The Department

Chairperson: Michael Pratt
Graduate Officer: Geoffrey Nelson
Area Co-ordinators:
    Brain & Cognition: Angelo Santi
    Community: Edward Bennett
    Social & Developmental: Eileen Wood (Anne Wilson as of January 1, 2003)

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 objectives of the MSc program in the field of brain and cognition and the MA program in social and developmental psychology are to develop competence in designing, conducting, and evaluating research in the respective field. Five 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 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 the program 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.
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.
Roberts, Kim, BA, PhD (Sheffield). Developmental psychology and forensic psychology including the development of children's eyewitness memory and source monitoring, investigative interviewing and children's experiences in the justice system.
Sadler, Pamela, BSc, BA, PhD (Waterloo). Multivariate statistics, personality and interpersonal behaviour, social psychology, individual differences in response to hypnosis.
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
For admission to the master's program, a student must have completed a BA or BSc honours degree in psychology with a minimum B average in the last two years of study. The GRE General test is strongly recommended (required for Brain and Cognition). 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 (a Qualifying Year) may 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. For the Community Psychology program, experience in community settings and identification with a Community Psychology orientation are key factors in the admission decision. This is assessed by means of an interview procedure in which the student's community experiences and responsibilities are reviewed to determine the value system that is reflected in their experience, as well as their understanding of the need for both community and inividual change to achieve optimal well-being.

Program Requirements

Students must meet the following requirements, according to their chosen stream of study:
Fall Term Winter Term
Community PS600 Advanced Behavioural Statistics I
PS614 Community Psychology and Social Intervention I
PS615 Community Practicum I 
PS 606 Research in Community Settings
PS619 Community Psychology and Social Intervention II
PS625 Community Practicum II
Brain and Cognition PS600 Advanced Behavioural Statistics I
PS660 Cognitive Processes
PS663 Behavioural Neuroscience
PS601 Advanced Behavioural Statistics II
PS669 Research Seminar in Brain and Cognition
Social and Developmental PS600 Advanced Behavioural Statistics I
PS670 Social Psychology
PS675 Developmental Psychology
PS601 Advanced Behavioural Statistics II
PS679 Research Seminar in Social and Developmental Psychology
In addition, all students must complete a  thesis (PS699) relevant to the option they have selected.

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).

PS601    0.5
Advanced Behavioural Statistics II
The general linear model is used to analyze some common experimental designs used in psychological research. Results are presented using the Analysis of Variance technique developed in PS600. Topics include qualitative and quantitative variables, factorial designs, orthogonal contrasts, multiple comparisons, randomized block and Latin square designs, split plot designs and more general models and methods. An integral part of the course is the use of statistical computing packages (e.g., SPSS).
Prerequisite: PS600

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.

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.
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.

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.
PS660    0.5
Principles of Cognition
The basic principles and developments in the field of cognition are presented. (Not available for credit to students holding credit for PS622.)

PS663    0.5
Principles of Neuroscience
Basic principles of neuroscience connecting molecular studies with studies of the behavioral actions of the nervous system are presented. (Not available for credit to students holding credit for PS629.)

PS669    0.5
Research Seminar in Brain and Cognition
All students and faculty in the brain and cognition area are required to attend the research seminar. The seminar consists of research colloquia given by students, faculty or outside speakers. The seminar also has a component devoted to training in teaching. (Not available for credit for students holding credit for PS610.)

PS675    0.5
Seminar in Developmental Psychology
Contemporary research topics and theory in both cognitive and social development from a lifespan perspective. Topics such as memory development, conceptual development, moral development, attachment, language development, parenting style and the socialization of cognition are included. Students are required to develop a research proposal as a major component of the course. (Not available for credit to students holding credit for PS623.)

PS679    0.5
Research Seminar 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). (Not available for credit to students holding credit for PS612.)

PS670    0.5
Seminar in Social Psychology
A discussion of selected current substantive issues in social psychology, including both laboratory and field research and theoretical concerns. Topics such as attitudes, social cognition, the self, group dynamics, aggression, altruism, methodology in social psychology and socialization are included. Students are required to develop a research proposal as a major component of the course. (Not available for credit to students holding credit for PS613.)

All students complete a thesis under the supervision of an advisor with the expected date of completion by August 31st of Year 2. The thesis may be in the format of a journal article.