Senior Seminars

Senior Seminars for 2015 & 2016

The descriptions of Senior Seminars appear below. In order to enroll in a Seminar, you MUST do two things:

1. Complete the Preference Form. You can access it here after you receive login information from Judy Smith.

2. Receive permission of the instructor. You should talk to the professor teaching the class and make sure you receive explicit permission to enroll. 

Fall, 2015

Controversial Issues in Psychology

Professor Jeff Holmes
Wednesdays 2:00-4:30, Williams 119M

In this seminar, students will address an array of controversial and frequently misunderstood topics in psychology through class discussion and debate, student presentations, and individual exploration. Potential topics include controversial mental health diagnoses and treatment approaches, false and repressed memories, gender differences, self-esteem, forensic issues, intelligence testing, learning styles, and many others. Students learn about many topics but also have the opportunity to examine in depth one relevant topic of their choice. The single weekly class meeting allows us to thoroughly explore these contemporary areas of debate within our field.


Mental Health Topics: Consumer and Provider Perspectives

Professor Hugh Stephenson
Mondays 4:00-6:30

In this seminar we address the experience of having and seeking treatment for different psychological disorders. A range of topics are covered, from treatment modalities, to historic practices, to outcome evaluation and current debates and controversies within Psychology and Psychiatry.

Guest speakers include people who have received specific diagnoses, family members and treating professionals as well as experts in particular clinical interventions all of whom offer their perspectives on what promotes recovery and what barriers may be encountered.


Spring, 2016


The Contribution of Epigenetics to Human Nature

Professor Nancy Rader

We will consider how the environment functions to influence gene expression through readings and discussion.  In Block 2 students will select a human trait or pathology to research, reporting on their findings through an oral presentation and an APA paper.


Senior Seminar in Feminist Psychology

Professor Carla Golden

This seminar will examine the impact of gender, race, and social class on how people are treated and how they experience the world around them. We will consider these issues by reading a book each week; texts are contemporary and generally about 200 pages in length. Readings from previous years include Appetites: why women want; Men speak out: Views on gender, sex, and power; Sexual fluidity: Understanding women’s love and desire; Women behind bars: The crisis of women in the U.S. prison system; Getting off: Pornography and the end of masculinity; Flirting with danger: young women’s reflections on sexuality and domination, and Taking it personally: Racism in the classroom from kindergarten to college. The two and a half hour class meeting will be discussion based and provide the opportunity to engage in lively exchange regarding the issues raised in each text. The final paper is based on an integrative understanding of the books we’ve read during the semester, no additional reading required.  Preference will be given to students who have taken Psychology of Women. 


Seminar in Psychology: Neurobiology of Psychiatric Disorders

Professor: Deborah Kreiss

The goal of this course is to provide students with a more sophisticated appreciation of current neurophysiological perspectives concerning the biological basis of psychiatric disorders.  We will address the origin, symptoms, and treatment of a number of neuropsychological disorders that disrupt cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning due to malfunction within two circuits of interconnected subcortical areas of the brain: the basal ganglia and the limbic system. Topics to be covered include Anxiety, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Addiction, Tourette’s Syndrome and Parkinson’s Disease.  



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