral analyses of current issues in psychology based on integrative reviews of empirical research. Students will review and prepare for the departmental exit exam, and take the exam as part of their course requirements. LAS Writing. Prerequisite(s): Acceptance to the Psychology major and PSY 301 with a grade of C or higher.

Brian Cronk (1993) Chairperson and Professor, Psychology. B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A., Bradley University; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Teddi Deka (1997) Professor, Psychology. B.S., M.A., Ph.D., Ohio State University.

L. Jo Elliott (2014) Assistant Professor, Psychology. B.A., University of Arizona; M.A., Ph.D., New Mexico State University.

Benjamin England (2014) Assistant Professor, Psychology. B.A., Western Connecticut State University; M.A., Texas Tech University.

Aron Gerhart (2012) Instructor, Psychology. B.S., Missouri Western State College; M.S., University of Central Missouri.

Kelly Henry (1999) Professor, Psychology. B.S., William Jewell College; M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jon Mandracchia (2015) Assistant Professor, Psychology. B.A., Truman State University; M.A., Ph.D., Texas Tech University.

Christine Ziemer (2012) Assistant Professor, Psychology. B.A., Lawrence University; Ph.D., University of Iowa.