Psychology Department

Requirements for Concentration: 11 units in Psychology including Psychology 105 or 106, and 200; one unit from at least four of the basic content areas of the discipline; one research methods course to be taken by the end of the junior year; two units at the 300-level, at least one of which must be a seminar. The content areas of the discipline and their associated courses are: social psychology (Psychology 201, 205), cognitive psychology (Cognitive Science 100), learning and comparative psychology (Psychology 221, 223), developmental psychology (Psychology 231) physiological psychology (Psychology 241, 243), individual differences and personality (Psychology 253).

A minimum of 9 graded units is required for the major. For junior transfer students, at least 6 units must be graded. Neuroscience and Behavior 201 and Cognitive Science 311 may be counted towards the major. Upon departmental approval, 1 unit of appropriate coursework in other departments may be applied towards the required 11.

NRO: Students may not elect the NRO in any psychology course after they have declared their major.  Any psychology course taken under the NRO before the major was declared may not be counted toward the 11 units required for the major although it may be used to satisfy a requirement that a specific course be taken.

Senior-Year Requirement: Two units at the 300-level taken for a letter grade, at least one of which must be a seminar. One unit of Cognitive Science 311 may be counted toward this requirement. No more than one Advanced Special Studies course may be taken to meet this requirement. Psychology 395 and 399, as ungraded courses, cannot be used to satisfy this requirement. Seminar registration is by department lottery.

Recommendation: Students planning to concentrate in psychology are encouraged to consult a department adviser as soon as possible to plan appropriate sequences of courses.

Advisers: The department.

I. Introductory

105. a and b. Introduction to Psychology: A Survey (1)

This course is designed to introduce the student to fundamental psychological processes, their nature and development, and contemporary methods for their study through a survey of the major research areas in the field. Areas covered include the biological and evolutionary bases of thought and behavior, motivation and emotion, learning, memory, thinking, personality, developmental, and social psychology. Significant work in the course is devoted to developing skills in quantitative analysis. Students are expected to participate in three hours of psychological research during the semester. Students may not take both 105 and 106. The department.

Open to all classes. Enrollment limited.

AP credit is not accepted as a substitute for this course in Psychology.

106a. and b. Introduction to Psychology: Special Topics (1)

This course is designed to introduce the student to the science of psychology by exploration in depth of a specific research area. Regardless of the special topic, all sections include exposure to core concepts in the biological and evolutionary foundations of thought and behavior, learning, cognition, and social processes. Significant work in the course is devoted to developing skills in quantitative analysis. Students are expected to participate in three hours of psychological research during the semester. Students may not take both Psychology 105 and 106. The department.

Open to all classes. Enrollment limited.

AP credit is not accepted as a substitute for this course in Psychology.

110a. The Science and Fiction of Mind (1)

(Same as Cognitive Science 110b.) Our understanding of what minds are, and of how they work, has exploded dramatically in the last half century. As in other areas of science, the more we know, the harder it becomes to convey the richness and complexity of that knowledge to non-specialists. This Freshman Writing Seminar explores two different styles of writing for explaining new findings about the nature of mind to a general audience. The most direct of these styles is journalistic and explanatory, and is well represented by the work of people like Steven Pinker, Bruce Bower, Stephen J. Gould, and Ray Kurzweil. The second style is fictional. At its best, science fiction not only entertains, it stretches the reader's mind to a view of implications and possibilities beyond what is currently known. Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Greg Bear, and Richard Powers all provide excellent models of this kind of writing. During the semester we explore two or three areas of new research about how the mind works, and practice the skills of translating that knowledge into both readable description and entertaining narrative. Mr. Livingston.

