Univ of Southern California
University of Southern California
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Please note: Due to late revisions, some text on this page differs from what appears in the printed version of the USC Catalogue. The changes appear below as highlighted text, with corresponding explanations appearing in the right margin.


Courses of Instruction

Psychology (PSYC)
The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology (4, FaSpSm) Factors that influence human behavior, including learning, thinking, perception, motivation, and emotion; analysis of determinants of development, adjustment, and maladjustment.

PSYC 165Lg Drugs, Behavior and Society (4, Irregular) An integrative systems perspective of drugs; including their historical, economic, and cultural importance, psychopharmacology, addiction, relationship to crime, and therapeutic use in treating psychological disorders.

PSYC 201Lg The Science of Happiness (4) Evaluates scientific research on human happiness. Integrates research from psychology, economics, and neuroscience in the evaluation of personal and public policy choices.

PSYC 210gm Social Issues in Gender (4) (Enroll in SWMS 210gm)

PSYC 248 Historical Foundations and Contemporary Trends in Psychology (2) Career planning for psychology majors. Historical developments of the discipline, careers, and skills necessary for careers and graduate school. Graded CR/NC. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 274 Statistics I (4, FaSpSm) Introduction to the use of statistics in psychology: basic ideas in measurement; frequency distributions; descriptive statistics; concepts and procedures in statistical inference. Recommended preparation: PSYC 100, MATH 116

PSYC 275Lg Language and Mind (4, FaSp) (Enroll in LING 275Lg)

PSYC 301L Cognitive Processes (4, Irregular) Experimental and theoretical aspects of human memory, perception, thinking, and language. Lectures, demonstrations, and individual experiments. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 304L Sensation and Perception (4, Irregular) Receptor processes and stimulus organization; traditional topics in the perception of objects, space, time. Laboratory demonstrations and exercises. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 305 Learning and Memory (4, Irregular) Principles involved in classical and operant conditioning. Concentration on basic causes of behavior; consideration of the relevance of simple behavioral laws to complicated human behavior. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 314L Research Methods (4, FaSpSm) Experimental research methods in psychology; nature and concepts of scientific method. Lab exercises, data analysis and preparation of APA style empirical report. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 and PSYC 274.

PSYC 316L Non-Experimental Research Methods (4, FaSpSm) Non-experimental research methods in psychology. Observational, survey and data analysis exercises. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 and PSYC 314.

PSYC 320 Principles of Psychobiology (4, Irregular) The integrative study of bio-behavioral systems. Evolutionary, developmental, ecological, social, ethological, and physiological factors mediating representative behavioral and psychological phenonmenon are examined in detail. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 326 Behavioral Neuroscience (4, FaSp) Neural bases of behavior. Concentration on sensory and motor processes and the interaction of neural, chemical, and hormonal systems. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 336L Developmental Psychology (4, FaSp) Child and adolescent behavior and associated theories; exploration of the continuity between child and adult behavior. Laboratory projects. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 337L Adult Development and Aging (4, FaSp) Genetic, physical, and social influences during adult years on perception, learning and memory, intelligence, personality, social roles, and normal and deviant behavioral patterns. Laboratory demonstrations and exercises. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 339Lg Origins of the Mind (4, Sp) Exploration of ancient philosophical questions concerning the origins of human knowledge through empirical studies of infants, animals, and adults from diverse cultures.

PSYC 355 Social Psychology (4, FaSp) Theoretical and experimental analysis of human behavior. Social processes involved in attitudes, conformity, compliance, interpersonal perception, liking, affiliation, aggression, altruism, and group dynamics. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 359 Interpersonal Relations (4, FaSp) Theories and research on person perception, attribution processes, interpersonal attraction and romantic love, freedom and causality, social comparison phenomena. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 360 Abnormal Psychology (4, FaSp) The commonly diagnosed behavior pathologies; biological, social, cultural, and developmental antecedents of abnormal behavior; principles of learning, perception, and motivation, as they relate to psychopathology. Not open to students with credit in PSYC 461. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 361 Introduction to Clinical Psychology (4, Irregular) Introduction to the scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology, including research methods, psychological assessment and diagnosis, psychotherapeutic interventions, and treatment of special populations. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 372 Human Sexuality (4, Sp) Psychological and physiological base of sexuality; gender identity, childbearing, birth control, venereal diseases; dysfunctions and treatments.

PSYC 380 Junior Honors Seminar (2-4, max 8, FaSp) Advanced study of scientific inquiry in psychology with in-depth analysis of current research by faculty in the Psychology Department. Preparation for senior honors thesis research. Corequisite: PSYC 314L.

