DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

The Department

Chairperson: Michael Pratt
Graduate Officer: Alexandra Gottardo
Area Co-ordinators:
    Brain & Cognition: Roelof Eikelboom
    Social & Developmental: Eileen Wood
    Community: Mark Pancer

The Programs

Masters Programs
The masters program is concentrated in three areas: brain and cognition, social and developmental psychology and community psychology.

Brain and Cognition
The objectives of the MSc program in brain and cognition are to develop competence in designing, conducting and evaluating research in the field of brain and cognition. 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.

Social and Developmental Psychology
The objectives of the MA program in social and developmental psychology are to develop competence in designing, conducting and evaluating research in the field of social and developmental psychology. 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.

Community Psychology
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 psychosocial 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.

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.

Doctoral Programs
The PhD program in psychology is concentrated in 3 areas: brain and cognition, social and developmental psychology and community psychology.

Brain and Cognition
The objective of the PhD program is to train students to become independent research investigators in the field of brain and cognition. An apprenticeship model provides students with an opportunity to acquire advanced academic knowledge in brain and cognition, as well as to develop basic and/or applied research skills. The PhD dissertation requires original research that contributes significant new knowledge to the field. Graduates are trained for positions in university, hospital, community, industry or government settings.

Social and Developmental Psychology
The objective of the PhD program is to train students to become independent research investigators in the field of social and developmental psychology. An apprenticeship model provides students with an opportunity to acquire advanced academic knowledge in social and developmental psychology, as well as to develop basic and/or applied research skills. The PhD dissertation requires original research that contributes significant new knowledge to the field. Graduates are trained for positions in university, hospital, community, industry or government settings.

Community Psychology
The scientist-practitioner model of training forms the basis of the PhD program in community psychology. The objectives of the PhD program are for doctoral students to develop: 1) critical thinking, knowledge, and ethical sensitivity in relation to social systems analysis and intervention, community research and evaluation, and human service policy, programs, and practice, and 2) skills for catalyzing social action and social policy initiatives related to community psychology, for conducting community research and evaluation, and for providing education and training both in university settings and in the community. Unlike the MA program, the PhD program is geared to prepare graduates as scholars in universities, as policy researchers/analysts in governmental and non-governmental settings, as community researchers and program evaluators, and as managers of human service organizations.

Note: More detailed information regarding the program and faculty is available upon request from the department.

Faculty

MA/MSc Admission Requirements

Brain and Cognition
For admission to the MSc program in brain and cognition, a student must have completed a BSC or BA honours degree in psychology with a minimum B average in the last 2 years of study. The GRE General test is required. 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 MSc program.

Social and Developmental Psychology
For admission to the MA program in social and developmental psychology, a student must have completed a BSC or BA honours degree in psychology with a minimum B average in the last 2 years of study. The GRE General test is recommended. 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 MA program.

Community Psychology
For admission to the MA program in community psychology, a student must have completed a BSC or BA honours degree in psychology with a minimum B average in the last 2 years of study.  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 MA 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 applicantís 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 individual change to achieve optimal well-being.

MA/MSc Program Requirements

Students must meet the following requirements, according to their chosen stream of study:
Fall Term Winter Term
Brain and Cognition PS600 Advanced Behavioural Statistics I
PS660 Principles of Cognition
PS663 Principles of 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
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
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 graduate officer, the appropriate area co-ordinator, 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.

MA/MSc 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 I
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., SPSS).


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.
PS650

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 behavioural 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.)
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.)

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.)
PS699

Thesis
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.

PhD Admission Requirements

Brain and Cognition
Students must apply by March 1 for admission to the PhD program in brain and cognition. Admission is contingent upon successful completion of a masters degree program. If a student applies with a MA or MSc degree from another university, she/he may be admitted to the PhD program; some make-up course work may be required depending on the courses completed at the masters level. The GRE General test is required.

Social and Developmental Psychology
Students must apply by March 1 for admission to the PhD program in social and developmental psychology. Admission is contingent upon successful completion of a masters degree program. If a student applies with a MA or MSc degree from another university, she/he may be admitted to the PhD program; some make-up course work may be required depending on the courses completed at the masters level. The GRE General test is recommended.

