Navigating Introductory Course Options in Psychology (for majors and non-majors)
Psychology 101 - Foundations in Psychological Science
Full course for one semester, taught by several faculty members in the department. This course provides an overview of current topics in the field of psychology. Topics include human development, language, learning, memory, motivation, neuroscience, perception, psychopathology, and social behavior. Concept labs and applied labs will address the descriptive and experimental aspects of the topics covered in the lectures. Lecture-laboratory.
Psychology 200–210 - Psychological Science Labs
Courses offered in a seven-week sequence (offered first or second half of semester). Each lab section examines research methods and current topics in various subdisciplines of psychology. Students gain hands-on experience carrying out psychological experiments, leading group discussions, and preparing written and/or oral research presentations. Students register for at least one-half unit in a semester, which includes one lab in each quarter. Note: students who plan to major in psychology would typically register for one full unit over the course of the semester, which would require two labs in each quarter. Not all topics offered every year.
Psychology 201 - Brain and Behavior
One-quarter course for one semester. This course will investigate the basic principles of neuropharmacology and neural science with an emphasis on brain systems and synaptic mechanisms implicated in behavior. Laboratories will include experimentation using animal models. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or concurrent enrollment in Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory. See Psychological Science Labs, above.
Psychology 202 - Cognitive Neuroscience
One-quarter course for one semester. An investigation into the neural basis of perception, attention, and consciousness. The current research literature will be explored in depth and students will be introduced to experimental techniques including behavioral psychophysics and EEG/ERPs. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or concurrent enrollment in Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory. See Psychological Science Labs, above.
Psychology 203 - Learning and Comparative
One-quarter course for one semester. An exploration of basic principles of learning and behavior across species. Students will be exposed to the latest concepts and methods in the field via discussion and hands-on experimentation, and will learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret animal and human behavior in a comparative context. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or concurrent enrollment in Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory. See Psychological Science Labs, above.
Psychology 204 - Educational Psychology
One-quarter course for one semester. A focus on the application of psychological science to issues of motivation in educational contexts. Students will be introduced to the primary literature and learn to use a variety of methodologies (e.g., quantitative, qualitative) for understanding how motivational processes operate across development. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or concurrent enrollment in Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory. See Psychological Science Labs, above.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 205 - Psycholinguistics
One-quarter course for one semester. An introduction to research design and computer programming to investigate issues in language processing. Reading primary literature about a well-known psycholinguistic phenomenon, students will be introduced to Presentation (a computer program), allowing them to design and implement their own study investigating a follow-up question. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or concurrent enrollment in Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory. See Psychological Science Labs, above.
Psychology 206 - Psychopathology
One-quarter course for one semester. This course will explore the use of laboratory-based experimental techniques to examine issues related to the etiology, expression, and treatment of psychiatric conditions. Students will apply methodologies from psychological science to better understand psychopathology across development. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or concurrent enrollment in Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory. See Psychological Science Labs, above.
Psychology 207 - Social Psychology
One-quarter course for one semester. This section examines the ways individuals think, feel, and act in social situations. Students will read the primary literature, learn about current empirical methods to approach social psychological questions, and conduct original empirical research. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or concurrent enrollment in Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory. See Psychological Science Labs, above.
Psychology 208 - Cognition
One-quarter course for one semester. In this course, students will be familiarized with some basic cognitive processes and cognitive resources such as working memory, long-term memory, concepts, visual imagery, and reasoning. In addition to reading and discussing the primary literature, students will also become familiar with data collection and data analysis methods. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or concurrent enrollment in Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory. See Psychological Science Labs, above.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 209 - Psychology of Music
One-quarter course for one semester. In this course, students will discuss primary literature and will learn about methodologies and investigate issues used to explore the psychology of music. Students will have the opportunity to apply research-based skills and become familiar with data collection and data analysis. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or concurrent enrollment in Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory. See Psychological Science Labs, above.
Psychology 217 - Neuroscience of Consciousness
Full course for one semester. This course offers an introduction to the scientific study of consciousness by examining the neural basis of perception, action, and various states of consciousness. Topics will include the impressive capabilities of unconscious perception and action, the relationship between attention and awareness, neural correlates and causes of conscious perception, disorders of consciousness, dreams and altered states of consciousness, neural representations of the self who is conscious, consciousness in nonhuman animals and artificial systems, and the evolution of consciousness. Conference.
