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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nita Mckinley
TPSYCH 405
Tacoma Campus

Body Image and the Psychology of Appearance

Examines the individual and social forces that shape body image, and psychological and physical correlates of body image. Influence of physical appearance on social perception is covered, and adaptation to social/psychological appearance demands in terms of both problems, such as eating disorders, and resistance. Prerequisite: either TPSYCH 100 or PSYCH 101.

Class description

NO TEXTBOOKS REQUIRED FOR THIS COURSE. Readings will be available electronically through the library.

How we view our bodies and how other people view our bodies have significant implications for our psychological and physical health. These also can affect our lives in material ways, such as what jobs we can get and the amount of energy and money we are expected to put into appearance management. In this course we will examine the individual and social forces that shape body image, the psychological and physical correlates of body image, and related social justice concerns.

This course is an advanced psychology course. Although I do not presume you have taken psychology courses other than introductory psychology prior to the course, having taken other psychology courses would be helpful. Significant reading and discussion of materials is required. The class includes some lecture, but much of the learning will take place in student-focused discussions, which students both facilitate and participate in. Class participation will be a major part of your final grade. I also expect you to write your papers using PsycINFO to locate professional resources and using APA writing style. The course also includes three significant group projects.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Nita Mckinley
Date: 03/11/2013