Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Collection Development Guide: Psychology: Selection Criteria


The Alkek Library will purchase material at the Instructional level (2) and Research Level (3), for the library’s collection in support of the BA and BS Undergraduate degree programs, the MA in Psychological Research, and various Undergraduate and Graduate minors in Psychology. Specific Selection Criteria concentrate on, but are not limited to the following areas:

Courses in Psychology

PSY 1300. Introduction to Psychology.

A survey of the major principles derived from research on human and animal behavior. Topics studied include learning, thinking, motivation, emotion, personality, the senses, perception, and the form and functions of the nervous system. PSY 1300 with a grade of "C" or better is required for most other Psychology courses.

PSY 2301. Introduction to Statistics.

(PSYC 2301) The course provides an introduction to statistical methods in behavioral sciences with special emphasis on application to psychological research. The topics covered include descriptive statistics, principles of statistical inference and common hypothesis testing techniques such as z-test, t-tests, analysis of variance, correlation and regression, and selected non-parametric tests.

PSY 2311. Psychology of Human Sexuality.

A psychological and physiological examination of the human sexual experience from conception through old age. Current research findings serve as a basis for study. Major consideration is given to the human sexual system, the sexual act, sexual attitudes and behavior, and sexual complications.

PSY 3300. Lifespan Development.

Survey of the psychology of human development from the pre-natal period through adulthood. Emphasis placed on cognitive, motivational, and physiological processes of development in childhood and adolescence.

PSY 3314. Psychology of Consciousness.

This course is an introduction to the study of consciousness from the perspective of psychology, neuroscience, and the natural sciences. Topics reviewed included philosphical foundations, cognitive and neuroscientific approaches, the physical correlates of consciousness, introspection, sleep and dreaming and altered states of consciousness.

PSY 3315. Abnormal Psychology.

An introduction to the study of abnormality: (1) issues in defining and evaluating it, (2) examples, (3) theories and research attempting to categorize, describe, and explain it, and (4) approaches used to prevent or change it when it is deemed a problem by the individual and/or society.

PSY 3316. Personality Psychology.

A comprehensive introduction to research, theory, and application in the field of personality. Individual differences and situation influences are examined concerning authoritarianism, achievement motivation, anxiety, intelligence, self-concept, interpersonal attraction, aggression, sexuality, and altruism.

PSY 3321. Sensation and Perception.

An introduction to the processes of perception. Topics will include perceptual measurement, the physiological bases of perception, basic visual processes, and basic haptic, olfactory, and gustatory processes.

PSY 3322. Brain and Behavior.

This course covers research findings and theoretical concepts concerned with the physiological, anatomical, and pharmacological bases of behavior. Topics include sensory systems, the physiological mechanisms of motivation, and the physiological correlates of associate processes such as learning.

PSY 3325. Psychology of Persuasion.

This course uses a socio-psychological perspective to understand the dynamics of persuasion and propaganda. It applies selected theories and research on social influence, persuasion and attitude change to such areas as political and educational campaigns, product advertising, mass media and public opinion.

PSY 3331. Social Psychology.

The study of how people influence each other. The course covers such topics as conformity, inter-personal attraction, prejudice, and aggression.

PSY 3333. Industrial Psychology.

The study of applying psychological knowledge and techniques to the modern industrial environment. Topics studied include employee needs, attitudes, selection, testing, boredom, motivation, anxiety, and job satisfaction.

PSY 3334. Psychology of Human Diversity.

Explanations about how the environment, genetics and culture shape human differences, and how these differences are linked to world progress and understanding are addressed.

PSY 3335. Forensic Psychology.

Examines the relationships between psychology and the processes of the American courtroom. Sample issues to be addressed include; (a) What psychological theories are used to explain jury decisionmaking? (b) How accurate is the memory of eyewitnesses? (c) How do characteristics of defendants influence juries?

PSY 3336. Sport Psychology.

