Introduction to Psychology
The study of human nature from the viewpoint of psychological science. Topics range from the biological bases of human perception, thought and action to the social-psychological determinants of individual and group behavior. This course can be used to satisfy the science and technology with laboratory general education requirement. Two lectures, one laboratory.
Survey of different types of psychological disorders and different models of explanation. Students will come to understand the conflicting viewpoints and treatment approaches that characterize the clinical field, and will understand what is presently known and unknown about psychopathology. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Brain: A User's Guide
A survey of brain and mind, emphasizing issues related to human behavior. Topics include: psychoactive drugs, aging and Alzheimer's disease, reengineering the brain, learning and memory, sleep-waking and biological rhythms, and major mental diseases. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Foundations of Psychological Thought
Professor/InstructorSusan Leah Sugarman
An exploration of original texts in the history of ideas about the workings of the human mind starting in Antiquity and leading to the development of the empirical discipline of psychology in the 19th century and some of its modern trends. Subsequent developments, including the child study movement, are explored though 20th century writings, culminating with Sartre's philosophical psychology and sources in Eastern thought to put the Western trajectory in perspective. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Psychology of Moral Behavior
A survey of the psychological, situational, and cultural determinants of moral thought and action. Topics will include the development of moral reasoning abilities, moral education, the relation between morality and rationality, altruism, and moral transgressions. Precepts will examine methods used in the psychological study of moral behavior. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Human Identity in the Age of Neuroscience and Information Technology
A central challenge for modern society is to construct individual and group identity in the face of technologies that come ever closer to understanding the mechanisms of thought and feeling. We live in a time when cognitive neuroscience is poised to trace the executive functions of the mind to the workings of the brain, and computer science is coming closer to replicating those functions. This course offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the scientific and social issues that underlie the potential cultural impact of advances in self-understanding. Faculty from a wide range of departments provide lectures. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Language, Mind, and Brain
This course examines the complex mental and neurological processes that underlie linguistic knowledge and behavior. It will be concerned with the precise description and measurement of language activity, with its governing principles, and with available indices for the associated neural computations and their location in the brain. Seminar.
The Psychology and Philosophy of Rationality
Professor/InstructorEldar Shafir, Philip Nicholas Johnson-Laird, Gilbert H. Harman
The human capacity for rationality is fundamental; however there is ample evidence for irrationality in human affairs--including notions such as hysteria, addiction, lack of self-control, wishful thinking, and self-deception. This course considers both errors and achievements, providing an introduction to a wide array of topics, such as logic, probability, decision theory, relativism, and psychopathology. It provides a background for further study of subjects such as logic, philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, cognitive science, the psychology of judgment and choice, and the psychology of thinking. One two-hour lecture, one preceptorial.
Professor/InstructorJustin Anthony Junge
Science searches for patterns in data. Quantitative methods are tools for finding and evaluating these patterns. This course introduces foundational concepts in quantitative methods, including data visualization and common statistical tests used in psychological research. Two lectures, one laboratory.
Professor/InstructorJ. Nicole Shelton
This course examines the scientific study of the way ordinary people think about, feel, and behave in social situations and how they influence, and are influenced by, others around them. We will first examine how people think and feel about others and about themselves; then we explore how they induce others to conform, to comply, to obey, and occasionally to see the world differently. Later, we examine how groups influence individuals and how individuals influence groups, how members of different groups relate to one another, and the seeds of attraction, altruism, and aggression. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Babies, who look like helpless blobs, are capable of impressive feats of learning. 3-year-olds, who can't cross the street alone, know an astounding amount of information about their environments. We will focus on landmark studies that elucidate how children's biology, cognition, language, and social experiences interact to set the stage for what we do and who we are. Is the baby's world a 'blooming, buzzing confusion', or do babies enter the world prepared to make sense of their environments? How can we understand the collaboration between nature and nurture during development? Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Professor/InstructorJordan A. Taylor
The course will survey discoveries and progress made over the past 50 years of research, from classic experimental findings and fundamental theoretical principles to the cutting edge of research that lies increasingly at the interface of psychology with neuroscience (neural mechanisms underlying cognitive processes), computer science (artificial intelligence and machine learning), and mathematics (formal models of complex processes). Topics will include perception, attention, memory, decision making, reasoning, problem solving, language, and cognitive control. Two lectures, one laboratory.