Psychology 221 - Animal Models of Addiction
Full course for one semester. This course provides an introduction to various models used to study addiction-like behaviors in nonhuman animals. Specifically, this course will focus on the complexities associated with modeling and translating both licit (e.g., alcohol) and illicit (e.g., cocaine) drug use and abuse, as well as behavioral addictions such as gambling and exercise, in animals such as monkeys, rats, and prairie voles. We will also explore models of individual variation that capture genetic susceptibilities to developing drug addiction and relapse propensity. The utility of these models to assess abuse potential of new drugs by pharmaceutical companies is also described. Lecture-conference.
Psychology 223 - Political Decision-Making
Full course for one semester. This course will offer an introduction to some basic concepts within social psychology and principles of judgment and decision-making in order to explore human attitudes and behavior in a specific context: politics. Specifically, this course will address theories of group dynamics and attitude change and explore how and why political groups often develop and maintain extreme beliefs. This course will include exploration of the phenomena of terrorism and antisocial behavior in relation to politics, as well as bias in the context of politics. This course is anticipated to expose students to a diversity of political views inside the classroom and contain discussion of sensitive topics. Lecture-conference.
Psychology 225 - Psychology of Stress and Resilience
Full course for one semester. The goal of this course is to give an overview of the theoretical and empirical work on stress, coping, and resilience. Topics will include the neurobiology of stress (e.g., the HPA axis, the immune system), chronic disease (e.g., cardiovascular disease, cancer), mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety), ecological stressors (e.g., social and community factors, catastrophes), common life stressors (e.g., work, interpersonal conflict), and diversity-related stressors (e.g., racism, heterosexism). Conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 232 - Socialization of the Child
Full course for one semester. This course will focus on the socialization process—the ways in which children’s behaviors and personalities are shaped by their relationships to parents, peers, and the larger cultural context. Specific topics will include theory and research on emotional attachment to parents, the origins of friendship and prosocial behavior, aggression and bullying, the development of morality, the socialization of self-control, and the role of teachers and schools. Lecture-conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 241 - Judgment and Decision-Making
Full course for one semester. How do people make judgments and decisions (and can we do better)? We will survey classic and current research in the field of judgment and decision-making to answer this question. The course draws on research from cognitive psychology (memory, biases, and heuristics), economics (rationality), and a little neuroscience (neural substrates of choice) to provide an introduction into this growing interdisciplinary area of research. Conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 296 - Psychology of Language Acquisition
Full course for one semester. This course focuses on the processes by which children acquire language (such as word meanings, morphology, and syntactic structure). We will try to explain the “language paradox” of how all normal children acquire this vast and complex knowledge from a limited input and in spite of linguistic variation. We will study the specific issues of bilingualism, the relation between language and thought, language and concept learning, and language in special populations. Lecture-conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 319 - Psychology of Addictions
Full course for one semester. This course will examine the psychology of addiction to substances, such as alcohol, nicotine, and narcotics, and to behaviors, including gambling, eating, and seeking pornography. We will explore historical and cultural attitudes toward addictions, theories of addiction along with related empirical findings, physical and psychosocial consequences of addictions, and prevention and treatment models. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Conference.
Psychology 322 - Social Psychology
Full course for one semester. An examination of psychological theory and research concerning the ways in which people think, feel, and act in social situations. Conferences will focus on areas of basic social psychological research and theory, including social cognition, attribution, impression formation, social interaction, intergroup and interpersonal relationships, and social influence. Special issues addressed in the course are stereotyping and prejudice, the self within the social context, and applications of social psychology to social problems. Opportunities for students to plan and conduct empirical research are available. Prerequisite: Psychology 101, or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Psychology 323 - Motivation in Educational Contexts
Full course for one semester. An overview of theory and research on motivation as it applies to educational contexts, focusing primarily on school-aged children. Why do some students focus on learning while others only care about getting the grade? How do rewards affect motivation? Why does failure sometimes debilitate and other times invigorate? How do we perceive our own academic abilities and how does this affect our self-worth? Where do these motivational processes come from and how do they develop? This course will draw on social, developmental, educational, and cognitive psychology as we address questions about achievement motivation. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Conference.
Psychology 324 - Health Psychology
Full course for one semester. This course will examine the interplay of psychological, biological, behavioral, and social factors (biopsychosocial model) in the study of health including mechanisms and pathways in disease etiology, prevention, and treatment. Students will analyze factors that influence risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic pain, and sexually transmitted infections, among other conditions. Students will engage in a self-directed behavior modification project to promote a health behavior of their choosing (e.g., reducing/quitting smoking, moderating alcohol intake, reducing sugar intake, reducing cell phone screen time, increasing exercise frequency, meditating or doing yoga, promoting healthy sleep hygiene). Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Conference.
