The list below includes descriptions of all undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Department of Psychology, though some courses may be taught more often than others. Descriptions for special topics seminars (PSY 196) are updated each semester.
Visit the undergraduate and graduate pages for course requirements for specific programs. For up-to-date information on course offerings, schedules, room locations and registration, please visit the Student Information System (SIS).
PSY 1 Introduction to Psychology. This course will survey current knowledge of human behavior. It will cover the entire spectrum of behavioral functions and examine the biological, cognitive and social processes that underlie these behaviors. Topics will include the brain and functioning of the nervous system, perception, thinking, learning and memory; conscious and unconscious motivations and emotion; language, intelligence, cognitive, social, and personality development; social perceptions, attitudes and social influence; psychological disorders and their treatment; and mental health. The focus of the course will be on understanding the major theories of human behavior and on understanding the practical and theoretical implications of these positions.
PSY 9 Introduction to Cognitive and Brain Science. Survey of the cognitive, computational and neuronal basis of thought. Topics include the relationship of cognitive and brain systems underlying language, memory, perception, attention, consciousness and development. Students interested in PSY 9 are expected to first take PSY 1 in order to best prepare them for the course.
PSY 11 Developmental Psychology. A survey of behavioral, mental, and socio-emotional development during childhood from birth through adolescence. General principles of development and related empirical findings will be emphasized. Class will include lectures, demonstrations, and observations of children.
PSY 12 Abnormal Psychology. An introduction to the adult major psychological and psychiatric disorders. The symptoms and signs of psychosis, affective disorders and anxiety disorders will be discussed. The way these symptoms and signs constellate into various syndromes (e.g. schizophrenia, major depression), as defined in the DSM, will be considered. Finally, for each of these syndromes, an introduction to the etiology (causes) and an overview of biopsychosocial management approaches will be presented.
PSY 13 Social Psychology. Social psychology is the scientific study of the way people think, feel, and behave in social situations. It involves understanding how we influence, and are influenced by, other people and the social contexts around us. A primary goal of this course is to introduce you to the perspectives, research methods, and seminal findings of the field of social psychology. Equally important is the goal of allowing you to cultivate your skills for analyzing the social situations and events that you encounter in your everyday lives. Lectures will be supplemented by classroom demonstrations, discussion, and various assignments.
PSY 15 Theories of Personality. This course is an overview of the various classes of personality theory: psychosocial conflict theories (Freud, neo-Freudians, and social learning theorists); intrapsychic conflict theory (Jung); cognitive and self theories (Lewin, Rogers); and role theory (Sarbin, Goffman). The lectures begin with the purposes of theory and the role of genetics in laying the groundwork for personality differences. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with major figures in personality theory so they will enjoy reading critically on their own.
PSY 17 Industrial/Organizational Psychology. This course examines the roles, contributions and limitations of psychology in business and industrial organizations. Topics will include motivation of employees, classical and current approaches to management, group dynamics and consumer psychology. Students will select a contemporary issue in the field; present an overview to the class and submit a research paper on the topic.
PSY 22 Emotion. Introduction to theory and research on the nature of emotion and its regulation. Topics include defining and measuring emotion and related constructs; theories of emotion elicitation, expression, and regulation; perspectives on the function of emotions; discrete emotions such as joy, surprise, fear, anger, sadness, and disgust; emotion across cultural, developmental, and clinical contexts; the neural, endocrine, and autonomic concomitants of emotion.
PSY 25 Physiological Psychology. This course will serve as an introduction to the biological basis of behavior. The course will begin by providing a basic understanding of the function of the nervous system. With this knowledge in hand, the physiological basis of behaviors such as hunger, thirst, sex, aggression, sleep, learning and memory will be explored. Special attention will be paid to recent advances in research in the growing area of biopsychology. This course is not meant for Biology or Bio-Psychology majors or for pre-medical students. Those students should take Psychology 103. (Students cannot receive credit for both PSY 25 and PSY 103).
PSY 26 Animal Learning and Cognition. This course is an introduction to the study of cognition in animals. Through lectures and classroom discussion, questions such as the following will be examined. How can and do animals think without language? Do rats use cognitive "maps" to get around their spatial environment? How do bees learn and remember where rich sources of food are located? How do animals communicate information to one another? What do birds and other animals see when they look out at the visual world? The course will survey the fundamental principles and theories of learning and information processing in animals. Topics to be examined will include conditioning and memory processes, orientation in space and time, visual perception, stimulus selection and control, memory, and self-awareness in animals.
PSY 27 Perception. This course will offer an introduction to the processes that transform physical energies (e.g., light, sound, heat) into psychological experiences (e.g., seeing objects, hearing noises, feeling warmth). These processes are crucial for the basic survival of all animal species; understanding them is central to the field of human psychology not only for this reason but because they are prerequisite to the functioning of "higher" psychological processes such as thinking, socializing, playing games, and appreciating art and music. Major emphasis will be on visual perception, but topics such as hearing, speech perception, active touch, pain perception, and the chemical senses will also be covered.
PSY 28 Cognitive Psychology. An introduction to human mental processes. Attention, perception, problem solving, pattern recognition, imagery, memory retention, language comprehension, and knowledge acquisition are examined as fundamental processes of cognition. This course serves as the gateway course to introduce our advanced laboratories and seminar courses in cognition. Lecture and frequent classroom demonstrations.
PSY 31 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. Statistical methods for the treatment of data in the behavioral sciences. Descriptive and inferential methods. Use of statistical software to explore conceptual issues and analyze data. One laboratory period in addition to lectures. Enrolling in a lab section (PSY 31A, PSY 31B, PSY 31C, PSY 31D, PSY 31E, or PSY 31F) registers you for both the lecture and laboratory components of the course. Prerequisites: PSY 1 and a declared major in Psychology, Biopsychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive & Brain Science, or Engineering Psychology.
PSY 32 Experimental Psychology. A laboratory focused on individual and group experiments designed to familiarize students with research methods in psychological investigations. Required for psychology majors. Lectures and one laboratory period. Enrolling in a lab section (PSY 32A, PSY 32B, PSY 32C, PSY 32D, or PSY 32E) registers you for both the lecture and laboratory components of the course. Prerequisites: PSY 0031 (or equivalent) and a declared major in Psychology Biopsychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive & Brain Science, or Engineering Psychology.
