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III. Policies: Psychology

  • Subject name: Psychology
  • Subject abbreviations: PSYC
  • Bibliographer: Suzanne Larsen
  • Other subject responsibilities: General Science; Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Museum and Field Studies; and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences.
  • Address: 184 UCB, Science Library
  • Phone: 303-492-4611
  • Email: Suzanne.Larsen@colorado.edu

I. Purpose:
The Department of Psychology is a biosocial science that teaches behavior from both biological and social perspectives. This major and its elective requirements are designed to achieve a broad understanding of the contents, concepts, and research methods of contemporary psychology in the context of a liberal arts education.

A. Curricular Emphasis:
The undergraduate studies the social and biological background of human nature in an overarching conceptual framework that encompasses the entire field of psychology. Studies include psychology as a laboratory science and the interplay between theory and research; the critical evaluation of research designs, results and interpretations; practical applications of research knowledge; and the interaction of social situation and psychological attributes in generating human behavior. There is an historical overview of modern psychology including the major ideas of scholars in the subgroups of psychological disciplines. Ethical and philosophical issues are discussed. The formulation, use, and application of basic statistical tests is emphasized. The graduate student studies both basic and applied research in one of five fields: behavioral genetics, behavioral neuroscience (including learning and motivation), clinical, cognitive, or social psychology. Extensive use of descriptive and inferential statistics is made for measures of central tendency, variance, and correlation. The psychology student must be able to present clear oral and written summaries of their research efforts.


B. Research Emphasis:
Areas of education and research are very broad. They include problem solving, thinking, human learning and memory, motivation, judgment and decision making, language, artificial intelligence, reading, attention, performance, perception, information processing, social cognition, self-concept development, relationships, cultural influences and behavior, knowledge theory, health, behavioral genetics, evolution, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, statistics, psychopathology, and clinical psychology.


C. Level of Degrees Granted:
BA, MA, Ph.D. Note: Although an MA degree is awarded, the Department of Psychology does not accept applications from students seeking the MA as a terminal degree.


D. Special Studies Programs:
Highly qualified students are admitted to a concurrent BA/MA program that specializes in cognitive psychology with the intent of continuing a doctoral program in psychology or for technical careers involving cognitive psychology in the government or industry. The certificate program in Cognitive Science Studies is an interdisciplinary program for undergraduate majors in the Departments of Psychology, Philosophy, Linguistics, and Computer Science. The Neurosciences Certificate Program is an interdisciplinary program for undergraduate majors spanning Psychology, EPOB, MCDB, and Kinesiology. It emphasizes how the brain controls behavior.


E. Other subjects That Overlap and Utilize Materials:
Anthropology, Chemistry, Education, Computer Science, Linguistics, Biology, Engineering, Business, Mathematics, Philosophy, History, Social Studies, Medicine, and Pharmacy.


F. Institutes or Labs That utilize Materials:
Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG), Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS), Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS), the Center for Neuroscience, and Science Discovery.


G. Special Populations Outside University That Utilize Materials:
Clinical Psychologists or Psychiatrists, Hospitals / Physicians, Medical Libraries, Educators, Teachers, Interlibrary Loan.


H. Other Considerations:
Since Psychology is both a social science and a biological science, studies in psychology covers a very broad range of topics. To a limited extent these topics may also include parapsychology (i.e. psychic research, hallucinations, visions, telepathy, or spiritualism) to the occult sciences (i.e. ghosts, witchcraft, astrology, or fortune telling).

II. General Collection Guidelines:

A. Methods of Acquiring Materials:
Approval plan for books from Blackwell North American. Special orders from faculty requests and reviews. Serial subscriptions with vendors including consortium contracts. Solicited and unsolicited publisher catalogs and advertisements. Gifts-in-kind are accepted according to the needs of the collection.


B. Languages:
Most materials received are in English. German and Italian are also languages that publish significant scholarly works in psychology. Translations into English are preferred when available.


C. Chronological Guidelines:
In general, emphasis is from the mid-20th century to date. Currency is important for materials in the neurosciences. Historical materials range from antiquity to contemporary works.