This course examines the relationships, psychological concepts, and individual’s thoughts regarding sports, health and exercise. Sample topics include (1) current theoretical perspectives of personality factors at sports and exercise, (2) why people engage in sports, (3) exercise adherence, (4) mental skills, and (5) the psychological effects of sports and exercise.

PSY 3337. Psychology of Prejudice, Discrimination, and Hate.

This course will explore psychological theories and factors that underlie prejudice, discrimination, and hate. Although the course will focus primarily on these issues as they have developed and influence realities in the United States, global issues will also be explored.

PSY 3338. Service Learning: Protecting the Vulnerable.

This course examines clinical, legal and psychosocial conditions of adults who, due to mental illness, developmental impairments, brain injuries or aging, are declared “incapacitated” and have court-appointed guardians. Students will serve as the probate court representatives who inspect living conditions and services for individuals under the court-ordered guardianships.

PSY 3341. Cognitive Processes.

This course covers the acquisition and use of knowledge, contemporary research on perception, pattern recognition, memory, thinking, problem solving, and language comprehension.

PSY 3350. Cognitive Behavioral Therapies.

The course provides theory, research, and application of psychological principles that affect humans in education, business, and personal life. Emphasis is placed on effective use of reinforcement, classroom management, self-control, relaxation, and assertiveness.

PSY 3352. Group Processes.

A study of how the individual relates to his group membership. Students will analyze the development and functioning of their own groups, with attention to such issues as problems faced by group members in the early phases of a group’s existence, leadership roles, group pressure, and trust.

PSY 3361. Health Psychology.

Surveys contemporary theory and research on body/mind interaction in physical and mental health. Emphasis on personality, psychosocial, and stress factors in physical health. Other topics include the effects of physical health on psychological well being, pain management, longevity and aging, and coping with illness and dying.

PSY 3402. Experimental and Research Methods.

This course introduces students to basic instruction in experimental design, data collection, and technical report writing in Psychology. By examining applications of various methodologies, this course provides information on the steps involved in crafting and executing empirical research projects as well as instruction on procedures and software.

PSY 4318. Psychological Tests and Measurements.

The course provides an introduction to basic principles, research, and theories on testing and measurement of psychological constructs. It includes validity, reliability, item analysis, administration, scoring, and interpretation of existing tests and measures, and construction of new measures including surveys and other psychological instruments.

PSY 4342. Learning and Memory.

A study of memory and learning in humans and animals. Attention is given to comparative cognition, cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of memory, and memory deficits.

PSY 4350. Reality Therapy/Choice Theory.

This course focuses on Glasser’s concepts of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy. This course explores how the “total behaviors” and choices we make impact our lives, the kinds of relationships we want to have with others, health and quality of the life.

PSY 4352. Introduction to Clinical Psychology.

Overview of clinical psychology. Emphasis on current theories and methods of individual psychotherapy. Class discussions of readings, films, audiotapes, and live examples illustrating approaches. Experiential learning via class exercises in pairs and small groups and by role-playing both therapist and client in a series of helping sessions.

PSY 4390B. Emotion and Human Behavior.

This course will provide an advanced understanding of the multifaceted phenomenon of emotion and its effect on human behavior. Students will be introduced to the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of emotion, the various individual emotions (e.g. fear, anger, happiness) and will learn how emotion can affect physical and psychological health.

PSY 4390N. Psychopharmacology.

This course reviews psychopharmacology topics including: neuronal and chemical mechanisms underlying drug action; environmental factors modulating the impact of drugs on emotion, cognition, perception and behavior; the processes underlying drug dependency, tolerance, and withdrawal; and the implications for drug abuse treatment and prevention strategies, especially concerning adolescents.

PSY 4390P. Human Factors and Ergonomics.

This course examines characteristics of people that are applicable to the design of systems and technological devices. This course will illustrate how methods and principles of human factors and ergonomics enhance the usability, safety and performance of human-machine systems.

PSY 4390Q. Introduction to Developmental Disabilities.

This course will provide students with perspectives on the causes, manifestations, and treatment of developmental disabilities throughout the lifespan. Historical views and societal issues will be investigated along with current practices and research.

