Jennifer L. S. Borton, Chair
Beverly R. Edmondson
Michael J. Frederick
Tara E. McKee
Gregory R. Pierce
Douglas A. Weldon
Penny L. Yee
A concentration in psychology consists of nine courses: 101; 201; any of 204, 205, or 232; one laboratory course numbered between 310 and 329; 395; and four additional courses at the 300 level or above, including the Senior Project. Students should plan to complete their lab requirement by the end of their junior year. Departmental honors in psychology recognize the distinguished achievement of students who excel in their coursework in the concentration. The Senior Project involves an extensive research and theoretical inquiry, culminating in a written thesis and an oral presentation. The project can be completed in one or two semesters; therefore, concentrators must enroll in 500 and/or 501 during their senior year.
A minor in general psychology consists of five courses: 101; 201; any of 204, 205, or 232; one laboratory course numbered between 310 and 329; and one other course.
The departments of Biology and Psychology offer an interdisciplinary concentration in neuroscience. See the description under Neuroscience.
101F,S Introductory Psychology.
An introduction to the science of human behavior. Topics include the nervous system, perception, learning, motivation, cognitive and social development, personality, individual differences, social behavior and psychopathology. In class laboratory exercises to emphasize the use of research methods and data to describe and examine behavior. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) The Department.
198F,S Collaborative Research in Psychology.
Students will work on a project with an instructor. Focus on laboratory data collection and analysis. Readings to illustrate hypotheses investigated in the laboratory. Prerequisite, Permission of the instructor. Four-five hours per week of lab work. Does not count toward concentration requirements. Based on evaluation of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. One quarter credit. Course may be repeated for credit. (Same as Neuroscience 198.) The Department.
201F,S Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology.
The application and interpretation of descriptive and inferential statistics in the study of psychological processes. Some instruction in research design and methodological issues. Students will learn to use the statistical computer program SPSS to analyze data. Topics include the principles of hypothesis testing, t tests, analysis of variance, regression, and some non-parametric statistics. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 101. Not open to students who have taken 280. (Same as Neuroscience 201.) McKee (Fall); Frederick (Spring).
204S Human Neuropsychology.
Study of human brain function from the standpoint of experimental and clinical research in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. Survey of research involving animals and humans, addressing presumed neural mechanisms for cognitive, motivational and emotional states. Analysis of aphasia, agnosias, apraxias and disconnection syndromes. Prerequisite, 101. Not open to students who have completed Psych/Neuro 232. (Same as Neuroscience 204.) List (S), Vaughan (S).
205F,S Introduction to Brain and Behavior.
Study of the structure and function of the nervous system as it relates to consciousness and behavior. Emphasis on psychobiological explanations of perception, learning, attention, motivation, emotion and behavior disorders. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 101 or Biology 102 or 115. (Same as Neuroscience 205.) Weldon (F), Frederick (S).
Topics in Psychology - The Psychology of Prejudice.
Interdisciplinary examination of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination based on race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other group memberships. Readings will include classic and contemporary work in psychology as well as depictions of prejudice in literature and historical accounts. Prerequisite, 101. Course may not be counted toward the psychology or neuroscience concentration, or the minor.
Topics in Psychology - Psychology and Detective Fiction.
Human behavior, as depicted in detective fiction, will be explored in the context of contemporary psychological theory and research. A historical perspective is adopted that explores popular detective fiction genres over the past 150 years as well as corresponding changes in our understanding of psychological processes. Particular emphasis will be placed on issues related to the structure and development of personality and its impact on behavior. Prerequisite, 101. Course may not be counted toward the psychology or neuroscience concentration, or the minor.
Topics in Psychology - Psychology of the Future.
The study of the origins and development of individuals’ visions of the future and the psychological processes that are at the heart of these predictions. An historical and critical survey of important texts in the field of speculative fiction and readings from the literature of scientific psychology reporting empirical studies of a broad range of basic and applied research on psychological processes. Topics include learning theory, obedience to authority, personality development and person by situation interactions. Prerequisite, Psychology 101. Course may not be counted toward the psychology or neuroscience concentration, or the minor.
The Programming Language Matlab.
Development of expertise in the programming language Matlab. Emphasis on learning techniques and solving problems in the sciences and social sciences that are naturally suited to Matlab, such as the manipulation, transformation and display of large data sets, interactive graphics, computational modeling and user-interface design. Prerequisite, two courses in psychology or permission of instructor. Evaluated Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. One-quarter course credit. May not be counted toward the concentration. Maximum enrollment, 10.
Attention and Performance.
