20109-2011 Undergraduate Catalog


Students may complete a major or minor in Psychology. Within the major, students may complete a concentration in neural and behavioral sciences.


Kimberly E. Cassidy, Provost and Professor
Mary M. Eno, Lecturer
Staci Heindel, Lecturer
Clark R. McCauley Jr., Professor
Lauren J Myers, Visiting Assistant Professor
Paul D. Neuman, Senior Lecturer
Leslie Rescorla, Professor (on leave semester II)
Carol H. Roberts, Lecturer
Marc S. Schulz, Professor
Anjali Thapar, Associate Professor and Chair
Earl Thomas, Professor
Robert H. Wozniak, Professor

The department offers the student a major program that allows a choice of courses from among a wide variety of fields in psychology: clinical, cognitive, developmental, physiological, and social. In addition to the considerable breadth offered, the program encourages the student to focus on more specialized areas through advanced coursework, seminars and especially through supervised research. Students have found that the major program provides a strong foundation for graduate work in clinical, cognitive, developmental, experimental, physiological, and social psychology, as well as for graduate study in law, medicine, and business.

Major Requirements

Major requirements in Psychology are PSYC 101, 102, or 105 (or a one-semester introductory psychology course taken elsewhere); PSYC 205; and eight additional courses (not including the Junior Brown Bag). Starting with the class of 2012, majors must complete four courses at the 200 level, three courses at the 300 level, and one Senior Requirement. Majors may elect to fulfill their Senior Requirement with PSYC 400 (Senior Seminar in Psychology) or by completing two semesters of supervised research (PSYC 401 or PSYC 403).

Majors may substitute advance placement credit (score of 5 on the Psychology Advanced Placement exam) for PSYC 101, 102, or 105. In general, courses at the 200 level survey major content areas of psychological research. With the exception of PSYC 205, all 200-level courses require PSYC 101, 102, or 105 or the permission of the instructor. Courses at the 300 level typically have a 200-level survey course as a prerequisite and offer either specialization within a content area or integration across areas. Courses at the 400 level are senior capstone courses and are intended to provide psychology majors with an intensive and integrative experience in psychology to culminate their undergraduate careers.

The Psychology major requires one course with a laboratory. The laboratory requirement is typically fulfilled by PSYC 101, 102, or 105. If a student takes introductory psychology elsewhere, and the course has no laboratory, or the student receives advanced placement credit for introductory psychology, then a laboratory course at the 200 or 300 level can be taken to fulfill the laboratory requirement. Students who take Haverford courses with the half credit laboratory attachments may count the laboratory portion of the course toward fulfilling the lab requirement for the Bryn Mawr major (Note: PSYC 205 can not be used to fulfill the laboratory requirement).

Majors are also required to attend a one-hour, weekly brown bag in the junior year for one semester. This requirement is designed to sharpen students’ analytical and critical thinking skills, to introduce students to faculty members’ areas of research, to provide additional opportunities for student-faculty interactions, and to build a sense of community.


The selection of courses to meet the major requirements is made in consultation with the student’s major adviser. Any continuing faculty member can serve as a major adviser. It is expected that the student will sample broadly among the diverse fields represented in the curriculum. Courses outside the department may be taken for major credit if they satisfy the above descriptions of 200-level and 300-level courses and are approved by the student’s major adviser. Students should contact their major adviser about major credit for a course outside the department before taking the course.


Departmental honors (called Honors in Research in Psychology) are awarded on the merits of a report of research (the design and execution; and the scholarship exhibited in the writing of a paper based on the research). To be considered for honors, students must have a grade point average in psychology of 3.6 or higher at the end of the fall semester of the senior year.

Minor Requirements

A student may minor in Psychology by taking PSYC 101, 102, or 105 and any other five courses that meet the requirements of the major.

Concentration in Neural and Behavioral Sciences

An interdepartmental concentration in Neural and Behavioral Sciences is available as an option to students majoring in either biology or psychology. Students electing this option must fulfill requirements of both the major and the concentration, which is administered by an interdepartmental committee.