Open only to freshmen; satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

II. Intermediate

200. a and b. Statistics and Experimental Design (1)

An overview of principles of statistical analysis and research design applicable to psychology and related fields. Topics include descriptive statistics and inferential statistics, concepts of reliability and validity, and basic concepts of sampling and probability theory. Students learn when and how to apply such statistical procedures as chi-square, z-tests, t-tests, Pearson product-moment correlations, regression analysis, and analysis of variance. The goal of the course is to develop a basic understanding of research design, data collection and analysis, interpretation of results, and the appropriate use of statistical software for performing complex analyses. Ms. Andrews, Mr. Clifton, Ms. Trumbetta.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

201. a and b. Principles of Social Psychology (1)

The study of the individual under social influences, including such topics as attitude formation and change, prosocial behavior, aggression, social influence processes, group dynamics, attribution theory, and interpersonal communication processes. Psychology 201 may NOT be taken if Psychology 205 has already been taken. Mr. Cornelius, Ms. Greenwood, Ms. Morrow, Ms. Tugade.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

205. Topics in Social Psychology (1)

(Same as Jewish Studies 205 and Women's Studies 205)

Prejudice and Persuasion: This course introduces students to the discipline of social psychology via the in-depth exploration of two areas of inquiry: prejudice and persuasion. A central goal of this course is to advance your understanding of the processes underlying social perception interaction and influence. To this end, we shall examine classic modern, and implicit forms of sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, and antisemitism, as well as explore ways of reducing prejudice and discrimination. We shall examine the mechanisms underlying effective persuasion techniques by using examples from advertising, propaganda, political interest groups, and hate-groups to illustrate research findings. In addition to exposing you to the relevant research and theories, this course should help you to develop ways of conceptualizing some of the social psychological phenomena you and others confront every day. Finally, this course should increase your appreciation of the central role that empirical research plays in psychological explanations of human social behavior. Ms. Morrow.

Psychology 205 may NOT be taken if Psychology 201 has already been taken.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

209. a and b. Research Methods in Social Psychology (1)

A survey of research methods in social psychology. Every stage of the research process is considered including hypothesis generation, operationalization of variables, data collection and analysis, and communication of results. Observational, questionnaire, and experimental approaches are considered. The focus is on the development of skills necessary for evaluating, designing, and conducting research. Mr. Cornelius, Ms. Greenwood, Ms. Morrow, Ms. Tugade.

Prerequisites: Psychology 200 and Psychology 201 or 205.

Regular laboratory work.

Enrollment limited.

211b. Perception and Action (1)

(Same as Cognitive Science 211) This course is about how systems for perceiving the world come to be coordinated with systems for acting in that world. Topics include how physical energies become perceptual experiences, systems for producing complex actions, and how it is that actions are brought under the control of perceptions. Relevant evidence is drawn from behavioral and neuroscientific studies of other species and from human infants and children, as well as from human adults. Computer models of these processes and the problem of replicating them in robots are considered. Classes include regular laboratory work.

Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 100.

213b. Language (1)

(Same as Cognitive Science 213b.)

Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 100.

215a. Knowledge and Cognition (1)

(Same as Cognitive Science 215a.)

Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 100.

219b. Research Methods in Cognitive Science (1)

(Same as Cognitive Science 219b.)

Prerequisites: Psychology 200, and either Cognitive Science 211, 213, or 215.

Regular laboratory work.

Enrollment limited.

221b. Learning and Behavior (1)

A survey of major principles that determine the acquisition and modification of behavior. Topics include the relation of learning and evolution, habituation and sensitization, classical and operant conditioning, reinforcement and punishment, stimulus control, choice behavior, animal cognition, concept formation, perceptual learning, language, reasoning, and self-control. Mr. Cleaveland, Mr. Holloway, Ms. McGrath.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

222. Psychological Perspectives on the Holocaust (1)

(Same as Jewish Studies 222) The holocaust has spawned several now classic programs of psychological research. This course considers topics such as: anti-Semitism and stereotypes of Jews; the authoritarian and altruistic personalities; conformity, obedience, and dissent; humanistic and existential psychology; and individual differences in stress, coping and resiliency. The broader implications of Holocaust-inspired research is explored in terms of traditional debates within psychology such as those on the role of the individual versus the situation in producing behavior and the essence of human nature. The ethical and logical constraints involved in translating human experiences and historical events into measurable/quantifiable scientific terms are also considered. Ms. Zeifman.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

223a. Comparative Psychology (1)

The study of evolutionary theory, with attention to how it informs the developmental, ecological, genetic, and physiological explanations of behavior. Ms. Broude, Mr. Cleaveland, Mr. Holloway, Ms. McGrath.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

229b. Research Methods in Learning and Behavior (1)

An introduction to experimental and observational methods in animal learning and behavior. Laboratory experiences have included audio recording and quantitative analysis of animal sounds (bat echolocation and birdsong), operant conditioning, census taking, determining dominance hierarchies, and human visual and auditory psychophysics. Mr. Cleaveland, Mr. Holloway.