The selection and transformation of information from sensation and memory as they affect perception, learning, cognition and motor performance. Laboratory exercises and experiments selected from these and related areas. (Writing-intensive.) (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Maximum enrollment, 20.
311F The Self in Social Psychology.
Theoretical and methodological understanding of the study of the self in social psychology. Topics include organization of self-concept and its effect on information processing; self-awareness; self-esteem maintenance processes; cultural influences; stigmas; and self-regulation. Class time devoted to discussion of research articles. Laboratory component involves conducting two research projects. Data collection, statistical analysis, papers based on findings, oral and poster presentations. Three hours of class and two hours of laboratory. (Writing-intensive.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 337 or 361. Maximum enrollment, 20. Borton.
An examination of theoretical and methodological issues in examining visual perception. Focus on understanding how the visual world is constructed from simple features into complex objects. Topics will include perceptual organization, visual attention, object recognition, face perception and consciousness. Current literature about these topics and ongoing debates in vision science research. Laboratory component will involve generating original empirical projects. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. (Writing-intensive.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 333. Maximum enrollment, 20.
314S Individual Differences.
Analysis of complex psychological processes (e.g., the structure of personality, associations between the quality of family relationships and stability and change in personality across time) using data from several ongoing research programs in the Psychology Department, including the Hamilton Longitudinal Study of Families. Emphasis on commonly encountered problems and methods for addressing them using a variety of statistical analyses. Use of statistical computer programs to analyze data. Six hours of class and laboratory. Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 305. Maximum enrollment, 20. Pierce.
Theoretical and methodological aspects of basic mental processes in attention, perception, memory, language and problem-solving. Emphasis on development of original empirical projects. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Maximum enrollment, 20.
Evolutionary Psychology Laboratory.
Explores the theoretical foundations of evolutionary psychology, the empirical support for its theories, the criticisms and competing explanations, and the accurate and inaccurate representations of evolutionary psychology in the lay press. Class time will be devoted to discussion of research articles. Laboratory component involves conducting two research projects. Data collection, statistical analysis, papers based on findings, oral and poster presentations. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280. Maximum enrollment, 20.
An examination of cognitive processes involved in how we think about ourselves, other people and social groups. Special emphasis will be placed on the influence and measurement of unconscious cognitive processes. Topics include stereotyping, attitudes, knowledge of self, affect and control. Students will design and conduct original research projects related to topics discussed in class. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. (Writing-intensive.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Maximum enrollment, 20.
322S Autobiographical Memory.
Methodological and theoretical examination of autobiographical memory. Students will study the relationships among cognitive, social, and developmental factors, such as the influence of early experiences and memory development in early childhood, or the role of gender and older age on memory for specific events. Laboratory component will include developing methods for collecting data, analyzing event narratives, and designing and writing original empirical studies. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. (Writing-intensive.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, Psych/Neuro 201. Maximum enrollment, 20. Grysman.
Applied Developmental Psychology.
Focuses on how basic developmental science can be applied to the "real world" to further the well-being of children, youth and families. Topics will include distinctions between basic and applied research methods, obesity, childcare, schools, adolescents being tried as adults in court and the influence of media (including TV, videogames and computers) on development. Laboratory component will include several projects conducted in an applied setting. Three hours of class and three hours of lab. (Writing-intensive.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 365. Maximum enrollment, 20.
330S Neural Plasticity.
An analysis of the anatomical, physiological and chemical changes that occur in the nervous system as a function of experience and development. Laboratory work includes intracellular and extracellular recording from muscle cells and neurons. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 205 or Biology 102 or 115. (Same as Neuroscience 330 and Biology 330.) Maximum enrollment, 18. Weldon.
334S Psychology, Children, Media, and Technology.
How media and emerging technology influence basic psychological processes and child development. Focus on recent literature highlighting social media, video games, the Internet, educational technology, cell phones, advertisements, and other innovations. Topics include identity, body image, sexualization, aggression, addiction, cyberbullying, relationships, learning, health, and the mind. Emphasis on developmental psychology, but articles drawn from all areas. Class time will be devoted to discussion of research articles and chapters, current trends, and critical analysis of this new field. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, Psych/Neuro 201. (Same as Communication 334.) Sage.
Practical Aspects of Learning and Cognition.
Basic principles that govern the interaction of animals and humans with the environment, with emphasis on applied topics. These include Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning, schedules of reinforcement, and applications with children with special needs. Recommended for students who may be considering clinical applications that use applied behavior analysis, such as Hamilton's Cooperative Educational Program with the New England Center for Children. Emphasis on research methods. Prerequisite, 280/201. Three hours of class and two hours of laboratory for the first half of the course. Maximum enrollment, 12.
