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Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Psychology emphasizes the fundamental importance of understanding human behavior and thought. It is a wide-ranging discipline, encompassing diverse fields of study. It is also, by its history and nature, an activist, applied discipline. Students focus on such diverse topics as human development, prejudice, aggression, abnormal psychology, health, and social interaction, not solely to acquire knowledge, but also with the intent of using this knowledge to better their community and their world.

At New England College, it is the goal of the faculty to merge practical skills with theoretical content and critical thinking abilities. One aim of the program is to prepare students for continued study at the graduate level. Another goal is to prepare students for careers in counseling and human services, business, education, community health, and political and social service. In combination with other programs of study (e.g., art, international business, communication, drama, environmental science, women’s studies, philosophy), a psychology major provides students with a variety of career options upon graduation. In all courses, students are challenged to move beyond their common sense and personal history and to acquire an understanding of how questions about human functioning are answered through systematic investigation and hypothesis testing. Moreover, the faculty make psychology meaningful and relevant to students so that what they learn can be applied to real life skills such as parenting, interpersonal relationships, health, conflict resolution, motivational and emotional difficulties, and personal development.

As one of the social sciences, psychology relates well to programs in business, economics, education, communication, political science, and sociology. As a health science, psychology is concerned with individual and collective well-being and, therefore, encourages important connections to medicine, law and environmental studies. Additionally, psychology is becoming more attentive to cross-cultural and international issues. At New England College, the Psychology Department is part of the Knowledge, Growth and Action (KGA) Collegium.

Faculty members in psychology have a wide range of research interests, including such areas as health, prosocial behavior, human sexuality, violence, attachment theories and environmental influences on childhood learning abilities and behaviors, life-span developmental issues, clinical psychology, existential, imaginal, and contemplative approaches to psychology, multicultural and cross-cultural considerations, and community mental health. Students are encouraged to pursue in-depth exploration of areas of personal interest, to present research at regional and national conferences and to collaborate with faculty on manuscripts and other aspects of research. Numerous internship opportunities are available to qualified students. The members of the psychology faculty work closely with students and are committed to assisting students in their efforts to realize their individual educational goals.

Four concentrations are offered in psychology: general psychology, developmental, criminal behavior, and clinical psychology.

Requirements to Major in Psychology (48 Credits)

Students must complete the Core Courses and one of the Concentrations described below. A student may not earn more than two “D” grades within the requirements of the major.

Psychology Core Courses (28 Credits)

  • PS 1000 – Overcoming Prejudice & Discrimination
  • PS 1110 – Introduction to Psychology
  • PS 2110 – Writing and Research in Psychology (also an LAS 4)
  • PS 2310 – Statistics for the Social Sciences or MT 2310 – Statistics
  • PS 4000 – Issues in Professional Practices – Psychology
  • PS/SO 4220 – Research Methods
  • One PS elective determined by student and her/his PS advisor

Psychology Concentrations (20 Credits)

Students must complete one of the following concentrations:

General Psychology Concentration

This concentration is designed for those students who would like to self-design a concentration in psychology.

Take five psychology (or closely related) courses of which three or more must be at the 3000
or 4000 level.

Students are encouraged to select an independent study and/or internship as one of the courses.

Developmental Psychology Concentration

  • PS/ED 2140 – Human Development I – Cross-Cultural Perspectives
  • PS 2150 – Human Development II – Cross-Cultural Perspectives
  • PS 2170 – Youth at Risk
  • or PS/CJ/SO 3110 – Juvenile Delinquency
  • PS/SO 3910 – Aging & Society
  • or PS 3210 – Abnormal Psychology
  • or PS 3160 – The Exceptional Child
  • PS 4830 – Independent Study in Psychology (Variable Credit)
  • or PS 4910 – Internship (Variable Credit)

Criminal Behavior Concentration

  • PS/SO 2050 – Social Psychology
  • PS/CJ/SO 3110 – Juvenile Delinquency
  • PS/CJ 3120 – Criminal Behavior and the Law
  • or PS/CJ 3170 – Forensic Psychology
  • PS/CJ/SO 4110 – Aggression Prevention
  • PS 4830 – Independent Study in Psychology (Variable Credit)
  • or PS 4910 – Internship (Variable Credit)