For a Psychology major with a concentration in Neural and Behavioral Sciences, students must complete five required courses: PSYC 101, 102 or 105, 205, 212, 218, and one of the following 300-level courses—PSYC 323, 326, 350, 351, or 395.

Five additional psychology courses at the 200, 300, and 400 levels are required to complete the Psychology major with a concentration in Neural and Behavioral Sciences. These should be chosen in consultation with the major adviser to ensure that the distribution of 200- and 300-level courses satisfies the Psychology major requirements. Some of these courses (such as Supervised Research) may also fulfill core major requirements.

These departmental requirements are in addition to the requirements for the Neural and Behavioral Sciences concentration.

Minor in Computational Methods

Students majoring in psychology can minor in computational methods. Requirements for the minor are listed in Computer Science.

Haverford College Courses

Certain courses currently offered at Haverford College may be substituted for the equivalent Bryn Mawr courses for purposes of the Bryn Mawr psychology major.

Introductory psychology at Haverford may be substituted for 101/102/105. PSYC 200 at Haverford may be substituted for PSYC 205. The following courses at Haverford will count as 200-level courses for the major: PSYC 213 (Memory and Cognition), PSYCH 215 (Introduction to Personality Psychology), PSYC 217 (Biological Psychology), PSYC 224 (Social Psychology), PSYC 238 (Psychology of Language), PSYC 260 (Cognitive Neuroscience).

The following Haverford courses will count as 300-level courses for the major: PSYC 214 (Psychology of Adolescence), PSYC 220 (The Psychology of Time), PSYC 221 (The Primate Origins of Society), PSYC 222 (Evolution and Behavior), PSYCH 225 (Self and Identity), PSYC 240 (Psychology of Pain and Pain Inhibition), PSYC 250 (Biopsychology of Emotion and Personality), PSYC 311 (Advanced Personality Psychology: Freud), PSYC 325 (The Psychology of Close Relationships), PSYC 340 (Human Neuropsychology), PSYC 350 (Biopsychology of Stress), PSYC 370 (Neuroscience of Mental Illness). Students who take Haverford courses with the half credit laboratory attachments may count the lab portion of the course toward fulfilling the advanced lab requirement for the Bryn Mawr major.

PSYC B101 Experimental Psychology
Both PSYC 101 and 102 present psychology as a natural science and provide a survey of methods, facts, and principles relating to basic psychological processes. Topics covered in 101 include neural bases of behavior, learning and motivation, and psychosocial development and abnormal psychology. Topics covered in 102 include human cognition, cognitive development, individual differences, and social psychology. Lecture three hours and laboratory four hours a week (for both 101 and 102).
(Thomas, Rescorla, Division II with Lab)
Not offered in 2010-11.

PSYC B102 Experimental Psychology
Both PSYC 101 and 102 present psychology as a natural science and provide a survey of methods, facts, and principles relating to basic psychological processes. Topics covered in 101 include neural bases of behavior, learning and motivation, and psychosocial development and abnormal psychology. Topics covered in 102 include human cognition, cognitive development, individual differences, and social psychology. Lecture three hours and laboratory four hours a week (for both 101 and 102).
(McCauley, Myers, Division II with Lab)
Not offered in 2010-11.

PSYC B105 Introductory Psychology

How do biological predispositions, life experiences, social and cultural phenomena contribute to human and animal behavior? This biopsychosocial theme will be examined by studying both “normal” and “abnormal” behaviors in domains such as perception, cognition, learning, motivation, emotion, and social interaction, thereby providing an overview of psychology’s many areas of inquiry.
(Myers, Rescorla, Division II with Lab)

PSYC B201 Learning /Behavior Analysis
This course covers the basic principles of behavior, and their application to the understanding of the human condition. Topics include the distinction between closed-loop (selection by consequences) and open-loop (elicitation and adjunctive behavior) relations, the distinction between contingency-shaped behavior and behavior under instructional control, discrimination and concept formation, choice, functional analysis of verbal behavior and awareness and problem solving. Behavior Analysis is presented as a distinct research methodology with a distinct language, as well as a distinct theoretical approach within psychology.
(Neuman, Division II)