PSYC 390 Special Problems (1-4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

PSYC 391 Directed Field Experience in Psychology (1-4, max 4, FaSpSm) Individual field experience and independent study supervised by an on-site professional and USC faculty sponsor. Open only to psychology majors and minors. Prerequisite: PSYC 100; recommended preparation: minimum of three courses completed in psychology.

PSYC 401 Evolutionary Psychology (4) Evolutionary and genetic basis of human behavior, including intelligence, sexual behavior, criminal behavior, and violence. Etiology of human diversity, including sex, race, and individual differences. Prerequisite: PSYC 100; recommended preparation: PSYC 274.

PSYC 404L Psychophysiology of Emotion (4, Irregular) Introduction to the scientific study of emotional behavior. Emphasizes research into relations between physiological and psychological variables underlying emotional experience. Demonstrations and laboratory. Prerequisite: PSYC 100, PSYC 274, and PSYC 314.

PSYC 405 Child Language Acquisition (4) (Enroll in LING 405)

PSYC 406 Psycholinguistics (4, Irregular) Experimental and theoretical aspects of how spoken and written language is produced and understood, learned during childhood, and affected by brain damage. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or LING 210.

PSYC 407 Atypical Language (4) (Enroll in LING 407)

PSYC 415L Psychological Measurement (4, Fa) Classical and modern approaches to psychological measurement; scaling; test construction; true score reliability model; generalizability theory; validity; decision theoretic selection; item analysis; item response theory. Prerequisite: PSYC 314L.

PSYC 420 Animal Behavior (4) Exploration of human nature through studies of nonhuman animals, including topics of navigation, culture, object representation, social cognition, music, and morality. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 421L Data Analysis for Psychological Research (4, max 8, FaSpSm) Multivariate analysis emphasizing model estimation and testing; topics vary, e.g., multiple regression, logistic regression, factor analysis, multilevel linear modeling, structural equation modeling, multiway frequency analysis. Prerequisite: PSYC 314L.

PSYC 422 Human Judgment and Decision Making (4, Sp) Descriptive and normative models of decision making; topics include probability judgments, inference, correlation, emotion, mental accounting, decision analysis, lens model, equity, social dilemmas, time, risk. Prerequisite: PSYC 314L.

PSYC 424 Neuropsychology (4, Irregular) Effects of brain damage on human behavior and abilities, particularly language, memory, and emotion. Open only to junior standing or higher. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 425 Functional Imaging of the Human Brain (4, Sp) Introduction to the physical and physiological bases of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and principles of functional MRI, safety, design and analysis of experiments, and operation. Prerequisite: PSYC 100, PSYC 274.

PSYC 426 Motivated Behaviors (4, Irregular) Social, environmental, and physiological influences on behaviors associated with aggression, eating, reproduction, and sleep. Will focus on behavioral disorders such as violence, anorexia/bulimia, sexual abuse, and insomnia. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 430 Social Development of Infants, Children and Adolescents (4) An analysis of selected topics and issues in child social development. Prerequisite: PSYC 100; recommended preparation: PSYC 274, PSYC 314L, PSYC 336L.

PSYC 433 Children’s Learning and Cognitive Development (4, Irregular) Examination of contemporary psychological theory and research on the development of cognitive skills, including language, memory, reading, and mathematics. Prerequisite: PSYC 336L.

PSYC 434 Intelligence, Problem Solving and Creativity (4) Psychometric and experimental approaches to the study of intelligence, problem solving, reasoning and creativity, including analysis of mental test construction and validity. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 and PSYC 274.

PSYC 437 Adolescent Development (4, FaSp) The adolescent years from both an applied and a research-oriented perspective. Topics include physical, cognitive, and moral development; socialization; and sexual and sex-role development. (Duplicates credit in former PSYC 338.) Prerequisite: PSYC 100. .

PSYC 438 Behavioral Genetics (4, Irregular) Inheritance and evolution of behavioral characteristics in man and other species. Prerequisite: PSYC 274.

PSYC 440 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (4, Sp) Introduction to the major components of cognition (perception, memory, intelligence) in terms of the neural coding characteristic of the relevant brain areas. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 450L Neural Network Models of Social and Cognitive Processes (4) Introduction to using neural network or connectionist models to simulate cognitive, social, emotional and motivational processes. Introduction of basic concepts and tools in computational neuroscience. Prerequisite: PSYC 100; recommended preparation: basic knowledge of programming is helpful, but not required.