Clinical Psychology Concentration

  • PS 3310 – Culture & the Practice of Psychology
  • PS 3210 – Abnormal Psychology
  • PS 3650 – Theories of Personality
  • or PS 3660 – Social Identity Development
  • PS/SW 4320 – Fundamentals of Counseling and Therapy
  • PS 4830 – Independent Study in Psychology (Variable Credit)
  • or PS 4910 – Internship (Variable Credit)

Requirements to Minor in Psychology (24 Credits)

Students must take: PS 1110 – Introductory Psychology and 5 (five) additional courses in Psychology, two of which must be at the 3000 or 4000 level.

Course Descriptions

**All undergraduate courses are 4 credits unless otherwise noted.

PS 1000 Overcoming Prejudice and Discrimination

In overcoming Prejudice and Discrimination we will examine the forces that promote unity, theories and concepts related to prejudice and discrimination, and specific strategies to reduce conflict and promote respect and understanding among diverse populations. This course was created as a collaborative effort of faculty in criminal justice, education, kinesiology, psychology, and sociology, and has a strong applied (project-based) component. 

PS 1110 Introduction to Psychology

A survey course in the fundamentals of psychology. A wide range of topics are covered such as the biological bases of behavior, learning, motivation, human development across the lifespan, emotion, cognition, intelligence, personality, social interaction, abnormal behavior, methods of therapy, and stress and adjustment.

PS 2110 Writing and Research in Psychology

Building on the specific content from ‘Introduction to Psychology’ this course presents various ways psychologists approach this uniquely human science. This course takes a long historical view of the development of psychological types of thinking. It also discusses how social scientists engage in research with special attention to the scientific method. Students will learn to think critically about psychology research and culturally situate many of the attitudes and assumptions of psychology. Prerequisite: PS1110.

PS 2050 (SO 2050) Social Psychology

An examination of the way the individual’s behavior is affected by the behavior of others. Areas covered include aggression, conformity, attitude formation, methods of persuasion, altruism, environmental effects on behavior, prejudice and discrimination, and interpersonal attraction. Offered every other fall.

PS 2120 WEB U

In this course we view many videos from YouTube and other internet sites, including a number of talks from the TED series. The first videos stress important concepts about community, personal responsibility, and the critical place that art and beauty play in society. Later videos stress how education can succeed or fail to enlighten and move us, and how the ways in which we tend to our own health and those around us can shape our communities. Students also choose videos for the entire class to view, and all students write brief reaction papers on each of the videos seen.

PS 2130 (ED 2130) Educational Psychology

An examination of the practical implications of contemporary theories with emphasis on educational applications. Particular emphasis is placed on theories of learning, motivation, evaluation, and interpersonal relationships. An analysis of each topic is made in relation to the teaching/learning process. 

PS 2140 (ED 2140) Human Development I – Cross-Cultural Perspectives

This course studies human development from conception through adolescence. It examines the impact of heredity and environmental forces on the formation of the child. The history of developmental psychology, cross-cultural child rearing practices and gender role socialization are examined. Also included are specific topics, such as modern reproductive technology and its legal/emotional implications, the changing role of fathers, the daycare dilemma, the effects of divorce on the child, family systems, culture and learning, computers and learning.

PS 2150 Human Development II – Cross-Cultural Perspectives

A study of human development from late adolescence through old age in a variety of social/cultural settings. Examined are the challenges that confront us as human beings at different stages of growth and development, with particular emphasis on the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It is recommended that this course be taken after a student has completed Human Development I.  

PS 2170 Youth at Risk

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of at-risk youth. We will examine the definitions of risk, factors that contribute to it, categories of risk, and treatment approaches to working with young people at risk. To help prepare students for work with this population in careers in psychology, criminal justice, human services, or education, emphasis is placed on prevention and intervention techniques and programs. 