343F Evolution and Human Behavior.
Examines the evolutionary history of humans and the extent to which it affects current behavior. In addition to surveying the field of evolutionary psychology, this course explores the history of Homo sapiens by drawing from findings in anthropology. Topics include the mechanisms of evolution, archaeological and fossil evidence, primate behavior, human mating behavior, altruism and evolutionary medicine. Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 236. (Same as Anthropology 343.) Frederick.
344S Cognition and Consciousness.
Examination of basic cognitive processes such as perception, memory, attention, language, and decision-making, and application of these processes to the study of consciousness. Text and article readings include attempts to understand consciousness and its evolution. Prerequisite, Psych/Neuro 201. Grysman.
Psychology of Reading and Language.
Research-focused on topics in the study of reading and language with an emphasis on the role of memory in perception and comprehension and in language production at the word, sentence and discourse levels. Requires interpretation of original journal articles and participation in laboratory exercises. Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 290.
Language, Action and Brain.
Study of the social cognitive neuroscience of language, with emphasis on how the brain processes verbal and non-verbal information for the purpose of communication. Analysis of neuroimaging data related to real-world language use. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 201, and either 205 or 232. (Same as Neuroscience 347.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
351F Child Development.
An introduction to the science of child behavior and the principles of child growth and development from conception to early adulthood. Focuses on integrating the physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains of development. Includes an experiential component whereby students will work with children or adolescents in an applied setting (e.g., child care center or school). (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Sage.
A study of the effects of drugs on animal and human behavior. Topics include neuropharmacology, antipsychotics, analgesics, stimulants, hallucinogens, antidepressants, alcoholism, addiction and the implications of drug effects for neurochemical theories of behavior. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 242. (Same as Neuroscience 352.)
353S Adult Psychopathology.
Introduction to the study of mental disorders in adults, including historical and cultural perspectives. Focus on classification, diagnostic assessment, etiology, treatment and evaluation of treatment efficacy for the major disorders including affective, thought, substance and eating disorders. Research methods in clinical psychology emphasized. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 223. McKee.
354S Counseling Psychology.
An overview of the theoretical orientations, treatment approaches and empirical literature in the field of counseling psychology. Examines the mechanisms by which counseling interventions facilitate personal and interpersonal functioning with a focus on emotional, social, educational, vocational and developmental concerns. Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 234. Walden.
Sensation and Perception.
An introduction to the human sensory and perceptual apparatus. Includes a consideration of anatomy, neurophysiological mechanisms and the psychological experiences associated with these processes. Covers visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile and proprioceptive senses. Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 225.
356S Social Psychology.
The study of the influence of social contexts on thoughts, feelings and behavior. Topics include social cognition, stereotyping and prejudice, self-esteem maintenance, attitudes and persuasion, helping behavior and aggression. Emphasis on experimental research methodology. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 216. Borton.
Human Memory and Cognition.
Theoretical and empirical research aimed at understanding the creation and structure of memories. Topics include the study of autobiographical memories, unconscious memories, factors contributing to forgetting, the organization of memories, the role of emotion in memory and neurological bases of memories. Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 247.
358F,S Educational Psychology.
The application of psychological theory and research to teaching and learning in educational settings. Draws on theories from a variety of disciplines including social, cognitive and developmental psychology. Topics will include learning, instruction, intelligence, creativity, motivation, communication, cultural influences, developmentally appropriate practice and assessment. Emphasis on empirical evidence from psychology and education. Prerequisite, 280/201. Edmondson.
360F Clinical Assessment.
In-depth study of assessment methodologies used in clinical psychology research and practice. Emphasis on design issues, data analysis issues, scale construction, interviewing, testing, self-report and observation. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. McKee.
The Social Psychological Study of the Self.
Theoretical and methodological understanding of the study of the self in social psychology. Topics include organization of self-concept and its effect on information processing, self-awareness, self-esteem maintenance processes, cultural influences, stigmas and self-regulation. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 311 or 337.
364S Personality Psychology.
Review of personality theories with an emphasis on contemporary approaches. Topics include life stress, social support and coping. Emphasis on research methodology and practical applications of the results. Students will design and conduct research projects that contribute to subfields discussed in class. Prerequisite, 280/201. Not open to students who have taken 214 or 338. Pierce.
How the nervous system has adapted to the complex computational demands of social systems in primates and other social species. Focus on how the brain implements social behavior, and how social processes, in turn, affect biological systems. Topics selected from language; self and other perception; theory of mind; empathy; decision making; meta-cognition; social and emotional cognition; interpersonal and group interaction; loneliness; and the social deficits of autism. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, Psych/Neuro 201, and either 204/232 or 205. (Same as Neuroscience 366.)
