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Senior Seminars for 2020 - 2021 

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 log-in information from Maria Russell.

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

Fall 2020

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.

Controversies in Psychology
Professor Jeff Holmes
Mondays 1:00 – 3:30

In this seminar, students will explore an array of controversial and frequently misunderstood topics in psychology through readings, 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.

The History, Assessment, and Treatment of Psychopaths in Forensic Psychology
Professor Karen Davis
Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:35 - 3:50

This seminar will explore how forensic psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat psychopathic individuals. Additionally, we will focus on how popular media’s often inaccurate portrayal of psychopathy contributes to the public’s understanding of the concept and the implications this has for how those labeled as psychopathic are treated by the criminal justice system. Students will read both historical and current papers related to psychopathy and participate in class discussions regarding selected topics throughout the semester. Students will also have the opportunity to explore a related topic in-depth and give a presentation and submit a review paper on their selected topic.

Spring 2021

The Credibility Revolution in Psychology
Professor: Leigh Ann Vaughn

Since 2010, a "credibility revolution" has been happening in psychology, with an increasing focus on ways to make our science more open, reliable, and robust. Ways we do science are changing fast, and it is an exciting time to be learning how people can do science well - and not so well. In this class, we read and discuss a dozen social and cognitive psychology studies that were in the Many Labs 1-3 international replication projects, as well as what the original authors said about the sometimes controversial replications of their studies. We will also discuss what can make studies more or less likely to replicate. In addition to discussing weekly reading and short writing assignments, you will do a term paper a class presentation about one of the dozen studies of your choice. We also can contribute enjoyable service to our field through the online RepliCATS project.

Seminar in Psychology: Adolescence - Stress, Drug Addition, and Psychopathology
Professor: Tammy Fitzwater

Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by profound neural, hormonal, and behavioral changes. While many adolescents successfully navigate the transition to adulthood, others struggle during this window of vulnerability. Throughout this course, we will explore the adolescent transition from a neural, physiological, and social/emotional standpoint. We will then discuss stress systems and how they may contribute to the onset of psychopathology and/or drug addiction during this developmental phase. Course material will focus on research from both human studies and preclinical (animal) models of adolescence. Students will read and critique research papers related to these topics, and actively engage in discussion during class. Team debates will also take place in order to critically consider both sides of two controversial topics in the field. Throughout the course, students will also give class presentations on a relevant topic of interest, with a review paper on this topic due at the end of the semester.