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PSY 4931 Selected Topics, Community Practicum and Community Internship Course Information

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


Child and Adolescent Social Development (Spring 2019, CRN 13277, PSY 4931-005)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Tiina Ojanen
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
Location: PCD 2125

Course Description

This course focuses on youth aggression and prosocial development, and services various graduate school and career paths. Among other topics, we will cover developmental predictors and adjustment implications of various forms of aggression, school bullying and victimization, peer influences on aggression (e.g., social power and popularity) and examine key topics in prosocial development, such as real life implications of attachment security, morality, and prosocial behaviors. We will also cover "hot" topics, such as school shootings, the "dark triad" traits underlying aggression, and the latest research on types of prosocial behaviors. All majors are accepted; all students are encouraged to have sufficient background on basic concepts in Psychology and cognitive/academic skills to read and understand research articles, and take notes in class. This class supports various potential graduate school and career paths, including but not limited to 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 students read research articles and related material to complete this class and participate in class discussions in a small seminar environment. Class room teaching using ppt slides is also included. The grade is based on exams and a paper assignment. Materials will be provided by the Instructor (no text book).

Prerequisites

Recommended minimum criteria

  • Introduction to Psychological Science and Research Methods or Statistics with grades of B or better
  • major GPA (including all attempts) of 3.2 or better
  • overall GPA of 3.00 or better
  • motivation to learn about the course content
  • strong reading, writing and analytic skills

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



The Self (Spring 2019, CRN 18134, PSY 4931-012)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Jamie Goldenberg
Time: Mondays, 2:00 PM to 4:45 PM
Location: PCD 2124

Course Description

In this course we will discuss a topic that most people find pretty interesting – the self. Of course, the self is pretty complex and has amassed a tremendous literature (a recent PSYCHinfo search on the self revealed over 200,000 entries!), and therefore we can only begin to explore the breadth of this topic. Although we will adopt a primarily social psychological perspective to examine a number of issues related to the self, the self is a topic that is relevant and should be of interest to students from a wide variety of disciplines. Some topic that will be covered are self-conceptions, self-awareness, self-esteem, motives for consistency, coherence, and structure, self-perception and perceptions of will, the self in relation, the body and self, and self-determination and growth. Class meetings will be conducted in seminar format in which empirical and theoretical papers will be discussed and critiqued. The quality of these discussions will depend on the thoughtful input by all participants. In order to facilitate discussion, students will be asked to submit brief reaction papers. In addition, students will also be expected to be the "discussion facilitator" for at least one class. Finally, there is also a more formal research proposal on a topic related to the self.

Prerequisites

Though this is a graduate level course, undergraduates may enroll with permission. Priority will be given to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Junior/Senior status
  • Introduction to Psychological Science, Statistics, Research Methods, and Social Psychology
  • Research experience
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • An interest in applying to graduate school

How to Enroll

First, interested students should email Dr. Goldenberg for permission to register: jgoldenb@usf.edu - the email should explain why they are a good fit for the course and address the recommended criteria. Then, complete the online Course Permit Request Form at http://psychology.usf.edu/forms/CoursePermit.aspx.


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Psychology of Crime (Spring 2019, CRN 18528, PSY 4931-013)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Edelyn Verona
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM
Location: PCD 1145

Course Description

The topic of crime is both inherently fascinating and complex. Offender characteristics vary, from lifetime criminal activity among persons coming from communities marked by poverty to white collar crime among persons who appear successful at the surface. Considerable progress has been made over the past two decades toward a scientific understanding of factors contributing to the development and maintenance of such behaviors and toward distinguishing various manifestations of offending. This course will provide an overview of psychological theories and research on these topics, with an emphasis on individual-level factors (e.g., personality, adversity, biology/genes, mental health).

As a point of reference for understanding criminal deviance more broadly, the first part of the course will focus in detail on the phenomenon of psychopathic personality, or "psychopathy," in which early-developing constitutional factors are theorized to play a predominant role. This section will cover the meanings and diagnosis of psychopathy, different psychopathy subtypes, causal theories, developmental/childhood origins, and manifestations in women. Case examples and training on how to rate psychopathic traits will be a big component of this section.

