New Psychology of COVID class makes waves!

New Psychology of COVID class makes waves! Image

Thankfully, the waves are not of a contagious nature. The class, as you can guess, was started to help students understand the multifaceted aspects that go into COVID and how it has changed our society.  Mental health has been at the forefront throughout the pandemic with more people seeking professional advice and help because of anxiety and depression. Among other topics that have all cumulated into this unique class. It is one of the first classes of its kind to combine multiple disciplines of Psychology covering a specific topic and curriculum being contributed by over 15 faculty from different disciplines within Psychology.

We talked to the professor who initially was going to teach the course and the current faculty member. Dr. Tim Curry and Dr. Erin Murdoch. Along with doing a mid-semester survey to see how the students are enjoying the class, their criticisms, why they chose to take it, and if they think it is a class that should be continued.

What areas of psychology does this class go over? 

Time Curby states that “This course has a lot of tie-ins, so it is hard to just pick out a few, but there are connections to social, clinical, developmental psychology, I/O, as well as neuroscience”.

 

What do you want college students to walk away from this class having a better knowledge of that they don’t hear on the media? Aside from it being relevant to our current circumstances.  

We want students to be able to critically evaluate information that they read/see about COVID-19. we want them to actively apply psychological principles to understand the responses and reactions of people during a pandemic,” says Dr. Murdoch.

—Hearing from the students—

The students cannot stop raving about how much they love the class either! Out of 40 students in the class, 17 responded to a survey we sent out as a mid-semester evaluation. Where we asked what interested them in taking the class, what concepts were and are particularly interesting to them (both covered and yet to be covered), and most importantly the following question below. Carolina B, a Psychology Major, and Clinical Minor states, “What interested me about this class was how applicable it was to our current time. Being a part of a class that is immersed in present-day research and where we can actually see the impacts of that research was something I saw as a unique opportunity.” Her response is echoed in numerous classmates of hers. Their reviews are astonishing and provide emphasis on how important they felt this class is that came into fruition during a time it was needed the most. Not only is the pandemic a time of social isolation and physical distancing from one another. It has brought about deeper issues in health care, mental wellbeing, racial differences, and inequalities, and not to mention the number of protests taking place during this time that are addressing those exact things.

            Another student, Eveline, A Psychology Major states that “The facts that it talks about the pandemic and touch deeply upon factors (SES, Race, Age, etc) that are affected by it. Also, this class comes up with solutions to multiple issues that occurred during this time, such as media addiction and many more.” This has been a rough year for every person on different and individual levels of coping and adjusting to the ever-changing day-to-day. Fighting COVID fatigue is now becoming a hot topic of discussion as cases are on the rise with a 3rd spike here in the United States. How we navigate these emotions individually and together is key to keeping us all together. Which is why we asked the following question: 

survey results

We will close on this intriguing new class with a few words on how Lisa M, a sophomore in Psychology, feels the class is impactful, “I believe this will be a class that will be required in the future, and it is intriguing in that it is a class addressing history as we are experiencing it…I hope this course continues on and evolves as this crisis evolves. This is the most interesting and timely course that I have taken, and I recommend it to be a Mason Core course in the future.”

To learn more about the class and if you are interested in taking it next semester, let us know at ugpsyc@gmu.edu