PSYC B203 Educational Psychology
Topics in the psychology of human cognitive, social, and affective behavior are examined and related to educational practice. Issues covered include learning theories, memory, attention, thinking, motivation, social/emotional issues in adolescence, and assessment/learning disabilities. This course provides a Praxis Level I opportunity. Classroom observation is required. Prerequisite: Introductory Psychology (either PSYC 101, 102, or 105).
(Cassidy, Division I: Social Science)

PSYC B205 Experimental Methods and Statistics
An introduction to experimental design, general research methodology, and the analysis and interpretation of data. Emphasis will be placed on issues involved with conducting psychological research. Topics include descriptive and inferential statistics, experimental design and validity, analysis of variance, and correlation and regression. Each statistical method will also be executed using computers. Lecture three hours, laboratory 90 minutes a week.
(Thapar, Division I and Quantitative Skills)

PSYC B206 Developmental Psychology
A topical survey of psychological development from infancy through adolescence, focusing on the interaction of personal and environmental factors in the ontogeny of perception, language, cognition, and social interactions within the family and with peers. Topics include developmental theories; infant perception; attachment; language development; theory of mind; memory development; peer relations, schools and the family as contexts of development; and identity and the adolescent transition. Prerequisite: Introductory Psychology (PSYC 101,102, or 105).
(Wozniak, Division I: Social Science)

PSYC B208 Social Psychology
A survey of theories and data in the study of human social behavior. Special attention to methodological issues of general importance in the conduct and evaluation of research with humans. Topics include group dynamics (conformity, leadership, encounter groups, crowd behavior, intergroup conflict); attitude change (consistency theories, attitudes and behavior, mass media persuasion); and person perception (stereotyping, essentializing, moral judgment). Participation in a research project is required. Prerequisite: One of the Introductory Psychology courses (PSYC 101, 102 or 105) or the permission of the instructor
(McCauley, Division I: Social Science)

PSYC B209 Abnormal Psychology
This course examines the experience, origins, and consequences of psychological problems. What do we mean by abnormal behavior or psychopathology? How is psychopathology assessed and classified? How do psychologists study and treat it? What causes psychological difficulties and what are their consequences? Are psychological states linked to physical health? Do psychological treatments (therapies) work? This course will consider major psychological, social, and biological explanatory models in addressing these questions. Readings, lecture, and discussion will introduce a broad range of psychological disturbances. Prerequisite: Introductory Psychology (PSYC 101,102,or 105).
(Schulz, Division I: Social Science)

PSYC B212 Human Cognition
This course covers a variety of topics that deal with the scientific study of human cognition. Topics include perception, pattern recognition, attention, memory, visual imagery, language, reasoning, decision making, and problem solving. Historical as well as contemporary perspectives will be discussed, and data from cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and computational modeling will be reviewed. The laboratory consists of experiments related to these topics. Lecture three hours, laboratory 90 minutes a week. Prerequisite: Introductory Psychology (either PSYC 101,102, or 105).
(Thapar, Division II with Lab)

PSYC B214 Applied Behavior Analysis
This course covers the basic principles of behavior and their relevance and application to clinical problems. Applied Behavior Analysis is an empirically-based treatment approach focusing less on treatment techniques and more on treatment evaluation. The course covers the techniques used (data gathering and analysis) to determine the effectiveness of treatments while in progress. To do this, examples of human problems may include eating disorders, anxiety disorders, addictive behavior, autistic behavior, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional/conduct disorder.
(Neuman, Division I: Social Science)

