PSYX 491-001 - Sleep - Taught by Suzanna Powell
This course is designed as an introduction to the science of sleep, sleep research,
and disorders associatedwith sleep. Sleep is an interdisciplinary problem. Concepts range from biology and
neuroscience (sleepphylogeny, circadian rhythms, sleep/wake regulation, sleep physiology), psychology
(dreaming, primaryinsomnia, sleep disorders, comorbid mental illness, maturational changes related to
sleep and sleepdisorders,) culture and history. By the end of the course students will be able to
demonstrate anunderstanding of research, sleep stages, patterns and other salient features associated
with sleep and sleepdisorders.
PSYX 491-002 - Evolutionary Psychology - Taught by Chris Lustraaf
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the adaptive purpose of
behavior, cognition, and interpersonal perception from an evolutionary standpoint,
both in humans and non-human animals. Students will be familiarized with evolutionary
theory as a whole, and apply this knowledge to various aspects of human perception,
cognition, and behavior. A major emphasis will be placed on discussing information
that is empirically supported. Humans as a species are very social, and natural selection
has been a driving force behind the establishment and maintenance of social groups.
Thus, it is critically important to consider the impact of the physical and social
environment, both past and present, on human psychological processes and behavior.
PSYX 491-801 - Comparative Psychology (online)
PSYX 491, Seminar in Comparative Psychology is an upper-division, online course, taught
an Active Learning format.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), Comparative Psychology is thestudy of the behavior of humans and other animals, with a special eye on similarities
anddifferences that may shed light on evolutionary and developmental processes (APA, Div. 6). I,and many others, have adopted a more contemporary approach, which we will use in this
course:the scientific study of species’ behavioral and mental processes that aims to provide
insight intothe processes’ adaptive significance and the shared evolutionary histories of both
the processesand species. Note that the contemporary definition dropped the anthropocentric focus;comparative research is conducted to learn about the relationships between many species,
and isnot guided by a priority to understand human evolution over another species.
In PSYX 491 we will explore comparative psychology’s ontogeny (path to it’s foundation),phylogeny (where comparative psychology fits within the larger study of psychology),
andevolution (how it has changed over time). This course will survey classic and modern
studies ofboth empirical and theoretical nature. This exploration will occur through the reading,
criticalanalysis, and discussion of history, theory, research, reviews, job-postings and stories
from thefield of comparative psychology. Lessons will be based on readings, both peer-review
primaryliterature and popular literature, and the format of lessons will vary between PowerPoint,
writing assignments, and discussions.