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PSY 2445 Psychology of Women

Course Description

Examines the way gender differences affect the lives of women. Studies biological, cultural and social factors in terms of their direct effects on women, and in terms of the psychological and cultural bases of prejudice and discrimination.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to introduce you to the field of sport and exercise psychology by providing a broad overview of the major topics in the area.

After completing this course, students will be able to

  • Paraphrase the basic ideas underlying the study of the psychology of women
  • Analyze cross-cultural findings on women around the world
  • Provide a rationale for adopting a global perspective
  • Discuss sex discrimination
  • Illustrate examples of sex discrimination, both obvious and subtle
  • Explain the scientific method
  • Identify sex biases that may exist throughout gender research

Week 1

Lecture: Research and Gender Differences
Lecture: Introduction: Maria Lavooy, PhD
Lecture: Introduction: Sybil Keane, PhD
Lecture: Introduction to Course


  • Introduce psychology of women as an area of study
  • Define some of the terms we will use in this course
  • Discuss some basic cross-cultural findings
  • Formulate a rationale for adopting a global perspective
  • Examine sex discrimination through examples
  • Obvious and subtle
  • From different parts of the world
Lecture: Introduction to Course
  • Introduce psychology of women as an area of study


Week 2

Lecture: Motivation
Lecture: Feedback, Reinforcement, and Intrinsic Motivation


  • Define motivation and its components
  • Describe typical views of motivation and whether they are useful
  • Detail useful guidelines for building motivation
  • Compare and contrast achievement motivation and competitiveness, indicating how they are related
  • Compare and contrast various theories of achievement motivation
  • Explain how achievement motivation develops and use fundamentals of achievement motivation to guide practice
  • Explain how positive and negative feedback influence behavior
  • Explain how to implement behavior modification programs
  • Discuss the different types of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
  • Describe the relationship between intrinsic motivation and external rewards
  • Detail different ways to increase intrinsic motivation
  • Describe how such factors as scholarships, coaching behaviors, competition, and feedback influence intrinsic motivation
  • Describe the flow state and how to achieve it

Week 3

Lecture: Self-Confidence and Goal Setting


  • Define self-confidence, efficacy, and relative components
  • Describe typical views and research relating to efficacy and goal setting
  • Explain goal orientation and resulting impact on performance
  • Explain the relationship of self-confidence and effective goal setting
  • Compare and contrast the benefits and challenges of task/mastery vs. outcome/ego goal orientation

Week 4

Lecture: Arousal, Stress, and Anxiety
Lecture: Controlling Arousal


  • Discuss the nature of stress and anxiety
  • Identify the major sources of anxiety and stress
  • Explain how and why arousal- and anxiety-related emotions affect performance
  • Compare and contrast ways to regulate arousal, stress, and anxiety
  • Explain how to increase self-awareness of arousal states
  • Use somatic, cognitive, and multimodal anxiety reduction techniques
  • Identify coping strategies to deal with competitive stress
  • Describe on-site relaxation tips to reduce anxiety
  • Discuss the matching hypothesis
  • Identify techniques to raise arousal for competition

Week 5

Lecture: Psychological Skills Training (PST)


  • Define psychological skills training and describe the myths surrounding it
  • Identify the knowledge base for psychological skills training
  • Discuss three phases of psychological skills training programs
  • Examine the process of psychological self-regulation
  • Develop a psychological skills training program
  • Explain the problems of implementing a psychological skills training program

Week 6

Lecture: Imagery
Lecture: Concentration


  • Explain what is imagery and how does it work
  • Discuss factors in the effectiveness of imagery
  • Identify various uses of imagery
  • Recognize keys to effective imagery
  • Developing an imagery training program
  • Recognize when to use imagery
  • Identify and describe the various aspects of concentration and their relationship to optimal performance
  • Discuss types of intentional focus and related problems
  • Provide theoretical and practical information regarding Self-Talk
  • Offer tips for improving concentration on site
  • Develop various exercises for improving concentration

Week 7

Lecture: Group/Team Dynamics and Cohesion


  • Discuss how a group becomes a team
  • Explain how to create an effective team climate
  • Explain the concept of social loafing and the conditions under which it occurs
  • Define task and social cohesion
  • Describe the conceptual model of cohesion and its relationship to performance
  • Identify guidelines for building team cohesion

Week 8

Lecture: Addictive and Unhealthy Behaviors
Lecture: Aggression in Sports


  • Define and discuss the prevalence of eating disorders in sport
  • Identify predisposing factors for developing eating disorders
  • Describe how to recognize disordered eating
  • Define and discuss the prevalence of substance abuse in sport
  • Explain why some athletes and exercisers take drugs
  • Discuss how to detect and prevent substance abuse
  • Discuss the concepts of positive and negative addiction to exercise
  • Define aggression
  • Identify the causes of aggression
  • Examine special considerations relative to aggression and sport
  • Explain the aggression-performance relationship
  • Derive implications from research for helping control aggression

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. December 2013