Psychology Seminar Careers and Graduate Study in Psychology

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					tion of the message,had to consider whether subjects may
be more likely to pay attention to one speech style than
the other. To address this issue, the student synthesized
 information from research on speech styles as well as from
studies of attentional cues in information processing.                                      0{           12.
                                                                        psycho\oiy. Teaching Psychology. 91-94.
                                                                       Yoder,J. (1979). Teaching studentsto do research.
    Perhaps the main difficulty with this approach is getting
                                                                        Ps,ch%gy. 6, 8S-M.
the students to think creatively when they select a topic.
Because many of our majors are not asked to engage in
creative thinking in other psychology courses,they generally
                                                                                                     Notes
need some encouragement in this direction. I periodically
remind students that they are not required to conduct the              1. I thank John Bestfor his commentson a draft of this article.
study; therefore, they are not limited to panicular methods            2. Correspondence  concerningthis article should be addressed to
or subjects. To illustrate what former students have done                 William E. Addison.Departmentof Psychology.   EasternIllinois
in this regard, I provide a list of proposal titles from previous         University, O1arleston,It 61920.
classes.
    A related problem is that students frequently have diffi-
culty addressingmethodological and ethical issuesin a study
that they have not actually conducted. This problem is not             Psychology Seminar: Careers and
limited to students' research proposals. As Neimark (1987)
pointed out, we all have a tendency to engage in context-
                                                                       Graduate Study in Psychology
tied thinking. Neimark suggestedthat one way to alleviate
this tendency is to panicipate in exercises designed to en-            Jerry P. Dodson
courage context-free thinking. By requiring students to en-            Garvin Chastain
gage in "what if" thinking about potential methodological              R. Eric Landrum
                                                                       BoiseState University
and ethical issues,the research proposal constitutes just such
an exercise.
    Critics may argue that becausedata collection ISan essen-          This article ckscribesa coursefar junior and senior ps"Jcholog:y
tial pan of the researchprocess,students who write a research          mojars, informing themabout careeroptionsand graduateschool
proposal in lieu of conducting a study are not getting a               opport.niries in ps'JCholog.,.We also discuss dttLJils about course
complete, firsthand researchexperience. For this reason, the           planniRgand argani~ation.SU11Ie"J  results indicate that snWems
researchproposal is most effective when used to supplement             experiQtad substantial changesin the dtgree tky planned to
research assignments based on data collected by students.              pursue and in their financial planning far graduateschool.
Under these conditions, the proposal can be an effective way
to get the students to think critically and creatively.                   This article describes an upper division course designed
                                                                       to familiarize majors with career opportunities in psychology
                                                                       and related fields. In addition, the course provides informa-
                           References                                  tion about choosing a graduate school, applying to schools,
                                                                       financing a graduate education, and preparing for the
                                                                       Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
Baron, J. (1988). Thinlang and deciding.Cambridge, England:
 CambridgeUniversity Press.
Carroll, D. W. (1986). Use of the jigsawtechnique in laboratory
 and discussion         TtOdling~ Psychology,
                 classes.                        13,208-210.                             Rationale for the Course
O1amberlain,K. (1986). Teaching the practical research   course.
 Teaching Psychology, 204-208.
            ~            13,                                               Faculty members in our department recognized that many
O1amberlain, K. (1988). Devising relevant and topical under-           majors, even juniors and seniors, were not fully aware of
 graduate  laboratoryprojects:The core article approach.
                                                       Teaching        career opponunities that degreesin psychology might afford
  of P~,         15,207-208.                                           them. Students seemedeven lessknowledgeable about issues
Edwards,J. D. (1981). A conceptual /Tamework for a core program        related to graduate school, such aswhere to apply, gradepoint
  in psychology. Teaching of Psychology,8, 3-7.                        averageconcerns, assistantships,fellowships, and the like. As
Forsyth, G. A. (1977). A task-first individual-differences approach    a department, we tried various solutions: communicating
  to designing a statistics and methodology course. Teaching of        information through faculty advising and a freshman orien-
  Psychology,4, 76-78.                                                 tation program, offering a required sophomore-level course
Halpern, D. F. (1989). Thought                      An
                                 and knowledge: introduction      to
                                                                       on careers in psychology, and developing a one-credit elec-
  critical thinlcing (2nd ed). Hi llsdaIe, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
                                                                       tive seminar classon graduate school issues.
  Associates, Inc.
McGill, T. E. (1975). Special projects laboratory in experimental
                                                                           Becauseeach solution was partially successful,we finally
  psychology. Teaching ~ Psychology,2, 169-171.                        decided to combine components of the careers class and
Nadelman, L. (1990). Learning to think and write as an empirical       the graduate school seminar into a single, three-credit course
  psychologist:
              The laboratorycoursein developmentalpsychol-             and to recommend that stUdents take the class during the
               of
  ogy. Teaching Ps)ClK>Iogy.
                           17.45-48.                                   fall semester of their junior year. Our rationale was that
Neimark. E. D. (1987). Ad\JtTItures thinking. San Diego; Harcourt
                                  in                                   juniors' maturity level would help them to find the course
  Brace Jovanovich.                                                    content relevant to their future, and they would have suf-

