In this discussion-based course, we will examine a number of controversial topics within the field of psychology. The main objective of the course is to help psychology majors develop informed opinions on a variety of important issues that are currently being debated in the field. Participation in class discussions will be expected of all students and will constitute a significant portion of the course grade. In addition, students will write a major paper and present it to the group; they will also lead discussions and complete frequent short writing assignments. Potential topics include the following: Is it ethical for psychologists to be involved in the interrogation of suspected terrorists? Are abstinence pledges effective in reducing teen sexual activity, pregnancy, and STDs? To what degree is the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders influenced by drug companies? How well does evolutionary psychology explain human sex differences? What effect does media violence have on children? What is emotional intelligence and is it a useful construct? Do certain vaccines increase the chances that a child will develop autism? What is involved in sexual orientation "conversion" therapy, and should therapists offer such treatment? Prerequisites: PSYC major and Senior standing or permission of instructor.