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

105a 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.

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

(Same as Cognitive Science 110) 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 Course will explore 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 also 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. In this course students practice both ways of writing about technical and scientific discoveries. By working simultaneously in both styles it should become clear that when done well even a strictly explanatory piece of science writing tells a story. By the same token even a purely fictional narrative can explain and elucidate how the real world works. The focus of our work is material from the sciences of mind, but topics from other scientific areas may also be explored. This course does not serve as a prerequisite for upper-level courses in Psychology or Cognitive Science. Mr. Livingston.

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

II. Intermediate

200a 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.

201a 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)

Not offered in 2012/13.

209a 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.

211a. 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.

213a. Language (1)

(Same as Cognitive Science 213) This course considers the rich and complex phenomenon of human language from a multidisciplinary perspective. The emphasis is on the cognitive representations and processes that enable individual language users to acquire, perceive, comprehend, produce, read, and write language. Consideration is given to the relation of language to thought and consciousness; to neural substrates of language and the effects of brain damage on language ability; to computational models of language; and to language development. Throughout, language is examined at different levels of analysis, including sound, structure, and meaning.

Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 100.

215b. Knowledge and Cognition (1)

(Same as Cognitive Science 215) This course asks how knowledge and cognition contribute to the functioning of biological and synthetic cognitive agents. Along the way it inquires into the origins and nature of knowledge, memory, concepts, goals, and problem-solving strategies. Relevant philosophical issues are examined along with research on the brain, experimental evidence from cognitive psychology, computer models, and evolutionary explanations of mind and behavior. A major goal of the course is to explore how cognitive scientists are coming to understand knowledge and cognition within an embodied agent embedded in a real world. The program faculty.

Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 100.

219b. Research Methods in Cognitive Science (1)

(Same as Cognitive Science 219)

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.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

222a. 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.

223. 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.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

Not offered in 2012/13.

229a. 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.

231a 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 237) 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 the instructor.

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

239a 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.

241a 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.

243a. 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.

249a 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.

253b. 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.

255. The Psychology of Sport (1)

(Same as Physical Education 255) 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.

Not offered in 2012/13.

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.

262a 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.

264. 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.

Not offered in 2012/13.

282b. Psychology of Gender: Attraction, Repulsion, Lust, and Love (1/2)

(Same as Women's Studies 282) Using psychological science as the foundation, this course focuses on current perspectives and empirical research concerning gender-related behavior in select domains. We address questions related to the development of gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and explore some of the ways in which gender roles and cultural expectations influence behavior. Topics may include interpersonal attraction and dating, romantic relationships, sexual behavior, stereotypes, and prejudice. The course highlights the importance of considering the ways in which culture, race, ethnicity, and class shape the questions posed and the information revealed when trying to understand women’s lives. Ms. Morrow.

Prerequisite: Women's Studies 130; or Psychology 105 or 106; or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

First and second 6-week course.

284a. Health Psychology (1)

Health Psychology is the scientific study that applies psychological theory and empirical research to examine the promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of illness. Students taking this course will gain a firm foundation in health psychology, and learn about various scientific approaches to understanding the mind/body connection. This course take a biopsychosocial approach and considers research and theory related to health promotion, illness prevention, and behavior change. Students will learn about psychophysiological processes relevant to health psychology (e.g., immunology) and will examine health processes in diverse populations with regard to age, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and health status. Topics may include health enhancing and health damaging behaviors, pain management, stress and coping, health disparities, health-related decision-making, and a variety of specific behavior-related illnesses. Emphasis will be placed on critically evaluating primary sources, drawing from empirical studies in psychology, public health, and behavioral medicine. Ms. Tugade.

Prerequisite: Psychology 105 or 106.

Two 75-minute periods.

285a. Emotional Engagement with Film (1)

(Same as Film and Media Studies 285) While movies engage our emotions in psychologically significant ways, scholarship on the psychological allure and impact of film has existed primarily at the interdisciplinary margins. This course aims to bring such scholarship into the foreground. We begin with a careful examination of the appeal and power of narrative, as well as processes of identification and imagined intimacy with characters, before taking a closer analytical look at specific film genres (e.g., melodrama, horror, comedy, action, social commentary) both in their own right and in terms of their psychological significance (e.g., why do we enjoy sad movies? How do violent movies influence viewer aggression? How might socially conscious films inspire activism or altruism?) In addition to delving into theoretical and empirical papers, a secondary goal of the course is to engage students as collaborators; brainstorm and propose innovative experimental methods for testing research questions and hypotheses that emerge in step with course materials. Ms. Greenwood and Ms. Kozloff.

Prerequisites: For Psychology majors - Psychology 100; For Film majors - Film 175 or Film 210; For Media Studies majors - Media Studies 160.

Two 75-minute periods.

290a 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.

298a 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.

301a 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.

321. 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.

Not offered in 2012/13.

323b. 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.

331a 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 336) 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.

341a and b. 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.

343. 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.

Not offered in 2012/13.

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.

362a 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.

Not offered in 2012/13.

385a. Mad Dogs, Vampires and Zombie Ants: Behavior Mediating Infections (1)

(Same as Biology 385) Viruses, bacteria and parasites use host organisms to complete their lifecycle. These infectious agents are masters of host manipulation, able to hijack host processes to replicate and transmit to the next host. While we tend to think of infections as just making us sick, they are also capable of changing our behavior. In fact, many infectious agents are able to mediate host behavior in ways that can enhance transmission of the disease. In this inquiry driven course we explore the process of host behavior mediation by infectious agents, combining aspects of multiple fields including infectious disease microbiology, neurobiology, epidemiology and animal behavior. Mathematical models and computer simulations are used to address questions that arise from class discussion. Mr. Esteban and Mr. Holloway.

Prerequisites: two 200-level biology courses, or Psychology Research Methods Course and either Psychology 241 or 243, or one 200-level biology course and either Neuroscience 201 or Psychology 241, or Computer Science 250 and one of the previously listed courses.

One 3-hour period.

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: Cognitive Science 100 or one 200-level Psychology course.

Not offered in 2012/13.

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.