238                                                                                                           Teaching of Psychology
ficient time to usethe coursecontent for their educational           (1988) who evaluated career development courses and
and careerdecisions.                                                 Davis (1988) who taught a course introducing students to
                                                                     the profession of psychology. Our anicle provides additional
                                                                     details about suggestedcourse format and subsequent assess-
                  Overview of the Course                             ment of the upper division careersand graduate study course.

    Jerry Dodson and Garvin Chastain (the first and second
 authors) have team taught the course since its inception.                                     Assessment
 Each attends every class, and each actively participates in
 almost every class session. Students write a journal entry             Forty-two students enrolled in Psychology Seminar: Ca-
 about the day's class, summarizing the class activities and         reers and Graduat~ Study in Psychology at Bois~ State Uni-
 recording their personal reactions. The instructors collect the     versity panicipated in this study. Students compkted a
journal entries, read and respond to each entry, and return          survey at the first and last classmeetings. After the semest~r,
                                                                     we matched students' pre- and postcours~surv~ys to evalu-
journals at the next class meeting. Guest speaker presenta-
 tions are interspersed with instructor lectures. In choosing        ate changes in responding.
guest speakers,we rely on local professionalswho represent a
 variety of specialty areasin psychology and related fields.
    Our course is a three-credit, full semesterpass-fail course.                        Outcomes and Benefits
No textboolc is required, no examinations are given, and
no fonnal papers are required. There are some texts now                  The basic reason for offering this course was to provide
                                                                      students with career-related information and to alen them
available that may be useful in this type of course; see
                                                                      to opponunities. Post- versuspretest changes to survey ques-
American Psychological Association (1993) and Keith-
                                                                      tions suggestedhow the course was effective.
Spiegel (1991). Our attendance policy allows students to
                                                                         Students tended to change their goals with respect to the
miss only three class periods during the semester with no
                                                                      terminal degreesthey planned to pursue. Changes in desired
penalty. A fourth absence requires an instructor-approved
                                                                      level of degree (e.g., originally desiring a doctoral degree
paper or project relevant to the course. Students cannot
                                                                      but changing plans to seek a master's degree) were frequent
pass the course with five or more absences.Journal entries
                                                                      and probably account for the substantial change acrossthe
provide an easy means for tracking attendance and allow
                                                                      semester. Results also suggestchanges in students' plans for
us to (a) receive immediate feedback about the impact of
                                                                      financing their graduate education. Students increased the
our presentations and those of guest speakers; (b) see what
                                                                      frequency with which they planned to secure grants or fel-
questions and areas c:Jconfusion remain for students after
the material has been presented; and, if necessary,(c) make
                                                                      lowships. There was financing graduate education were in-
                                                                    . which other ways of a slight increase in the frequency with
adjustments in our planning to provide additional informa-
                                                                    dicated. Some of these other ways, such as securing funding
tion on a topic or otherwise clarify students' misconceptiOl'\s'.
                                                                    through fraternal organizations, industry, and churches,
    In reviewing the literature for descriptions of similar
                                                                    were presented to students during the seminar, and students
courses, topics emerged that are related to our course corf>,
                                                                    seemed not to have been aware of those alternatives. Stu-
tent, including curriculum, preparation, and advising, and
                                                                    dents showed remarkable stability concerning their plans to
only one anicle reports on similar topics (Buckalew & Lew-
                                                                    begin additional schooling immediately after graduation
is, 1982). For example, Malin and Timmreck (1979) dis-
                                                                    versus delaying this schooling until later.
cussed the undergraduate curriculum and how it relates to
                                                                       StudentS' responsesto the course have been positive. For
the psychology major, and others (Cole, 1979; Eddy, lloyd,
                                                                    the latest semester, studentS' overall satisfaction was a 9.50
& lubin, 1987) described issuesconcerning the preparation
                                                                    on a to-point scale, with 10 indicating the highest possible
of undergraduatesfor graduate school in psychology. Advis-
                                                                    satisfaction. Similarly, students' averagerating for instructor
ing issuesare discussedin the course, and these topics have
                                                                    effectiveness was 9.65.
been addressed in the literature (Matthews, Rogers, &
                                                                       In summary, Psychology Seminar. Careers and Graduate
Scheirer, 1986, on general advising; Smith, 1985, on advis-
                                                                    Study in Psychology is an effective way to inform students
ing beginning psychology majors). Work by Ware (1992,
                                                                    about the options for careersand graduate study in psychol-
 1993) has also focused on advising, including career courses.
                                                                    ogy. The course gives interested students information pre-
    Buckalew and Lewis (1982) described an upper division
                                                                    sented in a systematic and meaningful way, rather than in
course on introducing psychology majors to "life-preparatory
                                                                    the uneven and piecemeal fashion that is typical in the
experiences" (p. 77), including the history of psychology,
                                                                    absence of such an approach.
life management, fiscal development, money management,
and investment (topics not covered in this course). How-
ever, our course differs substantially from Buckalew and
                                                                                               References
Lewis's in the following ways: (a) It is pass-fail rather than
graded, (b) students write in journals, (c) we discuss the
                                                                    American Psychological Association. (1993). Getting in: A sup-
GRE and GRE practice strategies. (d) much of the focus is            "'-step plan for gaining admission ID groc!uart school in psycholory.
on graduate school rather than opponunities available with           Washington. DC: Author.
an undergraduate degree in psychology, and (e) it contains          R L-,.I.-. .. ( 'IV ~ (_ic  H H {IOA?\ r.orrin.J
                                                                                                              .                ~.    ( il-
a quantitative evaluation and assessmentof the course.                                            psychologymajors. p~
                                                                      preparation for undergraduate
Other valuable contributions in this area come from Ware                    51,
                                                                      Rrpons, 77-78.

