PSY 4931 Selected Topics

Important: Some Selected Topics courses require the successful completion of Research Methods in Psychology, PSY 3213. Check the individual course information for details.


Brain and Behavior (Fall 2021, CRN 82124, PSY 4931-002)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Ruth Atchley

To best understand human behavior we need to study the complex interconnected systems within the brain; likewise, to study the brain it helps to understand the broad and varied behaviors and cognitions that the human is capable of. This course offers an introduction to how cognitive psychology and neuroscience have met to understand the principles and mechanisms of brain function that give rise to human cognition. This Brain and Behavior course will give you a full introduction to this field of Cognitive Neuroscience. The course will present the methods employed by cognitive neuroscience and their application to the study of perception, attention, memory, language, action, emotion processing, object recognition, and more executive functions such as artistry. The course will also provide a functional analysis of disorders in terms of cognitive theory through studies of lesion localization and neuroimaging of the intact brain.

Prerequisites

  • PSY 3213 with a grade of C or higher
  • Junior or senior standing
  • Majors only

How to Enroll

No advanced permission or course permit is required.


course list



Career Development in Psychology (Fall 2021, CRN 90619 & 96016, PSY 4931-021, 026)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Paul Atchley

This course will give psychology students the skills to prepare for success in an ever-changing career environment. The course will be divided into three sections: Knowing Yourself, Knowing Your Options and Knowing How to Succeed. In "Know Yourself", students will have the opportunity to understand the fit between their personal values and careers, the skills employers are looking for now, explore the world of current career options, and understand the need for emotional intelligence and multicultural awareness in the 21st century workplace. In "Knowing Your Options", students will learn how to work with career preparation professionals, develop a plan to participate in extracurricular activities, plan for successful internships, and understand the role of graduate school and how to prepare for a successful application. In the final section, "Knowing How to Succeed", students will develop winning résumés and cover letters, learn and practice how to interview successfully, and bring all of their work together culminating in achievement of a Career Management badge from the USF Career Services Career Readiness Badging Program. Each section will culminate with an individual online coaching session with the instructor and review of work completed in that section. Grading will be based upon successful completion of course assignments, with opportunities provided to redo work graded as below standard.

Prerequisites

None

How to Enroll

No advanced permission or course permit is required for students who have completed PSY 3213. If you have not completed PSY 3213, you will need to submit a Course Permit Request to enroll in the course.

Inquiries
For any questions, please contact Dr. Paul Atchley at patchley@usf.edu.


course list



Child and Adolescent Social Development (Fall 2021, CRN 82469, PSY 4931-005)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Tiina Ojanen

This course focuses on youth aggression and prosocial development. Among other topics, we will cover developmental predictors and adjustment implications of forms of aggression, school bullying and victimization, peer influences on aggression (e.g., social power and popularity), "dark triad" traits and school shootings. We will also examine key topics in prosocial development, such as real life implications of attachment security, morality, empathy and modern research on forms of prosocial behaviors. All majors are accepted, but all students should have sufficient background on basic concepts in Psychology. Students also need to have sufficient cognitive/academic skills to read and understand research articles, and to actively take notes during class. Teaching based on ppt slides is included. Materials will be provided by the Instructor (no text book), but students are required to print and actively mark (highlight, underline) the readings. Before enrolling, students are encouraged to reflect upon their overall life situation (e.g., overall course load, transportation, living circumstances) to evaluate whether they have sufficient time and ability to successfully complete this "graduate type" seminar course. Dr. Ojanen is glad to provide further information (see below). This course supports various graduate school and career paths, such as those in developmental, social, school, clinical and educational psychology, public health, sociology, behavioral analysis, counseling, nursing and pediatrics. Students may also refer to this course as special expertise in graduate school applications, as they develop expertise in specific areas of research in youth development.

Prerequisites

Recommended minimum criteria

  • Introduction to Psychological Science and Research Methods or Statistics with grades of B or better
  • strong reading, writing and analytic skills
  • ability and motivation to actively attend class throughout the semester
  • major GPA of 3.2 or better; overall GPA of 3.0 or better
  • genuine motivation to learn about the course content
  • time management skills, professionalism, personal maturity

How to Enroll

No advanced permission or course permit is required.