Psychology 325 - Stereotyping and Prejudice
Full course for one semester. This conference is an analysis of psychological theory and empirical research on stereotyping and prejudice. The course explores the development and causes of intergroup perceptions and antagonism, reasons for the persistence and prevalence of stereotypes and prejudice, ways in which feelings and beliefs about groups influence social perception and interaction, and possible ways to change group stereotypes or reduce prejudice. In examining these issues, conferences consider both the ways that individuals perceive themselves as members of groups and the ways that they perceive other groups. Students conduct original empirical research. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 330 - Comparative Cognition
Full course for one semester. An overview of current research and theory in comparative cognition—the scientific study of cognitive functioning from an evolutionary perspective. The course will emphasize continuities and discontinuities between humans and other animals in basic psychological processes, including decision-making, problem-solving, remembering, symbolic and relational learning, awareness, and communication. We will read and discuss the primary literature, with special emphasis on experimental issues and comparative methods. Prerequisite: Psychology 101, or Biology 101 and 102, or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Psychology 333 - Behavioral Neuroscience
Full course for one semester. An examination of the neural basis of behavior with a focus on brain anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and neural modeling. Specific topics include the organization and function of the nervous system, neuronal signaling, sensorimotor physiology, appetitive motivation, drug reward, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and neuropathology. Laboratory includes mammalian brain dissection and experimentation using animal models. Prerequisite: Psychology 101, or consent of the instructor. Lecture-laboratory-conference.
Psychology 336 - Neuropsychology
Full course for one semester. We will explore models of normal higher cognitive functions based on evidence obtained from brain-damaged individuals and compare it with that obtained from intact individuals or from animal models. We will review functional neuroanatomy as it relates to higher cognitive functions, as well as methods and techniques used in the field. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.
Psychology 337 - Psychophysiology
Full course for one semester. This course is a survey of the basic theoretical, methodological, and applied issues in the field of psychophysiology. Psychophysiology is the branch of psychology concerned with the complexity of links between the mind and body and is of prime importance in understanding how psychological and socio-environmental experiences can influence health and disease. The course will consist of conferences and hands-on laboratory experience collecting and analyzing psychophysiological data. The fundamentals of specific systems will be covered, such as the cardiovascular, central nervous, immune, and endocrine systems, as well as measures such as EMG, ECG, EGG, and heart rate. Applications to psychopathology, health psychology, and behavioral medicine will also be explored. Conference-laboratory.
Psychology 342 - Language and Thought
Full course for one semester. An examination of theory and research on the relation between language and cognitive processes. The course begins with the observation that languages differ dramatically in their semantic partitioning of the world. Does such variation cause speakers of different languages to perceive the world differently? Or do linguistic differences illuminate underlying commonalities in human cognition? We will critically evaluate classic and current research on these questions, focusing on the relation between semantic structure and conceptual structure in the domains of color, space, time, number, and theory of mind, among others. Our goal will be to understand the psychological mechanisms by which language reflects and shapes the way we think. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Conference.
Psychology 344 - Thinking
Full course for one semester. We will survey classic and current research on thinking. How (and how well) do we think and reason? This course will examine cognitive psychology’s answers to this question. We will also consider the relation between decision-making and rationality. Prerequisite: Psychology 366 or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 347 - Statistical Modeling for Applied Research
Full course for one semester. This course is designed to provide an overview of the Bayesian approach to building statistical models, with an emphasis on writing code in order to conduct applied research. The resulting models will be suitable for inference, prediction, and virtual experiments performed by simulation. Topics will include multivariate linear and nonlinear regression, model selection using information criteria, numerical parameter estimation, and multilevel modeling. Prerequisites: Psychology 348, Mathematics 141, Economics 311, or Sociology 311, or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 348 - Research Design and Data Analysis
Full course for one semester. This course is designed to introduce the basic concepts, logic, and methods of research design and data analysis used in psychological research. Central questions include how to select, perform, and interpret statistical techniques while emphasizing the application of these techniques to students’ own research projects. Topics include descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, t-tests, one-way and two-way analysis of variance, and correlational techniques. Lecture-laboratory.
Psychology 350 - Psychology and Law
Full course for one semester. This course is an examination of how psychological research can inform and be informed by many aspects of the legal process. Topics covered include forensic profiling, eyewitness testimony, identification procedures, lie detection, jury bias, jury decision-making, and the insanity defense. Prerequisite: Psychology 366. Conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 351 - Psychopathology
Full course for one semester. This course focuses on description, conceptualization, etiology, development, and prognosis of maladaptive functioning. We examine theories and research about the origin and development of specific mental health disorders, including experimental, correlational, and cross-cultural research, and case studies. Prerequisite: Psychology 101, or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.