PSY 36 Experimental Social Psychology. This course focuses on the process of designing, conducting, interpreting, and presenting empirical research in social psychology. Students will be exposed to several different methods used in social psychological research, with an emphasis on true experiments. The use of these methods will be illustrated through readings and discussions of classic and contemporary research in social psychology. Class projects will provide students with hands-on experience in implementing these techniques. In the main part of the course, students will form research teams with the task of conducting empirical research on a topic of their choice.
PSY 37 Research Methods in Developmental Psychology. Why do kids do what they do? How can we know what is going on in an infant's head? How can we find out what preschoolers are thinking about or understand? This laboratory course is designed to build on students' introductory work in developmental psychology by offering "hands on" experience with the special research procedures researchers use to study infants' and children's thinking and behavior. During the semester, we will read about, discuss, design, and conduct research on several different topics, all generally within the area of cognitive development. These topics will illustrate a range of developmental research methods, and we may also have an opportunity to observe some clinical testing and applied work with children as well.
PSY 38 Research Methods in Clinical Psychology. This course will teach the methods of clinical research as well as provide the experience of analyzing data. We will cover topics such as experimental design, diagnostic reliability, epidemiologic methods, data analysis, and the preparation of research reports. The use of computers in clinical research will be introduced.
PSY 40 Physiological Psychology Lab. This laboratory course is designed to introduce students to many of the research techniques employed in physiological psychology. Particular emphasis is placed on the examination of the anatomy and functional dynamics of the central nervous system with respect to behavior. Experiments investigating the physiological basis of feeding behavior, sexual behavior, learning and memory will be conducted. Techniques to be learned will include stereotaxic surgery, electrode implantation, brain stimulation and lesioning, neurohistology, and neurochemical assays. The course will have one lecture meeting and one laboratory session per week.
PSY 41 Perception and Cognition Laboratory. This course will examine mental processing. It will focus on how our minds work when we think, reason, remember, learn, solve problems, perceive objects and understand language. The course will provide an opportunity for participants to learn and use state-of-the-art experimental techniques for studying each of these processes. This experimental work will test current theories of cognitive processing in humans, with particular emphasis on examination of theories and models derived from the fields of cognitive psychology, psycholinguistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, and cognitive-linguistic-mental disorders.
PSY 42 Emotion Laboratory. Laboratory course in which students design, conduct, analyze, interpret, and present original experimental research on the nature of human emotion and its regulation. Students obtain hands-on experience using different methods of measuring emotional responses, including subjective ratings, expressive behavior, and autonomic physiology (e.g., heart rate, skin conductance, respiration). Course assignments typically include reading and thinking critically about classic and contemporary research in emotion; developing hypotheses; practical tasks related to carrying out research projects; writing manuscripts in APA format; and oral presentations.
PSY 46 Laboratory in Animal Cognition. An advanced laboratory course familiarizing the student with the methods and strategies used to study cognition in animals. Several experiments examining an important topic area in animal cognition will be conducted over the semester. The course consists of weekly class discussions and analyses of the ongoing experiments and their relations to other experiments in the area. These discussions will result in several APA-style write-ups of the experiments as they progress over the semester. Besides regular class meetings, all students need to be prepared to spend time outside of class to conduct the experimental sessions.
PSY 48 Psychopharmacology Lab. This laboratory course provides direct, pre-clinical experience with experimental strategies and methods in psychopharmacology, using animal subjects. Students will investigate how drugs affect various behavior patterns and how behavioral processes can be elucidated using drugs as research tools. Topics may include experimental procedures demonstrating the effects of drugs on motor and sensory process, behavioral measures of memory, anxiety, depression and psychosis, and the self-administration of drugs by animals. Using the mastery teaching method, students will recreate classic experiments and ready themselves for independent research in psychopharmacology.
PSY 49 Psychophysiology Lab. This laboratory course is designed to introduce students to some of the procedures used to study the electrophysiological manifestation of psychological processes in humans. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of brain wave techniques (EEG and event-related brain potentials - ERPs). Techniques to be learned will include application of electrodes, use of computers in collecting electrophysiological data and quantification of electrophysiological data. Students enrolled in this course will conduct their own brain wave experiments on human subjects.
PSY 51 Black Psychology. An examination of Black experiences through a psychological lens. This course critically examines theories, paradigms, and research developed to understand the attitudes, behaviors, and psychological experiences of Black Americans. Topics typically include the history of anti-Black racism in psychology and the sciences; measuring racial identity among Black individuals; the adequacy of psychological models and research when it comes to accounting for Black experiences and perspectives; understanding the intersectionality of race with culture, gender, sexual orientation, and other social identities.
PSY 53 Engineering Psychology. Survey of the applied areas of psychology which have proven useful in the design of equipment for human use and in the design of human-machine systems. This course is offered at a beginning or survey level and is conducted as a lecture course with additional readings. The emphasis is on how humans process information and how psychological science can further inform each stage of information processing. Examples are drawn from a wide range of areas. Most of the students in the course will be majoring in Engineering Psychology, but non-majors are welcome and typically come from Biology, Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Physics, Pre-med, and Engineering.
PSY 55 Human Sexual Behavior. Sex and sexuality are topics which are studied in many different ways. This course reflects that diversity by considering the biological, developmental, clinical and social aspects of sex and sexuality. Topics will include cross-cultural surveys of sexual behavior, sexual differentiation, sexual physiology, contraception, STDs, sexual dysfunction and therapy, sexual orientation, gender, and various legal issues that revolve around sexual topics.
PSY 56 Drugs and Behavior. Introductory examination of how drugs, toxins, food additives, and other chemicals alter human behavior. Topics may include historical and societal views of drug use, drugs for recreational purposes, alcohol, medicinal drugs, drugs in food and food as drugs, and environmental toxins; theories of why drugs are used and reasons for prescribing psychoactive drugs.