Community Psychology
Students must apply by March 1 for admission to the PhD program in community psychology. Admission is contingent upon successful completion of a masters degree program. If a student applies with a MA or MSc degree from another university, she/he may be admitted to the PhD program; some make-up course work may be required depending on the courses completed at the masters level. It is expected that the applicants will have substantial experience in community practice.

PhD Program Requirements
Training at the doctoral level in all three areas is based on a research apprenticeship model, in which students work closely with faculty supervisors conducting research.

Course Requirements - Brain and Cognition

Course Requirements - Social and Developmental Psychology Course Requirements - Community Psychology PhD Dissertation Requirements
The university regulations regarding the requirements for submitting a doctoral dissertation and scheduling the oral examination will apply.

Decisions of the Dissertation Examining Committee
The examining committee must reach one of five decisions:


PhD Graduate Courses

PS800    0.5
Advanced Multivariate Methods
This course focuses primarily on structural equations modeling.  Other topics may include canonical correlational analysis, factor and cluster analysis, LOGIT, PROBIT, and path analysis.
(Cross listed with SK806, but taught by Psychology)
Prerequisite: PS601 or equivalent graduate statistics course as determined by the instructor.


PS802    0.5
Program Evaluation
This course offers an advanced investigation of current methods for evaluating programs and  services. Topics include measurement of processes and outcomes, needs assessment, impact analysis, the politics of evaluation, and relevant ethical issues.
(Cross listed with SK802, but taught by Psychology)
PS805    0.5

Qualitative Research Methods
An in-depth exploration of the application of qualitative methods to community research problems, including problem formulation, data collection options, and the analysis of qualitative data.
(Cross listed with SK805)
PS860    0.5

Seminar in Cognition
This course is designed to provide the student with in-depth study of contemporary topics within the domain of human memory and attention.
PS861    0.5

Seminar in Comparative Cognition
An intensive examination of contemporary developments in the area of comparative cognition. Topics focus on perception, learning, memory, or any other cognitive or representational process in animals.
PS862    0.5

Seminar in Perception
An intensive examination of contemporary developments in the area of perception. Psychophysical, physiological and behavioural techniques and research findings concerning the visual, auditory, chemical and mechanical processing systems are discussed.
PS863    0.5

Seminar in Behavioural Neuroscience
An intensive examination of contemporary developments in the area of behavioural neuroscience. Topics focus on learning, memory, motivation and emotion from a physiological perspective.
PS865    0.5

Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience
An intensive examination of contemporary developments in the area of cognitive neuroscience focusing on the relationships between neurobiology and cognition, perception and motor control.
PS869    0.5

Research Seminar in Brain and Cognition
The seminar consists of research colloquia given by students, faculty and outside speakers. The seminar also has a component devoted to training in teaching.
PS870    0.5

Specialized Research and Methods in Social Psychology
An advanced course in social psychology research areas (offered every other year).
PS875    0.5

Specialized Research and Methods in Developmental Psychology
An advanced course in developmental psychology research areas (offered every other year).
PS879    0.5

Research Seminar in Social and Developmental Psychology
All students and faculty in the social and developmental area are required to attend this research colloquium. The seminar also has a component devoted to training in teaching.
PS880    0.5

Theories and Ethics of Social Analysis and Intervention
In a social historical context, students comparatively and critically assess the epistemological roots, values and ethical bases of community intervention, theory, research, evaluation and practice. Areas of focus include social policy, community organization, adult education, and program planning, with an emphasis on citizen participation in these interventions.
PS889    0.5

Community Research and Action Seminar
A forum for faculty, graduate students, and community members to share projects covering diverse areas of community research and action. Presentations, discussions, and other formats are used to critically examine and reflect on important social issues, research and action strategies. The seminar will also have a training component in teaching and community education.
PS890    0.5

Special Topics in Psychology
Directed study at the doctoral level in a major topic in psychology.
PS891

Comprehensive Research Experience
PS899

Dissertation