Extending from the phenomenon of psychopathy, the second part of the course will consider psychological understandings of extreme and disturbing forms of criminal behavior (mass murder, sex offending and serial killing). The course will explore how to make sense of serial killing using theoretical and scientific knowledge as a foundation.

The in-depth understanding of criminal behavior and offenders will be accomplished through readings, case presentations, lectures, guest speakers, assignments, and in-class discussions. Case histories will also be used as learning tools. This will be a discussion-based course, so self-motivation, curiosity, dedication to doing the readings, and interest in class engagement are requirements.

Learning objectives:

  • Recognize diagnostic and theoretical distinctions between psychopathic personality, antisocial behavior, externalizing, and psychiatric disorders.
  • Describe differing expressions of the psychopathic personality and other forms of criminal behavior.
  • Identify developmental factors, causal (genetic/environmental) contributors, psychological aspects, neurobiological processes/mechanisms, and socio-cultural perspectives relevant to psychopathy, violence and criminal behavior.
  • Understand the intersections of mental health, disorders, and crime/violence.
  • Discuss how basic psychological data come to bear in understanding extreme presentations of criminal behavior, including in mass killers or serial killers.

Prerequisites

Completion of PSY 3213.

How to Enroll

No advance permission or course permit is required.


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Human Factors (Spring 2019, CRN 21895, PSY 4931-020)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Michael Coovert
Time: Mondays, 5:00 PM to 6:50 PM
Location: CPH 2022

Course Description

Human factors is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data, and other methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. A focus of the field is the application of psychological and physiological principles to the design of products, processes, and systems. Goals of human factors include the reduction of human error, increasing productivity, and enhancing safety and comfort with a specific focus on the interaction between the human and the thing of interest.

The field is a combination of numerous disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, engineering, biomechanics, industrial design, physiology, anthropometry, interaction design, visual design, user experience, and user interface design. In research, human factors employs the scientific method to study human behavior so that the resultant data may be applied to the four primary goals. In essence, it is the study of designing equipment, devices and processes that fit the human body and its cognitive abilities.

This course is offered jointly with the college of public health and is comprised of both graduate and undergraduate students. The course is conducted as a seminar with grades determined via several short projects, a class presentation, and class participation. We will have a class field trip to Sun N Fun which is the second largest gathering of general aviation in the world to see human factors/ergonomics in practice.

Prerequisites

  • PSY 3213 - Research Methods in Psychology
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Junior/Senior Standing Psychology Major

How to Enroll

Complete the online Course Permit Request Form at http://psychology.usf.edu/forms/CoursePermit.aspx.


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Discovering Research in Psychology (Spring 2019, CRN 22635, PSY 4215-001)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Judith B. Bryant
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
Location: PCD 2125

Course Description

This course meets the University’s FKL Capstone requirement.

Did you know that neuroscientist Joseph Ledoux first became interested in brains while working in a butcher shop? Or that physicist Richard Feynman (perhaps you’ve heard of him from The Big Bang Theory) loved solving real-world problems and invented a way to cut string beans efficiently when he worked in a hotel kitchen? Noted developmental psychologist Fran Horowitz got some of her theoretical ideas working as an elementary school teacher, one of the few jobs acceptable for women at the time. You will learn about these and other research journeys in Discovering Research in Psychology, a course designed to help you on your own potential research journey.

In this course we will explore the science of psychology. The course is designed to stimulate your interest in becoming an active participant in the research process and provide basic research skills. It also aims to familiarize you with some of the kinds of research that faculty and students in the Psychology Department conduct and how and why you might become involved. A third objective of the course is to help you decide whether to apply to the department’s Honors Program and ultimately apply to graduate school for a research-related degree. Students who successfully complete this class will have a greater chance of being admitted to the department’s Honors Program.

The course will focus on three broad themes: the people, problems, and processes of research. You will learn what kinds of individuals are involved in research, the skills and characteristics they bring to the research endeavor, their professional training, and how they became involved in research. With respect to problems, you will learn about the range of topics often encountered in psychological research. You will also consider the personal and scholarly challenges researchers face in addressing their questions of interest. Finally, you will consider how to identify a good problem, frame a research question, and design a strategy to try to answer the question. In doing so, you will see how systematic inquiry occurs in psychology and be exposed to some methods used for conducting psychological research and how they yield knowledge. As part of the course you will also learn how to analyze research information critically.