Inquiries
For any questions, please contact Dr. Tiina Ojanen at
tojanen@usf.edu.


course list



Close Relationships (Fall 2021, CRN 86268, PSY 4931-521)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Anthony Coy

This course offers an overview of the means by which individuals develop and maintain close relationships. The course will examine various orientations to the study of close relationships and explore issues such as physical attraction, trust, intimacy, love, and commitment.

Prerequisites

PSY 3213

How to Enroll

No advance permission or course permit is required.


course list



Controversies in Medical Research (Fall 2021, CRN 84489, PSY 4931-006)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. David Diamond

This course focuses on poorly designed and biased health-related research which has led to misinformation on nutritional and medical treatment guidelines. Students will have the opportunity to explore how big business interests have corrupted health-related research. The following are examples of myths that are covered in the course: A vegetarian diet is healthier than a meat-based diet; High cholesterol levels cause heart disease; Cholesterol lowering drugs (statins) are beneficial for health; Red meat and a high fat diet increase the risk of heart disease and cancer; A daily aspirin reduces the risk of heart disease; Fluoridated water is beneficial and safe; Annual mammograms prolong life; The low carbohydrate diet is unhealthy; The flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu incidence and duration. There are no exams. Grading will be based on the student’s oral presentations of book chapters and research papers and class participation.

Prerequisites

None

How to Enroll

A permit is not required for students who have completed PSY 3213. If you have not completed PSY 3213, complete the online Course Permit Request Form.


course list



Judgment and Decision Making (Fall 2021, CRN 86899, PSY 4931-013)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Schneider

This course provides a broad perspective for understanding and improving human judgment and decision making based on theoretical and empirical advances in the field. The course focuses on the interplay between motivational and cognitive processes that influence the quality of our judgments and decisions. Topics include how we recognize and evaluate situations, how we deal with risk and uncertainty, influences from our previous experiences and our desires, and tradeoffs we make between immediate and longer term goals. Throughout, we will explore evidence suggesting how psychological systems help us to learn, adapt, and to efficiently make decisions, while at the same time leave us prone to various forms of bias and vulnerable to certain kinds of errors in our judgments and decisions. Students will be actively involved in exercises and assignments to increase insight into their own judgment and decision processes.

Prerequisites

  • Junior/senior status (preferred)
  • Overall GPA of 3.2 or better (preferred)
  • Successful completion of PSY 3213 Research Methods with a B or better

How to Enroll

No advance permission or course permit is required for students who have completed PSY 3213.


course list



Occupational Health Psychology (Fall 2021, CRN 90050, PSY 4931-012)

Course Information

Instructor: Joseph Regina

This course seeks to provide an overview on Occupational Health Psychology, which is the application of psychological principles to improve the wellbeing and health of employees. Traditionally, psychology research related to the workplace had focused largely on work outcomes, such as performance, but more recently greater attention has been paid to how work relates to the health and wellbeing outcomes of employees as well. In line with this growing interest, a new subfield of psychology called Occupational Health Psychology has formed to examine how work relates to these novel and important outcomes. The current course provides an introduction to this field and knowledge on how aspects of work relates to outcomes such as stress, physical illness, safety, self esteem, family outcomes, and general wellbeing.

Prerequisites

PSY 3213

How to Enroll

No advance permission or course permit is required.


course list



Psychology of Film (Fall 2021, CRN 90128, PSY 4931-020)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Jamie Goldenberg

The purpose of this course is to use a combination of social psychological theory and research and feature length films to explore the determinants of important forms of human social behavior. Although theory and research in social psychology has taught us a great deal about human behavior, there is a great deal more to be learned. All creative expressions that attempt to portray human thoughts, feelings or actions, whether through the medium of prose, poetry, music, painting, theater or film, involve assumptions and assertions about the psychological determinants and consequences of human behavior, but perhaps none do so in as vivid, impactful, and accessible a manner as film. Films will therefore be combined with social psychological theory and research to explore the current knowledge concerning topics such as the existential realities of the human condition, culture, aggression, obedience, prejudice, the body, sexual attraction, and relationships. Warning: Some of the films are R-rated and portray violence, sex, partial nudity, prejudice and racism, and death.

Prerequisites

PSY 3213 - Research Methods in Psychology

How to Enroll

No advance permission or course permit is required.


course list