Many colleges offer standard classes that cover the basic principles of psychology, but Cedar Crest reaches beyond these fundamentals to show students the full breadth and depth of the field of psychology. Through this unique curriculum, you will better understand the possibilities available within this field of study…and be able to experience them at an undergraduate level rather than waiting until graduate school.
The following is a sample of the unique psychology courses that set Cedar Crest College apart.
This course follows the biological, psychological, social and spiritual model of health and wellness. While disease prevention, health-related research and rehabilitation issues are discussed, the main focus of the course is on exploring the mind-body-spirit connections. This course will also examine the latest literature in the area of disease-prone and disease-resistant personality.
Positive Psychology examines empirically informed perspectives on what leads to happiness and living a purposeful life. This course will provide an overview of the research and applications in the field of Positive Psychology. Topics will include happiness, resiliency, optimism, relationships, self-efficacy, goals and optimal performance, well-being, gratitude, character strengths, motivation and flow, positive coping, and mindfulness.
This course examines the theory, research, and practice of women and men in the workplace. Topics include: the history of women at work; nontraditional occupations and roles; gender differences in communication, leadership, and work styles; relevant legal, economical, and political issues; work-life balance and career dilemmas, and personal planning, promotion, and growth strategies.
This course is an introduction to the field of sport psychology. The American Psychological Association (Division 47) defines sport (and exercise) psychology as the scientific study of the psychological factors associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise, and other types of physical activity. In this course, we will explore how social and psychological variables influence participation and performance in sport and physical activity.
An overview of teams and groups in a social and work context. Discussion will include: the evolution and development of teams, the emergence of member roles and leaders, decision-making and problem-solving techniques, communication processes, power and conflict issues, management of diversity, and teambuilding strategies. Experiential exercises will be emphasized.
The course will cover motivation and emotion from various perspectives, including physiological and developmental factors, learning and cognitive factors, social and personality factors. Theories will be augmented by a careful examination of the empirical work in motivation and emotion.
Dreams have played a significant role in human civilization. The discipline of psychology has produced some of the most comprehensive theories about the nature of dreams. Indeed, dreaming as a state of consciousness has been the focus of scientific psychology for over one hundred years. This course is an in-depth exploration of the nature of dreams. We will begin with a historical and cultural exploration of dreams and then turn our attention to their psychophysiology. We will also review psychoanalytic and analytic perspectives on dreams. During the last half of the course, we will delve into the psychobiology of nightmares, dreams and creativity, research on lucid dreaming, and end the course with the examination of one of the most recent evolutionary theories about the function of dreaming known as the Threat Simulation Theory.
Health Psychology is a rapidly growing field within the discipline of psychology. It is devoted to the understanding of psychological factors that affect health and disease. The course emphasizes theoretical developments and empirical findings in Health Psychology.
Anxiety is a complex construct that has played a key role in the development of several theories and systems of psychology. This course explores the many dimensions of this construct through the lens of theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalysis, behaviorism, existentialism, humanism, psychophysiology, and cognitive psychology. The course will make a deliberate distinction between healthy and pathological states of anxiety. Additionally, students will gain knowledge about the differences and similarities between the experience of fear and anxiety with emphasis on the ontological nature of the latter.
The broad definition of forensic psychology emphasizes the application of science and practice in other areas of psychology (e.g., industrial and organizational psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology) to legal issues and the legal system. This course provides an overview of the field, which includes: police and investigative psychology, legal psychology, and criminal psychology. Topics that will be discussed are, for example, the court system and judicial process, psychological assessment and risk assessment for public safety, profiling, interviewing and interrogation, competency to stand trial, expert testimony, eyewitness evidence, child custody evaluations and civil litigation, and the development of criminal behaviors and causes of violence.
This course explores criminal behavior, its motivation, and environmental influences, as well as approaches to profiling and how it is applied to help solve crimes. The history, theories, and investigative techniques of profiling offenders will be discussed, using a blend of social science, as well as psychological and legal research. The course includes legal case excerpts to demonstrate the role of the profiler (investigator), and their integral relationship with evidence, theories of criminal behavior and the court system.
This course will examine stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination through the lens of psychology. Specifically, we will examine the phenomena and processes associated with one’s beliefs about members of social groups (stereotypes), attitudes and evaluative responses toward group members (prejudice), and behaviors toward members of a social group based on their group status (discrimination). Also, we will study how these issues impact the experiences of social group members. We will begin with introductory/historical background on these concepts and progress through discussions of the key experimental studies and the major theoretical perspectives that have sought to explain stereotyping and prejudice, and the ways in which psychologists’ understanding has changed over the years.
This course is designed to provide students with specialized knowledge and skills necessary for counseling children. The course will address individual and group techniques used in treatment such as play therapy, the use of art, puppets, games, etc. Students will also gain an understanding of the parent’s role and family dynamics when working with children.