PSYC B218 Behavioral Neuroscience
An interdisciplinary course on the neurobiological bases of experience and behavior, emphasizing the contribution of the various neurosciences to the understanding of basic problems of psychology. An introduction to the fundamentals of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry with an emphasis upon synaptic transmission; followed by the application of these principles to an analysis of sensory processes and perception, emotion, motivation, learning, and cognition. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: Any of the Introductory Psychology courses (PSYC 101, 102, or 105).
(Thomas, Division II: Natural Science)

PSYC B250 Autism Spectrum Disorders
Focuses on theory of and research on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Topics include the history of autism; classification and diagnosis; epidemiology and etiology; major theories; investigations of sensory and motor atypicalities, early social communicative skills, affective, cognitive, symbolic and social factors; the neuropsychology of ASD; and current approaches to intervention. Prerequisite: Introductory Psychology (PSYC 101, 102, or 105).

PSYC B301 Advanced Research Methods
This course deals with psychology research and design methodology. An important purpose of the course is to help students with their undergraduate thesis research. Topics include: internal and external validity, reliability, characteristics of various methods (survey, case, observational, and experimental), data coding, levels of measurement, research ethics, and publication. Prerequisite: a 200 level survey course. Open only to senior psychology majors who are completing a senior thesis.

PSYC B308 Adult Development and Aging
The course explores the biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging into middle and late adulthood. Topics include: psychological and social developmental challenges; core biological changes; research methodology; demands and impact on care givers and families; common psychopathology; social welfare policies and programs; and political, social, and academic discourse on aging in the 21st century. Different aging experiences by race, ethnicity, gender, class, culture, and sexual orientation are considered. Prerequisite: junior, senior or graduate status and any 200-level survey course.
(Bressi Nath, Thapar)

PSYC B310 Advanced Developmental Psychology
This course details theory and research relating to the development of children and adolescents with family, school, and cultural contexts. We examine topics including (but not limited to): developmental theory, infant perception, language, attachment, self-awareness, social cognition, symbolic thought, memory, parent-child relations, peer relations, and gender issues. Prerequisite: PSYC 206 or permission of the instructor.

PSYC B312 History of Modern American Psychology
An examination of major 20th-century trends in American psychology and their 18th- and 19th-century social and intellectual roots. Topics include physiological and philosophical origins of scientific psychology; growth of American developmental, comparative, social, and clinical psychology; and the cognitive revolution. Prerequisite: any 200-level survey course. Open only to juniors and seniors majoring in psychology or by permission of the instructor.

PSYC B326 From Channels to Behavior
Introduces the principles, research approaches, and methodologies of cellular and behavioral neuroscience. The first half of the course will cover the cellular properties of neurons using current and voltage clamp techniques along with neuron simulations. The second half of the course will introduce students to state-of-the-art techniques for acquiring and analyzing data in a variety of rodent models linking brain and behavior. Prerequisites: BIOL 101 and one of the following: PSYC 218, PSYC 217 at Haverford, or BIOL 202.
(Brodfuehrer Thomas, Division II: Natural Science)
Cross-listed as BIOL B326

PSYC B328 Exploring Animal Minds
This course examines the question of animal cognition with a focus on natural behaviors as well as lab research. Topics include personality, communication, and social cognition. The importance of good research design and critical reading of research papers will be stressed. Prerequisite: contact instructor.
Not offered in 2010-11.

PSYC B340 Women’s Mental Health
This course will provide an overview of current research and theory related to women’s mental health. We will discuss psychological phenomena and disorders that are particularly salient to and prevalent among women, why these phenomena/disorders affect women disproportionately over men, and how they may impact women’s psychological and physical well-being. Psychological disorders covered will include: depression, eating disorders, dissociative identity disorder, borderline personality disorder, and chronic pain disorders. Other topics discussed will include work-family conflict for working mothers, the role of sociocultural influences on women’s mental health, and mental health issues particular to women of color and to lesbian women. Prerequisite: PSYC B209 or PSYC B351.
(Rosenfeld, Division I: Social Science)
Not offered in 2010-11.

