The Department

Chairperson: A. Santi
Graduate Officer: L. Parker
Area Co-ordinators:
    Brain & Cognition: W. Hockley
    Community: E. Bennett
    Social & Developmental: E. Wood

The MA program in Community Psychology is designed to prepare researchers and consultants. The primary substantive emphasis of the program is on the prevention of problems in living and the promotion of psycho-social competence and well-being. Six half-credit courses and a thesis constitute the degree requirements in the Community Psychology program. While it is possible to complete the MA degree requirements in a 12-month period, students in this program have typically spread the requirements of their programs over a two-year period of time. The program is viewed as appropriate for either professional training or the pursuit of doctoral studies.
    The MA program in General Experimental Psychology is designed to develop research competence in one of two streams: brain and cognition, and social and developmental psychology. Four half-credit courses and a thesis constitute the degree requirements. Considerable emphasis is placed on developing and completing the thesis. The purpose of the program is to prepare students for Doctoral studies, or for employment in an environment requiring research skills.
    A course relevant to the student's program of studies, but not offered at this University, may be taken at another university upon the approval of the WLU Department of Psychology and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. Normally, not more than one such course (two half-credit or one full-credit) may be taken at another university.

Note: More detailed information regarding both programs and faculty is available upon request from the Department.

Faculty/Research Interests

Bennett, Edward M., BA (Sir George Williams), MEd (Boston), MA (Yale), PhD (Case Western Reserve). Community mental health, community-based economic development, social intervention.
Buehler, Roger, BA, MA, PhD (Waterloo). Social psychology, social cognition, social influence, self-prediction, autobiographical memory.
Eikelboom, Roelof, BSc (McGill), MA, PhD (Concordia). Physiology-behaviour relationship, neuroscience of motivation, exercise, addiction and eating disorders.
Febbraro, Angela, BSc (Toronto), MA, PhD (Guelph). Gender and ethnicity in social, community and organizational contexts, work-family balance, the voluntary sector, social change.
Gebotys, Robert J., BSc, MA, PhD (Toronto). Statistical inference and computing, the psychology of inference in children and adults, criminology.
Gottardo, Alexandra, BSc (Guelph), MSc, PhD (Toronto). Reading acquisition, language development, reading disabilities, reading in English as second language learner, phonological processing skills.
Hockley, William, BA (Queen's), MA, PhD (Toronto). Human learning and cognition, models of memory, recognition decision processes.
Horton, Keith D., BSc (Toronto), MSc, PhD (Alberta). Human memory theory, conscious and automatic priming, application of memory theory to memory deficits and forensic settings.
Hunsberger, Bruce E., BA (Waterloo), MA, PhD (Manitoba). Social psychology, psychology of religion, prejudice, socialization, life transitions.
James, Susan, BA (Waterloo), PhD (Ottawa). Cross-cultural psychology, clinical psychology.
Nelson, Geoffrey, BA (Illinois), MA, PhD (Manitoba). Community psychology, community mental health, primary prevention.
Olds, Elizabeth, BA (Harvard), PhD (Stanford). Visual perception and cognition: attention and visual search, object recognition and colour processing.
Pancer, Mark, BSc (Toronto), MA, PhD (Waterloo). Social psychology, political psychology, adolescence, life transitions, community service and involvement, social activism, program evaluation.
Parker, Linda, BA, MA (Cal-State Long Beach), PhD (Memorial). Behavioural neuroscience, psychopharmacology, learning.
Pratt, Michael, BA (Michigan), MA, EdD (Harvard). Social cognitive development in children and adults, moral judgment, parenting, personal and family narratives across the lifespan.
Santi, Angelo, BA (McMaster), MA, PhD (Carleton). Animal memory and cognition, pharmacological analysis of behaviour.
Servos, Philip, BSc, MA (Guelph), PhD (Western). Functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and psychophysical studies of visual and touch perception, neuropsychology of vision, visually guided prehension.
Walsh-Bowers, Richard, AB (St. Peter's Coll.), MA (Manitoba), PhD (York). Community psychology, civic participation and political action, drama and theatre, critical history of psychological methodology, ethics and report-writing.
Wood, Eileen, BA, MA (Western), PhD (Simon Fraser). Developmental and educational psychology, learning strategies, memory development, early childhood education, computers and education, child and adolescent sexual health.

Admission Requirements
In order to be admitted to the Master's program, a student must meet the General Admission Requirements of the University. An Honours graduate in a program other than Psychology or a combination of Psychology and another subject or General degree graduates may be admitted if evidence justifying admission is offered. However, a program of appropriate preparatory studies (Qualifying Year) will be required of such applicants. Honours graduates in Psychology may also be required to successfully complete one or two undergraduate courses before they are admitted to the Master's program.

Program Requirements

Community Psychology program students must meet the following requirements:
Fall Term Winter Term
PS600 Advanced Behavioural Statistics PS606 Research in Community Settings
PS614 Community Psychology and Social Intervention I PS619 Community Psychology and Social Intervention II
PS615 Community Practicum I PS625 Community Practicum II

In addition, all students are expected to complete a thesis (PS699) relevant to Community Psychology. Finally, students may take a maximum of three elective courses. Potential elective courses in Psychology include PS627 (Independent Research), PS630 (Multicultural Processes in Canadian Perspective), PS631 (Human Service Organizations), and PS650 (Special Topics in Psychology, e.g., feminism).

