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ECC Compton Center / Academic Programs / Social Science and Creative Performing Arts / Psychology


The Psychology program fulfills three educational roles for students. These consist of providing general education options for non-majors toward the associate degree, lower division courses for majors as well as preparing students to transfer into a four-year institution.  The program offers a variety of options to study behavior, emotions and the mental processes of individuals and groups, approached through a scientific methodology.  Students enrolled in the psychology course are exposed to theories and research addressing fascinating topics such as: children development, how people remember information over long periods of time, how the mind and body react to stress, how people use social influence to increase compliance, and what types of treatments are most effective for individuals who are depress.  Students enrolled in psychology courses are prepared to take a place in the world using the skills they have learned to pursue careers that benefits their community.



AA-T Degree

Behavioral and Social Sciences Division

The program is designed to provide students with a foundation in the science of psychology. Psychology majors will acquire the ability to survey theories critically, research the major areas of psychology, use descriptive and inferential statistics, design and conduct research, and write reports using analysis, argumentation, and proper psychological style. This major prepares students for career opportunities in fields such as teaching, research, and/or clinical practice. Competencies will be assessed regularly by evaluating student performance on exams, essays, and reports.

Psychology Classes Offered at the El Camino College Compton Educational Center

Psychology 2

Psychology for Effective Living

This course is a study of personal development and adjustment in society as well as the psychosocial and cultural influences on childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Emphasis on the application of psychological research and theories to the development of social skills and personal adjustments as well as practical approaches to problems of personal development and social relationships will be examined.

Psychology 3

Critical Thinking and Psychology

This course focuses on the development of critical thinking skills related to psychology. In addition to learning basic skills of logic, students will also learn about the logic of the scientific method and the common errors of human cognition that impede critical thinking. Emphasis is placed on the application of critical thinking skills to writing effective arguments, analyzing the writings of others, and understanding contemporary controversies in psychology.


Psychology 5

General Psychology

This course is a survey study of human behavior and mental processes with an emphasis on basic theory and research generated by the scientific method. Major topics include psychobiology, learning, human cognition, personality, lifespan development, psychological disorders, therapeutic approaches, and social psychology.


Psychology 7

Physiological Psychology

This course focuses on physiological factors in human development, behavior, and experience. Fundamental topics include consciousness, language, emotion, memory, and sensation/perception. Clinical topics include Sexual Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury. Studies of both humans and other animals are evaluated and organized by scientific and clinical standards.


Psychology 8

Social Psychology

This course focuses on the scientific study of the psychological processes and interpersonal interactions in and between groups. The emphasis is on individual behavior rather than on the group as a unit. Topics include social cognition; social perception, attitudes; prejudice and discrimination; social and group influence; aggression and prosocial behavior; interpersonal attraction and intimate relationships; and gender and culture.


Psychology 9A

Introduction to Elementary

Statistical Methods for the Study of Behavior

This is a course in statistical methods and research design for the behavioral sciences. The course focuses on descriptive and inferential statistical techniques for summarizing research data and for making conclusions about the populations they represent. Students are introduced to the basic challenges and skills involved in successful undergraduate and graduate training in the behavioral sciences, including both reviewing and writing scientific research reports.


Psychology 9B

Experimental Methods in the Study of Behavior

This course continues the study of statistical methods and research design for the behavioral sciences. This course focuses on the application of the philosophy of science in general and the scientific method in particular. Students learn to design and conduct research, analyze data using descriptive and inferential statistics, and report results in the format of the American Psychological Association. Students are introduced to the basic challenges and skills involved in actively participating on a research team while conducting their own independent research projects.

Psychology 10

African American Psychology

This course is an introduction to the psychological issues related to the African American experience in the United States. The relationship between the African American experience and social perception, social cognition, and identity and attitude formation is emphasized. Individual cognitive styles, personality development, and family structures of African Americans will also be examined.


Psychology 12

Human Sexuality

This course is the scientific study of human sexuality. Emphasis is placed on analysis of sexuality from a psychological theoretical framework. Topics include the history of sex, the scientific research methods used to study sex, and the psychobiology of sex. This course also examines cultural views of sex and gender, sexual behavior and relationships, and sex as a social and medical issue.


Psychology 15

Abnormal Psychology


Full-Time Faculty

Thomas DeHardt

David McPatchell

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