PSYC 415. Psychological Theories of Addiction. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: PSYC 101. Enrollment restricted to psychology majors (standard curriculum/all concentrations) and minors in psychology. An overview of current and historical theories related to the causes of and risk factors for problematic drug use and other addictive behaviors. Describes specific effects of different drugs of abuse and explores various behaviors (gambling, gaming, internet use) that have been identified as addictive in nature. Provides an understanding of the harms and costs associated with drug use and abuse, major approaches to understanding drug addiction (e.g., epidemiological, biological, genetic, behavioral, cognitive, transtheoretical/motivational, sociocultural, developmental), and the human experience of addiction. Introduces research methods used to generate knowledge about the causes of drug use and abuse.
The Bachelor of Science in Psychology curriculum reflects the discipline’s major functions — scientific research, teaching, acting as a healing profession and raising philosophical questions about the assumptions, values and ideals of human beings and their societies, which reflects psychology’s origin in philosophy. Through a core set of requirements the student systematically develops understanding and skill in scientific methods of inquiry, focusing on the human mind and behavior. To fulfill the degree requirements, students may pursue the standard curriculum by selecting courses from four content areas that introduce students to the healing and philosophical sides of psychology and provide a broad understanding of the field as a whole; or the student may apply to one of several more focused concentrations that draw upon the special strengths of the VCU Department of Psychology.