banner USF Home College of Arts & Sciences OASIS myUSF USF A-Z Index

USF Home > College of Arts and Sciences > Department of Psychology

PSY4931 - Selected Topics in Psychology

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


Discoveries to Gadgets (Fall 2014, CRN 84021, PSY 4931-004)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Emanuel Donchin
Time: Wednesdays, 9:30 AM to 12:15 PM
Location: PCD 1134

Course Description

The class will examine the “translational process” where by practical applications are derived from scientific discoveries. The process will be examined in the specific context of the use of recordings of brain activity in the service of various applications.

We will examine several instances in which basic discoveries derived from Electrophysiological, and Radiological, Neuroimaging (i.e. ERP and fMRI) have been put to use in such diverse applications as Brain Computer Interfaces, Guilty Knowledge Tests and Workload assessment, to name a few. In each case, information about how the variance in brain activity can be controlled is used to create a system that can serve a very specific practical need. We will review the scientific foundation for most of the applications we shall examine, which is the P300 component of the human Event Related Potential (ERP). We will then examine the real world problems that were addressed by the various "gadgets" and the logic that is helpful in finding an optimal means for achieving the practical goal. The process of development, from pilot testing to full scale evaluation will be examined in some detail. 

The course material will be presented mostly in lectures and in readings in the primary literature. Where appropriate lab demonstrations will be provided. Students will be challenged to invent new applications; drawing on the rich base of discoveries in Cognitive Neuroscience. Students will undertake class projects that will each examine the possibilities of yet more novel applications of Neuroimaging data in practical applications.

Prerequisites

Prior completion of PSY 3213 is not required.

How to Enroll

No advance permission or course permit is required.




The Mind and the Brain (Fall 2014, CRN 84287, PSY 4931-007)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Emanuel Donchin
Time: Mondays, 9:30 AM to 11:15 AM
Location: PCD 2118

Course Description

This class is taught jointly with the Honors College class capstone class (IDH4000). This PSY4931 section has been created to allow 15 Psych Majors to join the class.

This class provides each of the students with the opportunity to examine in detail an issue in the Mind/Brain domain. The students are free to choose any topic that is related to the role of the brain in implementing the Mind and controlling behavior. Students will choose topics and develop a project focusing on their topic. Students can work either individually or in teams.

The course will begin with a series of lectures that will provide a broad survey of Cognitive Neuroscience highlighting the range of topics that match the students' interest. No text book is assigned to the class. The reading materials are all primary scientific papers focused on the student's projects. The relevant papers are uploaded to Blackboard.

Students may choose to work as teams of 2 or 3 students per team. A team will be collectively responsible for the team's poster, but each team member will write a separate term paper.

About half way thru the semester class sessions are devoted to cycles of student presentations of their projects as we work to develop the final presentation of the project at the course Grand Finale which is a "Science Fair" that will be held on the last Monday of the semester. Each team will prepare a poster presenting its project. The Science Fair is attended by staff of the Honors College, faculty and students from Psychology and your friends and relatives.

The poster presentations are prepared with Power Point and printed at the campus Computer Store. The printing cost is covered by the course budget.

Each student will have to prepare a written report of the project, at least 8 pages in length. Each member of a team will have to write an individual report.

Prerequisites

Prior completion of PSY 3213 is not required.

How to Enroll

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




Discovering Research in Psychology (Fall 2014 CRN 86248, PSY 4931-008)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Judith B. Bryant
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM
Location: PCD 2118

Course Description

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, provide basic research skills, and assist you in finding a research placement. 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 you wish to conduct research in the Department of Psychology and, if so, facilitate your involvement. This course will also 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 be eligible to apply for 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 Deparnt'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 (CVs, 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). 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, introductions of and questions for presenters, research brain teasers, a research ethics project, two short library resources projects, a curriculum vitae and personal statement project, and a final project discussing possible research placements.

Prerequisites

  • Introduction to Psychological Science and Research Methods with grades of B or better,
  • major GPA (including all attempts) of 3.5 or better,
  • overall GPA of 3.25 or better,
  • interest in learn the research process,
  • and consent of instructor.

Exceptions may be made students entering USF in summer or fall 2014 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 Decem ber 2015 to leave open the possibility of applying to the 2015 Psychology Department Honors Program

How to Enroll

First, complete the online Course Permit Request Form at http://psychology.usf.edu/forms/CoursePermit.aspx. Next, please send Dr. Bryant an e-mail (judithbryant@usf.edu) explaining why you think this would be a useful class and how you meet the selection criteria.