PSYC 451 Formation and Change of Attitudes (4, Irregular) Effects of socialization, personal influence, propaganda and social structure on private attitudes and public opinion. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 and PSYC 355.

PSYC 453 Intergroup Relations (4) Examination of the nature of relations between human groups and the psychological mechanisms relating to intergroup conflict, war, genocide, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Prerequisite: PSYC 355.

PSYC 454 Social Cognition (4, Irregular) Theory and research on cognitive processes in social behavior, to include social inference, cognition and emotion, the Self, social categorization, person memory, and attribution processes. Prerequisite: PSYC 100; PSYC 355 recommended.

This new course is available beginning fall 2011.

PSYC 456 Conservation Psychology (4, Fa) Examination of theories, research, interventions regarding psychology of environmental sustainability including cognition, emotion, behavior, attitudes, persuasion, values, social identity, consumerism, and science of happiness. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

The title and description for this course will change beginning fall 2012.

Show revised version

PSYC 462m Minority Mental Health (4, Irregular) The influence of culture, ethnicity, race and gender on human behavior. Mental health issues relevant to ethnic minorities in the U.S.

PSYC 462m Culture and Mental Health (4) The influence of culture, ethnicity, race and gender on human behavior. Mental health issues relevant to ethnic minorities in the U.S. Recommended preparation: sophomore standing or higher; PSYC 100.

PSYC 463 Criminal Behavior (4, Irregular) Genetic, biological, psychological, and sociological characteristics of those who evidence criminal behavior; theoretical formulations to be reviewed and appraised. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 464 Psychology of Marriage and the Family (4) Theories and research on family relationships across the life span, including research methods, cultural and developmental perspectives, communication, conflict, attachment, individual psychopathology and family violence. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 465 Introduction to Forensic Psychology (4) Survey of current topics, technologies and techniques. Students acquire a basic understanding of how forensic psychologists contribute their unique expertise to the American legal system. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 469 Schizophrenia Research (4, Irregular) Current research on possible causes of schizophrenia. Topics: history, diagnosis, genetics, neural development, obstetrics, psychosocial factors, brain imaging, psychopharmacology, premorbid signs and aging. Prerequisite: PSYC 100; recommended preparation: read current professional journals related to schizophrenia.

PSYC 480x Senior Honors Seminar (2-4, max 8, FaSp) Advanced study of empirical approaches in psychology. Progress presentations and evaluations of Senior Honors Thesis research. In-depth exploration of issues in science. Not available for graduate credit. Prerequisite: senior standing in Psychology Undergraduates Honors Program.

PSYC 490x Directed Research (2-8, max 8, FaSpSm) Individual research and readings. Not available for graduate credit.

PSYC 499 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, FaSp) Selected topics in the various specialty areas within psychology. Topic will vary from semester to semester. Prerequisite: PSYC 100.

PSYC 500L An Overview of Quantitative Methods in Psychology (4) Team taught introduction to analysis of variance, regression analysis, multivariate measurement, and significance testing. Computer laboratory linked to class material using SAS, SPSS, and R. Open only to psychology majors.

PSYC 501L Statistics in Psychological Research (4, Fa) Basic principles of statistics. Classic inferential methods are now known to perform poorly under general conditions. Methods for dealing with known problems are covered. Lecture: 3 hours; lab: 1 hour.

PSYC 502L Analysis of Variance and Experimental Design (4) Experimental designs and their analyses of variance beyond straightforward factorial, nested, or repeated measures designs. Prerequisite: PSYC 501 or equivalent.

PSYC 503L Regression and the General Linear Model (4, Fa) Multiple regression as a tool in experimental and non-experimental data; analysis of variance and covariance as regression on coded variables. Computer applications Laboratory exercises. Prerequisite: PSYC 501.

PSYC 504 Research Design (4, Sp) Intensive review of research methods in the behavioral sciences. Problem analysis, formulation of research propositions, and procedures for research inference.

PSYC 505 Research Methods in Applied Social Psychology (4, FaSpSm) Various research techniques that are useful in a variety of different real world settings, such as business, governmental agencies and charities. Open only to Master of Human Behavior students.

PSYC 506 Learning and Cognition (4, Irregular) Survey of learning theory and research, including conditioning and information-processing approaches with human and animal subjects.

PSYC 508 Historical Foundations of Psychology (4, Irregular) History of psychology: clinical, cognitive, developmental, experimental, quantitative, and social; epistemology and philosophy of science as applied to psychology.