D. Geographical Guidelines:


E. Treatment of Subject:
Campus textbooks are not acquired. Textbook type materials will be acquired on a limited basis depending on usefulness and quality. Emphasis is placed on research and reference materials, particularly peer-reviewed journal literature. Materials in parapsychology or the occult sciences are acquired on a limited basis and usually as historical documents. Popular treatments, which are numerous (i.e. "self help books"), are acquired rarely. All serials and monographs published by the American Psychological Association are purchased.


F. Types of Materials:
Primary indexes and abstracts for psychology are online. Reference materials take the highest priority followed by the serial/journal literature, particularly from psychology societies, and finally the monographic literature. All formats are received including electronic (i.e. online books), CD's, microforms, print, audio and video. All CU-B Master's theses are obtained from the Psychology Department. Doctoral dissertations may be acquired but most are held by University Microfilms International. Government and international documents related to Psychology are held in Government Publications. The Microform documents held in the Science Library for psychology are extensive. They are primarily serials and historic monographs. Audio and video materials are acquired selectively.


G. Date of Publication:
Emphasis is on acquiring current documents within the last ten years. Earlier materials may be difficult to obtain as they go out-of-print quickly.


H. Other General Considerations:
In general, the psychology library collection is held in the Science Library located in Norlin Library. Some aspects of social psychology are in the general Norlin stacks and/or Periodical Room. All serials and theses from 1979 back are held in the PASCAL off-site storage facility located in Denver. Outdated audio and video formats that cannot be replaced in a newer format (i.e. LPs of psychological lectures) are also in PASCAL. Audio and video materials are located in the Media Library. Microform collections are housed in the Science Library. Online materials can be accessed by any patron on site. Secondary materials that might duplicate holdings at other CU libraries, particularly the Health Center Medical Library, may not be purchased. Print copies of serials and some reference works with good online archiving policies are being discontinued in favor of online access only.

III. Observations and Qualifications by Subject and LC Class:
The Library of Congress subject classification system does not work well to consolidate collections relevant to the sciences, let alone the psychological sciences, in one location. The result is that collections in Psychology are in very diverse and disparate call number ranges. Below is a general outline of the LC subject classes relevant to the psychological sciences:

Library of Congress Classification:


BF 1-37 Psychology (general)


BF 38-64 Philosophical Psychology relation to other topics


BF 173-175.5 Psychoanalysis


BF 176-176.5 Psychological tests and testing


BF 180-198.7 Experimental Psychology


BF 203Gestalt Psychology


BF 207-209 Psychotropic drugs and other substances


BF 231-299 Sensation. Aesthesiology


BF 309-499 Consciousness / Cognition (including learning, attention, comprehension, memory, imagination, genius, thought, intelligence, psycholinguistics, and mental fatigue)


BF 501-505 Motivation


BF 511-593 Affection / Feeling / Emotion


BF 608-635 Will / Volition / Choice / Control


BF 636-637 Applied Psychology


BF 638-648 New Thought / Menticulture


BF 660-685 Comparative Psychology including animal and human


BF 692-692.5 Psychology of Sex


BF 697-697.5 Differential Psychology


BF 698-698.9 Personality


BF 699-711 Genetic Psychology


BF 712-724.85 Developmental Psychology


BF 725-727 Class Psychology


BF 795-839 Temperament / Character


BF 839.5-885 Physiognomy / Phrenology


BF 889-905 Graphology (handwriting analysis)


BF 908-940 Palmistry (the hand)


BF 1001-1389 Parapsychology


BF 1404-1999 Occult Sciences


QH 426-470 Genetics


QL 750-795 Animal Behavior and Psychology


QP 341-495 Neurophysiology / Neuropsychology


RB 952-954.6 Neurology and Psychiatry


RC 955-962 Geriatrics


RE 1-994 Ophthalmology


RF 1-547 Otorhinolaryngology


RM 845-862 Medical Radiology (includes brain scans)


RZ 400-408 Mental Healing


TA 166-167 Human Engineering