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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.


Discovering Research in Psychology (Spring 2018, CRN 23904, PSY 4215-001)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Judith B. Bryant
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM
Location: PCD 1145

Course Description

This course meets the University’s FKL Capstone requirement and is designated a USF Service-Learning Course.

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). 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 fall 2017 or spring 2018 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 2019 to leave open the possibility of applying to the 2019 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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The Mind and the Brain (Spring 2018, CRN 11204, PSY 4931-002)

Course Information

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

Course Description

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 Canvas.

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

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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Psychology of Crime (Spring 2018, CRN 19341, 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. Variants of criminal deviancy range from one-time petty rule violations at one extreme to persistent acts of severe lawbreaking, such as the behavior of serial murderers, at the other. It also varies from lifetime criminal activity among persons of low means 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 criminal behaviors. However, other areas are still mired in the theoretical stage (e.g., school shootings, serial killers).

As a point of reference for understanding criminal deviance more broadly, the current 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. Extending from this phenomenon, the course will consider factors involved in criminal behavior more broadly, including developmental factors, causal (genetic/environmental) contributors, psychological aspects, neurobiological processes/mechanisms, and treatment/prevention. Finally, using theoretical and scientific knowledge as a foundation, the course will explore related criminal concepts, including chronic aggression and violence, substance use, sex work, extreme homicide (murder-suicide, revenge-focused shooters), and serial killing.

The course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of criminal behavior, through readings, lectures/media presentations, assignments, and in-class discussions. This will be a discussion-based seminar course, so self-motivation and intellectual curiosity, as well as dedication to doing the readings, is a requirement. Case history and guest lectures will also be used as learning tools. The goal is to be able to apply scientific knowledge to inform understanding of real-life behaviors.

Learning objectives:

  • Recognize diagnostic distinctions between psychopathic personality, antisocial behavior, drug addiction and other psychiatric disorders.
  • Describe differing expressions of the psychopathic personality and other forms of criminal behavior more generally.
  • Identify developmental factors, causal (genetic/environmental) contributors, psychological aspects, neurobiological processes/mechanisms, and treatment of criminal behavior.
  • Discuss how scientific data come to bear in understanding extreme presentations of criminal behavior, including in serial killers or mass/school shooters.

Prerequisites

Completion of PSY 3213.

How to Enroll

No advance permission or course permit is required.


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The Brain Computer Interface (Spring 2018, CRN 22903, PSY 4931-019)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Emanuel Donchin
Time: Wednesdays, 9:30 AM to 12:15 PM
Location: PCD 2125

Course Description

The class will examine the “translational process” whereby 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 developing a Brain Computer Interface (BCI).

BCI’s are intended to serve “Locked In” patients who have lost virtually all motor control, so they have no way of communicating, and yet their mind remains fully active. This is a typical outcome of ALS.

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 .implementing. Brain Computer Interfaces. In developing a BCI 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 the BCI’s, first described by Farwell and Donchin (1998) which utilizes the P300 component of the human Event Related Potential (ERP). Since 1998 many variants of the BCI were developed. Most employ the P300 components but other versions are being developed. We will cover the full spectrum of BCIs.

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

There are no particular requirements. Any USF student with an interest in the area is welcome 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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Human Factors (Spring 2018, CRN 23102, PSY 4931-020)

Course Information

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

Course Description

Ergonomics (or 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.

Prerequisites

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

How to Enroll

Interested students should email Dr. Coovert coovert@usf.edu for permission to enroll in this course.


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Attention Self & World Seminar (Spring 2018, CRN 18914, PSY 4931-012)

Course Information

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

Course Description

Attention is essential to human thought and experience. Attention is a fundamental research area in psychology, yet the boundaries and applications continue to expand in exciting ways. This seminar will review contemporary research and explore exciting new areas. Participants will learn about the state of the art and explore their interests relating to attention. One general theme will be the importance of attention in an increasingly complex world.

Fundamental Topics
      Selective attention and attentional capacity,
      Conscious and subconscious processes,
      Top-down influences and sets

Emerging Topics
      Internal attention, including types of meditation
      Attention restoration and creativity (restoring attention and self in our busy world)
      Attention, emotion and self-relevance
      Attention, brain, and brain waves

This seminar involves reading and discussing basic research, making presentations, and writing independent papers. Write with questions! sanocki@usf.edu

Prerequisites

None.

How to Enroll

Permission is required but not difficult. I am looking for interested students with some helpful background (send me a statement of your interests and background: sanocki@usf.edu).


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Child and Adolescent Social Development (Spring 2018, CRN 13560, 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. 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 attachment security, morality, and prosocial behavior. We will also cover “hot” topics in research and the society, such as school shootings, the “dark triad” traits underlying aggression, and the latest research on types of prosocial behaviors. All majors may be accepted, but preference may be given to psychology majors, depending on the number and quality of interested students. 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, counseling, nursing and pediatrics.

To complete this class, students read research articles and related material, participate in class discussions in a small seminar environment, and complete exams and writing assignments. Class room teaching will also be included. Materials will be provided by the Instructor (no text book).

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 3.00 or better
  • interest in learning about the course content
  • permission from the Instructor (see below)

Note: exceptions may be made regarding the first three requirements, for students whose “numbers” are close to the required minima and who otherwise have solid academic skills and motivation to take this class. All decisions will be based on the Instructor’s evaluation of the student’s skills and motivation, relative to the number and quality of interested students.

Recommended Criteria

  • strong reading, writing and analytic skills
  • interest to pursue graduate education in the future

How to Enroll

Please send Dr. Ojanen an e-mail (tojanen@usf.edu) with your full name and U-number, detailing how you meet the selection criteria (see above) and explaining your motivation to take this class, including potential future educational/career plans. Afterwards, you will receive a decision email from Dr. Ojanen. Decisions may be quick, or take some time, depending on the number and quality of interested students.


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Occupational Health Psychology (Spring 2018, CRN 22386, PSY 4931-017)

Course Information

Instructor: Maryana Arvan, M.A.
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM
Location: PCD 1146

Course Description

This course will examine issues related to employee health and well-being in the workplace. Specifically, we'll discuss a variety of topics that contribute to stressful experiences on the job, including emotional labor, work-family conflict, workplace mistreatment and violence, and a lack of psychological detachment. We'll learn how these and other factors are linked to employee mental health, physical health, physical safety, job satisfaction, and more. We'll also discuss what organizations can do to combat the negative impact of workplace stressors on strain outcomes in order to ultimately enhance employee wellness.

This will be a seminar style course, in which students will be expected to read and discuss weekly readings, and will ultimately be asked to develop their own research proposal related to occupational health psychology. This course is highly recommended for students exploring the option of graduate school, as it will be structured in a way that largely emulates a grad-school level course.

Prerequisites

PSY 2012 Intro Psych and PSY 3213 Research Methods

How to Enroll

No advance permission or course permit is required.


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Fraud and Deception in Medical Research (Spring 2018, CRN 18897, PSY 4931-007)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. David Diamond
Time: Mondays, 2:00 PM to 4:45 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 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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Community Internship (Spring 2018, CRN 22010, 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 Fall 2017, 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
  • 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


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Community Practicum in Mental Health (Spring 2018, CRN 18920, CLP 4941-001)

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Vicky Phares
Time: Fridays, 8:00 AM to 8:50 AM (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. In addition to material posted to Canvas, the required book is:
      Matthews, J.R., & Walker, C. E. (2015). Your practicum in psychology: A guide for maximizing knowledge and competence (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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 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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