PSYC 510 Visual Cognition (4, Irregular) The behavioral, neural, and computational aspects of real-time shape recognition will be examined, along with implications for imagery, reading, concepts, and attention.

PSYC 512 Seminar in Social Psychology (4, max 8, Fa) Problems and theories of the person in the social context. Person perception, interpersonal relations, attitude dynamics, social systems.

PSYC 513 Attitudes and Social Influence (4, FaSpSm) Current theories of attitudes and behavior, measurement, attitudes as predictors of behaviors, effects on changing attitudes and behavior. Open only to Master of Human Behavior students.

PSYC 514 Psychopathology (4, Fa) Study of psychopathology: in-depth survey of theory and research concerning psychological disorders; introduction of diagnosis. (One of three clinical psychology core courses: PSYC 514, PSYC 515, PSYC 619.)

PSYC 515 Clinical Assessment (4, Fa) Study of clinical assessment: test construction, measurement and prediction of behavior, major cognitive and personality assessment instruments. (One of three clinical psychology core courses: PSYC 514, PSYC 515, PSYC 619.)

PSYC 517 Group Dynamics and Leadership (4, FaSpSm) Theory and research on effective teams and characteristics of strong leaders. Negotiation, morale-building, managing expectancies, utilization of cultural diversity as a strength. Open only to Master of Human Behavior students.

PSYC 520 Test Analysis (4, Irregular) Factor analytic theory. Classical test theory. Prerequisite: PSYC 501.

PSYC 524 Research Design in Developmental Psychology (4, Irregular) Review and practice in the analysis and design of experimental and quasiexperimental paradigms for research on ontogenetic age changes and generational differences in behavior.

PSYC 533 Cognitive Development in Children (4, Sp) Review of theories of cognitive development. Analysis of research on brain functioning, perception, memory, language, reasoning and academic skills from birth to adolescence. Open to graduate students in psychology.

PSYC 534 Social and Emotional Development in Children (4, Fa) Theories of social and emotional development, including sociocultural perspectives. Analysis of research on temperament, social relationships, individuation and moral development from birth to adolescence. Open to graduate students in psychology.

PSYC 538 Origins of Human Nature (4) Exploration of the evolutionary and developmental origins of human nature. Topics include navigation, object and number cognition, culture, sexual behavior, cooperation, language, and morality.

PSYC 540 Cognitive Neuroscience (4, Sp) An examination of the major components of cognition (e.g., perception, memory, intelligence) in terms of the neural coding characteristic of the relevant brain areas.

PSYC 544 Psychophysiology (4, max 8, Irregular) Recent research on relations between basic psychological states (e.g., cognition, learning, emotion) and physiological response processes (e.g., autonomic responses, covert muscle activity).

PSYC 545 Neuropsychology (4, Irregular) Brain mechanisms underlying perceptual and cognitive functioning: brain damage, loss of function, and clinical assessment.

PSYC 546 Current Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience (4, max 8) Analysis of selected, recent advances of perception, memory, attention, and conceptualization, as revealed by neuroimaging; behavioral, drug, primate single-unit studies; cognitive deficits and evolutionary perspectives. Recommended preparation: some background in behavior science, neuroscience, or computational science.

PSYC 547 Functional Neuroanatomy (4, Irregular) Regional organization and systems of the mammalian nervous system and their functions.

PSYC 550ab Proseminar in Human Behavior (a: 4, Fa, b: 4, Sp) The nature of the human mind, social interactions, conflicts, cooperative behavior, mutual influence and effectiveness. Application of psychological principles to the dynamics of commercial entities. Open only to MHB students.

PSYC 551 Decision Neuroscience (4) Neuroscientific studies attempting to understand the neural basis of judgment and decision-making, social behavior, and market economies. Recommended preparation: PSYC 547.

PSYC 552 Principles of Consumer Psychology (4) Examination of the attitudes and decisions of consumers, and how to effectively reach consumers by using persuasion and proper positioning in the marketplace. Open only to M.H.B. students.

PSYC 554 Application of Psychological Influence (4) Examination of the psychological factors that make messages effective, which include preconceptions and biases of individuals and groups, universal and idiosyncratic motivations, hopes, and fears. Open only to M.H.B. students.

PSYC 555 Introduction to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (4, FaSp) The physical and physiological bases of MRI and fMRI. Design and analysis of fMRI experiments. Operation of a magnetic resonance imaging system.

PSYC 556 Psychology of Interactive Media (4) Examination of the diverse methods of communicating with a target audience with a special emphasis on the newest computer-based tools for providing information and influence. Open only to M.A., Communication; M.C.M.; and M.H.B. students.