Participants will hear presentations by some of the Psychology Department’s most outstanding faculty and student researchers and may take field trips to research sites. To prepare for these classes, you will read journal articles by the researchers and review the researchers’ curriculum vitae (academic resumes). You will also read scholars’ accounts of how they became involved in research. You will reflect on, discuss, and write about these presentations and readings. In addition, you will gain experience in some parts of the research process (e.g., dealing with ethical considerations). You will interview researchers in Psychology and related disciplines. Finally, you will explore options for becoming involved in research yourself.

Requirements include active participation in the class, short weekly papers about presentations and readings, interviews with researchers, research brain teasers, research ethics training, library resources projects, a curriculum vitae and personal statement project, a paper discussing yourself as a possible researcher, and a final exam.

Prerequisites

Selection Criteria

  • Introduction to Psychological Science and Research Methods with grades of B or better,
  • major GPA (including all attempts) of 3.2 or better,
  • overall GPA of 3.0 or better,
  • interest in learning about the research process,
  • and consent of instructor.

Exceptions may be made for students entering USF in spring 2019 from another college or university.

Recommended Criteria

  • strong writing and analytic skills,
  • an interest in becoming involved in research in psychology,
  • intent to graduate no earlier than December 2020 to leave open the possibility of applying to the 2020 Psychology Department Honors Program

How to Enroll

First, complete the online permission to register form found on the Psychology Department website. Next, please send Dr. Bryant an e-mail (judithbryant@usf.edu) explaining briefly why you think this would be a useful class and how you meet the selection criteria.


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Controversies in Medical Research (Spring 2019, CRN 24564, PSY 4931-022)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. David Diamond
Time: Mondays, 2:00 PM to 4:45 PM
Location: ALN 252

Course Description

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 at http://psychology.usf.edu/forms/CoursePermit.aspx.


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Mood Disorders (Spring 2019, CRN 18117, PSY 4931-006)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Jon Rottenberg
Time: Thursdays, 12:30 PM to 3:15 PM
Location: PCD 2122

Course Description

Of all the psychiatric disorders, unipolar depression is by far the most common. Each year, more than 100 million people worldwide develop clinically recognizable depression. Indeed, because of its prevalence, depression has been referred to as "the common cold of psychopathology." During the course of a lifetime, it is estimated that between 8 and 18 percent of the general population will experience at least one clinically significant episode of depression, and that approximately twice as many women than men will be affected by this disorder.

The main objective of this course is for us to delve closely into the multi-faceted nature of mood disorders, with an emphasis on the unipolar depressive disorders. In conducting this examination, we will focus primarily on psychosocial aspects of depression, but will also examine biological and genetic factors associated with depression. We will review the symptoms and epidemiology of depression, and will discuss diagnostic and methodological issues associated with the study of this disorder. We will continue with an examination of psychoanalytic, cognitive, biological and genetic, behavioral, and interpersonal theories of depression, and will discuss empirical research associated with each of these approaches. We will then discuss approaches to the treatment and prevention of depression. We will also consider depression as a function of culture, gender, and the lifespan. Students should leave this course with an appreciation of these topics (both current knowledge and remaining gaps in our knowledge). Finally, students will conduct independent research on topic of their choosing.

Class periods will primarily involve discussion, with my lecturing minimized as much as possible. Course requirements include completing assigned readings and submitting brief weekly critiques, contributing to class discussions, and completing a written class project.

Prerequisites

Recommended criteria

  • PSY 3213 - Research Methods in Psychology
  • CLP 4143 - Abnormal Psychology
  • Interest in mood disorders and mood disorders research
  • Interest in doing the work to make this a successful discussion-based seminar.

How to Enroll

First, interested students should email Dr. Rottenberg for permission to register: rottenberg@usf.edu - the email should explain why the course would be useful for them and address the recommended criteria. Then, complete the online Course Permit Request Form at http://psychology.usf.edu/forms/CoursePermit.aspx.


