Psychology

A major in Psychology enables the student to approach the study of psychology from the perspective of multiple schools, including the Social, Biological, Cognitive, Organizational, Behavioural, Developmental, and Abnormal, among others. Faculty involved in the teaching of these courses have a wide range of expertise, and the themes of their research ensure that students get an in-depth understanding of the field. The curriculum provides not only a theoretical and practical examination of everyday behaviours, but also focuses on how psychologists define, describe, classify, assess, and diagnose maladaptive behavior.

Core Courses

PSY 301 Research Methods in Psychology

This course provides a basic understanding of principles and theories related to research methods in psychology. Many social scientific research methods are common to psychology, but the students will be taught the caveats unique to psychology. They would be introduced to the scientific need for rigor and ethical treatment of issues and subjects. A range of methods shall be discussed, along with modes of analysis with an eye on how all this can be translated into application in the outside world.

Introduction to Social Psychology

The relationship between the individual and the social world they inhabit will be discussed in this course. Core concepts such as self and group behaviour will be discussed, in the context of longstanding social concerns such as prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination. Violence and conflict will also be explored, as will the notions of helping and altruism. The appreciation of social psychology as the social scientific discipline that amalgamates sister subjects such as sociology and politics will also be highlighted.

History and Systems of Psychology

The development of psychology as a discipline shall be the focus in this course. With an appreciation of philosophy and physiology as its parents, the journey of psychology to modern times shall be discussed. The students shall be introduced to different schools of thoughts in psychology, as well the historical contexts in which they developed. A general appreciation for the way of thinking within psychology shall be examined, with an eye on how the future of the discipline is likely to shape as.

PSY 302 Human Development

This course shall provide a basic understanding of the principles and theories related to developmental psychology. Growth and developmental will be explored through four dimensions: physical, cognitive, social and personality. An understanding of how the human persona changes through their lifespan shall be the focus of this course. The nature-nurture discussion will come to the fore, as well as the universal bearings on human behaviour. Finally, unique developmental challenges of each stage will also be discussed in the course.

Electives Courses

PSY 352 Industrial and Organizational Psychology

This course focuses on the human being in the work environment. Volunteer, paid or recreational work will all feature to understand how and why humans not only need work, but want it as well. Additionally, structures of organizations and businesses will be discussed, with particular emphasis on human and social capital. Contemporary advances and challenges within human resource management will be discussed, along with organizational change management from the perspective of the human in the equation.

PSY 353 Media Psychology

Traditional as well as New media will be discussed to allow students to consider how the information related to the outside world impacts human behaviour. Print, electronic and participatory media dynamics will be considered, with an aim to show how different mediums can create varying degrees of perceptual experiences for people. Finally, the emphasis will be on Social Media and how the individual as an active participant in the development of media content is changing the landscape of human-media interaction.

PSY 359 Cognitive Psychology

This course provides a basic understanding of principles and theories related to cognitive psychology. Neuroscience will feature at the core of this course, wherein the emphasis will be on how brain and its functions determine behaviour. Notions of memory, learning, emotions, language, and speech will be discussed from a biological perspective, to understand how the physical structure enable and restrict humans to perform in certain ways. The importance of cognitive science as the future of psychology will be discussed.

PSY 362 Abnormal Psychology

This course provides an examination of the various psychological disorders as determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Edition 5 (DSM 5) of the American Psychiatric Association. The focus shall be on terminology, etiology and assessment of the major disorders as determined by the latest classification agreed by most practitioners around the world. Upon completion, students should be able to distinguish between normal and abnormal behavior patterns as well as their classifying criteria.

PSY 366 Cyber Psychology

The virtual environment shall be the focus in this course, in terms of how online gaming, relationships, shopping, social relations, etc. are impacting us. Psychological models will be revisited in the wake of the changes in human social interactions owing to the cyber age. Human-machine interaction, as well as emotional and perceptual notations with respect to the Internet shall be discussed. Additionally, students would be able to understand how unique psychological abnormalities and addictions are developing because of the Internet.

Personality Psychology

The development of the concept of personality shall be at the core of this focus, beginning with its philosophy and historical development. Enduring patterns of human behaviours through the years and across cultures shall be discussed. Classical notions of personality will be examined, as well as the contemporary advances in neuropsychology to better understand trait-based behaviours. Finally, modern personality tests shall be studied and the most popular ones will be used for self-analysis within this course.

Cross-Cultural Psychology

While most of the theoretical perspectives in the discipline of Psychology are based on the Western cultures, this course will particularly stretch the canvas so as to include the otherwise less explored schools of thoughts in from other parts of the world. The understanding of human behaviour from other cultures and traditions shall be explored form ancient to modern times. Additionally, modern research that is employing samples across cultures simultaneously shall form the focus of this course, to examine the universality of human behaviour.

Gender Psychology

This course will focus the understanding of human behaviour from the aspect of one variable – gender. The translation of the biological sex of the person into their sociological gender will be discussed for: males, females, and the third or uncategorized genders. Neurological and cognitive differences between genders shall be studied, in addition to the socio-political contexts in which these gendered behaviours are nested. Finally, enduring differences and similarities between genders from a psychological perspective shall be examined.

Experimental Psychology

This course shall serve as an overlap of several technical aspects within psychological testing, including: assessment and measurement, testing and analysis, statistics in psychological research, and experimental inquiry unique to psychology. This course will highlight the ways in which psychology is increasingly becoming a quantitative science, whereby specific measures of various dimensions of human behaviours are increasing becoming possible through contemporary experimental testing in the discipline.

Criminal and Forensic Psychology

Atypical behaviour that instead of being classified as an abnormality is termed as a delinquency shall be the focus of this course. Students will be able to examine the psychological reasons why people tend to break the law within a particular societal context. From minor misdemeanors to vicious and serial offenses, a range of criminal aspects will be discussed including the motivations and compulsions for the crimes. Finally, the course will discuss how psychologists can aid in the forensic investigations after the crime has been committed.

Counseling Psychology

The focus of this course shall be on how 'normal' people can be supported in going through the difficult phases of their lives. A distinction will be made from Clinical Psychology where people falling in the 'abnormal' category are provided therapies. Practical dimensions, including marriage, child, sports, legal and educational counseling shall be discussed, to understand how the human behaviour is impacted by the seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life. Ethics and limits of counseling practice shall also be discussed.

Clinical Psychology

The focus of this course shall be on how 'abnormal' people can be provided various forms of therapies to alleviate their condition. A distinction will be made from Counseling Psychology where people falling in the 'normal' category are provided support. A further distinction will be made from Psychiatry, whereby the pros and cons of medicines on psychological treatment shall be discussed. Therapeutic models shall be discussed in light of the schools of thought within psychology, with an emphasis on Eclectic (combined) approaches.

POL 491/492 MCS 491/492 PSY 491/492 Culminating Experience

The culminating experience is a 9-credit final project that includes both a written and an experiential component undertaken by students in their final year of study at IBA. Project proposals must be submitted before the beginning of the fall semester. The proposal should include a well-articulated research question, research methods to be used, an extensive bibliography that lists both primary and secondary sources to be consulted, and a brief summary of why the student wishes to pursue this line of inquiry. The final written component should be at least 40-pages (including appendices), and both include a synoptic summary of the data collected and an extensive analysis of that data as it pertains to the research question.