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Registration: Interim

Interim 2009


PSYC W80 Movies and Mental Illness. From the advent of the motion picture industry, movies have attempted to capture the essence of human affect, behavior, and cognition.  This course focuses on the attempts of the movie industry to capture the essence of mental illness.  The course is divided into two parts. The first part of the course will trace historical changes in the understanding of mental illness and the perspective on the mentally ill and those who treat them, and in so doing emphasize how movies reflect the Zeitgeist of broader western culture.  The second part will focus on various emotional disorders, emphasizing symptoms and perspectives on the development and the treatment of these disorders. Students view a variety of movies and are involved in critiquing them regarding perspective, accuracy, and realism.  The goal is to develop critical-thinking skills in viewpoint film portrayals of psychological disorders.  Students are evaluated on the basis of a group project and final paper. This course may fulfill an elective in the Psychology major or minor. Prerequisite: Psychology 212 or equivalent. R.S. Stehouwer.  8:30 to noon.

PSYC W81 Helping Skills. This course presents fundamental skills and strategies that underlie many psychotherapies.  In reviewing the theory and research on therapy and helping relationships, the course identifies basic principles of problem management, communication, listening, and helping.  A workshop format is used to teach and practice helping skills.  Students develop skills in practice interviews and small group exercises. Appropriate for students in psychology as well as social work, pastoral counseling, or management fields. Evaluation is based on interviews, three writing assignments and a presentation. This course may fulfill an elective in the Psychology major or minor.  Prerequisite: Psychology 151. J. DeBoe.  8:30 to noon.

PSYC W82 Knowing  Yourself. This course is an introduction to contemporary theories and research about how people come to know and evaluate themselves and how self-judgments influence our emotions, actions, and aspirations.  How can an individual’s self-concept and self-esteem be assessed?  What are the limits and distortions of self-understanding?  How does one’s self-concept originate and develop?  How do people seek to maintain stable self conceptions and enhance their self-esteem?  How does self-understanding contribute to the way we deal with anxiety, depression, and personal failure?  What dynamics contribute to the disintegration of self?  The course includes readings, lectures, class discussions, films, and personal reflection on one’s own self-concept.  Students are required to take two written tests and to complete a narrative life history that demonstrates their ability to use appropriate principles and concepts from the course.  This course is not open to students who have taken or plan to take Psychology 311.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Psychology major or minor.  Prerequisite: Psychology 151.  J. Brink, G. Weaver.  2:00 to 5:00.

PSYC W83 The Meaning of Childhood. How do we view children in our society? Are they to be indulgently pampered with Disney Cruises and given trophies “just for showing up”, or are they an impediment to adult happiness and self-fulfillment? Views of children will be examined in at least four areas:  as a legal category (including legal rights of children, effects of laws regarding custody and child abuse on children, and the viability of children as legal eyewitnesses); as a consumer group (including the effects of media on children’s diet, aggression, and consumer habits); their portrayal in popular culture, and; both early and modern Christian perspectives on childhood. Historical examples of societal attempts to exploit children (for example, Nazi Germany, the Salem witchcraft trials, and Lowell Mill girls) will be explored. Values regarding children implicit in parenting literature (both Christian and non-Christian) will be critically examined, as will the strengths and weaknesses of current society’s ability to effectively prepare children for successful adulthood. Evaluation is based on discussion of required reading, one exam and a brief group project. This course may fulfill an elective in the Psychology major or minor.  Prerequisite: Psychology 201, Psychology 204, or Sociology 350, or consent of the instructor. Basic knowledge of child development is needed. L. DeHaan. 8:30 to noon.

PSYC W84 Addictions: What, How and Why? This course explores not only the rapidly expanding knowledge of addictions but also how this knowledge is informing identification and treatment of addicted individuals with subsequent impact on society and the Christian community.  Specific topics include biological, psychological and societal contributors to addiction and treatment modalities.  Through the use of “The Addiction Project” film, selected readings, class discussions, projects and guest speakers, this course hopes to demystify the problems of addiction and our Christian responsibility toward individuals with addictions.  The course will include an in-depth investigation of alcoholism most likely through the use of a first person account, “Smashed, Story of a Drunken Girlhood”, a visit to an AA meeting, and examination of Christian perspectives concerning addiction as discussed in the book, “Alcohol, Addiction and Christian Ethics” and selected readings from the “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”.  Evaluation is based on class participation, a journal and a paper.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Psychology major or minor.  Prerequisite: PSYC 151.  J. Yonker.  8:30 to noon.

PSYC W85 Intergroup Relations & Reconciliation. This course focuses on the psychology of intergroup relations, conflict, biases, and stereotypes. Attention will be given to issues of racial and gender prejudices, how these biases are formed, maintained , and expressed. Students will be encouraged to see both the blatant and hidden expressions of intergroup conflict that occur in our world. The course also covers social psychological approaches to reducing prejudice and intergroup conflict. Evaluation is based on class participation, reactions papers and an exam. This course may fulfill an elective in the Psychology major or minor.  Prerequisite: Psychology 151. B. Riek. 8:30 to noon.