Senior Capstone Descriptions

The Capstone Experience, completed near the end of baccalaureate studies, integrates liberal learning with specialized knowledge. Each Capstone emphasizes sharing of ideas, synthesis, and critical, informed action and reflection, and each includes student initiative in defining and investigating problems or projects.

Capstones may be completed in or outside student's majors; in some departments, for psychology majors, the Capstone Experience is a requirement. All Capstones presume a significant scholarly background of specialized study in a major as well as in liberal education course work. In other words, a Capstone does more than culminate years of baccalaureate study: it culminates a student's liberal education.

Ordinarily, a Capstone Experience is taken at Miami and completed in the senior year (minimum of 96 hours registered or earned). Students who plan to transfer any course to meet the Capstone requirement must obtain permission from the Office of Liberal Education before they take the course.

Senior Capstone/Senior Course Titles and Descriptions

Fall Semester 2020

PSY 410F Section A 

Social Psychology of Advanced Intergroup Processes

Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Kunstman

Tuesday/Thursday 11:40 AM - 1:00 PM

In today's multicultural and diverse society, interactions between people of different backgrounds (e.g., race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion) are increasingly common. Yet, for many individuals, these intergroup interactions can be sources of stress and discomfort. For members of stigmatized groups, interactions with high-status group members may bring the possibility of being stereotyped and discriminated against. Conversely, high status group members may worry that they will say or do the wrong thing and be perceived as prejudiced by members of stigmatized groups. The goal of this course is to understand the psychological mechanics that govern these intergroup processes (i.e., how people think about , feel, and behave toward members of different groups).

PSY 410J Section B

The Psychology of Unwanted Thinking

Instructor: Dr. Joshua Magee

Wednesday/Friday 10:05 AM - 11:25 AM

Unwanted thinking is simultaneously a universal human experience and a defining characteristic of clinical problems ranging from anxiety and substance use disorders to psychosis. In this course we will explore the boundaries between normal and abnormal unwanted thinking and examine how abnormal unwanted thinking develops and persists. Topics will include the origins, functions, cultural context, and treatment of unwanted thinking, as well as attempts to control unwanted thinking. While we will discuss these topics with a clinical emphasis, readings will draw from a mix of psychology subareas and other disciplines, reflecting the broad intersection of perspectives that inform the science of unwanted thinking. 

PSY 410K Section A 

Clinical Psychology: The Science and Art of Depression

Instructor: Dr. Aaron Luebbe

Wednesday/Friday 2:50 PM - 4:10 PM

Did you know that by 2030, the World Health Organization estimates that unipolar depression will be the world's most debilitating disease? Or that by 18, 1 out of 6 girls will have experienced a major depressive episode? This course will focus on both the classic and the most up-to-date science on what causes major depressive disorder, why this disorder is called the "common cold" of psychopathology, why girls and women are two to three times more likely to experience depression, and how best to treat it. Interwoven into the course will be a focus on the lived experiences of those with mood disorders as told through memoir and other forms fo expression.

PSY 410K Section B 

Capstone in Clinical Psychology

Instructor: Dr. Terri Messman-Moore

Tuesday/Thursday 8:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Are you interested in becoming a provider of mental health services? Becoming a clinical psychologist, counselor, social worker, or substance abuse counselor? If so, you will encounter many patients who experienced trauma in their lifetime. This course will focus on trauma in the context of clinical psychology. The content will cover definitions of trauma, trace how trauma may impact distress and different forms of psychopathology, discuss the psychobiology of trauma, patterns of exposure, different psychological responses and clinical interventions and how responses may vary by gender. We will discuss trauma-informed care and trauma-focused interventions. You will be asked to read case material that focuses on trauma, which may include but not be limited to the following: child abuse/neglect, sexual assault/rape, domestic violence, motor vehicle accidents, combat/war, refugees, etc. The entirety of this course is built around the textbook, Trauma and Recovery, and supplementing this text with the most updated and contemporary research. You will be reading research articles that are "hot off the press" published in the past few years, and that will provide a significant, updated complement to Herman's book in terms of the latest findings in neurobiology, psychology, and psychiatry.

PSY 410U Section A

Development of Social Cognition

Instructor: Dr. Vrinda Kalia

Tuesday/Thursday 2:50 PM - 4:10 PM

How do children become active participants in their social world? In this capstone course we will explore current and topical ideas in the development of social cognition in children. We'll focus on the role of brain development as a key mechanism that drives developmental changes. And we'll highlight the importance of environmental influences (i.e. family, early life adversity) in shaping brain development. Toward the end of the course you will be able to apply some of the ideas you've learned toward a real world problem of your choice. 

PSY 410X Section A

Psy of Dogs Cognition (Numeracy)

Instructor: Dr. Carrie Hall

Monday/Wednesday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Can dogs count? This course will examine the degree to which dogs have a sense of numeracy, including counting, comparing quantities, and relationships to infant research techniques.