Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
In the undergraduate study of psychology, the emphasis is on a broad acquaintance with the behavioral sciences, not specialization. The subject matter is preparatory to a career in psychology either in basic research and teaching, or in any number of professional applications to various human problems. A psychology major may prove valuable to those planning other professional careers such as medicine, law, education, or business, as well as to those who seek a broad cultural background in the behavioral sciences.
The undergraduate study of neuroscience embodies the liberal arts experience as it draws on techniques and findings from several academic disciplines including biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and psychology. The neuroscience major provides students with the fundamental knowledge and exposure needed to pursue careers and post-graduate studies in fields related to neuroscience, human development and aging, health and disease, rehabilitation, biomedical research, human-machine interactions, and other emerging disciplines.
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All psychology and neuroscience majors have a primary academic advisor assigned in ConnectCarolina. Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. Several faculty members (for complete list, click here) are available to meet with current and prospective majors by appointment. Please note that there are different departmental advisors for the psychology and neuroscience majors. Students who are considering graduate studies in psychology or neuroscience are particularly encouraged to contact departmental academic advisors. Additional information about courses, undergraduate research opportunities, the honors program, and the Psychology Club may be obtained from the department’s website.
Graduate School and Career Opportunities
The psychology B.A. and B.S. degree programs, and the neuroscience B.S. degree program, prepare students for entry into graduate programs in psychology, neuroscience, and a large number of related areas. All degrees, augmented by courses dictated by various graduate and professional schools, also provide training that has proved beneficial for those applying to business, law, and medical schools.
Undergraduate psychology and neuroscience majors seek and find employment in a wide range of occupations, and many continue their education and training in graduate school. Students should understand that many of the occupations traditionally associated with psychology (e.g., clinical psychologist) are licensed specialties that require graduate training.
Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Sara B. Algoe, Jennifer Arnold, Anna Bardone-Cone, Donald H. Baucom, Daniel J. Bauer, Charlotte A. Boettiger, Kenneth A. Bollen, Regina M. Carelli, Shauna Cooper, Patrick Curran, Stacey B. Daughters, Barbara L. Fredrickson, Karen M. Gil, Kelly Giovanello, Peter C. Gordon, Kurt J. Gray, Joseph Hopfinger, Andrea M. Hussong, Deborah J. Jones, Kristen Lindquist, Donald T. Lysle, Neil Mulligan, Abigail T. Panter, B. Keith Payne, David Penn, Mitchell J. Prinstein, Paschal J. Sheeran, Todd Thiele, Eric A. Youngstrom.
Carol L. Cheatham, Jessica Cohen, Sylvia Fitting, Kathleen M. Gates, Michael Hallquist, Keely Muscatell, Kathryn J. Reissner, Margaret A. Sheridan, Eva Telzer.
Dan Christoffel, Oscar Gonzalez, Dalal Safa.
Jennifer Kirby, Jennifer K. Youngstrom.
Montserrat N. Thiele.
Research Assistant Professors
Amanda Elton, Adam Miller.
Professor of the Practice
Jeannie Loeb, F. Charles Wiss.
Teaching Associate Professors
Steven Buzinski, Vicki Chanon, Desiree Griffin, Patrick Harrison, Sabrina Robertson.
Teaching Assistant Professors
Sara Estle, Monica Gaudier-Diaz, Rosa Li, Shveta Parekh, Natasha Parikh, Rachel Penton.
The course will tackle questions through classroom discussions, lectures, movies, writing assignments, and a visit to a research laboratory and a treatment facility. Students will be introduced to fundamental concepts in addiction research. Honors version available.
This course will introduce students to the recent research and debate regarding neural plasticity and the ability of the healthy adult brain to change. Exciting new research suggests that the ability of the adult brain to change goes well beyond simply acquiring new knowledge and memories. Previously offered as PSYC 71.
Content varies by semester. Honors version available.
Provides an introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system. Fundamental principles will be introduced including nervous system anatomy; molecular and cellular properties of the nervous system; sensory and motor systems; current methods used in neuroscience; and how the nervous system produces behavior and cognition. This course provides greater breadth and depth of neuroscience topics, as compared to Biopsychology (PSYC 220). Previously offered as PSYC 175 and 315.