General Experimental program students must select one of two options (Brain and Cognition, or Social and Developmental Psychology). Students must meet the following requirements:
Fall Term Winter Term
PS600 Advanced Behavioural Statistics
Either: Either:
PS622 Cognitive Processes PS610 Research Seminar in Brain and Cognition
PS629 Behavioural Neuroscience
Or: Or:
PS613 Social Psychology PS612 Research Seminar in Social and Developmental Psychology
PS623 Developmental Psychology

In addition, all students must complete a  thesis (PS699) relevant to the option they have selected in the General Experimental program.

Note: The community practicum courses (PS615 and PS625) are restricted to the students enrolled in the Community Psychology program. All other graduate courses offered by the Department of Psychology may be taken by any student, subject to the approval of the student's Program Director and the course instructor. Psychology students may take graduate courses offered in another graduate program at WLU upon permission of their Program Director and the course instructor, or at other universities through the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) program.

Graduate Courses
Note: Required courses are offered each year. Not all of the remaining courses are offered every year. Contact the Department before accepting an offer of admission to determine whether the courses you wish to complete will be offered during your period of residency.

PS600    0.5
Advanced Behavioural Statistics
The general linear model is presented as a tool for the analysis of experimental and survey data. Topics include analysis of the general linear model (simple and multiple regression examples) by least squares, estimates of error, residual and regression sum of squares, analysis of variance for the general linear model, the concept of extra sum of squares, confidence intervals and tests of significance. An integral part of the course is the use of statistical computing packages (e.g., SPSSX).

PS606    0.5
Research in Community Settings
An examination of the ways in which qualitative and quantitative research strategies can be used in the development and evaluation of community programs. A variety of methods, including observational strategies, interviews, questionnaires and standardized scales, will be reviewed.

PS610    0.5
Research Seminar in Brain and Cognition
A group of faculty meet regularly with students to discuss specific topics in the research literature. Typically presentations of ongoing research are arranged, involving both students and faculty (from WLU and elsewhere).

PS612    0.5
Research Seminary in Social and Developmental Psychology
A group of faculty meet regularly with students to discuss specific topics in the research literature. Typically, presentations of ongoing research are arranged, involving both students and faculty (from WLU and elsewhere).

PS613    0.5
Social Psychology
A discussion of selected current substantive issues in social psychology, including both laboratory and field research, and theoretical concerns. Topics such as the following are covered: methodology in social psychology, social psychology of the psychological experiment, attitudes, group dynamics, aggression, altruism, person perception and socialization. Students are required to develop a research proposal as a major component of the course.

PS614    0.5
Community Psychology and Social Intervention I
An examination of the broad domain of community psychology and social intervention, including core values and historical roots, systems analysis of social issues, research base and applications to various social settings. The general framework consists of posing community issues and problems from multiple levels of analysis (i.e., person, group, organization, community, society) and of identifying and critically reviewing related interventions, evaluations and research. Topics may include: second-order change; deinstitutionalization and normalization; primary prevention, health promotion and social support, gender issues, feminism and sexism; racism and multiculturalism; professional roles and community ethics.

PS615    0.5
Community Practicum I
Under faculty supervision, students become involved in a variety of community settings in roles such as small group leader, consultant, program planner and evaluator, community developer or social change agent. The practicum seminar provides opportunities for mutual support and critical reflection upon these experiences. Case studies and role-plays are also used to build skills in community consultation.

PS619    0.5
Community Psychology and Social Intervention II
Topics may include: rural life and resource development communities; environmental and media influences; global survival issues, social class, economic culture, the work environment, and community economic development; community-based development and co-operatives; and bureaucracies and human service programs.

PS622    0.5
Cognitive Processes
This course involves examination of selected contemporary topics within the domain of attention and human memory.

PS623    0.5
Developmental Psychology
This course includes contemporary research topics in both cognitive and social development from a lifespan perspective. Topics may include: memory development, conceptual development, communication development, moral development, attachment, parenting style and the socialization of cognition. Students are required to develop a research proposal as a major component of the course.

PS625    0.5
Community Practicum II
A continuation of Community Practicum I (PS615).

PS627    0.5
Independent Research
The student carries out an original research project under the supervision of a faculty member. This research project must be in a topic different from that of the student's thesis.

PS629    0.5
Behavioural Neuroscience
Current research in the area of behavioural neuroscience is discussed. The topics focus upon learning, memory, motivation and emotion from a physiological perspective. Students are required to develop a research proposal as a major component of the course.

PS630    0.5
Multicultural Processes in Canadian Perspective
The directed study of psychological theory and methodology relevant to understanding multicultural processes among Canada's diverse ethnic peoples. Structures of official Canadian multicultural and immigration policy and their implications for a pluralistic society are studied.

PS631    0.5
Human Service Organizations
A critical analysis of theory and practice in human service organizations with a goal of preparing students for leadership roles in community-based settings. Topics may include: budgets and grant writing, strategic planning, staff development and team building, supervision, working with community boards and volunteers, management and leadership styles, group dynamics, organizational climate and culture, and human service organizations' relation to community development initiatives.

Special Topics in Psychology
Directed study in major topical areas of Psychology. Topics to be offered each year are announced by the Department.

The thesis provides an opportunity to engage in independent investigations in an area of content or method, typically in conjunction with the implementation of an appropriate design. The thesis should both integrate and highlight course experiences.