370F Cognitive Neuroscience.
Study of brain processes involved in cognition with a focus on current research designs and techniques. Class discussions will focus on journal articles reporting studies on sensory, motor, affective, executive and memory systems. Laboratory exercises will include analysis of data from brain scan, electroencephalographic and neuronal recording studies. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, Psych/Neuro 201/280. (Same as Neuroscience 370.) Maximum enrollment, 20. List.
Advanced study of psychological research methods, with a focus on critically evaluating original research, independently designing and executing studies, and writing scientific research reports. Topics include reliability and validity, experimental and non-experimental methods, and effective design of studies. Some coverage of advanced statistical techniques such as mediational analyses and multiple regression. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, Psych. 101, 201.
455F Field Study in Psychology.
Seminar in psychological services combined with eight to 10 hours per week of field study in one of several cooperating local agencies and schools. Extensive written project addressing theoretical issues relevant to field work. Topics include methods in provision of psychological, educational and applied services, and methodological and ethical issues in psychotherapy, counseling and educational psychology. Prerequisite, three courses in psychology and departmental permission. Open to juniors and seniors. Maximum enrollment, 8. Morris.
Behavioral Interventions in Applied Settings.
Seminar on the theory and practice of applied behavior analysis combined with eight to 10 hours per week of field work in a school setting. Topics include measurement and observation techniques, empirically validated school interventions and single-subject experimental designs. Field work will include meetings with school personnel, weekly observations of students, and implementation and evaluation of behavioral interventions. Written summaries of research and field work, oral presentations to classmates, and oral presentations to school personnel required. Prerequisite, permission of the instructor. Prior experience with behavioral interventions helpful. Maximum enrollment, 6.
500F-501SF,S Senior Project.
Supervised research on a specific problem in psychology or neuroscience based on proposals submitted to the department by the end of a student’s junior year. Open to senior concentrators. The Department.
326N Principles of Behavior Analysis.
Orients students to the concepts, processes and scientific principles of behavior on which the field of applied behavior analysis was founded. Topics of study will include the history and defining features of applied behavior analysis as well as the role of basic principles in producing socially meaningful behavior change (positive and negative reinforcement, punishment, discriminative control of behavior and motivating operations). Prerequisite, 280/201 if the course is to count toward the concentration or minor. Open only to participants in the Cooperative Educational Program at the New England Center for Children. The Department.
329N Behavioral Assessment for Children with Special Needs.
An introduction to key concepts, methods and ethical considerations associated with behavioral assessment. Objectives will include teaching students to distinguish between idiographic and norm-referenced assessment approaches, to conduct pertinent behavioral assessments (preference assessments, functional assessments and skills assessments), and to incorporate assessment outcomes with treatment selection and design in accordance with contemporary best practices in the field of applied behavior analysis. Prerequisite, 280/201 if the course is to count toward the concentration or minor. Open only to participants in the Cooperative Educational Program at the New England Center for Children. The Department.
349N Autism and Related Disabilities.
A foundation in etiological, diagnostic, ethical and treatment-related considerations affecting services for individuals with autism and other disabilities. Topics of study will include current data on causal variables, issues in early identification and a survey of evidence-based models of treatment, outcome evaluation, and effective systems support for individuals with pervasive developmental disabilities. Prerequisite, 280/201 if the course is to count toward the concentration or minor. Open only to participants in the Cooperative Educational Program at the New England Center for Children. The Department.
397N Methods of Evaluation.
Equips students with skills needed to confirm the clinical efficacy of interventions by subjecting them to experimental evaluation using single-subject designs. Students will learn to develop valid and reliable systems for measuring behavior, to display data using popular and accessible graphing software, and to assess for orderly changes in behavior through visual inspection and interpretation of graphic data. Prerequisite, 280/201 if the course is to count toward the concentration or minor. Open only to participants in the Cooperative Educational Program at the New England Center for Children. The Department.
398N Evidence-based Teaching.
Provides students with a comprehensive review of empirically supported behavioral teaching procedures for individuals with autism and related disabilities. Topics will focus on teaching skills in a variety of content areas such as language, social, and self-help. Procedures for teaching these include, match-to-sample discrimination training, task analysis, as well as prompting procedures including prompt fading and video modeling. Prerequisite, 280/201 if the course is to count toward the concentration or minor. Open only to participants in the Cooperative Educational Program at the New England Center for Children. The Department.