An undergraduate seminar course that is designed to be a participatory intellectual adventure on an advanced, emergent, and stimulating topic within a selected discipline of neuroscience. This course does not count as credit toward the neuroscience major or minor.
This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of psychopharmacology, with emphasis on drugs of abuse and psychotherapeutic drugs. Previously offered as NSCI/PSYC 320.
Topics in Pavlovian and operant (instrumental) conditioning, learning theory, higher order cognitive learning, and application of those principles to mental-health related situations. Previously offered as PSYC 222. Honors version available.
Topics in vision, audition, and the lower senses. Receptor mechanisms, psychophysical methods, and selected perceptual phenomena will be discussed. Previously offered as PSYC 225. Honors version available.
In this research-based course, students will design novel experiments to examine sex differences in large neurophysiology datasets. Students will use Python to access and analyze data. Students will also learn research literature analysis, experimental design, data analysis, collaboration, and presentation skills by developing a research proposal, paper, and poster. Students may only receive credit for one of: NSCI 274, 276, 278 and 279. Restricted to Neuroscience Majors only.
Students will design novel experiments to determine sex differences in nervous system control of food-seeking. Students will learn animal care, behavior, and electrophysiology by studying taste receptor sensitivity in fruit flies in response to interventions the students hypothesize will alter food-seeking. Students will also learn research literature analysis, experimental design, data analysis, and presentation skills through their proposal, paper, and presentation. Students may only receive credit for one of: NSCI 274, 276, 278 and 279. Restricted to Neuroscience Majors only.
Students will design novel experiments to examine and visualize sex differences in the nervous system. Students will learn how to handle brain slices, neuroanatomy, microscopy, immunohistochemistry and imaging analysis techniques by studying neuronal diversity in the norepinephrine system of mice. Students will have the opportunity to develop and test hypotheses, write a research proposal, and present their work in poster form. Students may only receive credit for one of: NSCI 274, 276, 278 and 279. Majors only.
In this laboratory course, students will utilize molecular biology techniques (e.g., immunohistochemistry and immunoassays) while developing and testing hypotheses regarding how environmental or experimental conditions alter microglia. Students will work in teams to design an experiment, and then collect, analyze, and report data. Students may only receive credit for one of: NSCI 274, 276, 278 and 279. Neuroscience majors only.
Various special areas of neuroscientific study, offered as needed. Honors version available.
Permission of the instructor. Service learning component for students enrolled in Neuroscience APPLES courses. May not count toward the major or minor.
This course will examine the molecular, cellular, and neurocircuitry substrates of psychiatric disorders. Topics covered will include neurobiological theories of the major classes of psychiatric disorders, genetic susceptibility, neurotransmitter systems involved, neuroplasticity, and others.
This course provides students interested in the neuroscience field an opportunity to gain valuable networking, job application and interviewing skills. Over the course of the semester students will meet with neuroscience professionals and create application packages. Students will learn from individuals in neuroscience related jobs about the diverse careers options available and strategies for navigating the job market successfully. Students will explore advances in neuroscience research and how they relate to industry, research, etc. Majors only.
Various special areas of neuroscience study, offered as needed.
Supervised research resulting in a written report. May be repeated for credit up to six hours. Up to three hours may count as a neuroscience methods elective. Permission of the instructor.
Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses
Ethological, genetic, and physiological variables will be studied in relation to their behavioral effects. Previously offered as PSYC 401.
"Hands on" laboratory course designed to introduce students to experimental protocols emphasizing "brain-behavior" relationships. Topics include gross neuroanatomy, stereotaxic surgery, and the effects of drugs on behavior. Previously offered as PSYC 403. Honors version available.
This course will examine the molecular basis of drug action in the brain. Primary literature will be used to investigate pharmacological principles, receptor structure-function relationships, and receptor-ligand interactions, including ligand gated-ion channel and G-protein coupled receptor signaling.
In this class, we will consider how neuroscience emerged as a multidisciplinary field. The class will cover key research findings that propelled the field forward. We will also delve into the autobiographies of some of the pioneering researchers who made these important discoveries. Previously offered as PSYC 415.
For advanced undergraduate and graduate students. An introduction to human neuroanatomy, covering function of the neuroanatomy of each major system and relation to neurobehavioral disorders associated with damage to the neuroanatomy of the system. Previously offered as PSYC 420.
