Courses Taught at Cornell College
Carolyn Zerbe Enns


Psychology 161: General Psychology
The general psychology course is designed to provide an overview of the field of psychology.  Students are introduced to the methods, guiding concepts, and application of psychological principles to everyday life.  The study of psychology is diverse, ranging from the investigation of the relationship between biology and behavior to the study of the effects of social structures on individual actions.  This course provides an introduction to the various sub-fields of psychology and is a useful first course for a psychology major or a social science elective for a non-major.  The theme of diversity in human experience is a major focus of the course


Psychology 279: Personality Theories
This course surveys major theories of human personality.   It examines the major contributions of personality theorists, critiques their works from a variety of perspectives (including feminist and multicultural perspectives), and explores potential methods for integrating theories.  In addition, the personality theories class explores recent empirical research methods and findings relevant to personality psychology.  Each class member reads test materials and original works of personality theorists; reflects on and applies personality concepts to real life examples; and explores, compares, and critiques personality theories and research through individual research projects.

Psychology 276: Multicultural Psychology

American psychology has often been culture-bound and culture-blind.  It has been shaped primarily by a Eurocentric worldview.  The purpose of this course is to examine the relevance of the so-called universal psychological principles that have been proposed by Western psychology and place psychology in a more global perspective.  It explores the ways in which psychology is socially constructed and pays particular attention to the following factors as they influence human development: oppression, language, acculturation, economic concerns, racism and prejudice, sociopolitical factors, child-rearing practices, religious practices, family structure and dynamics, and cultural values and attitudes.


Psychology 374: Psychology of Women and Gender
In 1968, Naomi Weisstein made the following statement about psychology: "Psychology has nothing to say about what women are really like, what they need and what they want, essentially, because psychology does not know."  It has been thirty years since Naomi Weisstein spoke these words.   As a result of many feminist psychologists' efforts, the psychology of women has become an important and exciting area of research and study.  Furthermore, the entire field of psychology has been influenced by the work of feminist psychologists who have made extensive progress toward correcting the androcentric bias within the field.  This course is designed to build awareness of that progress, to review major theoretical orientations and research related to the psychology of women, and to identify the ways in which gender bias and sexism still influence the lives of women.

This course focuses on issues such as achievement, interpersonal relationships, victimization, parenting, health, and adjustment.  The class explore theories of and research about women, as well as historical and social themes that influence women's experiences.  Women's life choices and tasks, gender similarities and differences, and the psychological health of women receive special emphasis.  This course also examines the diversity of women by exploring the impact of social factors, race, ethnicity, class, culture, sexual orientation, and gender role beliefs on women's lives.



Psychology 381: Abnormal Psychology
The purpose of this course is to expose students to a wide variety of problems in living that range from stress-related concerns and situational crises to the more severe forms of psychosis that involve loss of touch with reality and/or the threat of severe harm to oneself and/or others.  This course provides an overview of major "syndromes" and "disorders;" various theoretical and empirical perspectives about how they develop; methods of psychological treatment; and how culture, history, and social institutions influence the nature and treatment of human crises.  This class also focuses on issues of justice and discrimination related to the diagnosis and treatment of individuals.  A feminist analysis of gender issues as well as the examination of the ways in which ethnicity, class, and minority status influence psychological diagnosis and treatment are important components of the course.  The assumptions underlying this course are that human distress is normal, and that human adjustment should be represented along a broad and flexible continuum.  Rather than exaggerating the differences between "normal" and "abnormal" behavior, this course examines the diverse and complex variations of individual coping and survival, and promotes an empathic orientation to human distress.


Psychology 382: Counseling and Psychotherapy
This course provides an overview of a wide range of theoretical orientations to counseling and psychotherapy.  It also includes experiential learning opportunities to assist with the development of listening, attending, interaction, and feedback skills.  The counseling and psychotherapy course examines current issues and innovations in psychotherapy, including multicultural counseling, ethical dilemmas, and feminist concerns.  This course provides opportunities for students to apply counseling principles to diverse problems and case studies; to compare, contrast, and integrate various theories of counseling and psychotherapy; to pursue independent reading and research relevant to counseling and psychotherapy; and to examine personal qualities that support or hinder efforts to interact therapeutically with others.

Psychology 483: Senior Seminar
The senior seminar is designed as a capstone experience for psychology majors.  It provides psychology majors with opportunities to reflect on the science and profession of psychology and to consider their future interests and direction.  This course examines what it means to be a psychologist, how the field of psychology is currently developing, and what issues and conflicts must be addressed if psychology is to maintain a viable and effective influence on society.  Themes and topics focus on the diversity within psychology, gender issues, multiculturalism, social responsibility, ethics, and the role of scientific psychology in society.

Topics Courses:

Culture, Gender, & Public Policy in Japan (PSY 261)

Asian and Asian American Psychologies (PSY 262)

Psychology, Social Justice, & Public Policy (PSY 263)

The three courses in this group represent special topics courses taught during 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.


Psychology 380: Practicum in Psychology
The human services practicum provides opportunities for individuals to apply psychological principles in an off-campus setting.  This experience allows students to gain exposure to a career in the human services, to gain observational and "hands on" experience, and to interact with professionals who work in the human services.  The nature of the practicum varies depending on the goals of the student and the mission of the agency and the services it provides.

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last updated: May 10, 2000