PS 2210 Human Sexuality

This course is a comprehensive overview of the many dimensions of human sexuality. Topics include love and intimacy, gender, sexual arousal and response, sexually-transmitted diseases, sexual expression, sexual coercion, commercial sex, sexual orientation, sexual problems and solutions, conception, pregnancy, and birth control. Students should gain the knowledge necessary to make informed, responsible decisions regarding their own sexuality and sexual behavior. This course contains explicit sexual material. 

PS 2230 (KI 2130/SM 2230) Psychology of Sport and Movement 

This course explores the influence of psychological skills on sport/movement performance as well as the reciprocal influence of participation on the individual. The general areas examined include motivation, confidence, stress/arousal/anxiety, attention, personality, anxiety, coping, social influences, and psychobiological aspects. Prerequisites: None, but not recommended for first year students. Offered every spring.

PS 2250 Happiness: Positive Psychology

This course takes a different approach to psychology. There are three components: an examination of the scientific research reviewing the strategies, theories, and practice associated with increased happiness; discussions with numerous individuals (religious leaders, life coaches, a director of an amusement park, a clown, etc.) whose occupations intersect with people’s attempts to be happier or more content; and a personal review of what makes each of us happy and how we can, using strategies developed and discussed in the course, become happier and more supportive of those around us. Prerequisite: PS 1110 or permission of the instructor. Offered every other fall. 

PS 2310 Statistics for the Social Sciences

The focus of the course is on the application of statistics to answer questions in social science. Students will be introduced to the theoretical aspects of probability, sampling, and hypothesis testing and taught to utilize statistical software for social science research. Topics include data file creation, data entry, descriptive statistics, basic inferential statistics, pictorial representation of data, and the interpretation of statistical analysis. Students will learn when to use the various statistics (including r, t, F, and χ2), how to interpret them, and how to write up an APA-style results section. Offered every spring.

PS 2510 Introduction to Interviewing

This course is based on the psychological principles underlying the processes of interviewing, and survey research. Students examine methods of surveying, interviewing, and data analysis in the fields of human services, marketing research, and personnel management.

PS 2610 (SO 2610) Leadership and Social Change       

The course is based on the belief that leadership skills can be learned and that they are essential for the successful achievement of individual and group goals in settings as diverse as social action projects and corporations. Case studies, role playing, and skills inventories inform our analysis of situations which require particular leadership styles and skills. Topics covered include: leaders and followers, communication, team dynamics, conflict resolution, ethics and morals, power and self-interest, risk-taking, goal setting, competition and cooperation, and leadership as service.

PS 2990 Intermediate Topics in Psychology

Examination of selected topics at an intermediate level. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

PS 3110 (CJ/SO 3110) Juvenile Delinquency

This course offers an in-depth analysis of the (anti-) social phenomenon of our time: delinquent youth gangs. We are currently witnessing a rise in the number of gangs, the degree of violence they exhibit, and their impact on American society. This course will combine psychological theory with the delinquents’ own accounts of their gang affiliation and behavior. This is a seminar-type course that requires some research and presentation on topics chosen by the student in agreement with the instructor. 

PS 3120 (CJ 3120) Criminal Behavior and the Law

The goal of this course is to identify and evaluate the psychological assumptions underlying laws and court decisions that relate to crime and aggression. Topic areas may include domestic violence, the admissibility of psychological evidence in litigation, the death penalty, the insanity defense, competency to stand trial, and civil commitment. Prerequisite: Any 2000-level CJ or PS course.

PS 3160 The Exceptional Child

This course will examine the developmental path and needs of children who are “more special than most.” We will examine the needs and capabilities of children on both ends of the spectrum, i.e., from developmentally delayed to gifted youngsters. Emotional, social, physical, and psychological issues will be addressed and researched. Prerequisites: PS 2140 or ED 2110, ED 2120.

PS 3170 (CJ 3170) Forensic Psychology

The goal of this course is to acquaint the student with the different psychological characteristics, levels of motivation, and different prognoses for criminal behavior. Homicide will be presented, not as a unitary event, but as a complex behavior, with different phenomenology, psychopathology, and dynamics. The course focuses on a number of case studies that illustrate the complex psychological issues involved in domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual homicide, and the role of mental illness in crime. In addition, the course covers the relationship of psychology to the practice of law and justice, and the role a forensic psychologist plays within the criminal justice arena. Concepts of personality assessment, expert testimony, and profiling of various offenders are discussed. Prerequisite: Any 2000-level CJ or PS course.