This course is designed for upper-level undergraduates who are interested in how brain circuits control behavior. A major focus will be the new technique of optogenetics that is revolutionizing our approach to systems neuroscience. Circuits that control movement, sensation, sleep, memory, and fear will be explored in detail. Points of emphasis will be circuits mediating pain as related to actions of opiates and circuits mediating feeding behavior as related to obesity.
This course will explore the manifestations and causes of important neurological and psychiatric diseases. A particular focus will be the impact of advances in genetics on our understanding of these disorders. Disorders that affect large numbers of patients including Alzheimer's disease, autism, and schizophrenia will be studied in detail.
This course addresses fundamental challenges inherent in studying the brain and explores the theory, applications, and limitations of new and traditional neurotechnology. The unique ethical issues and significance of interdisciplinary approaches in neuroscience will also be highlighted. Students will analyze research literature and focus on cellular, molecular, and genetic techniques that are essential staples in the neuroscientist's toolkit. Students will also design experiments, utilize publicly available resources, and analyze big data generated by high-throughput approaches.
This class will explore links between the brain and behavior through neuroscience outreach activities. Students will also reflect on the meaning of community engagement. By the end of the semester, each student must complete a minimum of 30 hours of service within the community. Previously offered as PSYC 424.
This course will survey clinical and experimental literature regarding the neurobiology of aging, considering different theories of aging, how aging is studied in the laboratory, and recent findings. Biochemical, molecular, physiological, and behavioral changes associated with both "normal" and pathological aging will be considered. Previously offered as PSYC 427.
Neuroscience is a "hot" topic in popular media. We will consider media coverage of neuroscientific research by reading the popular press versions of studies alongside the findings from primary sources and what kinds of topics are most often covered by the media and why. Previously offered as PSYC 428.
Introduction to cognitive neuroscience. Higher mental processes including attention, memory, language, and consciousness will be covered, with an emphasis on the neural mechanisms that form the substrates of human cognition. Previously offered as PSYC 434.
This course surveys current knowledge about and research into the neurobiological basis of learning and memory. Using a combination of lectures and student-led discussions, we will critically evaluate the molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral research that strives to explain how the brain learns and remembers. Previously offered as PSYC 437.
The nervous and immune systems interact with each other in complex ways to influence behavior, health and well-being. In this course, we will examine the mechanisms by which these two systems interact. Further, we will cover how the nervous and immune systems function together to serve homeostasis, behavior and disease.
Various special areas of neuroscience study, offered as needed. Honors version available.
Required preparation, minimum of two other neuroscience courses and junior/senior standing. Designed for highly motivated neuroscience majors interested in exploring professional opportunities in neuroscience-related areas. Juniors and seniors only.
Intensive service-learning seminar on autism includes a supervised community placement. Topics include historical diagnostic issues, etiological theories, assessing patterns of functioning, developmental/life span issues, family concerns, and intervention approaches. Previously offered as PSYC 507.
This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of emotion. Topics will include theoretical models of emotion process and structure. A range of perspectives, including social, cultural, developmental, clinical, and cognitive psychology, as well as behavioral neuroscience, will be considered. Previously offered as PSYC 568.
Stress is a common experience in modern life that impacts psychological and physical health. In this course, we will delve into the scientific literature in psychology and neuroscience that explores how the brain and the body respond to stress, and how we can intervene to prevent stress from negatively impacting physical and mental health.
To be taken in the fall of the last year of studies as the first course in the two-semester honors sequence. Students conduct research under the direction of a faculty advisor and receive classroom instruction in research-related topics. Required preparation, cumulative GPA of 3.3, one semester of NSCI 395 (or equivalent faculty-lead research experience), and acceptance through application to the honors committee.
To be taken as the second course in the two-semester honors sequence. Students conduct research under the direction of a faculty advisor and receive classroom instruction in research-related topics. Admission to the neuroscience honors program required.
The courses available to undergraduate students are listed below. No courses numbered 700 or above may be taken by undergraduate students. Consult the current directory of classes for each semester’s offerings. PSYC 101 is prerequisite to ALL courses offered in the department except for first-year seminars, which are numbered below 100. Students and their advisors should take careful note of the specified prerequisites for advanced offerings in this listing.