Substance Abuse (Fall 2014, CRN# 82817, PSY 4931-002)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Mark Goldman
Time: Fridays, 9:30 AM to 12:15 PM
Location: PCD 2124

Course Description

This course is designed to provide advanced undergraduate majors in psychology with the opportunity to experience a working laboratory. The mission of this laboratory is to study cognitive/information-processing factors in the etiology of alcoholism. Students will gain their experience in three ways: a) A one-hour presentation will be offered each week on the current understanding of the biological/genetic, sociocultural, and psychological influences on the development of alcoholism. Students will be expected to read published papers in advance of class meetings, and to be prepared to discuss this material. b) Students are invited to attend and participate in a weekly laboratory meeting of the research group, at which time current issues in the alcohol field will be discussed, important new contributions to the literature will be reviewed and evaluated, and new research studies will be planned. c) Students may have the opportunity to actually participate as researchers in ongoing projects. The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the actual process by which new information is obtained as part of the national scientific enterprise.

Prerequisites

PSY 3213 - Research Methods in Psychology

How to Enroll

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




Abnormal Child Psychology (Fall 2014, CRN 82127, PSY 4931-003)

Course Information

Instructor: TBA
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
Location: CHE 303

Course Description

The course focuses on the integration of theory, etiology, research, treatment, and prevention of developmental psychopathology. In addition to learning about specific types of abnormal behavior that infants, children, and adolescents experience, the course will also explore how to assess these problems, how to treat these problems, and how to work toward prevention of these problems. We explore many problems in youth, including but not limited to Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, the Autism Spectrum, Substance Abuse/Dependence, Eating Disorders, Learning Disorders, Developmental Delays, and Health-Related Problems. We also explore factors that put youth at risk for these problems as well as factors that seem to protect youth from developing these problems. Throughout the course, discussions will include a focus on ethical considerations while working with children, adolescents, and families. In keeping with a focus on the context of children’s and adolescents’ emotional/behavioral problems, issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status will be considered throughout the course material.

Whereas most courses in Abnormal Psychology (CLP 4143) spend a week or two on childhood-related disorders, this course devotes the entire semester to such issues. Therefore, you are welcome to take the course whether or not you have already taken Abnormal Psychology.

Prerequisites

PSY 3213 - Research Methods in Psychology

How to Enroll

No advance permission or course permit is required.




Child and Adolescent Social Development (Fall 2014, CRN 83318, PSY 4931-005)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Tiina Ojanen
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
Location: PCD 2118

Course Description

This course is a CREATTE Scholars research experience - class and offers a small class environment to learn about essential topics in social development. These include (but are not limited to) parenting, bullying and victimization, peer relationships at school, and gender and media development. Information and tips for graduate school and career choices are also provided. All majors are accepted. Completion of Research Methods -class is recommended but not required, especially for non-majors. The class is well suited for students who either wish to gain the latest knowledge on youth development, and/or envision a career and potential graduate training in developmental, school, clinical, or educational psychology, counseling, nursing, pediatrics, or related fields. Grade is based on varying assignments (e.g., exam, paper, research proposal and a related presentation). This class includes a Research Proposal assignment, which trains students to design and present scientific research in psychology, based on their own idea. Training, feedback, and supportive consultations are provided by the Instructors throughout the semester. Students interested in social development are encouraged to apply and developing professional skills for graduate school or careers with a BA degree are encouraged to enroll.

Special Features

There are some specific benefits for students enrolling to this class.

First, the small class environment enables the Instructor to provide personal consultation, feedback, and tips for professional development regarding graduate school and career choices.

Second, this class is one of the few classes at USF certified by the Undergraduate Research Office as a "research experience" class (due to the Research Proposal - paper): students completing this class will automatically also get a completion of 0-credit hour "research class" for their transcripts (no extra cost or work is needed). Also, students taking this class will present their proposals at the annual USF Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloqium, which provides a valuable professional experience and a notation to your Vita.

Third, students can use the completed Research Proposal assignment as a writing example in potential graduate school applications. Together with training for professional writing and presentation skills and tips for career development, this will help interested students to secure qualifications for excellence in graduate school and the professional market after graduation.

For further information, please contact Dr. Ojanen at tojanen@usf.edu.

Prerequisites

Prior completion of PSY 3213 (otherwise, permission from the Instructor is needed).

How to Enroll

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




Myths and Deception in Heath Related Research (Fall 2014, CRN 86242, PSY 4931-006)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. David Diamond
Time: Wednesdays, 3:00 PM to 5:45 PM
Location: PCD 1134

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 data papers, class participation and a term paper.

Prerequisites

None.

How to Enroll

First, interested students should email Dr. Diamond for permission to register: ddiamond@usf.edu. Then, complete the online Course Permit Request Form at http://psychology.usf.edu/forms/CoursePermit.aspx.




