The Psychology Department offers courses to meet program and General Education requirements, to serve as general and Social Sciences electives, and to meet your personal educational goals. Most psychology courses at MCC transfer well to other institutions. Click the links below to see the full course descriptions, including credit hours, pre-requisites, and course objectives.
The Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships is an experiential approach to everyday intra- and interpersonal processes. It emphasizes observation, practice and discussion of such topics as self disclosure, trust, verbal and nonverbal expression of feelings, listening skills, conflict resolution, anger and stress management and the value of cultivating diverse relationships. Basic psychological principles are presented and integrated into classroom discussion. Emphasis is on skill development. It is psychology for daily living, and is neither a preparatory course for PSY101 nor a prerequisite for other PSY courses. Three class hours.
An introductory survey of the major concepts in the scientific study of human behavior, human development, motivation, learning, personality, individual differences and social behavior. Dual emphasis is placed upon understanding, integration and application to real life as well as theoretical and methodological issues. Opportunities for studying, tutoring, and supplemental testing will be made available to students outside of class time in the Psychology Learning Center. Three class hours. (SUNY-SS)
Students will learn the basics of APA style, the standard writing style for most social sciences. Proper techniques for citing sources, preparing a manuscript, and expressing material clearly and accurately will be covered. Students will practice writing short papers and components of papers in this style. One class hour.
Prerequisite(s): Completed English 101 with a C or better, or completed English 200 with a C or better.
Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human happiness, well-being, and strength of character. This course takes an empirical and experiential approach to helping individuals use the science of flourishing to enhance their lives. Topics covered include happiness, pleasure, beliefs, positive thinking, character strengths, values, goal setting, wellness, the mind-body connection, self-esteem, overcoming perfectionism, relationships, and enabling institutions. Students may not receive credit for PSY 109 Positive Psychology and PSY 270 Selected Topics in Psychology - Positive Psychology. Three class hours.
This course is designed to give basic information about psychological disorder and treatment and help students learn to evaluate approaches to disorder and therapy. We will look at the historical development and also at recent theories of disorder and treatment. The course will use a variety of teaching techniques including lecture, class discussion, and group activities, and will include a variety of assignments and grading techniques including tests, projects, written work, and participation. Course not open to students who have passed PSY 206, except with permission of the instructor. Three class hours.
This course will explore the foundations of animal assisted therapy using a variety of teaching materials and observing an animal assisted therapy visit. Students will learn about the history, theoretical base, key empirical research support, and ethics of animal assisted therapy as well as evidence based advantages and disadvantages of applications utilizing animal assisted interventions. The course will cover the populations of individuals and groups with whom animal assisted interventions are utilized as well as applications to educational, mental health, behavioral, criminal justice, medical and health care settings. The course is an introduction to the field of animal assisted therapy and will not allow the student to independently implement animal assisted therapy. Three class hours.
Presents a review of the physiological and psychosocial components of sexuality. Primary emphasis is placed on sexuality in the context of love and intimacy, health, safety, and alternative sexual lifestyles. Three class hours.
An examination of non-critical thinking and human tendencies to believe unlikely (and impossible) claims about the human experience, with a special focus on beliefs on the fringe of serious psychology. Issues addressed in the course include popular beliefs about parapsychology, magic, alien abduction, personality testing, and the mental processes that support these beliefs. Three class hours.
The Psychology of Eating, Body Image, and Wellness focuses on the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual approaches to food cultivation, processing, preparation, and consumption, as well as the relationships among dietary patterns, exercise, dieting, and obesity. Discussions, films, and readings will focus on the continuum that exists from health-promoting, competent eating to unhealthy, disordered eating, and the relationships among body-image, eating, self-acceptance, and culture. Three class hours.
A study of the principles of conditioning and learning as applied to practical approaches of behavior management and change. Special attention will be given to behavior change in institutional and personal settings. Self-regulation and cognitive-behavioral techniques will also be discussed. Three class hours.
This course is an introduction to the foundations of development from conception through childhood. The course will explore the interdependence among the physical, cognitive, and social domains of development, and will examine various theories and research methods used to understand and study the development of infants and children. Current issues in the field and their impact on the developing child will also be highlighted. Students will be encouraged to investigate and critique recent research and its application. Three class hours. (SUNY-SS)
A discussion of issues and theoretical perspectives in the study of adolescence, with particular focus on the physical, cognitive, and social/emotional changes that occur during adolescence. This includes the examination of identity formation, sexuality, family relationships, peer relationships, and moral development. This course will also discuss challenges facing adolescents today. Three class hours.