Students will gain an in-depth understanding of evolutionary psychology, a current amalgam of evolutionary biology, psychology, and anthropology that aims to view complex social and personality features of human behavior.
How do you persuade others with numbers? What are the common biases and fallacies that we have in understanding numbers and statistics? This course is designed to allow students to work together with their instructor and classmates to attain a shared intellectual adventure. This course is also a MakerSpace course. Students in this course will focus on the design and making of physical objects as a way to learn about course concepts.
This course will consider family from a life-course perspective and family influences on child development. Research and theory concerning divorced and step families, single parents, gay and lesbian parents, and family processes that shape children's development will be examined.
The course will address relevant literature on children's memory and cognition involving allegations of child sexual abuse.
Examines how language use is affected by one's reasoning about the mental activities of others. We will examine the development of language, adult language use, and the language of autistic individuals, who are known to have difficulty reasoning about others' minds. This seminar will follow a discussion format. Honors version available.
This course invites students to explore the opportunities presented by the vibrant and emerging field of positive psychology.
This is a first-year seminar on the use of drugs in the U.S. Its purpose is to understand the effects of drug use on pain management, overdose prevention, substance use disorder, overdoses, diversion, legal consequences, public health policy, harm reduction, and treatment. Activities include lectures from technical experts, post-lecture discussions, readings and student-lead discussions, written summaries of class material, formal debates, and a final class project on an effective evidence-based overdose prevention program.
Students will learn about anorexia and bulimia nervosa, as well as prevention and treatment efforts. The course explores factors related to these disorders and body image from a psychosocial perspective. Learning will occur through discussions, readings, videos, guest speakers, experimental assignments, writing assignments, and research projects.
This course deals with the sensory systems of animals. A description of the human senses is included, but senses that differ from our own are emphasized. Some treatment of research methods is also included. Classes will be a mixture of lecture, discussion, and student reports.
This first-year seminar is designed for students interested in exploring the psychological study of emotion. Topics include theoretical models of emotion process and structure, as well as a review of research questions about emotional expressions, autonomic physiology, affective neuroscience, emotion and reasoning, and emotion and health.
This seminar examines the connections among racism experiences, racial identity, and mental health with a focus on African American children, adolescents, and young adults.
This seminar explores the experiences of women by integrating content and methodologies from psychology with perspectives on the depiction of women in the arts, namely digital media. Students will study gender socialization, body image, work/achievement, sex and romance, motherhood, aging, and mental health with attention given to diversity.
This course focuses on the development of critical thinking skills as they relate to psychological science. In addition to examining the basic skills of logic, we will learn about the logic of the scientific method and the common errors of human cognition that impede critical thinking. We will then apply critical thinking skills to various widespread (and sometimes controversial) claims about abnormal behavior and its treatment.
Special topics course. Content will vary each semester. Honors version available.
PSYC 101 is a prerequisite for all psychology courses. This course will give an overview of the many different scientific perspectives from which to understand behavior, including the biological, cognitive, developmental, social and psychopathological perspectives. This course is offered in two formats: a large-course format and as a First-Year Launch.
Students will use mathematical and statistical methods to address societal problems, make personal decisions, and reason critically about the world. Authentic contexts may include voting, health and risk, digital humanities, finance, and human behavior. This course does not count as credit towards the psychology or neuroscience majors.
In this course, we will learn about current evidence, theory, and controversies with regards to how technology use may affect adolescent development. Questions such as how technology is changing adolescents' social relationships, impacting their mental health, and interacting with the developing brain to influence social, emotional, and cognitive development will be explored.
An undergraduate seminar course that is designed to be a participatory intellectual adventure on an advanced, emergent, and stimulating topic within a selected discipline in psychology. This course does not count as credit towards the psychology major.
Consideration of the methodological principles underlying psychological research, descriptive and inferential techniques, and the manner by which they may be employed to design psychological experiments and analyze behavioral data. Three lecture hours. Students may not receive credit for both PSYC 210/PSYC 210H and PSYC 215/PSYC 215H. Honors version available.
This course is an alternative to PSYC 210, and therefore, satisfies the statistics requirement of the psychology and neuroscience majors. This is a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE), focusing on descriptive and inferential statistical techniques and the manner by which they are employed to design and analyze behavioral data. Students may not receive credit in both PSYC 210 and 215.