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The Creative Brain (Spring 2019, CRN 18118, PSY 4931-007)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Thomas Sanocki
Time: Mondays, 2:00 PM to 4:45 PM
Location: PCD 1134

Course Description

The Creative Brain: Innovations in Art, Design, and Music

Creative minds find unique ways to adapt to a challenging and sometimes harsh world, as evidenced by an amazing history of human innovation in art, design, and music. We will appreciate and discuss some remarkable creations. And we will ask psychological questions, like… what mental and neural processes underlie such creation? We will look at creative products and consider the psychological processes involved. The emphasis will be on recent innovations in art (1870-now), design, and modern music (1960-now). The exact topics and innovations will depend largely on participant interests.

Seminar participants should expect to make several presentations, read and discuss research and other articles, and do independent scholarly research on their topics of interest. There will be several short papers leading up to a longer independent paper.

Presentation topics in past years include…
"What does the brain tell us about abstract art?"
"Where creativity resides: The generative power of unconscious thought"
"Ian Curtis and the music of Joy Division"
"Creative and Cognitive Benefits of Interacting with Nature."
"Rise of Creativity following brain damage"
"Art of Resistance"

This year’s seminar is an expansion of the well-received "Art Design and Brain" seminar in previous years.

Prerequisites

None.

How to Enroll

Permission is required for this seminar. I am looking for interested students who can make good presentations and do independent scholarly research. A variety of perspectives is encouraged. Please e-mail me with a short description of your interests and relevant background, as well as any questions: sanocki@usf.edu.


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Neurobiology of Addiction (Spring 2019, CRN 11675, PSY 4931-008)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Cheryl Kirstein-Hurst
Time: Tuesdays, 11:00 AM to 1:45 PM
Location: PCD 2124

Course Description

This course is designed to have detailed discussions and presentations on addiction and all kinds of addictions, addictive behaviors and neuroanatomical substrates and potential treatments will be discussed.

Students will each pick an area of addiction (e.g., a particular drug or behavior (e.g., gambling, video gaming etc.)). Each participant will give a classroom powerpoint presentation on the topic. Following a 30-40 minute presentation the class will participate in a question and answer period. Grades will be based on the presentation and classroom participation.

Prerequisites

Completion of PSB 3444 Drugs and Behavior and/or PSB 4004C Physiological Psychology

How to Enroll

Complete the online Course Permit Request Form at http://psychology.usf.edu/forms/CoursePermit.aspx.


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Community Practicum in Mental Health (Spring 2019, CRN 18140, CLP 4941)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Vicky Phares
Time: Wednesdays, 5:00 PM to 5:50 PM (plus 8 hours/week in a community agency)
Location: PCD 1147

Course Description

This course is a service learning course where undergraduate students will be assigned to volunteer in a pre-approved community agency for 8 hours/week and will attend a one-hour in-person lecture/discussion. Course material will cover ethics, confidentiality, issues related to mental health, and working in community agencies. Reflective writing assignments will be included in the course. Readings will be posted to Canvas and there is no required book.

Community Practicum in Mental Health is taught in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Community agency options include mental health facilities, substance use disorder treatment facilities, social service agencies serving impoverished youth and elderly, residential facilities for children in foster care, and prevention programs for youth at risk for mental health problems. On-site supervision will be provided for at least one hour/week of the 8 hour/week commitment. Many agencies require background checks (approximately $70); some require a background check as well as drug screening (approximately $125); some require malpractice insurance ($35).

Once students are approved for the class and given a permit to enroll, they will be asked to rank their preferences for the agency where they would like to gain this experience. Many of the background checks and paperwork will need to be completed long before the start of the semester.

For that reason, priority will be given to students who have enrolled in this class at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester. We hope to have all of the background checks and paperwork done well before the beginning of classes, so that students can gain the full experience of the internship during the semester.

Priority will be given to graduating seniors.

If a student is already volunteering at a community agency and wants to join the course and receive credit for new volunteer hours at that site (8 hours/week plus course attendance and course work during the semester then please email Dr. Phares (phares@usf.edu).

Please note that no more than 3 hours of PSY 4913 Directed Study, PSY 4970 Honors Thesis, CLP 4941 Community Practicum, or IDS 4942 Community Internship (combined) can count toward the major. Additional credits will count toward general elective credit towards the 120 hours required for the degree. 3 hours of CLP 4941 or IDS 4942 can count toward the minor in Psychology.