A scientific study of the influence of people on the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of other people. This course examines how individuals affect and are affected by others. Topics include impression formation, conformity and social influence, self-perception, attitudes, aggression, prejudice, helping, attraction, group processes, and other components of social interaction. Three class hours. (SUNY-SS)
Prerequisites: PSY 101, plus three additional hours in PSY or SOC.
Includes a scientific and historical review of the study and treatment of psychopathology, discussion of the major theoretical orientations and the assumptions that underlie them, description of the major DSM disorders including their symptoms, and current treatments. Three class hours.
This course is an introduction to the foundations of human development across the lifespan. The course will describe the history and foundational knowledge related to the study of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, examine the various theories of developmental psychology, and highlight current issues in the field. Three class hours. (SUNY-SS)
How do we think, make decisions, solve problems, perceive our world, and remember our past? What is intelligence, creativity, or awareness? Cognitive psychology explores these complex and important human processes. In this course, students will learn the theories, methods, and concepts of cognitive psychology and apply them to many areas of life. Three class hours.
Through a combination of lecture and hands-on research projects, this course examines the philosophy and methodology of science and how they are applied to social questions. Students plan and conduct research projects and write papers describing their research following APA style. Topics to be explored include experimental and non-experimental research methods, the development of testable hypotheses, and the use of electronic databases to explore and review the scientific literature and ethical issues. Three class hours. (SUNY-SS)
Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 108, both with a minimum grade of C. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: MTH 162 or MTH 161.
This course takes an unflinching look into the darkest corners of human nature, explored through the social psychological lens. Using the Holocaust as a stark example, we will learn how powerful social psychological phenomena can contribute to the human capacity for brutality and cruelty. We will explore the roles of attitude formation, propaganda, prejudice, discrimination, scapegoating, aggression, bystander behavior, and more as we seek to come to terms with the events of the Holocaust and the behaviors of the individuals caught up in those events. Along the way we will learn lessons applicable to modern-day acts of human cruelty both large and small, and identify characteristics of societies that either facilitate or deter mass killings and genocides. 3 credits. (SUNY-SS)
This course explores various questions about sleep and dreaming, including why we sleep and why we dream. Topics include how sleep and dreaming are scientifically studied, current theories and research on sleep and dreaming, sleep stages, and the neurological and psychological bases of sleep and dreaming. The course also examines the functions of sleep and dreaming, changes in sleep-wake cycles through the lifespan, various sleep-wake disorders, physical and psychological consequences of sleep deprivation, and healthy sleep practices. The course emphasizes sleep as an active process, vital to optimal physical and psychological health and functioning. Three class hours.
This course explores the relationship between psychological factors and health issues. Traditional and complementary health care applications will be reviewed and evaluated. How do self-defeating thoughts, negative emotions (such as anxiety, anger, fear) and bad habits diminish health, vitality and longevity? Students will be encouraged to assess their own health patterns. Techniques for modifying lifestyle and managing stress are presented. Three class hours.
This course introduces students to the field of learning and behavior disorders. It is designed for those interested in recognizing and understanding learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, conduct disorders, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, emotional disorders, and physical impairments that impact learning. The course will cover biological and psychosocial risk factors, current theoretical approaches to the development of disorders, and education and intervention strategies. Successful completion of the course’s autism unit provides State Education Department certification in Training in the Needs of Students with Autism. Three class hours.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 or permission of instructor.
The focus of this course is an examination of the interaction between the discipline of psychology and the criminal justice system. It examines the aspects of human behavior directly related to the legal process such as eyewitness memory, testimony, jury decision making, and criminal behavior. In addition, the professional practice of psychology will be examined as to how it interacts with the legal system, and criminal and civil law. The student will gain an understanding of the production and application of psychological knowledge to the civil and criminal justice systems. It embraces psychology and the law, psychology of police and policing, corrections, parole, victim services, addiction services, family services, and the full range of activities related to law enforcement and treatment of offenders. This course provides a strong foundation of understanding for individuals interested in psychology, law, criminal justice, and related fields. Three class hours.
Prerequisite: PSY 101 or SOC 101 or permission of instructor.
This course will explore a different topic in depth each semester. Using a variety of methods, including readings, tests, homework assignments, projects, papers, and group work, students will learn about the important questions and methodologies researchers use to address the topic. They will learn what we know and don't yet know about the topic, and appreciate its importance at personal, social, and global levels. Examples include the Psychology of Gender, the Psychology of Hunger, Eating and Body Image, and the Psychology of Memory and Thinking. Specific information as to the topics offered each semester will be available at the time of registration. Three class hours.
Prerequisite: PSY 101, or permission of the instructor