PSYC B346 Pediatric Psychology
This course uses a developmental-ecological perspective to understand the psychological challenges associated with physical health issues in children. The course explores how different environments support the development of children who sustain illness or injury and will cover topics including: prevention, coping, adherence to medical regimens, and pain management. The course will consider the ways in which cultural beliefs and values shape medical experiences. Prerequisite: PSYC B206 highly recommended.
(Staff, Division I: Social Science)

PSYC B350 Developmental Cognitive Disorders
This course uses a developmental and neuropsychological framework to study several cognitive disorders (e.g., language delay, specific reading disability, nonverbal learning disabilities, and autism). Cognitive disorders are viewed in the context of the normal development of language, memory, attention, reading, and quantitative/spatial abilities. More general issues of curriculum/pedagogical adjustment, educational placement, law and policy for children with disabilities will also be covered. Students will participate in a course-related placement approximately four hours a week. This course provides a Praxis Level I opportunity.
(Edge, Schmidt)
Not offered in 2010-11.

PSYC B351 Developmental Psychopathology
An examination of research and theory addressing the origins, progression, and consequences of maladaptive functioning in children, adolescents, and families. Major forms of psychopathology, such as depression and disruptive behavior syndromes, will be considered. An important focus of the course is on the identification of biological, social, and psychological risk and protective factors for psychopathology and the implications of these factors for prevention and treatment efforts. The role of family-based risk and protective factors, such as marital conflict and parenting quality, will be emphasized. Prerequisite: PSYC 206 or 209.
(Rescorla, Schulz)
Not offered in 2010-11.

PSYC B352 Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology: The Development of Symbolic Thought
This course will provide an in-depth exploration of the development of symbolic thought in infancy and childhood. We will examine the major theories and recent empirical research on topics including language development, gesture, drawing, maps, pictures, pretend play, understanding of and learning from video images, literacy, and symbol use by non-human primates. In addition, the course contains a laboratory component, which will involve an original research project with children that is designed, collected and analyzed by the class members. Prerequisite: PSYC 206 or the consent of the instructor.
(Myers, Division II with Lab)

PSYC B358 Political Psychology of Group Identification
This seminar will explore the common interests of psychologists and political scientists in the phenomena of group identification. The focus will be identification with ethnic and national groups, with special attention to the ways in which research on small-group dynamics can help us understand identification and conflict for these larger groups. The seminar will review major theories of group identity and examine several historical or current cases of successful and unsuccessful development of national identity. Prerequisite: PSYC 208 or two semesters of political science.
(McCauley, Ross)
Cross-listed as POLS B358

PSYC B364 Behavior Analytic Theory
Although behavior analysis is reputed to be a “tough minded” natural scientific approach to psychology, it is also rich in theory. Behavior analysis is as different in what is said and how it is said as in how research is conducted. Readings will be theoretical in nature from behavior analysis and other traditions that apply established principles to everyday concerns such as roommate disagreements as well as why we are not acting to save the world. Prerequisite: PSYC 201.
Not offered in 2010-11.

PSYC B395 Psychopharmacology
A study of the role of drugs in understanding basic brain-behavior relations. Topics include the pharmacological basis of motivation and emotion; pharmacological models of psychopathology; the use of drugs in the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis; and the psychology and pharmacology of drug addiction. Prerequisite: PSYC 218.
Not offered in 2010-11.

PSYC B396 Topics in Neural and Behavioral Science
(Brodfuehrer, Compton)
Cross-listed as BIOL B396

PSYC B401 Supervised Research in Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Laboratory or field research on a wide variety of topics. Students should consult with faculty members to determine their topic and faculty supervisor, early in the semester prior to when they will begin.
(Thapar, Thomas)

PSYC B403 Supervised Research
Laboratory or field research on a wide variety of topics. Students should consult with faculty members to determine their topic and faculty supervisor, early in the semester prior to when they will begin.
(McCauley, Myers, Neuman, Rescorla, Rourke, Schulz, Thapar, Wozniak)

PSYC B425 Praxis III
(Cassidy, Rescorla)