Prerequisites: Psychology 200 and Psychology 221 or 223.

Regular laboratory work.

Enrollment limited.

231. a and b. Principles of Development (1)

The study of principles and processes in developmental psychology, surveying changes in physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development during the life span. Major theoretical orientations to the growing person are illustrated by empirical material and supplemented by periodic observations of children in natural settings. Ms. Baird, Ms. Broude, Mr. deLeeuw, Mr. Livingston, Ms. Palmer, Ms. Zeifman.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

237b. Early Childhood Education: Theory and Practice (1)

(Same as Education 237b.) What is the connection between a textbook description of preschool development and what teachers do every day in the preschool classroom? This course examines curriculum development based on contemporary theory and research in early childhood. The emphasis is on implementing developmental and educational research to create optimal learning environments for young children. Major theories of cognitive development are considered and specific attention is given to the literatures on memory development; concepts and categories; cognitive strategies; peer teaching; early reading, math, and scientific literacy; and technology in early childhood classrooms. Ms. Riess.

Prerequisites: Psychology 231 and permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period; 4 hours of laboratory participation.

239. a and b. Research Methods in Developmental Psychology(1)

Problems and procedures in developmental research are examined. The course considers issues in the design of developmental research, basic observational and experimental techniques, and reliability and validity of developmental data. Students may work with children of different ages in both laboratory and naturalistic settings. Ms. Baird, Mr. deLeeuw, Mr. Livingston, Ms. Palmer, Ms. Zeifman.

Prerequisites: Psychology 200 and 231.

Regular laboratory work.

Enrollment limited.

241. a and b. Principles of Physiological Psychology (1)

The role of physiological systems, especially the brain, in the regulation of behavior. In addition to basic topics in neuroscience (neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry and pharmacology), topics may include: sensory mechanisms, motivational systems (e.g., sleep, eating, reproductive behaviors), emotion, learning and memory, language, stress and psychopathology. Mr. Bean, Ms. Christensen, Ms. Gray, Mr. Holloway.

Psychology 241 may NOT be taken if Psychology 243 has already been taken.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

243b. Neuropsychology (1)

The study of the functions of particular brain structures and their relation to behavior and mental activity. In addition to basic topics in neuroscience the course focuses on such topics as: perception, attention, memory, language, emotion, control of action, and consciousness. Neural alterations related to learning disabilities, neurological and psychiatric disorders may be examined as well. Ms. Christensen.

Psychology 243 may NOT be taken if Psychology 241 has already been taken.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

249. a and b. Research Methods in Physiological Psychology (1)

The study of experimental methods in physiological psychology. In addition to exploring issues related to the ethics, design, measurement, analysis and reporting of research, laboratory topics may include: neuroanatomy, behavioral responses to pharmacological and/or surgical interventions, electrophysiology, neuropsychology, neurochemistry and histology. Mr. Bean, Mr. Holloway.

Prerequisites: Psychology 200, and 241 or 243.

Regular laboratory work.

Enrollment limited.

253a. Individual Differences and Personality (1)

An introduction to contemporary approaches to understanding personality. The focus of the course is on evaluating recent theories and research that attempt to uncover the underlying dimensions that distinguish one person from another. Emphasis is placed on understanding behavior in interactions with others; the development of personality over time; and people's intuitive theories about personality, including their own. Mr. Clifton, Mr. Cornelius, Ms. Morrow, Ms. Trumbetta, Ms. Tugade.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

255b. The Psychology of Sport (1)

(Same as Physical Education 255b) This course assesses the factors that influence behaviors related to participation in sports. The relationships of individual differences, attention, arousal, anxiety, and motivation, team cohesion, leadership, and audience effects on sports performance may be addressed. Mr. Bean.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

259b. Research Methods in Personality and Individual Differences (1)

The study of research methods in personality and individual differences. Every stage of research is considered: the generation of hypotheses; the operationalization of variables; the collection, analysis, and evaluation of data; and the communication of results. The focus is on the development of skills necessary for evaluating, designing, and conducting research. Mr. Clifton, Ms. Morrow, Ms. Trumbetta, Ms. Tugade.