PSY 57 Nutrition and Behavior. Introduction to the interaction between nutrition and behavior. Nutritional variables that may influence psychological functioning; effects of specific nutrients on behavior. Specific topics to be cover include: obesity, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia; effects of vitamins and minerals on behavior; role of protein malnutrition in intellectual development; and potential effects of food additives, including sugar on psychological processes. This course is not designed for students with a background in biology. Those students should take Psychology 128.
PSY 58 Psychology of Sports. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the application of general psychological theories to sports, and to sensitize students to the special needs and issues of athletes. An equal emphasis will be placed upon theory, research, and applied sport psychology.
PSY 60 Speech-Accompanying Gesture in Human Communication. Theories of gesture, including long-standing controversies regarding the communicative function of gestures, their role in communication, whether or not they are redundant or complementary with speech, and the cognitive mechanism responsible for the simultaneous production of gesture and speech. The basic types of gesture and what they express. Use of gesture in spoken interaction: the related but fundamentally distinct phenomena of nonverbal behavior and sign language.
PSY 64 Introduction to Linguistics. (Cross-listed as Phil 15 and Ling 15.) How humans encode language in their brains, so that they can produce and understand an unlimited variety of utterances in context. Language and other forms of communication; how children acquire language; biological basis of language; the structure of language -- phonology (sound structure), syntax (grammatical structure), and semantics (meaning).
PSY 71 Clinical Methods. Basic clinical concepts and skills, such as the helping relationship, interviewing, history taking, psychological testing, their theoretical and empirical basis and appropriate application of the basic skills.
PSY 80 The Psychology of Music. (Cross-listed as Music 95.) Examination of a wide range of topics in the psychology of music. Music perception; music cognition; music aesthetics; music and emotions; the influence of music on human behavior; the nature and measurement of musical abilities; music education and child development.
PSY 81 The Science of Coping: Lessons from Psychology for Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis. The current pandemic influences every aspect of society, from public health and the economy, to politics and education. But let us not forget the wide-ranging psychological effects of COVID-19. In this course, we will explore lessons from psychological science for coping with the crisis and navigating daily life under unprecedented circumstances. Your instructors—one a clinical neuroscientist, one a social psychologist—will combine mini-lectures, guest interviews, and interactive discussions to introduce you to research theories and findings you can apply to your own life in concrete ways. Topics include: strategies for coping with stress; effects of nutrition, sleep, and exercise on mood, anxiety, and immune function; the importance of social connection; getting the most out of remote learning; mental health treatment while socially distancing; confronting bias, misinformation, and conspiracy theories during threatening times. Class will meet for live, synchronous interaction on Zoom, but will also be recorded and posted for later viewing. No previous coursework in psychology required. Assessment will include submitting reading/discussion questions and keeping a course-long journal. (Note - This 2 SHU course has been approved to count as an elective toward the PSY and Clinical PSY majors.)
PSY 91 Research in Psychology. Fall semester listing for students who wish to participate in an ongoing program of research. The student is expected to do background reading relevant to the research and to participate in as many phases of the research as possible. Students interested in PSY 91 should speak with potential faculty supervisors far in advance of course registration period. Pre-requisites: Two courses in Psychology and consent of the supervising faculty member. Offered in Fall.
PSY 92 Research in Psychology. Spring semester listing for students who wish to participate in an ongoing program of research. The student is expected to do background reading relevant to the research and to participate in as many phases of the research as possible. Students interested in PSY 92 should speak with potential faculty supervisors far in advance of course registration period. Pre-requisites: Two courses in Psychology and consent of the supervising faculty member. Offered in Spring.
PSY 97 Readings in Psychology. Fall semester listing for supervised readings course mutually arranged by a student and a faculty member. The goal of the course is to enable the student to become better informed on a specialized topic within psychology that is not otherwise covered by the departmental curriculum. Writing assignments are typically expected. Students interested in PSY 97 should speak with potential faculty supervisors far in advance of course registration period, and should be prepared to provide an annotated bibliography for review. Pre-requisites: Two courses in Psychology and consent of the supervising faculty member. Offered in Fall.
PSY 98 Readings in Psychology. Spring semester listing for supervised readings course mutually arranged by a student and a faculty member. The goal of the course is to enable the student to become better informed on a specialized topic within psychology that is not otherwise covered by the departmental curriculum. Writing assignments are typically expected. Students interested in PSY 98 should speak with potential faculty supervisors far in advance of course registration period, and should be prepared to provide an annotated bibliography for review. Pre-requisites: Two courses in Psychology and consent of the supervising faculty member. Offered in Spring.
PSY 99 Internship in Psychology. Internship in settings (hospitals, clinics, schools, non-Tufts laboratories) where work is primarily psychological. Written work is required, whether in the form of a semester-long journal or final paper. Grading is pass/fail, but the course may be used as an elective for psychology majors. Students interested in PSY 99 should speak with potential faculty supervisors far in advance of course registration period and obtain signatures on PSY 99 Internship Approval Form and COVID-19 Internship Form (available on department website) to submit to Department Chair. Pre-requisites: Completion of relevant coursework, prior consent of a supervising faculty member, signed PSY 99 Internship Approval Form, signed COVID-19 Internship Form.
PSY 103 Brain and Behavior. This course, like its companion course, Psychology 25, explores the physiological bases of behavior. It differs from Psychology 25 in assuming that the student has a biology background and would like to go into the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and neurochemical mechanisms of behavior in more depth. (Students cannot receive credit for both PSY 25 and PSY 103). Psychology 103 also focuses on current research in the various areas of Biopsychology and future directions for research and its applications. General topic areas include: the nervous system, vision, neurological disorders, sexual behavior, hunger, thirst, sleep, aggression, reward mechanisms and addiction, learning and memory, and psychopathology.
PSY 104 Advanced Seminar in Physiological Psychology. A seminar on selected topics in the physiological basis of behavior. Students will be expected to write or present papers. Exact topic choices determined by interests of the instructor and students.
