Psychology is a fascinating subject - and if you're a Concordia student, then you're in luck! Concordia offers some of the best psychology courses out there, covering topics from drug abuse to emotions. And on top of that, they have some of the best professors in the province. So whether you're looking for an elective, or are already a psychology major, you should seriously consider taking any one of the following courses during your time at Concordia:
1. Forensic Psychology – PSYC 342
Forensic Psychology was definitely one of the most interesting courses I took in my time at Concordia University, but also one that could be viewed as disturbing for many students. The course covers both the legal and clinical implications of the forensic psychology field, giving some insight into the myths propagated by the media and many Hollywood films. The course covers a variety of fascinating topics, including psychopathy, sexual offenders, serial killers, and how criminal profiles are created for these individuals. Additionally, many issues with eyewitness testimony in both adults and children were discussed, including false memories and coercion.
2. Neurobiology of Drug Abuse and Addiction – PSYC 450
This course is extremely well done, and only in part because professor Uri Shalev is one of the leading experts in drug abuse and addiction. Dr. Shalev addressed several common beliefs about drug abuse and addicts, challenging them and giving his students a new perspective. The course was split up into three main sections, with the first covering basic neurobiology and discussing several drugs and how they affect our brain and behavior. In the second part of the course, theories of drug addiction were covered, including positive and negative reinforcement, the incentive-sensitization theory, disease, and even a loss of control. Finally, we discussed the transition from casual to compulsive drug use and the individual vulnerabilities that can cause this to occur, such as impulsivity, genetics, and the environment.
3. Psychopathology: Mood, Anxiety, and Personality Disorders – PSYC 440
This is a follow-up course to PSYC 340, which covers the fundamentals of psychopathology. The beginning part of the course covers the history of mental disorders and how they were viewed in history up to the present day from cultural, biological, and psychological perspectives. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is discussed from its conception up to the DSM-V, with a focus on its strengths and weaknesses as a classification system and the problems going forward. The next part of the course covered different mood and anxiety disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, general anxiety, and avoidant behavior. Finally, the course discussed personality disorders, with a main focus on narcissistic, borderline, antisocial, schizotypal, and dependent personality disorders. This course was interesting because it challenged personal beliefs about mental disorders, causing us to think about them in a new way and to consider how they may be socially constructed.
4. Emotion – PSYC 423
This course discusses human emotions and how and why we feel them. One main topic includes why different people may vary in their expression of emotions, due to individual differences, culture, age, or sex. The course also discusses how emotions can affect the way we think, pay attention to certain things, our memory, and how we behave and interact with others. Specific emotions were covered in great detail, including shame and guilt, pride, embarrassment, anger, sadness, jealousy, disgust, and happiness. For each emotion, different studies were discussed to explain evolutionary beliefs about the emotion, why people feel the emotion and how they respond to it, and how the emotion is expressed, both behaviourally and through facial expression.