Psychology 355 - Interpersonal Perception
Full course for one semester. This conference is an analysis of interpersonal relations focusing on the dynamic relationship between perception (of one’s self and others) and social interaction. The course will examine classic and current research on the complex interplay of interpersonal perception, social cognition, and behavior as everyday relations unfold. Conferences will focus on ways in which individuals attempt to make sense of themselves, other people and groups, and their social environment. Students conduct original empirical research. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 361 - Developmental Psychology
Full course for one semester. An examination of theory and research on psychological development through the lifespan focusing primarily on cognitive and social growth in the childhood years. This course begins with an overview of theoretical frameworks and research methods specific to the study of development. We then explore chronologically the development of the individual through five major periods of life: infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Students conduct original observational research and participate in fieldwork in local schools or other sites that serve children. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory.
Psychology 364 - Cognitive Development
Full course for one semester. This course will explore wide-ranging processes such as perception and learning, domain-general resources such as executive functions and general intelligence, and various domains such as intuitive physics and intuitive psychology (theory of mind) through the lenses of different theoretical (and philosophical) frameworks. We will first review some philosophical arguments that came out of the nativism-empiricism debate, and we will relate those arguments to recent empirical studies in cognitive, developmental, and evolutionary psychology that bear on those arguments. Next, we will introduce the concept of heritability and individual variability, and we will review some recent findings coming from behavioral genetics. We will conclude the course by reviewing studies focusing on the influence of social and cultural factors on cognitive development. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 366 - Cognitive Processes
Full course for one semester. An overview of the scientific study of human cognition—how people perceive, remember, categorize, communicate, represent, and reason about the world. We will examine classic and current empirical research in light of contrasting theories that characterize the mind as an information-processing device or as an embodied system. Conferences will focus on discussion of the primary literature, with special emphasis on the logic of experimental design, critical analysis of opposing findings, and real-world applications. Throughout the semester, students will work in small groups to design and carry out an empirical research project. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Conference-laboratory.
Psychology 367 - Social Cognition
Full course for one semester. The subfield of social cognition focuses on the cognitive mechanisms responsible for a variety of social thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. This course will examine key theories, concepts, and findings in social and cognitive psychology relevant to social cognition. Topics will include dual process theory, semantic processing, heuristics and biases, priming, affect, memory and metacognition. This course will also cover the development and history of social cognition within the field of psychology. Due to both the breadth and depth of the literature in social cognition, we will not be able to cover everything in class. I have selected key findings I believe are broadly demonstrative of the research in this field and are relevant to our everyday lives. Prerequisites: Psychology 101, and either Psychology 322 or 366. Conference.
Psychology 373 - Learning
Full course for one semester. We will undertake a systematic examination of the factors governing learned behavior, with emphasis on the relationship of animal to human behavior. Topics include learning through associations, selection by consequences, and modeling; drug addiction; discrimination and concept formation; choice and self-control; voluntary action and free will; and verbal behavior. Experimental methods and analyses are emphasized. Prerequisite: Psychology 101, or Biology 101 and 102, or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference-laboratory.
Psychology 374 - Functional Variability
Full course for one semester. Much of psychology involves a search for predictable relationships, i.e., for deterministic laws. But variable and unpredictable behavior is often functional. Creativity, problem-solving, exploration, scientific discovery, learning, voluntary (or free-willed) actions, self-control, mindfulness, and many other competencies may depend in part upon ability to vary thoughts and behaviors. This course is grounded in behavioral studies on variability but brings together research and discussions from different perspectives on the study of functional variability. We will explore how behavioral variability arises (its elicitation, motivation, and reinforcement); how it is explained (including chaotic and stochastic theories); and influences on it (including neurological injury, psychopathologies, drug states, age, and states of consciousness). Prerequisite: Psychology 101, or junior or senior standing, or consent of the instructor. Conference-lecture.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 381 - Sensation and Perception
Full course for one semester. In this course students will investigate how the nervous system detects, analyzes, and creates meaning from environmental stimuli. The course explores the anatomy, physiology, and function of the sensory cells and the brain nuclei involved in various sensory modalities including vision, audition, olfaction, and touch. It investigates how these cells work in concert to produce a seamless perception of colors, textures, flavors, sounds, and smells. Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Lecture-laboratory.