PSY 105 Psychoanalysis. Development and evolution of psychoanalytic psychology from its beginnings to the present. Topics include: unconscious motivation; dreams; personality development and dynamics; ego psychology, object relations theory and self-psychology; dynamics of symptom formation; treatment approaches; and critique of psychoanalytic theories and methods. Emphasis on psychoanalysis as a developmental psychology and relationship to general psychology. Psychoanalytic theories of personality development, psychopathology and treatment have had significant impact upon hypothesis development, theory, research and clinical application in general psychology. Psychoanalysis is also often a focus of significant critique from other approaches. However, psychoanalysis is rarely taught as a body of thought from original sources. This course aims to provide upper level psychology majors and interested graduate students (as well as upper level students in other areas) sufficient background to be able to understand the impact of psychoanalysis on general psychology and evaluate its heuristic usefulness.
PSY 106 Seminar in Clinical Psychology. Most of this course will focus on the various theories and techniques of psychotherapy through readings and case studies. Other aspects of clinical psychology such as psychological assessment, professional ethics, and pathways towards becoming a psychotherapist will also be considered. Students will be responsible for active participation in a seminar format. Please note that non-clinical majors may show up to the first course meeting to see if additional spots are available, but priority for enrollment given to Clinical Psych majors.
PSY 107 Advanced Statistics I. Introduction to probability theory and the logical basis of statistical inference. Binomial and normal models are examined. Analysis of variance models are introduced with consideration of their implication in research design. Some nonparametric tests are considered.
PSY 108 Advanced Statistics II. This course builds upon the material covered in Psychology 107 (Advanced Statistics I). The bulk of the course will focus on ANOVA and regression models appropriate for the analysis of a variety of experimental designs. In addition, we will overview a range of multivariate and nonparametric techniques.
PSY 109 Seminar in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Cognitive and behavioral approaches to understanding and modifying behavior and thought patterns in adults, children, couples, and families, in both outpatient and institutional settings.
PSY 110 Computer Programming for Psychology. Computer programming in modern psychology for both data collection and analysis. Introductory computer science concepts, including writing basic data-collection programs in Python, and automated data analysis scripts in R. Previous programming experience not required.
PSY 111 Psychiatric Medication in Children. The number of children diagnosed with serious mental illness like bipolar disorder is on the rise. Treatment of these illnesses includes mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, stimulants, antidepressants and some therapy. Do these drugs affect the developing brain? Do these drugs permanently affect the brain? Are these drugs even effective in children? These questions and others will be addressed in this seminar course.
PSY 112 Biological Bases of Psychopathology. Exploration of current research and theory concerning neuropathology, neurotransmitter systems, genetics, psychophysiology, and medication treatment in selected major mental disorders.
PSY 113 Advanced Social Psychology. This advanced seminar is devoted to closer analysis of social psychological theory and research than is provided by PSY 13. Class will consist primarily of student-led discussion of recently published journal articles. Willingness to actively engage in the material and to participate in class are required for enrollment. Specific topics vary by semester.
PSY 115 Social Identity, Stigma and Coping. People who are targeted by stereotypes and prejudice experience the world in unique ways. This course investigates the psychological consequences of stereotypes for victims and examines how targets of prejudice actively cope with being members of devalued social groups. We will discuss short- and long-term outcomes for people who possess devalued social identities, including the development of strategies to protect well-being in the face of discrimination. In addition, we will discuss situational and interpersonal factors that facilitate versus undermine victims' efforts to speak out about discrimination. This course will place an emphasis on empirical research and on teaching students how to interpret and critique research in social psychology.
PSY 117 Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. This seminar covers topics ranging from genetics to behavioral interventions for disorders, with a central focus on brain and cognitive development. Subtopics will include language acquisition, theory of mind, executive function, connectivity and lateralization, imitation, pretense, face processing, local vs. global processing, attention, and emotion regulation, among others.
PSY 118 Topics in Infancy. This course is a seminar in which selected aspects of mental and social development during infancy are examined. Topics of study change from year to year; this spring the course will investigate current thinking and research about selected aspects of early perceptual, motor, and cognitive development. Are young infants confronted with a "blooming, buzzing confusion" (William James) as they enter and engage with the world of objects and events, or should we characterize them instead as "Competent Neonates" or "Scientists in the Crib"? During the semester, we will look in depth at 3-4 selected topics, reading original research articles and theory papers on each and trying to weigh the evidence.
PSY 119 Family Dynamics and Therapy. This course examines theories and research relating to family dynamics and treatment. The perspective taken will be that of the family as a system, exploring the forces within the family that lead to, and inhibit, change and conflict. We will examine what makes some families get "stuck" and how various treatment approaches attempt to free them up, and how particular family styles are associated with particular difficulties (e.g., delinquency, anorexia, schizophrenia).
PSY 120 Project Study in Human Systems. (Cross-listed as Engineering Psychology 120.) A project-oriented course led by faculty from engineering and psychology, with invited lecturers. Students will participate in team fashion in defining some human-centered problems and then developing, testing, and implementing solutions. Examples of such problems are safety acceptability of an auto and its driver considered as a complete man-machine system, practical development of human-factored products. Each team will be encouraged to seek practical problems of importance. This is a project oriented course that brings Engineering and Liberal Arts students, majoring in Engineering Psychology, together to work on a Human Factors project. Projects change each year but the process which runs from proposal to final presentation is the same. The students are mostly upper-class or graduate students from both sides of the Human Factors discipline.
PSY 121 Applying Cognition to Education. This course is intended to cover topics in the cognitive psychology of human memory, conceptual learning, and comprehension with special focus on areas, theory, and research that have potential application to education. Thus, the course will provide selective coverage of theoretical and empirical work in cognitive psychology that provides potential to inform and improve educational practice. The applicability of these themes to education will be explicitly developed and evaluated through the primary research literature using educationally oriented experimental paradigms.
PSY 122 Cognitive Aging. Biological and socio-emotional factors that influence cognitive aging. Readings may cover age-related changes in attention, inhibitory control across the lifespan, age-related changes in memory language, and age-related changes in source monitoring.