Note that internship credits do not count against the calculation of excess credits.

Prerequisites

None.

How to Enroll

Course is by instructor approval only. Please e-mail Dr. Vicky Phares with the following information (phares@usf.edu):

  • Your name
  • Your e-mail address
  • Your U number
  • When you plan to graduate
  • Also, please have a professor, graduate student, or other professional (such as a supervisor from work, even if not psychology-related) confirm the following statement via e-mail to Dr. Vicky Phares (phares@usf.edu): "I support                     ’s request to be assigned to an internship at a community social service agency."


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Community Internship (Spring 2019, CRN 20950, IDS 4942-002)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Vicky Phares
Time: N/A
Location: N/A

Course Description

The Community Internship (IDS 4942) credit option is offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions whereby students can work at pre-approved internship sites or they can seek out their own internship sites and then register for variable amounts of credit depending on their desired work schedule. Students are responsible for securing their own internship. There are no additional requirements for IDS 4942 other than working at the internship (e.g., no class meeting, no assignments, etc.).

Once students secure an internship opportunity (either on their own or via the pre-approved internship list), they should contact the USF community internship instructor to get approval for that internship experience. If not already on the pre-approved list, all internship sites need to be vetted and approved by a faculty member in the USF Department of Psychology.

On-site supervision will be provided at the internship by a professional with at least a Bachelor’s degree and two years of experience in their field. On-site supervisors will need to confirm the students' position at the beginning of the semester and again confirm the students' acceptable work at the end of the semester. For Summer, 2018 and Fall, 2018, the instructor is Dr. Vicky Phares: phares@usf.edu.

Credits are as follows: 1 credit (for 3 or more hours/week at the internship = 45 total hours), 2 credits (for 4 or more hours/week at the internship = 60 total hours), or 3 credits (for 8 hours/week or more at the internship = 120 total hours), or 4 credits (for 11 hours/week or more at the internship = 165 total hours).

Because the summer term is shorter than the fall or spring, the suggested hours per week for Summer Session C are as follows: 1 credit (for 4 1/2 or more hours/week at the internship = 45 total hours), 2 credits (for 6 or more hours/week at the internship = 60 total hours), or 3 credits (for 12 hours/week or more at the internship = 120 total hours), or 4 credits (for 16 1/2 hours/week or more at the internship = 165 total hours).

The Community Internship (IDS 4942) is offered on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading basis.

Internships can include experiences in any topic that is relevant to psychology, including but not limited to: Mental health, substance abuse, behavioral health, legal issues, forensic psychology, jury selection, community problems, therapeutic communities, industrial organizational psychology, business psychology, human resources, animal behavior, applied behavior analysis, test development, the assessment process, applications of basic research, psychosocial oncology, health sciences, child development, social processes, aging studies, and the elderly.

Please note that no more than 3 hours of PSY 4913 Directed Study, PSY 4970 Honors Thesis, CLP 4941 Community Practicum, or IDS 4942 Community Internship (combined) can count toward the major. Additional credits will count toward general elective credit towards the 120 hours required for the degree. 3 hours of CLP 4941 or IDS 4942 can count toward the minor in Psychology.

Note that internship credits do not count against the calculation of excess credits.

Prerequisites

None

How to Enroll

Course is by instructor approval only. Please send the following information to Dr. Vicky Phares (phares@usf.edu)

  • Your name and U number
  • Your e-mail address
  • The semester in which you wish to enroll in the course
  • The number of credit hours in which you will be enrolling
  • The name of the internship site and name of your supervisor at the internship site

For Summer session only, if you wish to have an internship site assigned to you based on your interests, then please e-mail Dr. Vicky Phares with the following information (phares@usf.edu)

  • Your name
  • Your e-mail address
  • Your U number
  • The semester in which you wish to enroll in the course
  • When you plan to graduate
  • Also, please have a professor, graduate student, or other professional (such as a supervisor from work, even if not psychology-related) confirm the following statement via e-mail to Dr. Vicky Phares (phares@usf.edu): "I support                     ’s request to be assigned to an internship at a community social service agency."


course list