University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience

Psychological Science

PSYS 095 A - Meanings of Madness

Instructor: Judith Christensen

Why use such a pejorative term as "madness" for the title of this course? This term has long history and illustrates the stigma often associated with mental health diagnoses. Using historical assessments, cultural differences worldwide, and psychological science research, students will use this multi-perspective approach to understand what is behind mental health stigma and will examine ways to break down such destructive stereotypes and treatment barriers.

  1. Demonstrate knowledge, comprehension and application of central themes and concepts related to Meanings of Madness, including relevant historical developments, theories, ethical standards, research findings, and the complexity of mental health processes (assessed using weekly written reflective assignments, presentations);
  2. Evaluate and apply research methods in mental health, as demonstrated by the ability to summarize, interpret and critically evaluate the research in this area in written and class presentation formats (assessed using article critique, presentation of primary research, annotated bibliography project);
  3. Demonstrate the following proficiencies:
    1. select relevant, current research on a topic,
    2. understand and interpret research,
    3. organize and synthesize information from multiple sources,
    4. master APA writing style and format (assessed using literature review project on a topic of your choice, related to mental health outcomes);
  4. Apply your knowledge to your own mental health processes (for example, categories of problems, evaluation, client/patient care, treatment methods and strategies, treatment outcomes) through weekly reflective assignments, class discussions and to professional applications such as education, communication disorders, law, clinical psychology/mental health, and social relationships.

Requirements Satisfied: Social Sciences and Writing and Information Literacy

PSYS 095 B - Social Psychology of Food

Instructor: Elizabeth Pinel

Social psychologists study the influence of the social world on thought, feeling, and behavior. This course will study human’s experience with food from a social psychological perspective. We will adopt an evidence-based perspective to consider how the world around us influences what we eat, how much we eat, when we eat it, and how we feel about eating. Topics will include the influence of advertising and persuasion on food choice, gender and food, dieting and regulating what and when we eat, food as a source of social connection, and vegetarianism/veganism.

Requirements Satisfied: Social Sciences and Writing and Information Literacy

PSYS 095 C - Debunking Myths of Adolescence

Instructor: Jamie Abaied

In American culture, adolescents (also known as teenagers) are often viewed in a negative light. But are these views accurate? For example, do adolescents constantly argue with their parents? Are all adolescents really as lazy, hormonal, and obsessed with sex as we think they are? Are adolescents permanently glued to their smartphones? Through the lens of developmental psychology, this writing intensive course will explore common stereotypes about American adolescents and examine whether or not these stereotypes are confirmed by research findings. Through this process, we will seek to separate fact from fiction and better understand the true nature of this unique developmental period.

Requirements Satisfied: Social Sciences and Writing and Information Literacy