Prerequisites: Psychology 200 and 253.

Regular laboratory work.

Enrollment limited.

262. a and b. Abnormal Psychology (1)

A survey of research and theory concerning the nature, origins, and treatment of major psychological disorders. The course considers behavioral, biological, cognitive and psychodynamic approaches to understanding psychopathology. Topics may include schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, childhood disorders, and personality disorders. Mr. Clifton, Ms. Morrow, Ms. Trumbetta.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

264b. Behavior Genetics (1)

This course explores genetic contributions to complex behavioral phenotypes. Its primary focus is on genetic contributions to human behavior with some attention to comparative and evolutionary genetics. Quantitative methods are emphasized. Ms. Trumbetta.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

284a. Health Psychology (1)

This course focuses on understanding the psychological factors involved in how people stay healthy, why people become ill, and how they respond when they become ill. This course takes a biopsychosocial approach to health psychology and considers research and theory related to health promotion, illness prevention, and behavior change. Topics may include health enhancing and health damaging behaviors, pain management, stress and coping, emotion regulation, health disparities, health-related decision-making, and a variety of specific behavior-related illnesses. Ms. Morrow.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

290. a and b. Field Work (1/2 or 2)

Individuals or group field projects or internships, with prior approval of the adviser and the instructor who supervises the work. May be elected during the college year or during the summer. The department.

298. a and b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Individual or group studies with prior approval of the adviser and of the instructor who supervises the work. May be elected during the college year or during the summer. The department.

III. Advanced

Open to seniors. For majors, satisfactory completion of a research methods course (Psychology 209, 219, 229, 239, 249, 259) is a prerequisite for these courses. Seminar seats are assigned according to a department lottery system. Please contact department office for lottery information. Non-majors and juniors should consult the instructor.

301. a and b. Seminar in Social Psychology (1)

An intensive study of selected topics in social psychology. Emphasis is placed on current theories, issues, and research areas. Mr. Cornelius, Ms. Greenwood, Ms. Morrow, Ms. Tugade.

Prerequisite: Psychology 201 or 205.

321b. Seminar in Animal Learning and Behavior (1)

An in-depth analysis of selected mechanisms of learning and behavior. Topics can vary from year to year, but may include animal cognition, language and communication, behavioral ecology, and recent advances in the theory and neurophysiology of learning and behavior. Mr. Cleaveland, Mr. Holloway.

Prerequisite: Psychology 221 or 223.

323a. Seminar in Comparative Psychology (1)

Applications of comparative psychology to a specific topic. Topics can vary from year to year, and have in the past included altruism, sex differences, aggression, language, etc. The focus is how theory and data from other species inform questions about human functioning. Ms. Broude, Mr. Cleaveland.

Prerequisite: Psychology 221 or 223 or Biology 340.

331. a and b. Seminar in Developmental Psychology (1)

Seminar in current issues, research, and theory in developmental psychology. Topics vary and may include laboratory work. Ms. Baird, Ms. Broude, Mr. deLeeuw, Mr. Livingston, Ms. Palmer, Ms. Zeifman.

Prerequisite: Psychology 231.

336a. Childhood Development: Observation and Research Application (1)

(Same as Education 336a.) What differentiates the behavior of one young child from that of another? What characteristics do young children have in common? This course provides students with direct experience in applying contemporary theory and research to the understanding of an individual child. Topics include attachment; temperament; parent, sibling and peer relationships; language and humor development; perspective taking; and the social-emotional connection to learning. Each student selects an individual child in a classroom setting and collects data about the child from multiple sources (direct observation, teacher interviews, parent-teacher conferences, archival records). During class periods, students discuss the primary topic literature, incorporating and comparing observations across children to understand broader developmental trends and individual differences. Synthesis of this information with critical analysis of primary sources in the early childhood and developmental literature culminates in comprehensive written and oral presentations. Ms. Riess.

