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Department of Psychology: Psychology, Statistics, Developmental Communications, The Reading Lab

Psychology Majors and Minors

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Majoring in Psychology

Psychology is a popular program. It is inherently fascinating. We like to learn about how and why people do the things they do. Psychology gives insight into all aspects of the human mind, such as aggression and attraction, behavior and abnormal behavior, cognition, development, learning and the mind-body relationship. Psychology is ranked in the top 10 highest-demand fields with a high demand for psychology graduates. As long as there are people around, psychology will be there too. 

General Psychology

Psychology is the study of the mind including behavior, cognition, emotion and perception.  Psychology began as an academic discipline in the 19th century when it separated from biology, medicine and philosophy.  In many ways, the ideas behind the field of psychology have existed for as long as people have been discussing other people.  Our ancestors sat around the fire in their caves and huts discussing many of the same topics we do today.

  • "What do dreams mean?"
  • "What's wrong with the people over that hill?"
  • "Who put that guy in charge?"
  • "Why are the kids so weird?"
  • "Why can't men and women just get along?"
  • "Why can't my parents just understand?"
  • "Why do the people in that village look at me funny?"

We've come a long way since those caves and huts. The human mental capacity has allowed us to make greater use of tools than any other species on Earth. Our higher-level thought processes, such as abstract reasoning, introspection, judgment, language, problem solving, rationality and self-awareness are considered to be defining features of what constitutes a "person" and form the foundation of psychology.

The program leading to the Associate's degree in Psychology at Los Angeles Valley College provides a strong foundation for psychology majors to transfer and succeed in psychology at the university level.  For more information about our psychology classes, we invite you to talk with our faculty, or with students in the LAVC Psychology Club. 

Learn more about an AA in Psychology.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology is the scientific study of human development which looks at the psychological changes people experience throughout their life.  Developmental psychology is concerned with topics such as:

  • cognitive development
    • problem solving
    • moral understanding
    • conceptual understanding
  • language acquisition
  • physiological processes related to behavioral states
    • consumption
    • depression
    • motivation
    • motor skills
    • perception
    • stimulation
  • self-concept and identity formation
  • social, personality, and emotional development

Developmental psychology investigates how development occurs through the gradual accumulation of knowledge as opposed to development in stages, and the presence of innate cognitive structures versus acquisition through experience.  Many researchers are interested in the interaction of behavior, environment and personality in social context and their impact on development.  Developmental psychology forms the foundation of several fields in psychology including child psychology, educational psychology, forensic developmental psychology and psychopathology.  Developmental psychology complements the fields of cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, ecological psychology and social psychology, and is drawn from in sociology and marketing research.

The American Psychological Association publishes the journal: Developmental Psychology, which discusses development across the life span and the biological, cultural and social factors that affect development, as well as methods and theory.  If the topics covered by developmental psychology are of interest to you, we invite you to make an appointment with one of our professors to discuss the course work, institutions and opportunities available.

Learn more about an AA in Developmental psychology

Social and Personality Psychology

Coursework in Social and Personality Psychology teaches students to understand how people act, feel and think in real-world social situations.  Of particular interest in Social and Personality Psychology is understanding how people make sense of the social world around them by looking at topics such as:  affect and emotion, attribution, judgment and decision making, self-knowledge and stereotyping/prejudice.  Current topics in Social and Personality Psychology include judgments about selves and others, decision making and how emotions and external factors influence decisions.  If the topics covered by Social and Personality Psychology are of interest to you, we invite you to make an appointment with one of our professors to discuss the course work, institutions and opportunities available.

Learn more about an AA in Social and Personality Psychology.

Why minor in Psychology?

Psychology is the study of the human mind. Understanding the basics of psychology can benefit you academically, personally and professionally. Whether you major in business, human resources, law, marketing, medicine, public safety, public policy, or any other field, a psychology background is an asset affording a unique perspective on human behavior. Coursework in psychology provides an excellent set of tools useful to any career.  Talk with a psychology professor or a counselor about your goals to figure out which courses will benefit you.  All students should start with the basics by taking Psychology 1.

We invite you to talk with our faculty and psychology club members to learn more about the exciting field of psychology.

Psychology for Non-Majors

Psychology is the study of the mind including behavior, emotion, perception and thought.  Psychology began in the 19th century when it separated from biology, medicine and philosophy.  In many ways, the ideas behind the field of psychology have existed for as long as people have been discussing other people.  Our ancestors sat around the fire in their caves and huts discussing many of the same topics we do today.

  • "What do dreams mean?"
  • "What's wrong with the people over that hill?"
  • "Who put that guy in charge?"
  • "Why are the kids so weird?"
  • "Why can't men and women just get along?"
  • "Why can't my parents just understand?"
  • "Why do the people in that village look at me funny?"

Non-majors taking psychology coursework at Los Angeles Valley College benefit from their exposure to the principles of psychology, which will have a lifetime impact on how you view people and the world around you.  Coursework in psychology is beneficial to students pursuing any major, as we all deal with people, their minds and their emotions.  Psychology is a great course to take because it presents interesting ideas about how and why people behave as they do, and about the interaction of people and their environment. Our classes provide ideas in interesting and fun ways and cover lots of interesting material. 

Psychology courses satisfy many of your General Education requirements for both graduation and transfer.