PSY 4391. History and Theory.

Study of the evolution of psychology as a science through a systematic review of the principal scientific and philosophic antecedents of modern psychology, and analysis of the status of the major contemporary theoretical schools.

PSY 4393. International Psychology.

The course focuses on the history, status, and future directions of scientific and professional psychology throughout the world. It requires reading about, discussing, and writing about the relatively new specialty area of international psychology. The objective is to deepen students’ knowledge of psychology’s relevance to the solution of global problems.

PSY 5306. Psychological Development: Theories & Research.

This course is an advanced coverage of biological, social, and cognitive development throughout the lifespan. Topics include cognitive developmental theory, sensory/perceptual development, language development, infant attachment, the development of gender roles, moral development, and issues related to aging.

PSY 5314. Attitudes: Assessment and Change.

This course reviews social cognitive theories and research on attitudes and behavior change, and examines the principles of persuasive communication. Topics covered include individual differences in information processing, risk assessment, decision making and factors moderating attitude-behavior consistency.

PSY 5318. Assessment in Psychology.

The course will provide an overview of assessment instruments commonly used by psychologists and neuropsychologists in research and practice. Basic psychometrics such as validity and reliability also will be covered.

PSY 5324. Biological Bases of Behavior.

This course provides an overview of the nervous system structure and function appropriate to the overall field of Psychology in order to foster an appreciation of the biological determinants of behavior.

PSY 5326. Neuropsychological Assessment.

This course will introduce principles of neuropsychological assessment including assessment procedures, interpretation of results, neuropathology, and the range of neuropsychological functions to be assessed.

PSY 5334. Health Issues in Diverse Population.

This course examines the influence of socio-cultural beliefs and perceptions on health behaviors and the use of health services.

PSY 5335. Foundations of Health Psychology.

This course will utilize a biopsychosocial approach to understand the psychology of wellness and disease. Topics include stress, coping, pain, social support, and chronic illness. Special emphasis will focus on physiological responses, psychoneuroimmunology, and somatization.

PSY 5343. Occupational Health.

This course focuses on promoting and maintaining the physical, mental, and social well-being of workers by promoting positive health behaviors, controlling risk factors, and facilitating the adaptation of work to people and people to their jobs.

PSY 5345. Psychopharmacology.

This course explores: (1) the reasons that humans and animals consume mind altering substances called psychoactive drugs, (2) the neuronal, chemical, and hormonal mechanisms underlying drug action, and (3) the environmental factors that modulate the impact of psychoactive drugs on emotional, cognitive, perceptual and behavioral expression in humans and animals.

PSY 5352. Psychological Therapies.

This survey course on evidence-based psychological interventions focuses on the active mechanisms by which therapies work and their application to specific diagnostic categories and conditions. Interpersonal, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and dialectical behavior therapies will be highlighted along with newer empirically-based therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and mindfulness approaches.

PSY 5362. Cognitive Neuroscience.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to cognitive neuroscience: the study of the biological basis of cognitive processes such as perception, attention, memory, language, and decision-making. This is a seminar course that will cover theoretical constructs, methods, and current research findings in cognitive neuroscience.

PSY 5370. Learning, Cognition, and Motivation.

Basic problems in the acquisition of responses, treating with such constructs as reinforcement, extinction, retention, forgetting, problem solving, motivation, and punishment.

PSY 5373. Human Memory and Memory Disorders.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of topics in human memory including different types of memory and the brain structures involved. Special emphasis will be given to problems with memory including aging memory, amnesia, and Alzheimer's disease.

PSY 5374. The Psychology of Language.

This course provides a grounding in the cognitive theories/models of the major areas of language research: acquisition, comprehension, and production. It also provides an overview of the cognitive processes involved in several specific topic areas in language, such as syntax, semantics, discourse, prosody, bilingualism, neuro-linguistics, sign language, and reading.

PSY 5381. Introduction to Psychophysiology.

This course will provide an overview of the principles, theory, and applications of using physiological measures to study mental processes.