PSY 123 Psychopharmacology. This course introduces the systematic study of the processes by which drugs alter behavior, primarily under experimental conditions. The main theme of the course will be to learn how drugs, in concert with environmental events, influence behavior via biochemical mechanisms. The objectives of this course are: (1) to provide background in experimental psychology and pharmacology necessary for an introduction to clinical and pre-clinical psychopharmacology, (2) to provide an overview of major areas of research in behavioral pharmacology in lectures, (sleep, appetite, sex, aggression, memory, sensation and hallucination, drug abuse, anxiety, depression and psychosis), (3) to analyze and critique selected classic and contemporary research articles in various areas of behavioral pharmacology. The course begins with introducing the neuropharmacological and behavioral foundations and then focuses on weekly topics, as listed above.
PSY 124 Cognition of Games People Play. Advanced undergraduate seminar; explores cognitive processes involved in playing video, board, and card games and how playing games can affect cognitive processing. Topics may include cognitive task analysis, use of games for training, and implications of games in education.
PSY 126 Origins of Cognition. The origins of complex cognitive behaviors in humans and other animals. Consciousness, counting, tool-using, creativity, imitation, and deceit. Evidence from comparative and developmental psychology, as well as primate studies, anthropology, archaeology, and biology. May be taken for 200-level graduate credit with permission.
PSY 127 Behavioral Endocrinology. The topic for this course is the influence of hormones on behavior and the effect of behavior on hormones. We will consider in detail the interrelationships of hormones and sex, aggression, hunger, thirst, learning, and mood. This will be done both at the level of behavioral analysis and at the level of neuroendocrine mechanisms. The course will be about half lecture and half seminar in format and in the seminar section topics suggested by the students will be included.
PSY 128 Advanced Seminar in Nutrition and Behavior. (Cross-listed as Nutrition 128.) During the past decade, there has been an increasing awareness of the interaction between nutrition and behavior. To examine this interaction, two general themes will be pursued. First, we will investigate the effects of nutritional variables on brain functioning and behavior. Second, we will study the influence of psychological variables in determining nutritional status. Specific topics to be covered include: the effects of protein-caloric malnutrition on brain development and intellectual functioning; obesity and other eating disorders; food additives and behavior; the role of brain mechanisms in determining nutritional intake; and the importance of vitamins and minerals for behavioral functioning. The background of students in this course tends to be varied, which provides for very interesting and provocative classroom discussions.
PSY 129 Cognitive Neuroscience. In this course we will discuss research and theories concerned with understanding the relationship between cognitive processes and the underlying brain systems responsible for these processes. These will include studies in the areas of: memory, attention, development and language.
PSY 130 Advanced Engineering Psychology. This course is intended for students who have already had an introduction to engineering psychology and wish to learn more about selected topics in the area. The course is run in a seminar format, with students selecting topics of interest, doing library research and presenting in class those studies and issues they have found as their work progresses. In their presentation students will put together all they have found in a "state-of-the-art" summary for their particular topic.
PSY 131 Neuropsychology of Cognition. Cognitive Neuropsychology aims to understand the nature of cognitive processes, mostly by using data from brain-damaged individuals to inform theories of normal cognition. The course focus on the methodology by which one may use patterns of impaired performance to determine the cognitive locus of an impairment. Topics will include the anatomy and vasculature of the brain, the philosophical logic of single patient vs. multiple patient case studies, as well as cognitive neuropsychological contributions to theories of spoken and written language processing, vision, attention, and somatosensation.
PSY 133 Psychology & Law. This course will focus on applications of psychology to the study of the legal system. Drawing on theory and research from a range of areas within psychology (cognitive, developmental, clinical, and physiological, with a particular emphasis on social psychology), we will examine a variety of topics, including: criminal behavior; police interrogations and suspect confessions; lie detection; eyewitness performance; children as witnesses; persuasion in the courtroom and jury decision-making; the insanity defense. Class will consist of guest speakers, lectures, and demonstrations, but will rely heavily on student-led discussion of assigned readings.
PSY 134 Interpersonal Conflict and Negotiation. This seminar will examine social psychological theories for conflict escalation and reduction of conflicts. The class will focus on research findings concerning social conflict, negotiation and mediation. Topics include: methodology for studying conflicts, individual differences and negotiation styles, the effect of physical components and culture on adversaries, strategic choices, social dilemmas, negotiators' power and effective third party intervention in interpersonal and group settings. Case studies, various classroom demonstration and exercises will be used.
PSY 135 Leadership & Group Dynamics. This advanced social psychology seminar familiarizes students with models of leadership and leadership styles, and examines the influence of group processes on effective leadership. Group behaviors such as communication, use of power, performance, decision-making and conflicts are tested in light of changes in organizations and cross-cultural perspectives. Through class exercises, simulations, demonstrations and class presentations students will have the chance to gain perspective on their own leadership skills and improve their interactions in groups.
PSY 136 Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination. History is replete with examples of differential beliefs about and treatment of others based on group membership. This is an advanced course in social psychology where we will examine a social psychological perspective on stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. In particular, this course emphasizes how a social cognition perspective in social psychology has informed our understanding of the formation, maintenance, and expression of stereotypes. In addition, we'll examine the implications that stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination have for stigmatized individuals' thoughts, behavior, and outcomes. The goal of the course is to develop students' understanding of how stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination operate in human relations.
PSY 138 Family Interaction. The focus of the course is on the family and the patterns of interaction between/among family members as units of analysis. Students are introduced to the relevant theories of family interaction and to methodologies for studying families. An additional focus is on the family as an ever changing phenomenon within the larger culture with attention given to the ways in which families both facilitate and accommodate to developmental changes, divorce and family reorganization, substance abuse and other relevant issues. The question of what differentiates healthy family functioning from dysfunction is addressed at the level of theory, research and clinical practice. In addition to designing their own research, students work in groups to conduct live family interviews.
PSY 139 Social Cognition. Psychologists interested in social cognition seek to examine the cognitive processes underlying human thought and interaction. This is an advanced course in social psychology where we will focus on a limited number of topics compared to that typically covered in an introductory social psychology course. The goal of the course is to help you to become more fluent in the issues in social cognition research.
PSY 140 Mathematical Psychology. Mathematical psychology deals with the use of mathematical methods as a means to understand basic psychological processes. Models for learning, memory, perception, classification, and decision making are just a few examples of mathematical psychology. The course is mainly a seminar, but there will be some lecture to establish the foundations. Students will be encouraged to explore mathematical psychology within the topic of their choice.