Psychology 393 - Psycholinguistics
Full course for one semester. This course is an introduction to the study of the human language-processing system, and how it is organized to produce and comprehend language. We will study speech perception, lexical access, and sentence processing in the context of language acquisition, bilingualism, sign language, and brain function. Basic linguistic concepts will be covered. Students are expected to design and carry out a research project. Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or Linguistics 211, or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference-laboratory.
Psychology 415 - Learning and Comparative Research Methods
Full course for one semester. A systematic exploration of research methods in human and animal learning and cognition from a comparative perspective. Structured laboratory exercises are designed to provide students with hands-on experience in experimental and quantitative analysis used by investigators in the field, with special emphasis placed on the unique conceptual and methodological challenges of comparing behavior across species. Conferences will focus on critical examination of the primary research literature, emphasizing experimental issues and comparative methods. Prerequisite: Psychology 330 or 373. Conference-laboratory.
Psychology 417 - Attention and Consciousness Research
Full course for one semester. This course offers an in-depth look at the scientific study of consciousness by exploring research into the neurophysiology of attention and perception, and by addressing relevant theoretical considerations from neurophilosophy. Central questions will include: How can the electrical firing of neurons produce subjective experience? What types of brain processes establish the contents of consciousness, the continuity of consciousness, and the self who is conscious? How does neural activity differ for conscious versus unconscious processing? Students will critically examine the research literature and work in small groups throughout the semester on independent research projects. Prerequisite: Psychology 217, 334, or 381. Conference-laboratory.
Psychology 418 - Behavioral Economics
Full course for one semester. An overview of current research and theory in behavioral economics, an emerging discipline at the interface of psychology and economics. We will read and discuss the primary literature, with special emphasis on the intertranslation of concepts, methods, and models from the two disciplines. Prerequisite: Psychology 322, 333, 351, 361, 366, 373, 381, or 393. Conference.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 422 - The Social Self
Full course for one semester. This course is an analysis of classic and current theory and research on the self within the social context. We examine the complex interplay of the self with situational factors to affect intrapersonal and interpersonal outcomes. Conferences focus on the content, structure, and organization of the self; personal and social identities; implicit and explicit views of the self; motives of the self; self-protection and coping with self-uncertainty; self-regulation; the self within close relationships; and cultural models of the self. Students conduct original empirical research on the social self. Prerequisites: Psychology 101 and either Psychology 322 or 355. Conference-laboratory.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 433 - Behavioral Neuroscience Research
Full course for one semester. An advanced-level course designed to provide comprehensive and in-depth exposure to the methods and protocols used in neuroscience research. This includes brain dissection, stereotaxic surgery, neurohistology, and drug-receptor interactions. Conferences will focus on an examination and critical analysis of primary research materials as well as discussion of ethics in animal-based research. Prerequisite: Psychology 333 or consent of the instructor. Conference-laboratory.
Not offered 2020–21.
Psychology 434 - Advanced Topics in Neuropharmacology
One-half course for one semester. The course focuses on the molecular, biochemical, and behavioral characterization of neuroactive drugs by investigating their actions on cells, circuits, and receptor mechanisms. Methods of research in behavioral pharmacology will also be examined. Prerequisite: Psychology 333 or consent of the instructor. Conference. May be repeated for credit.
Psychology 439 - Psycholinguistic Research: Bilingualism
Full course for one semester. This course focuses on theory, design, and methods of psycholinguistic research specializing in the study of bilingualism. We will consider developmental, neuropsychological, cognitive, linguistic, and sociolinguistic theory and data, with an emphasis on psycholinguistic and cognitive neuroscience methods applied to the study of bilingualism. Topics include developmental aspects; cognitive consequences of bilingualism; bilingual memory; bilingual brain representation and aphasia; lexical access and language processing in bilinguals; and the notion of a critical period in second-language acquisition. Students will work in small groups to conduct empirical research projects throughout the semester. Prerequisite: Psychology 393. Conference-laboratory.
Psychology 442 - Clinical Psychology
Full course for one semester. We will discuss design and methodological issues related to studying the effectiveness and efficacy of psychological interventions. We examine theory and research for various schools of psychotherapy, including psychodynamic, existential-humanistic, behavioral, and cognitive-behavioral interventions, with brief coverage of multicultural, family, child, and group approaches. Students participate in fieldwork in off-campus facilities related to mental health. Prerequisites: Psychology 101 and 351 and junior or senior standing. Conference-laboratory.
Psychology 470 - Thesis
Full course for one year. Theses in psychology will include empirical research—experimental, observational, or data analytical. Under unusual circumstances the requirement for empirical research may be waived by the department.
Psychology 481 - Individual Work in Special Fields
One-half or full course for one semester. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, and approval of the instructor and the division.