American Univesity of Beirut

Psychology

Mission statement: 
The discipline of psychology is dedicated to increasing the scientific understanding of behaviour and mental processes at the intrapersonal, interpersonal and group level, and to the application of that understanding to enhance the functioning of individuals, groups, and society. In line with this mission, the Undergraduate Program in Psychology has a threefold mission: to advance and transmit knowledge related to the nature of psychological processes and functioning, to provide a strong foundation in the basic knowledge and skills necessary for research in psychology, and to sensitise students to the applications of psychology in the wider community. This mission embodies the main elements of AUB Mediterraneo's​ mission which are to foster freedom of thought, respect for diversity, critical thinking, personal integrity, and civic engagement.

Curriculum:
The Department of Psychology offers a wide range of courses in all the main subdisciplines of psychology: social and personality psychology, clinical and abnormal psychology, and cognition and neuroscience. Occasionally, the department offers guest courses in the fields of forensic psychology, trauma, sexuality, industrial psychology and others. Students obtain hands-on experience in research in their fourth year through the undergraduate thesis project. Students also have the opportunity to learn more about research through departmental colloquia, in which international and local speakers present their latest work across a variety of topics.

Student Activities:
In addition to the comprehensive undergraduate curriculum, our students have the opportunity to gain practical experience through volunteer work and community engagement, and research assistantships that prepare them for applied psychological work. This is made possible through our partnerships with local NGOs, which benefit both the NGOs and our students.​

After graduation:
After completing the BS degree, students are usually recommended to continue with graduate studies. This helps to specialize and focus on a sub-discipline in psychology. Many of our students continue their education at AUB Mediterraneo ​and enroll in our Masters programs. Others continue in competitive programs in universities abroad.

The career options for psychologists range from work in educational and clinical settings to work in research institutions and wider industries. Depending on the area of specialization, psychologists acquire skills necessary to work in the fields of personnel selection and conflict resolution, psychological counseling and therapy, special education and rehabilitation, marketing and others.

Our undergraduate courses include:​

PSYC 201 Introduction to Psychological Science  
A survey of the principles and concepts of modern psychological science. Emphasis is placed on critically examining empirical research investigating human behavior and mental processes. 
 
PSYC 210  Lifespan Development Psychology  
The course provides an introduction to various aspects of human development. It teaches biological, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of human development through the lifespan. Particular attention is paid to the role of nature and nurture in human development. The emphasis is placed on empirical research and current advances in the field of study of human development.  

PSYC 212 Social Psychology  
Social psychology is the sub-field of psychology that studies people and minds in social context. It tackles a wide variety of issues ranging from how we form attitudes to how we interact in groups, from love and intimacy to prejudice and discrimination. In this course, we aim to develop a well-rounded understanding of the field of social psychology and how it translates into the real world. Together, we will bridge research with application, theory with real-life relevance—all while gaining a wealth of knowledge and actively engaging in invigorating discussions. 

PSYC 214 Adult Abnormal Psychology  
An introduction to the research, history, and theories of abnormal behavior in adults and a critical examination of the definition, classification, prevalence, etiology and treatment of adult abnormal behavior. Topics covered include anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, mania, borderline personality, substance abuse, schizophrenia, and sexual abnormalities. 
 
PSYC 216 Personality Psychology  
An introduction to the research, theories, and measurement of personality with a critical examination of the influence of personality on behavior. The course surveys biological, psychodynamic, trait, humanistic, behavioral, social learning, and cognitive perspectives to the understanding of human personality and their application to individuals and organizations. 
 
PSYC 220 Psychology of Learning and Behavior  
A course on the principles of learning and behavior. The psychology of learning, or behavioral psychology, introduces students to the psychology of learning and behavior analysis by examining the classical and operant (instrumental) conditioning paradigms, from an experimental perspective. 
 
PSYC 222 Behavioral Neuroscience  
An introduction to the neural basis of the mind and behavior. The course surveys the structure and organization of the human brain and examines how complex behavior and mental processes arise from it. 
 
PSYC 224 Sensation and Perception  
A course on how humans sense and perceive the environment. Topics covered include the anatomy and physiology of the sensory systems, types of stimuli affecting sensory systems, higher perceptual processing, and current knowledge and theories of our perceptual abilities. The course also emphasizes the relationships between perceptual processes and other higher cognitive functions.  