PSY 142 Seminar in Affective Neuroscience. Advanced seminar on the systems-level brain bases of emotion. Topics usually include basic theories of emotion, positive and negative affect, hemispheric asymmetries, emotional memory, emotion regulation, and selected topics in common forms of psychopathology such as depression and anxiety.
PSY 144 Memory and Retention. Cognitive, cognitive neuroscientific, and biological approaches to memory and retention. Topics may include basic memory dynamics, memory organization, imagery, pattern recognition, effects of encoding, memory development, storage and retrieval components of forgetting, amnesias (infantile, post-hypnotic, retrograde, anterograde), memory suppression, false-memory syndrome, Alzheimer's dementia, and other effects of brain injury on memory.
PSY 145 Mental Representation. This seminar-based course will explore how we mentally represent information and how we use this information. Topics will include mental representation formats, acquiring and updating mental representations, internal and external influences on mental representations, distortions and errors in representations, how mental representations are used across contexts, and atypical mental representations (e.g. synesthesia, savants).
PSY 146 Comparative Cognition and Behavior. An advanced course examining the theory and techniques in the comparative analysis of psychological processes in different species. The contributions of evolution and ecology will be examined in the production of similarities and differences in the behavior and cognition of animals.
PSY 147 Multitasking. An advanced treatment of human attention with an emphasis on multitasking. Topics include how multitasking has been conceptualized, how it has been measured, what it looks like outside the lab in more realistic settings, how individuals vary in their ability to multitask, and whether or not multitasking performance can be optimized.
PSY 149 Psychology of Language. Language is paramount among the capacities that characterize humans. We hold language as a marker of our humanity and by understanding language, we assume that we will understand something important about ourselves. In this course we will ask, and try to answer questions such as the following: Is our capacity for language a biological endowment unique to the human species? How do we produce and understand sentences? What might cause us to fail at either task? What is meaning, and how does language express it? How do social situations change our language use?
PSY 150 Semantics. (Cross-listed as Phil 111 and Ling 113.) The structure of meaning as it is encoded in human language and processed by the human brain. Mentalistic theories of sense and reference; word meanings; combining word meanings into phrasal meanings; aspects of meaning not conveyed by words.
PSY 151 Syntactic Theory. Syntactic theory, the study of grammatical structure, is the core subcomponent of contemporary linguistics. Topics of the course include: Syntactic categories, phase structure, long-distance dependencies, the balance between grammar and lexicon and between syntax and semantics, syntactic universals, and the innate predispositions required for children to learn the syntactic structure of their native languages. Multiple theoretical approaches will be compared.
PSY 152 The Psychology of Bilingualism. In most of the world knowledge and use of more than one language in daily life is the norm. Even in the U.S. where English is the dominant language, there is a growing awareness that knowledge of a second language is essential to our competitiveness in an increasingly interactive world and likely has certain cognitive benefits including improved executive functioning and protection against cognitive aging. This seminar explores bilingualism from the perspective of psychology. Among the topics discussed are: the bilingual brain, developmental bilingualism, second language acquisition, bilingual memory, social and cognitive implications of bilingualism, and the interaction of a bilingual's languages at the cognitive level.
PSY 153 Biological Foundations of Language. (Cross-listed as Ling 153 and Phil 110). Is the human ability to learn and use language a specialized cognitive capacity encoded in the genome, or is it just a consequence of having a large brain? Addresses the evidence bearing on this question, based on the character of language, language learning, and language disability. The degree to which the language faculty draws on other cognitive capacities, the relation of language to forms of animal communication, and hypotheses about the evolution of the language faculty.
PSY 154 Psychosis. A seminar course focusing on the symptoms of psychosis such as hallucinations, delusions and thought disorder and psychotic disorders (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). Examination of psychotic phenomena and disorders from multiple theoretical perspectives: clinical diagnosis, etiology and pathogenesis, genetics, neurochemistry, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience, including neuroimaging.
PSY 155 Phonological Theory. (Cross-listed as Ling 154). An introduction to phonological analysis -- the study of the sound patterns of the world's languages. Topics will include the structure of phonological representations (features, syllables, metrical structure), cross-linguistic universals, and how abstract phonological competence is related to articulatory and perceptual processes. Analysis of primary linguistic data and introduction to current debates in phonological theory.
PSY 156 Long Term Memory Processes. Focus on the cognitive and biological factors involved in long-term memory processes. In-depth analysis of declarative and non-declarative long-term memory processes from formation to retrieval with a focus on hormonal, genetic, and pathological factors. Laboratory component emphasizing methodologies and procedures relevant to long term memory behavioral and physiological research.
PSY 159 Emotion, Stress, and Health. Survey of the psychological and biological underpinnings of emotion and stress. Topics usually include theories of emotion and stress; the influence of culture, cognition, and social relationships; the role of the endocrine, immune, peripheral and central nervous systems; stress-related disease and stress management.
PSY 181, 182 Senior Capstone in Clinical Psychology. This is a year-long (5 semester hour credits per semester) weekly senior capstone seminar for the Clinical Psychology Majors. It runs alongside a volunteer fieldwork placement, clinical research project or other type of senior project (minimum 12-16 hours per week). Students' clinical and research experiences and projects are discussed and analyzed: multiple aspects of diagnosis and clinical management and clinical research are covered. By the end of this two-semester course, students will gain important insights into clinical work and research in a range of mental health/human service settings. Intended for students interested in medical school, clinical psychology graduate programs, clinical research and all other careers involving work within the field of mental health and related disciplines. Senior clinical majors only.
PSY 191 Independent Research: Projects in Psychology. Fall semester listing for advanced undergraduates who wish to participate in all phases of a research project. The student's contribution to the research should be at a higher level than for PSY 91/92, demonstrating increased independence and autonomy, with the potential for inclusion as a co-author of a conference presentation or publication. A final paper or presentation is required. Students interested in PSY 191 should speak with potential faculty supervisors far in advance of course registration period. Pre-requisites: Completion of one semester of research (usually PSY 91/92) and consent of the supervising faculty member. Offered in Fall.