Prerequisites: Psychology 231 and permission of the instructor. For Psychology Majors: completion of a research methods course.

4 hours of laboratory observation work.

341. Seminar in Physiological Psychology (1)

Analysis of selected topics in physiological psychology. Topics vary from year to year but may include learning, memory, human neuropsychology, neuropharmacology, psychopharmacology, sensory processes, emotion, and motivation. Mr. Bean, Ms. Christensen, Ms. Gray, Mr. Holloway.

Prerequisite: Psychology 241 or 243.

343a. Seminar on States of Consciousness (1)

A consideration of conditions giving rise to disruptions of awareness and implications for behavioral integration. Topics serving as areas of discussion may include: sleep and dreaming; hypnosis and hypnagogic phenomena; drug behavior and biochemistry; cerebral damage; dissociations of consciousness such as blindsight; psychopathologic states. Mr. Bean, Ms. Christensen.

Prerequisite: Psychology 241 or 243.

353a. Seminar in Individual Differences and Personality (1)

Intensive study of selected topics in personality and individual differences. Theory and empirical research form the core of required readings. Topics studied reflect the interests of both the instructor and the students. Mr. Clifton, Ms. Morrow, Ms. Trumbetta, Ms. Tugade.

Prerequisite: 253.

362. a and b. Seminar in Psychopathology (1)

An intensive study of research and theory concerning the nature, origins, and treatment of major psychological disorders. Topics vary but may include schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, childhood disorders, and personality disorders. Mr. Clifton, Ms. Morrow, Ms. Trumbetta.

Prerequisite: Psychology 262.

384. Naturalizing Moral Systems (1)

An abiding question among academics and laypersons has to do with the origins of ideas about morality. This course explores the hypothesis that human moral systems have a biological/evolutionary grounding and can, therefore, be naturalized. In an effort to examine this thesis, the course surveys arguments and evidence from a variety of frameworks, among them philosophical, evolutionary, primatological, neuroeconomic, developmental, and cross-cultural theory and data. We examine classic works as represented by Larry Arnhart, Richard Dawkins, Robert Trivers, R. D. Alexander, Matt Ridley, Frans deWaal as well as new models of morality, for instance, from Paul Churchland's connectionist model of mind and Chris Boehm's theory of motives behind the egalitarian ethic based in the hunter-gatherer way of life. Ms. Broude.

Prerequisites: Psych 105 or 106 or Cognitive Science 100 and a Research Methods course.

387b. Things in Context (1)

This course explores the role of context as it relates to the functioning of biological organisms (and other agents too). Context here refers to various kinds of proposed 'environmental' influences, for instance, selection pressures if we are highlighting evolution, extracellar milieu if we are focusing on prenatal development, populations of neurons if we are concentrating on brain representations, situational cues if learning is the topic, priming cues in the case of recall, other people where social interaction is concerned, culture in the case of norms, and so on. The goal of the course is to examine the proposition that context is crucial to the cognition, emotion, and behavior of organisms, whether we are looking at phylogeny, ontogeny, or moment-to-moment living and whether we are looking at memory, meaning, morality, socialization practices, personality, or interpersonal understanding. The course, then, explores the role of context at multiple levels and across multiple phenomena. And we ask what happens when we take things out of context. Ms. Broude.

Prerequisite: Cog Sci 100 or one 200-level Psychology course.

390b. Senior Research (1)

Graded independent research. A student wishing to take this course must first gain the support of a member of the psychology faculty, who supervises the student as they design and carry out an empirical investigation of some psychological phenomenon. In addition to a final paper and regular meetings with their faculty sponsor, students also attend weekly meetings organized by the course instructor. Both the course instructor and the supervising faculty member participate in the planning of the research and in final evaluation. The Department.

Prerequisite: Psychology 298.

395. a and/or b. Senior Thesis (1/2 or 1)

Open to seniors by invitation of instructor.

Prerequisite: 298, 300, or 399.

399. a and/or b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Individual or group studies with prior approval of the adviser and of the instructor who supervises the work. May be elected during the college year or during the summer. The department.