PSYC 226 Cognitive Psychology  
An introduction to human cognitive processes, including perception, attention, memory, language, imagery, categorization, problem solving, reasoning and decision-making. These cognitive processes are examined with regard to human brain functioning. 
 
PSYC  229 Cognitive Neuroscience  
An advanced course on the underlying neural mechanisms of higher mental function. Topics include brain systems implementing memory, language, decision-making, control of action, social cognition, emotions, creativity, cultural evolution, consciousness, cognitive control and brain-computer interface.
  
PSYC 230 Clinical Psychology  
An introduction to the history and development of the science and practice of clinical psychology with a critical examination of training models, approaches to clinical problems, methods of assessment, choice of empirically validated interventions, prevention strategies and career opportunities. The course surveys clinical and research activities (assessment, therapy, and consultation), settings (clinical, hospital, school, court, and private practice), and professional issues (roles, ethics, and laws)
 
PSYC 234 Positive Psychology  
An introduction to the history and development of the scientific study of positive experiences, positive traits, and positive institutions with a critical examination of the field’s theoretical and philosophical assumptions, methods of assessment, and applications to promote personal growth and fulfilment. The course surveys such topics as personal strengths, optimism, resilience, gratitude, forgiveness, humor, love, sexual intimacy, emotional intelligence, happiness, life satisfaction, and the ability to create positive environments.
  
PSYC 235 Political Psychology  
This course draws on the social psychological literature of intergroup relations, introducing the students to individual and group-based approaches to the study of intergroup relations, as well as political psychological research in the Arab world.  

PSYC 237 Introduction to Cognitive Science  
An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of cognitive science which involves research about the workings of the mind from the fields of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, education, computer science, neuroscience, anthropology, engineering, and others. The course aims to provide students with an appreciation for the range of disciplinary perspectives and methods, and the applications of cognitive science to everyday life.  

PSYC  239 Psychology of Trauma  
This course is aimed at gaining an in-depth understanding of the impact of various types of trauma including developmental trauma, torture and imprisonment, domestic violence, war trauma, and single incident traumas such as natural disasters, accidents or sudden losses.  We will discuss several theories of trauma that explain the experience cognitively, neurologically, emotionally and physiologically.  The course will also cover the socio-political considerations of trauma as well as resilience, recovery and post-traumatic growth.  

PSYC 240 Special Topics in Psychology  
This course provides an in-depth understanding of a topic within a subdomain of psychology (e.g., Applied Behavioral Analysis, Industrial Psychology, Psychology of Religion, Sensory Plasticity and Perceptual Learning). Topics depend on instructor speciality, and course offerings vary across terms.
  
PSYC 280 History and Systems of Psychology  
A course that examines the philosophical foundations of psychology. There is special emphasis on the historical development of scientific conceptions of human behavior and mental processes in the context of contemporary psychological systems. 
 
PSYC 282 Research Design in Psychology  
This course is the first part of the core research requirements for undergraduates in psychology. It introduces you to the basic concepts in research methods and statistical analyses for psychological research. This course provides you with a solid foundation in the basic research methods and statistical analyses that will be needed for PSYC 284 and PSYC 290. Moreover, this course teaches you how to develop and write a proposal to conduct psychological research, consistent with the Style Manual of the American Psychological Association.  

PSYC 284 Statistical Analysis in Psychology  
This course is the second part of the required research sequence for students majoring in psychology. It introduces the student to univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses in psychological research and combines lectures and computer-based lab sessions. 

PSYC 288 Undergraduate Seminar in Psychology  
This course develops the ability to understand and evaluate empirical research in psychology through critical readings of research articles within one or more subdomains of psychology. The aim is to develop an understanding of research questions and methods, including study design, statistical methods and interpretation of data. Students learn to think critically about empirical work and to generate their own ideas within a testable framework. The course will develops academic writing and presentation skills, including the ability to summarize research, formulate logical arguments and critique empirical literature.
  
PSYC 290 Independent Study  
This course trains students to plan, conduct, and write up a full empirical study. The course is equivalent to an internship and is meant to build upon and further develop the research and data analysis skills acquired in the research methodology sequence 
(PSYC 282, 284, 288). It is closely supervised by one faculty member.  



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