SFU Library Psychology collections policy

The Department of Psychology provides a range of courses which examine theory, research, and practice in many different areas of Psychology.

Undergraduate courses

Undergraduate courses lead to the following specializations:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree with a Psychology major, minor,  or extended minor;
  • Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with a Psychology major;
  • Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience offered jointly with Kinesiology (to begin in Fall 2008)
  • Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Family Studies.
  • Joint majors with Business Administration, with Criminology, and with Women’s Studies.
  • Major in Cognitive Science when combined with specified courses from Philosophy, Computing Science, Linguistics.
  • A Co-operative Programme provides practical psychology experience for undergraduates.

Graduate programs

The department offers three programs leading to a master’s degree or a doctorate:

  • the Program in Experimental Psychology, with specializations in cognitive and biological psychology, develomental psychology, law and forensic psychology, social psychology and theory and methods.
  • the Program in Clinical Psychology, with specializations in child clinical, clinical forensic and clinical neuropsychology.
  • the Law and Forensic Psychology stream, offered jointly with UBC, offering the option of completing a doctorate and an LLB degree from UBC.

Graduate students specialize in one of five areas:

  • Cognitive and Biological Psychology, experimental area or clinical neuropsychology stream
  • Developmental Psychology, experimental area or child clinical stream
  • Law and Forensic Psychology, experimental area or clinical forensic stream
  • Social Psychology, experimental area or clinical;
  • Theory and Methods, experimental area or clinical.

Faculty research areas

Cognitive and Biological Psychology:
Attention. Cognition. Concept acquisition and formation. Perceptual learning and selective attention, development of expertise. Clinical neuropsychology. Human neuropsychology. Neurobiology. Adult neuropsychological assessment, neurocognitive disorders in medical land psychiatric patients. Neuropsychology of memory. Neuropschology of normal and pathological aging. Cognitive deficits. Structural brain changes in schizophrenia and severe mental disorders. Cognitive neuroscience. Human functional neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG, MEG) applied to normal and abnormal mood states. Normal and abnormal development of attention and executive functions (ADHD). Human electrophysiology, auditory and visual attention, multisensory perception. Neural mechanisms and functions of circadian rhythms and sleep. Visuospatial attention. Decision making. Hormones and behaviour. Sexual differentiation of the nervous system. Reproductive behaviour. Psychopharmacology. Perceptual-motor behaviour, stimulus-reponse translation, cerebral specialization in Down syndromw, human-machine interaction.

Developmental psychology:
Cognitive development, social cognitive development, moral development. Developmental psychopathology, development of attention and perception in individuals with pervasive developmental disorders. Mental retardation. Risk and protective factors in the development of First Nations children. Adolescent psychopathology and delinquency. Psychodynamic psychotherapy. Conduct disorder, depression and gender issues, self-representation and psychopathology, treatment issues. Joint attention. Early communication. Social pragmatics, conversation analysis.

Law and forensic psychology:
Children's suggestibility, children's memory for repeated events, court response to cases of historical child sexual abuse. Violence, risk assessment, mental disorders, personality disorders, forensic assessment. Psychopathy, psychological assessment. Mentally disordered offenders. Memory in forensic contexts, applied cognition, recovered memory debate and memory impairments, eyewitness testimony. Competency to stand trial. Youth violence. Juvenile justice. Jail mental health.

Social and personality psychology:
Dialectical Behavior Therapy, emotion regulation, borderline personality disorder, impulsive and self-damaging behaviour, mindfulness and acceptance, behavioural theory, personality theory. Role of social support and attachment in the development of marriage, prevention of marital distress and dissolution, effects of the marital context on child development, dating relationships. Behavioural medicine, health psychology, athletic performance, risk taking. Evolution of morality and self-deception. Social cognition, autobiographical memory, mood and social judgment, social and temporal comparison processes. Intergroup relations, collective identity, responses to social inequality, coping with discrimination. Intergroup relations, including responses of societally disadvantaged groups to inequalities, prejudice and the reduction of prejudice, minority language and culture maintenance, including the role of minority language education.

Theory and methods:
Teaching of psychology. Measurement of change. Computational modeling. Multivariate statistics, analysis of correlation and covariance structures, robustness, small sample characteristics, simulations. Modelling phenomena in the behavioral, social and health sciences. Theories of psychological scaling. Psychometrics. Philosophy of science. Theory and history of psychology. Philosophy of science. Analysis and critique of empirical methodologies. Study of scientific practices.

Collection development

Collection development is the responsibility of the Psychology Liaison Librarian. Liaison with the  Department is maintained through the Departmental Representative as well as with other faculty members when required. Regular contact with other liaison librarians and teaching departments is nurtured through the sharing of relevant information.

SFU Resources

The WAC Bennett  Library is the major location for the University's Psychology collection.

The Clinical Psychology Centre supports clinically-relevant research projects, and provides short-term and long-term individual therapy from a variety of orientations (including gestalt/experiential and psychodynamic), family therapy, couples therapy, play therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, group therapy. Treatment is offered by student clinical interns supervised by faculty or by clinical associates, Registered Psychologists based in the community. The centre also offers educational assessments and neuropsychological assessments.