PS 3180 (ED 3180) Evaluation and Assessment

This is an intermediate level course, designed for those who are preparing for a career in education, psychology, counseling, social work, or other areas in human services. It examines the process of evaluating/assessing intellectual levels of functioning (from subnormal to gifted), possible learning disabilities, aptitude, achievement, and various aspects of personality as well as environmental effects on the individual. Issues of gender and cultural bias, the shortcomings of various assessment instruments and concerns regarding confidentiality are discussed. Legal and ethical considerations of classifications and individual program planning, including the development of IEP will be considered. Prerequisite: PS 3110. Offered every fall.

PS 3210 Abnormal Psychology

This course focuses on the causes, symptoms, definition, and treatments of psychological disorders. Emphasis is on the more serious forms of psychopathology. The complexities involved in judging normalcy (i.e. the forensic vs. clinical model); the correlation between delinquency and mental illness, deinstitutionalization, and the rights of the mentally ill are also studied. Prerequisite: PS 1110.

PS 3310 Culture and the Practice of Psychology

This course is an effort to critique the practice of psychotherapy, counseling, psychology research, and applied psychology through the lens of culture. From this critique, students will be given tools to develop sensibilities reflecting a commitment to grow in their understanding of diversity. Concepts such as race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, mental and physical abilities, socio-economics, profession, spirituality, and a host of other ideas will serve as touchstones for discussion and learning. Students will learn to think critically about themselves, their learning process, asking questions and research, and the prospects for making change in this world as well as examine assumptions that underpin the professions and practices of psychology. This course will branch into a myriad of other topics and fields to illustrate its points. Students will participate in active discussions and learn to work the ideas from the course into personal learning. Prerequisite: PS 1110 or SO 1110.

PS 3650 Theories of Personality

In this course, contemporary theories of personality (as they relate to personality structure and development) and the dynamics of behavior are examined in depth. A major writing project is required. Prerequisites: PS 1110 and one PS 2000-level course. 

PS 3660 Social Identity Development

This course examines the foundational models of social identity development including models of racial identity development, gender identity development, and models for the development of sexual orientation. The course also examines the ways in which these models may be applied within various psychological contexts such as clinical counseling. Prerequisites: KGA 1000 and PS 1110.

PS 3710 Environment and Behavior

This course examines the influence of the physical environment, both natural and built, on social and psychological behavior. Lecture, discussion and in class projects give the student both a theoretical and practical introduction to the field. Topics include: environmental perception and cognitive mapping, environmental stress, personal space and crowding, and a consideration of various types of environments including housing, schools, offices, and institutional settings. Prerequisite: PS 1110.

PS 3910 (SO 3910) Aging and Society

This course examines a broad range of issues related to aging and to the role of elders in our society. Topics covered include: attitudes towards aging, theoretical perspectives on aging, physical and psychological issues of aging, elder services and political and social impacts of aging. Guest speakers, class projects, discussions and lectures are geared toward providing the student with both a theoretical and practical introduction to the field of aging. Prerequisite: PS 2150.

PS3920 Community Mental Health: 

This course is designed to introduce students to the variations in mental health services available in the community.  It will include field trips, guest speakers and a community service project or hours that will enhance the students’ working knowledge of issues surrounding current mental health practices, needs and resources.  The course will help prepare the student for entering the workforce in the field in psychology, criminal justice or social work. Prerequisites: Must be Junior or Senior Level

PS 3990 Topics in Psychology

An in-depth examination of a selected topic at a fairly advanced level. May be repeated for credit with a different topic. Prerequisite: PS 1110 or permission of instructor. 

PS 4000 Issues in Professional Practice – Psychology

This capstone course prepares students for the challenges and responsibilities of professional practice and study in the field of Psychology. Discussion of ethics in research and practice, consideration of current controversies in the fields and exploration of future trends and opportunities within the discipline are included. Prerequisite: Junior standing; PS majors only. 