Judgment and Decision Making (Fall 2014, CRN 90310, PSY 4931-013)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Schneider
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
Location: PCD 2118

Course Description

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
  • Successful completion of Introduction to Psychological Science, Statistics and Research Methods
  • overall GPA of 3.2 or better

How to Enroll

You will need a permit to enroll into this class. To enroll, 1) complete the course permit request form online http://psychology.usf.edu/forms/CoursePermit.aspx and 2) ensure that you meet the above prerequisites.




The Self (Fall 2014, CRN 93156, PSY 4931-016)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Jamie Goldenberg
Time: Tuesdays, 9:00 AM to 11:45 AM
Location: PCD 2125

Course Description

The Self is a graduate level seminar that is open to a few undergraduate students a) with an interest in attending graduate school and b) who are ready to perform at the level of a graduate student. Although we will adopt a primarily social psychol ogical perspective, the self is a topic that is relevant and should be of interest to students from a wide variety of disciplines. We will focus on the following topics: self-awareness and its implications for self-regulation, the fallibility of self-perception and introspection, self-conscious emotions, motives for self-consistency, self-esteem, self-presentation, and self-growth, as well as reconciling the symbolic self with the reality of the physical body. Class meetings will be conducted in seminar format in which empirical and some theoretical papers will be discussed and critiqued. Needless to say, the quality of these discussions will depend on the thoughtful input by all participants. It is therefore expected that students come to class having done the reading, and ready not just to regurgitate the main points, but having digested and reflected upon the issues at hand. In order to facilitate discussion, for most weeks students will be asked to submit a brief reaction paper. In addition, students will also be expected to be the “discussion facilitator” for at least one class. There is also a more formal paper assignment consisting of an APA style research proposal on a topic related to the self.

Prerequisites

  1. Junior/Senior status
  2. ntroduction to Psychological Science, Statistics, Research Methods, and Social Psychology
  3. Research experience
  4. GPA of 3.5 or higher

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.




Human Memory (Fall 2014, CRN 93200, PSY 4931-017)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Ken Malmberg
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:00 AM to 9:15 AM
Location: PCD 2125

Course Description

Memory is a key construct in psychological science. Some may even argue that memory is the foundation for all understanding of behavior because if we take memory out of the equation, there is little left for psychologists to study, and a complete understanding of psychological phenomena is impossible without addressing questions concerning how memories are acquired, how memories are represented, and how memories are retrieved. These are the fundamental constructs organizing this course. Specific issues covered include: Working Memory, Learning, Episodic and Semantic Memory, Autobiographical Memory, Incidental and Motivated Forgetting, Amnesia, Childhood Memories, Memory and Aging, Eyewitness Testimony, and Improving Memory.

Prerequisites

PSY 3213 - Research Methods in Psychology

How to Enroll

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




Cognitive Neuropsychology (Fall 2014, CRN 82676, PSY 4931-001)

Course Information

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

Course Description

This course in human neuropsychology will focus on recent theoretical advances and empirical findings in understanding brain/behavior relationships. Given the broad nature of the topic, students will have an opportunity to shape the scope and specific content of the course. Each student will identify a specific topic of interest and throughout the semester I will work with each of you to help refine that specific topic for an in-class presentation as well as a final written paper. Each student will also present at least one article critique from among a range of content areas. The goals of the first 5-6 classes are to provide an overview of foundational material including: historical developments in conceptualizing brain/behavior relationships, coverage of a broad range of methodological approaches to studying brain/behavior relationships (i.e. lesion method, fMRI, ERP, PET, tDCT, TMS, DTI, etc.) in humans including the pros and cons associated with each and development of a fundamental working knowledge of human brain anatomy. The remainder of the course will focus on more in-depth coverage of specific content domains that will be determined based on student interests (e.g. social/emotional abilities, prospective memory, face processing, degenerative dementias, depression, autism, etc). The course is intended to include discussion of both patient populations as well as normal variations in cerebral asymmetry, sex and handedness and how investigations in these various populations have added to existing knowledge of how the brain processes information.

Prerequisites

  • Junior/Senior stats
  • Successful completion of Introduction to Psychological Science, Statistics, Research Methods and Physiological Psychogy
  • overall GPA of 3.2 or bettr

How to Enroll

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




Engineering Psychology (Fall 2014, CRN 93879, PSY 4931-192)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Nicholas Kelling
Time: Online
Location: Online

Course Description

Human factors is integral in today's design of nearly every product or service currently on the market. This class will focus on the psychological principles at the core of this rapidly expanding field. The class will provide you the opportunity to understand how psychology integrates with engineering, industrial design, and architecture to design human-machine systems. Psychology is a complex field of science. In this course we will survey the particular field of engineering psychology (e.g. biomechanics, human factors, and human machine interactions).

Prerequisites

Prior completion of PSY 3213 is not required.

How to Enroll

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