PSY 192 Independent Research: Projects in Psychology. Spring semester listing for advanced undergraduates who wish to participate in all phases of a research project. The student's contribution to the research should be at a higher level than for PSY 91/92, demonstrating increased independence and autonomy, with the potential for inclusion as a co-author of a conference presentation or publication. A final paper or presentation is required. Students interested in PSY 192 should speak with potential faculty supervisors far in advance of course registration period. Pre-requisites: Completion of one semester of research (usually PSY 91/92) and consent of the supervising faculty member. Offered in Spring.
PSY 195 Senior Seminar in Cognitive & Brain Science. Fall semester weekly meeting for seniors majoring or minoring in Cognitive and Brain Science. Provides a forum for discussion, as well as exposing students to a range of faculty and graduate student research. Prerequisites: Seniors majoring or minoring in Cognitive & Brain Science.
PSY 196 Seminar in Psychology. Contemporary problems in selected areas of psychology. Details for current seminars provided below.
PSY 196-01 Current Research in Behavioral Neuroscience. This course aims to introduce, analyze and critique current research articles in behavioral neuroscience. The topics of these articles are selected according to the ongoing research interests of the graduate and undergraduate participants. It is expected that each member of the class presents the scientific background, hypothesis, research methods and design, the key results and their interpretation of a recently published major article in such journals as Science, Nature, Cell, Journal of Neuroscience, Neuropsychopharmacology, and Biological Psychiatry. In addition, each member contributes data flashes to each presentation. The preparation of a scholarly review article will conclude the term. This course has been approved to count as an elective for the Biopsych or CBS major in S21. Requires: PSY 25, PSY 103, or PSY 129.
PSY 196-02 Multisensory Perception. Our perception of the world improves with the integration of information from multiple senses. For example, during a conversation we typically look at the other person to be able to combine speech sounds with lip movements. If these two signals mismatch, such as in a dubbed movie, it is more difficult to understand the words. In this seminar, we will explore behavioral and neuroscientific markers of multisensory integration such as the ventriloquism effect and the rubber hand illusion. We will address the physiological basis of multisensory perception, discuss its interplay with attention, and examine computational models describing the mechanisms of multisensory integration. This course has been approved to count as an elective for the Biopsych or CBS major in S21. Requires: PSY 25 or 27 or 28.
PSY 196-03 Reasoning & Decision Making. This course will discuss research on how people think and make decisions. Topics include induction and deduction, problem solving, language, insight, creativity, artificial intelligence, game theory, and models of decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. This course has been approved to count as an elective toward the CBS major for S21. Requires: Any PSY course (PSY 9 - PSY 29).
PSY 199 Senior Honors Thesis. If you plan to do an honor's thesis, you must sign up for PSYCHOLOGY 199 both Fall and Spring of your senior year. Discuss this with a faculty sponsor.
In addition to courses listed below, psychology graduate students may enroll in 100 level or higher classes, both in the psychology department and university-wide. Graduate students may also enroll in courses offered by other schools in the consortium.
PSY 201, 202 Proseminar in Psychology. This course is designed to expose first-year graduate students to concepts both within and outside of their areas of study. Students will be required to attend department and university talks given by invited speakers.
PSY 203 Seminar in Physiological Psychology. Contemporary and historical issues in the relationship between physiology and behavior. Topics chosen for this semester will depend on student interest.
PSY 207 Advanced Statistics I. Introduction to probability theory and the logical basis of statistical inference. Binomial and normal models are examined. Analysis of variance models are introduced with consideration of their implication in research design. Some nonparametric tests are considered.
PSY 208 Advanced Statistics II. This course builds upon the material covered in Psychology 207 (Advanced Statistics I). The bulk of the course will focus on ANOVA and regression models appropriate for the analysis of a variety of experimental designs. In addition, we will overview a range of multivariate and nonparametric techniques.
PSY 210 Computer Programming for Psychology. Computer programming in modern psychology for both data collection and analysis. Introductory computer science concepts, including writing basic data-collection programs in Python, and automated data analysis scripts in R. Previous programming experience not required.
PSY 212 Human Communication. This one credit course is aimed at providing the basic theoretical knowledge about the human communication system, as seen from the perspective of the information processing in the communicating individual.
PSY 213 Contemporary Problems in Social Psychology. Topics to be covered include attribution theory, interpersonal attraction, and social attitudes.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
PSY 214 Seminar in Social Psychology. Multidisciplinary approaches to the study of social thought and behavior. Readings and discussions will explore the utility of integrating social-psychological perspectives with other perspectives (e.g., developmental, personality, and clinical) to arrive at a more comprehensive view of human behavior. Topics will vary from year to year.
Prerequisites: PSY 233 or graduate standing
PSY 218 Developmental Theory and Research. Contemporary problems in developmental psychology related to developmental theory.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
PSY 222 Cognitive Aging. This seminar explores a range of topics within cognitive aging. Readings will include journal articles focusing on age-related changes in attention, inhibitory control across the lifespan, age-related changes in memory language, and age-related changes in source monitoring.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
PSY 229 Cognitive Neuroscience
PSY 231 Core Course in Neuroscience. The goal of this course is to help graduate students integrate neurobiology and its methods with behavioral and motivational issues in psychology. We will cover the essentials of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neurochemistry and use that information to understand current theories and experiments on the biological bases of sexual behavior and sexual differentiation, hunger and body weight control, and learning and memory. Readings will include texts in neuroscience and original literature in physiological psychology. We will discuss the readings and in these discussions I will take into account the varying levels of familiarity with this literature and the different interests of the students. This heterogeneity can be an asset in a seminar and lead to the uncovering of some interesting alternative perspectives. During the semester each student will pick one topic in physiological psychology to research in depth and write a paper on that subject. In addition, there will be a comprehensive exam at the end of the course.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
PSY 232 Core Course in Cognitive Psychology. An integrative survey of cognitive psychology focusing on the broad theoretical issues that pervade the field, such as, the nature of knowledge representation, discrete versus continuous processing, connectionism versus symbolic processing, and other aspects of cognitive architecture. These issues will be related to specific content areas, such as attention, memory, language processing, reasoning and problem solving, cognitive development, social cognition, animal cognition, and neuroscience (particularly electrophysiology).