VoL 23, No. 4, December 1996                                                                                                         239
 Cole, D. L (1979). Undergraduate             for
                                  prq1Qration admissionto                 education. Both goalscan be servedby teaching a course
                                              of
  professionalIChooIsof psychology.TtochiTIg PS'JCholory,   6,            in situ. Studying the writing of theoristsin the context of
   179-180.                                                               their culture and history addsa new dimensionto students'
 D.1vb, S. F. (1988). The professionalpsychologist:A course
                                                                                         of
                                                                          understanding the theoristsand their theories.The result
  designedto introduce studentsto the ptolasion of .-vchology.
  In P. J. Woods (Ed.), Is psychoIory   for rNm! A guide to               can be a rich intellectual experiencethat enhances  under-
  ~~            cWsm, (pp. 75-78). Washington.DC: American                graduates personally                   I
                                                                                               and academically. recentlydeveloped
   Psychological Association.                                             and taught such a course,Vienna's Psychologists:    Freud,
 Eddy, 8., Uoyd. P. J., &. lubin. 8. (1987). Enhancing the                Adler, and Frankl, in Austria.
  application to doctoral ptofessional programs:            from
                                                  Suggestions
  a national survey.TtddUngof P~.             14. 160-16).
 Keith.Sp~~ P. (1991). The mrnpIt~ guidt 10 gr~            school                          Overview of the Program
  admission:            and
              Ps,c:hoIogy related  fields.Hillsdak. NJ: Lawrence
  ErlbaumA.ociates, lnc.
                                                                             This course was taught in Vienna as an upper level semi-
 Malin, J. T., &. Timmreck, C (1979). Student goals and the
  undergraduate  curriculum. Ttadting 0( Ps,dtoq" 6. 136-139.             nar in which students read backgrOW'\d   and original writings
 Matthews,J. R., Rogers, M., &. Scheirer,C. J. (t 986). Selected
                         A.                                               of Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Vilctor Frankl. The
  resources collegeteachers psychology.
            for                of              Tmcm., 0( Ps,dtol-          2-hr lecture-discussion class met 4 days per week. Students
     13,3-7.
   OCt                                                          .                                                  of
                                                                          spent 1 week reading the major worlc.s each theorist. On
Smith. R. A. (1985). Advising beginning psychologymajorsfor               the 5th day and/or weekends, the class went on required
                                       I
 graduateschool T tadting of Psychology,2, 19+-198.                       and optional field trips to places important to the theorists.
Ware. M. E. (1988). Teaching and evaluatinga careerdevelop.               Grades were basedon weekly quizzes,reaction papers,a final
 ment course for psychologymajors. In P. J. Woods (Ed.), Is               exam, and class participation.
   ~           for rMnr A gwide undnxr oda.atradMsinr (PI"
                              to                             6+- 7..) .
                                                                             The entire program toolc place over a "I-week period. The
 Washinifon. OC: American Psychological    Association.
Ware, M. E. (1992). CoUegiate  careeradvising-.
                                              Scarus,anteced.             J-week course was preceded by J days of orientation and
 ents, and strategies. A. S. Puente,J. R. Matthews.&. C L
                     In                                                   concluded with 2 days for the final exam and a farewell
 Brewer (&Is.). Ttochifl( ps,chology AmDica; A IUst.or,
                                    in                   (pp.             dinner. Orientation included lecture-tours on art, architec-
 39-69). Washington,DC: American Psychological   Association.             ture, and music. These orientations were conducted in Eng-
Ware. M. E. (1993). Developingand improving advising:O\al-                lish by native professors and were specifically designed to
 lengesto preparestudentsfor life. In T. V. McGovern (Ed.),               introd'tce students to the period from the late 19th century
           /or
 HardxJoIc mhancing     unckrgr~             in
                                     tducaaon f'5,dto1oc(pp.              to the,early 20th century, paralleling both the heyday of
 47-70). Washington.DC: American Psychological   Association.             Viennese high culture and the emergence of the psycho-
                                                                          analytiC School of psychology. Students lived with Viennese
                                                                          families in which at least one member spoke English to
                                Nntp
                                                                          some   degree.