A survey of major approaches to the study of personality, including psychodynamic, social learning, and trait-theory approaches. The focus will be on the assumptions made by each approach, relevant techniques for collecting and analyzing data, and theoretical and practical implications. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Fundamentals of Neuroscience
Professor/InstructorLisa M. Boulanger
This is a survey course in neurobiology which takes a mechanistic and reductionist perspective to cover important topics in the field, including the physiological basis of neural excitability, sensory and motor processing, learning and memory, and neuropsychiatric diseases.
Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
Cognitive neuroscience is a young and exciting field with many questions yet to be answered. This course surveys current knowledge about the neural basis of perception, cognition and action and will comprehensively cover topics such as high-level vision, attention, memory, language, decision making, as well as their typical and atypical development. Precepts will discuss the assigned research articles, pertaining to topics covered in class with an emphasis on developing critical reading skills of scientific literature. Two 90-minute lectures, one precept
Linguistics and Language Acquisition
Professor/InstructorAdele E. Goldberg
What does it mean to know a language? Is it something we learn or something the brain "grows?" What aspects of language are innate? Is parents' speech important in language learning? An examination of the properties of child language through the lens of current linguistic theory. Two 90-minute classes.
Memory and Cognition
Professor/InstructorKenneth Andrew Norman
This course is an integrative treatment of memory in humans and animals. We explore working memory (our ability to actively maintain thoughts in the face of distraction), episodic memory (our ability to remember previously experienced events), and semantic memory (our ability to learn and remember the meanings of stimuli). In studying how the brain gives rise to different kinds of memory, we consider evidence from behavioral experiments, neuroscientific experiments (neuroimaging, electrophysiology, and lesion studies), and computational models. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: 255 or 259, or instructor's permission.
Principles of psychology relevant to the theory and practice of education. Through selected readings, discussion, and classroom observations, students study theories of development, learning, cognition (including literacy), and motivation, as well as individual and group differences in these areas; assessment; and the social psychology of the classroom. The course focuses on how learning by children and adolescents at the elementary, middle, and secondary school levels is influenced by their own characteristics and experiences and the various contexts in which they learn: family, school, community and culture. One three-hour seminar.
Psychology of Language
Professor/InstructorAdele E. Goldberg
The cognitive processes underlying the use and understanding of language, and in learning to speak. Topics include speech production and perception, grammar and meaning, knowledge and words, and pragmatic aspects of language. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Psychology of Thinking
The study of human problem solving, reasoning, and decision making. Phenomena of interest include thinking in everyday situations and contexts as well as in more specialized areas, such as logic, mathematics, and the sciences. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: 255 or instructor's permission.
Rationality and Human Reasoning
An examination of the fundamental theories of belief and decision, from both the normative and descriptive perspectives. Utility, logic, probability, and abduction will be considered, with additional topics drawn from computability theory and from collective choice. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Considers how one infers the motives, dispositions, and abilities of other persons. Next examines how these inferential processes are used to draw inferences about oneself. Students will design an original experiment (with consultation). Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: 252 or instructor's permission.
Research Methods in Social Psychology
An examination of the various methods by which social psychologists conduct research, including laboratory and field experiments, quasi-experiments, survey research, and naturalistic observation. Over the course of the semester, students will design and conduct social psychological research using these methods. Although valuable for all psychology majors, this course will be particularly useful for those who anticipate completing a senior thesis based on empirical research. Prerequisites: 251 or permission of instructor. One three-hour seminar.
An examination of the major forms of childhood psychopathology. Causal roles played by individual factors, traumatic events, the family, school, and community as well as the prevention and treatment of childhood disorders will also be examined. One three-hour seminar. Prerequisites: 207 and 254. Offered in alternate years.
Psychotherapy Theories and Skills: Connecting the Clinic, Lab, and Everyday Life
Professor/InstructorErik C. Nook
This course will review key psychotherapeutic skills from dominant therapeutic modalities. We will learn about the theoretical and empirical backing for each skill and then practice applying them to achieve goals in our own lives. Students will gain knowledge of the science and practice of psychotherapy as well as concrete skills in applying therapeutic techniques in their own lives. Lecture and one preceptorial.