PSY 233 Core Course in Social Psychology. This course offers an advanced overview of theory and research in social psychology. Major representative topic areas will be covered, including person perception, social cognition, social influence, attitudes, intergroup relations, and the self. Emphasis will be placed on seminal, classic experiments in social psychology, as well as contemporary methodologies, findings, and theoretical perspectives. The course format will consist of seminar-style discussions, student presentations, and mini-lectures and demonstrations. This course fulfills one of the core course requirements in the graduate curriculum of the Psychology Department.
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.
PSY 234 Core Course in Developmental Psychology. This course offers an advanced overview of current perspectives and issues in developmental psychology. Topics to be covered include perceptual-motor development, language acquisition and rules of cognitive development. These will be linked to social development. Emphasis will be placed on development as a process in time and on the determinants and constraints which affect that process. Course format will be variable, including mini-lectures, seminar-style discussions, and student presentations.
PSY 234 fulfills one of the core course requirements in the graduate curriculum of the Psychology Department.
PSY 235 Core Course in Psychopathology and Emotion. This course will explore in depth the current research regarding the phenomenology, classification, biology, course, and treatment of major psychiatric disorders. The use of cognitive and neuroscience methods to study patients with psychiatric disorders will be emphasized
Prerequisite: Open to graduate students only.
PSY 240 Mathematical Psychology. Survey of quantitative models and modeling techniques useful in psychology.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
PSY 242 Seminar in Affective Neuroscience. Graduate seminar on the systems-level brain bases of emotion. Topics usually include basic theories of emotion, positive and negative affect, hemispheric asymmetries, emotional memory, emotion regulation, and selected topics in common forms of psychopathology such as depression.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
PSY 243 Structure and Process in Cognitive Theory. This seminar focuses on problems of distinguishing between theoretical cognitive structures and processes, and empirical methods for separating structural and processing components of performance in particular cognitive domains. Topics include computation versus search in models of semantic memory; analog versus propositional knowledge representation in models of mental imagery; attention; automaticity, and modularity.
PSY 244 Cognition/Learning. Seminar on contemporary issues in the areas of cognition, memory and learning.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
PSY 247 Nature of Scientific Discoveries. This seminar will focus on the cognitive and social processes of scientific discovery. What thought processes are involved in making important discoveries? Why are some more successful at this than others. How do we identify important problems for study? Is there a science to conducting science? Are there ways that we can enhance our own chances of making an important contribution to science by examining these processes? These and related questions will form and inform the discussion in this class.
PSY 248 The Predictive Mind. This course aims to investigate the theory that the mind/brain is essentially a hypothesis-testing machine that attempts to minimize the error of its predictions about the input it receives from the world. Evidence for and against this theory will be examined from the perspective of both cognitive and neural functioning. Multiple domains of cognition will be covered, ranging from animal learning theory, basic perceptual processes (visual and auditory), attention, executive function, higher-order visual cognition, language processing and cognitive development. The course is geared towards graduate students who have some background knowledge in cognitive psychology and cognitive science.
Prerequisites: Graduate standing.
PSY 250 Seminar on Decision Making and Judgment. How people reason about probability, risk, value and choice. When and why people deviate from the prescriptions of purely rational theories.
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.
PSY 251 Cognitive Science of Language. The aim of this seminar is to review the cognitive principles and architecture of adult language processing. Basic principles underlying language processing will be examined from the perspective of cognitive and neural function. We will read and analyze papers that have used multiple cognitive science techniques to probe the mechanisms of language comprehension, ranging from computational modeling, behavioral and eye tracking methods, to neural methods. We will also examine links between language comprehension, production and other domains of cognitive function.
PSY 254 Psychosis. A seminar course focusing on the symptoms of psychosis such as hallucinations, delusions and thought disorder and psychotic disorders (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). Examination of psychotic phenomena and disorders from multiple theoretical perspectives: clinical diagnosis, etiology and pathogenesis, genetics, neurochemistry, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience, including neuroimaging. Relevant original papers and reviews from all these perspectives will be discussed and presented.
PSY 260 Seminar: Teaching in Psychology. This seminar focuses on how to teach and related pedagogical issues. Because it is designed to help prepare students for being a teaching assistant, this course is strongly suggested as the one to take in meeting the master's degree requirements.
PSY 261 Seminar on Research in Psychology. This seminar focuses on research-related issues. Topics to be covered include, for instance, writing a research article, grant writing and preparation, and laboratory management.
PSY 262 Research Practices. This course will provide graduate students with an overview of contemporary debates and practical solutions to conducting rigorous, reproducible quantitative research. In addition to learning what rigor and reproducibility actually mean, we'll discuss the whys and hows of statistical inference and transparent research practices (e.g., sample size planning, preregistration, sharing data and materials), and best practices for reporting and evaluating research. We'll also consider thorny issues surrounding conducting and evaluating replication research, giving and responding to scientific criticism, and the everyday incentives that shape scientists' behavior. Students will come away having developed a principled understanding of relevant concepts and a set of concrete tools for producing and consuming high quality science.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing
PSY 289 Graduate Research I. Required during new students first semester of their first year. Part of new independent research course sequence.
PSY 290 Graduate Research II. Required during new students second semester of their first year. Part of new independent research course sequence.
PSY 291, 292 Graduate Research Advanced I & II (formerly PSY 293, 294). Guided individual experimentation in an approved area.
PSY 293, 294 Graduate Research III & IV. Part of sequence demonstrating comprehensive expertise.
PSY 295, 296 Master's Thesis. Guided research on a topic that has been approved as a suitable subject for a Master's thesis.
PSY 297, 298, 299 Doctoral Dissertation. Guided research on a topic that has been approved as a suitable subject for a doctoral dissertation.
PSY 401, 402 PT/FT Masters Continuation, Masters Degree only
PSY 501, 502 PT/FT Doctoral Continuation, PhD Degree only