PS 4050 (SO 4050) Advanced Social Psychology

This is a seminar course providing an in-depth study of a selected aspect of social psychology. May be repeated for credit with a different topic. Prerequisites: PS 1110, PS 2050.

PS 4110 (CJ/SO 4110) Aggression Prevention

Initially we will briefly examine theories which focus on the causes of and methods to reduce aggression and violence. We will then discuss recent trends in violence. We will travel to a number of different facilities (which usually include the Youth Development Center in Manchester, NH, State Prisons in Goffstown, Concord, and Laconia, and other similar sites). Guest speakers will discuss their own experiences with victimization, and /or with attempts to reduce violence within their agencies. Prerequisite: PS or SO course at 2000-level.

PS 4220 (SO 4220) Research Methods

This seminar course involves an examination of the various research strategies used by psychologists and other social scientists. The advantages and disadvantages of each methodology are analyzed. Control, experimental and alternative designs, context, and standards for ethical research are discussed. A research project constitutes a major feature of the course. Students generate, conduct, write up, and present an original APA style research study. Prerequisites: PS 1110 or SO 1110, PS 2310 or MT 2310 and one PS or SO 3000-level course. Offered every fall.

PS 4250 Health Psychology

Health psychology examines how psychological factors contribute to the prevention of illness, the treatment of illness, the recovery from illness, and the maintenance of good health. Based on the assumption that “treating only the physical body is not enough,” psychologists are playing an ever-expanding role in improving health habits, increasing the effectiveness of medical care and delivery, and facilitating recovery. Prerequisites: PS 2000-level and PS 3000-level course. Offered every other spring. 

PS 4310 (WS 4310) Psychology of Women

This is a study of women’s psychological qualities and the many ways these could be utilized to achieve a full personhood. Also examined are cultural and psychological forces impinging on the lives of both men and women. Participants research the wealth of literature in the new scholarship of women. The course is open to students of either gender. Prerequisites: PS 1110 and two PS 2000-level courses. Offered every other year. 

PS 4320 (SW 3510) Fundamentals of Counseling and Therapy

This course involves an in-depth examination of the various approaches to the process of counseling and psychotherapy applied to a variety of life conflicts. Included are the accepted theoretical approaches to counseling and therapy as well as the specific skills of communication, listening and empathy. Prerequisite: PS 3210.

PS 4410 (SO 4410) Evaluation Research

Evaluation research involves the use of social science research methods to (1) identify and clarify social problems/needs in order to provide organizational guidelines for the design and development of appropriate social programs and public policies, and (2) assess the effectiveness and efficiency (costs vs. benefits) of these programs and policies. In this course students will learn about the basic principles and procedures of evaluation research, largely through the critical analysis of real and hypothetical case studies. In addition, students will be required to carry out a modest research project during the semester. Offered every other yearPrerequisite: PS 1110. 

PS 4810 Directed Study in Psychology

Topic to be determined by arrangement with departmental faculty. May be repeated for credit. Contract required. Variable credit (1-4cr).

PS 4830 Independent Study in Psychology

Topic to be determined by arrangement with departmental faculty. Contract required. Variable credit

PS 4910 Internship

Internships are available to psychology majors who wish to develop a clearer understanding of a specific profession and develop skills needed to work in the human services field. The student must exhibit strong emotional maturity, a strong sense of responsibility and be approved by the majority of the psychology faculty. The student is expected to work on-site for a semester and to fulfill academic requirements of the internship (research, written assignments, seminar attendance, etc.). Contract required. Variable credits.

PS 4960 Research Internship in Psychology

May be elected by a serious student displaying a strong interest in the process of psychological research. Students design and carry out a research project under the supervision of a qualified approved individual (a faculty member or an off-campus researcher). Students meet once a week with a faculty sponsor to discuss the research experience. Prerequisites: Junior or senior status and permission of instructor.

PS 4990 Advanced Topics in Psychology

An in-depth examination of a selected topic in psychology. May be repeated for credit with a different topic. Prerequisites: PS 1110, MT 2310, and one PS 3000-level course.