PSYC 574 Topics in Engineering Approaches to Music Cognition (3, max 6) (Enroll in ISE 575)

PSYC 575L Multivariate Analysis of Behavioral Data (4, Irregular) Multivariate statistical models and contemporary computer methods in multiple regression, multivariate analysis of variance, factor analysis, canonical correlation, repeated measures analysis, and structural equation modeling. Prerequisite: PSYC 500L.

PSYC 576 Psycholinguistics (3, Fa) (Enroll in LING 576)

PSYC 577 Analysis of Covariance Structures (4, Irregular) Multivariate analysis of non-experimental data, including structural equation modeling, path analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis. Computer applications using variety of optimization routines and purpose-written software. Prerequisite: PSYC 503.

PSYC 578 Workshop in Quantitative Methods (4, max 8) Practical, hands-on experience in the application of selected quantitative methods to empirical data. Includes training in use of relevant computer software. Prerequisite: PSYC 501 and either PSYC 502 or PSYC 503.

PSYC 586 Advanced Psycholinguistics (3, max 9) (Enroll in LING 586)

PSYC 590 Directed Research (1-12, FaSp) Research leading to the master’s degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

PSYC 591 MHB Internship (2, 4, 6, 8, max 8) Internship in a non-university setting, such as business, governmental agency, or NGO. Graded CR/NC. Open only to M.H.B. students.

PSYC 592 MHB Treatise (2) Requires a research paper of substantial length and high quality that integrates the Internship experience with concepts and principles of human behavior. Graded CR/NC. Open only to MHB students.

PSYC 594abz Master’s Thesis (2-2-0, FaSp) Credit on acceptance of thesis. Graded IP/CR/NC.

PSYC 595 Practicum in Clinical Psychology (1-4, max 12, FaSp) Supervised experience in interviewing skills and assessment, including psychological test administration and the preparation of reports. Graded CR/NC.

PSYC 599 Special Topics (2-4, max 8) Selected topics in the various speciality areas within psychology at the graduate level. Topic will vary from semester to semester.

PSYC 606 Seminar in Learning and Memory (4, max 8, Irregular) Basic problems and experimental data related to understanding the nature of learning processes.

PSYC 607 Seminar in Behavioral Neuroscience (4, max 8, Irregular) Selected topics considered in the contexts of recent experimental developments and current theoretical trends.

PSYC 610 Seminar in Information Processing in the Nervous System (4, max 8, Irregular) Current issues in research on short term retention, recognition, and recall; sensory filtering and attention; information processes in human skill; limits of capacity.

PSYC 612 Seminar in Advanced Social Psychology (4, max 16, Irregular) An intensive consideration of selected concepts, theories, and research problems in social psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 512.

PSYC 616 Research Techniques for Non-Experimental Social Science (4, Irregular) Quasi-experimental designs; causal inference from correlational research, techniques for evaluating measures of attitude, personality, and social motives: observational methods; content analysis; sampling and survey techniques.

PSYC 619 Psychological Intervention (4, Sp) Study of clinical psychological treatment: research and theory about major psychological approaches to intervention. (One of three clinical psychology core courses: PSYC 514, PSYC 515, PSYC 619.)

PSYC 621 Seminar in Quantitative Psychology (4, max 12, Irregular) Selected topics in mathematical psychology.

PSYC 622 Decision Analysis and Behavioral Decision Theory (4, Irregular) Normative and descriptive theories and research on human decision-making, with special emphasis on applications to real social decision problems.

PSYC 660 Seminar in Clinical Psychology (4, max 8, Irregular) Selected topics in clinical psychology.

PSYC 663 Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience (4) (Enroll in CSCI 663)

PSYC 676 Seminar in Psycholinguistics (3, max 12) (Enroll in LING 676)

PSYC 680 Seminar in Psychopathology (4, max 8, Irregular) Selected topics in psychopathology.

PSYC 691ab Internship in Clinical Psychology (0-0, FaSp) Supervised clinical work in an approved mental health setting. Graded CR/NC. Prerequisite: good standing in clinical program and departmental approval.

PSYC 695 Advanced Practicum in Clinical Psychology (1-4, max 12, FaSp) Didactic practicum combining theory and research on psychological intervention with clinical practice in assessment and treatment, focused on particular client groups or disorders. Graded CR/NC.

PSYC 790 Research (1-12, FaSp) Research leading to the doctorate. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

PSYC 794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0, FaSpSm) Credit on acceptance of dissertation. Graded IP/CR/NC.