Several research laboratories and research groups operate within the Department: Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab, Bartholomew Lab, Behavioural Neuroendocrinology Lab, Carpendale Developmental Lab, Chapman Lab, Children's Social Emotional Development Lab, Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory, Connolly Research Lab, Fouladi Lab, Human Electrophysiology Lab, Human Neuropsychology Lab, Introductory Psychology Lab, Laboratory for Affective and Developmental Research, Memory Lab, McDonald’s Cognition Lab, McFarland Social Psychology Lab, Mental Health Law and Policy Institute including the Law and Psychology Lab, Neuropsychology Lab, Neuroscience Lab, Rhythms Lab,  SFU Close Relationships Research Lab, Social-Clinical Studies Lab, Social Psychology Lab, Spalek Research Laboratory, Vision Lab, Weeks Research Laboratory,

Regional Resources

The University of British Columbia has a large collection of books and journals supporting studies in the fields of Psychology, Psychiatry and Law.

Consortia and Document Delivery

SFU belongs to three consortia (Electronic Library Network; Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries; and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries). Document delivery agreements exist with all three of these consortia which allow delivery of journal articles and books from member libraries in a timely manner. Holdings and direct requesting from over 40 libraries are accessible through the Interlibrary Loan webpage and from many databases, and interlibrary loans are also arranged with other libraries around the world, as needed. Besides document delivery benefits, membership in these and other consortia, including the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, also offers substantial savings on the collective purchase of licensed electronic resources.

General Collection Guidelines

Languages:   Emphasis is on the acquisition of materials in English.
Chronological guidelines: Not applicable.
Geographical guidelines:  Ordinarily not applicable.
Treatment of subject:    Academic or clinical practitioner.
Types of materials: Collecting is split between books and journals, with a growing emphasis on electronic journals and web resources. The collection of current electronic journals related to Psychology is now almost entirely available in online format. Through the PsycBooks subscription all books published by the American Psychological Association are made available electronically, and individual e-book titles and sets are being purchased through NetLibrary, CRC Press, and Elsevier.
Date of Publication:   Emphasis is on current publications. Retrospective acquisitions are normally only for the replacement of important titles which have deteriorated or disappeared.
Coordination and cooperation with other campus resources:    The Library holds DVDs, videos, and films related to psychology. A collection of psychological tests is maintained in the Psychology Department for the use of graduate students and faculty.
Other factors for consideration:   Faculty and students in  the Law and Psychology program share the book and journal collections which support  the teaching and research needs of SFU School of Criminology. Faculty and students in the Cognitive and Biological Psychology program make use of the book and journal collections supporting the work of the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Department of Biological Sciences.

Subjects and Levels of Collecting

Definitions of collection levels are derived from the American Library Association's Guide for Developing Collection Policy Statements, 1989. Terminology is drawn from the Blackwell's Book Services Subject Descriptors, as most new acquisitions are purchased through Blackwell's approval plans.

Research level (supports faculty research, research for dissertations, graduate research to the Master’s level, undergraduate studies)

Physiological psychology ( i.e. neuropsychology, including behavioral psychology)
Perception, including visual and aural
Cognition, including cognitive abilities, attention and performance, selective and divided attention,  learning and memory, reasoning, intelligence

Experimental psychology
Clinical psychology
Developmental psychology

Genetic psychology (i.e. evolutionary psychology)
Child psychology:  adolescent psychology, infant psychology

Psychology of aging
Psychology of sex

Social psychology:  social cognition, psychology of groups, interpersonal relations (including adult attachment), interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication
Abnormal psychology
Criminal psychology
Psychometrics (includes cognitive ability)
Behavioral psychology and motivation

Applied psychology:  psychological counselling, psychotherapy, behavior modification
Psychological testing::  intelligence testing, personality testing, aptitude testing
Personal psychology
Group relations training

Neurology:  Brain damage, pain
Human central nervous system: neurochemistry, human sensory system

Specific human senses:  hearing, sense of taste, sense of touch, sense of smell
Human genetics

Psychotherapy:  individual psychotherapy, behavior psychotherapy (including cognitive behavior therapy), group psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, cognitive psychotherapy

Mental disorders as described in the DSM IV, including organic psychiatric disorders, psychoses, affective disorders, neuroses, personality disorders, addiction medicine

Family systems

History of science (as related to the history of psychology)

Philosophy of science (as related to psychology)

Administration of justice: judges, juries, juvenile courts

Social legislation:  mental health law
Health law:  general health law, public health law, narcotic laws
Criminal law:  criminal justice, specific crimes, law enforcement, jurisdiction and venue, criminal courts
Reparation to crime victims
Trial practice:  selection of juries, instruction to juries, cross-examination and trials
Evidence:  criminal evidence, witnesses, expert testimony, privileged communication
Family law:  marriage and divorce law, parent and child, guardian and ward, adoption, legitimacy, birth control, right to life, incompetency

Advanced level (supports graduate research to the Master’s level and undergraduate studies)

Law:  general surveys and legal reference works

Constitutional law: constitutional conventions, crimes against the state, civil liberties and rights, children’s rights, laws and treaties with First Nations

Law reform

Legal ethics, disciplining of lawyers
Educational law
Medical jurisprudence, medical law
Systems of Law:  common law, civil law

Intermediate level (supporting undergraduate studies only)

General legal materials:  legal history, law for laypersons
Jurisprudence:  natural law, philosophy of law, rule of law, due process of law, comparative law
Administration of justice:  judicial councils, judicial statistics, ombudspersons
Constitutional law:  federalism, judicial review, censorship, church and state
Legislatures and law
Conflict of laws
Public law