Correspondence  concerningthis anicle. including requacsbr ad-
                                             to
ditional coursemateriak,should be addressed Jerry P. Dodson,
Dq.nment of Ps)'Chology,  BoiseState University, 1910Univer-                                        Readings
sity Drive. Boise,ID 83725.
                                                                                                     to
                                                                             Readings were chO6eO reflect each theorist's view con.
                                                                          cerning the themes of the individual and society and the
                                                                          meaning oflife. Discussionsspecifically addressed    each theo-
Teaching a Personality Course in Vienna                                   rist's position on the major issuesof heredity versusenviron-
                                                                          ment, conscious versus unconscious, free will versus
Marianne Miserandino                                                      detenninism, and the definition of pathology.In addition, the
Beaver College                                                            class became interested on their own in other themes that
                                                                          similarly lent themselves to comparison among the three
                                                                          theorists. These themes included freedom of choice, the
This article   describes a COUTSe. Vienna's Psychologists:   Freud,       purposeof religion, spirituality, sexual intercourse, and dream
                  caught
Adler, and Frr:mJd,    in        Vienna to American college stu-          analysis.
dents during the summer   of 1995. Students rht original
                                          read                              The majorwork by Freud(1930/1961) Civilization
                                                                                                                     was
works0{ Freud,Adler, and Franld;wenton/itld tripsto ploces                and its Discontents. In eight essays, Freud described how
                                   an           of
rtleuantto rht rhtorists;andgained appreciation psycho-                   society-and organized religion in particular-was devel-
analysis,indiWIualpsychology, Iogotherapy the context
                               and          in                            oped as a kind of defense mechanism to help people deal
0{ the history and culture of Vienna. T alcinga COUTSt in situ            with the pleasure-seekingnature of the id and the problems
allows students to understand the cultural, historical, and social        caused for the id by the necessity of living with others in
forces affecting Wonsts and their theories. Suchintndisciplinary          a community. Freud discussed many interesting issues,in-
understanding is the essence of liberal education.                                                               (to
                                                                          cluding the famous arbtiten amdLieben work and to love)
                                                                          standard of healthy adult adjustment and the "oceanic feel-
   Psychology recognizes the importance of understanding                  ing" or "bond of being one with the external world as a
the influence of contextual variables on the development                  whole" (p. II).
of theories and the practice of psychology (FurumO£o,1989).                  Students also read the classic case study of little Hans
likewise, s£udying abroad is encouraged as pan of a liberal               (Freud, 1909/1964), which illustrates Freudian concepts and

240                                                                                                           Teachingof Psychology



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