Introductory course which surveys the biological bases of behavior. Topics may include nerve cells and nerve impulses, sensory systems, wakefulness and sleep, reproductive behaviors, and cognitive functions. This course would be an appropriate foundational course for Advanced Biopsychology (PSYC 402). Honors version available.
Topics in attention; memory; visual, auditory, and other forms of information processing; decision making; and thinking. Honors version available.
Overview of clinical psychology: history, scientific basis, and major activities and concerns, including assessment, psychotherapy and other psychological interventions, community psychology, ethics, and professional practice. Students may not receive credit for both PSYC 242 and 505. Honors version available.
Major forms of behavior disorders in children and adults, with an emphasis on description, causation, and treatment. Honors version available.
Study of the development of social and intellectual behavior in normal children and the processes that underlie this development. Emphasis is typically on theory and research. Honors version available.
Introductory survey of experimental social psychology covering attitudes, interpersonal processes, and small groups. Honors version available.
Students in this course will be exposed to a survey of methodology (i.e., experimental, quasi-experimental, non-experimental) used across various disciplines in psychology (i.e., social, clinical, development, cognitive, and neuroscience). In addition, students will work as a class to conduct research projects on a common theme. Students will spend class time planning, conducting, and writing up the results of this project. Class time will also be used to discuss methodological considerations in psychological research more broadly.
Various special areas of psychological study, offered as needed. Course may be repeated for credit. Honors version available.
Permission of the instructor. Service learning component for students enrolled in psychology APPLES courses. May not count toward the major.
This course gives an overview of teaching methods that facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and understanding as well as entails hands-on experience in the classroom. Common misconceptions of learning as well as legal and ethical considerations related to working closely with an undergraduate population will also be covered. Departmental application and approval required.
This course extends statistical and data analytic concepts covered in PSYC 210 with direct applications to empirical data commonly encountered in psychological research. Topics include measurement, group comparisons, linear associations, and prediction. An equal balance is placed on statistical concepts, computer-based data analysis, and interpretation of findings.
Recommended preparation, PSYC 210 or another quantitative reasoning course. An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of the mind, intelligent behavior, information processing, and communication in living organisms and computers.
Various special areas of psychological study, offered as needed. Course may be repeated for credit.
A minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Permission of the instructor. Supervised research resulting in a written report. May be repeated for credit up to eight hours. Up to three hours may count as a psychology elective.
Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses
This course will investigate the pharmacological effects and the clinical efficacy of drugs used to treat behavior disorders.
This course explores classic and current issues in the study of human memory. Topics include working memory, encoding and retrieval processes, implicit memory, reconstructive processes in memory, eyewitness memory, developmental changes in memory, neuropsychology and neuroscience of memory and memory disorders, memory improvement, and the repressed/recovered memory controversy.
Recommended preparation, PSYC 230 or LING 101 or LING 400. This course examines the mental representations and cognitive processes that underlie the human ability to use language. Covers what people know about language, how they process it, and how people make inferences about the speaker's meaning based on context. Recent work in experimental psycholinguistics is discussed.
Simple mathematical and psychological models of judgment and choice, and related experiments, are treated, as are applications to real world problems in medical, environmental, policy, business, and related domains.
This course offers an inside look at pronouns from an interdisciplinary perspective. From a cognitive perspective, we examine major models of the role that pronouns play, and the mental processes involved in using them. From a social perspective, we examine the role pronouns play in marking gender identity, and how both language usage and gender concepts are currently in flux. Students also learn about research methods and conduct a novel empirical study.
Examines the cognitive mechanisms behind language comprehension, focusing on how we make predictions about the speaker's meaning, based on context, background, gestures, and other cues. In this course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE), groups of students generate novel research questions, perform their own research experiments, and present the results in spoken and written format.
An examination of the development of attention, perception, learning, memory, and thinking in normal children.
Developmental processes during early childhood as these relate to social behavior and personality.
Poverty is one of the most consistent and influential risk factors for problematic development. This course focuses on the scientific study of how poverty affects development across the human life span.
PSYC 210 or 215 recommended. A survey of the literature on the development of black children. Topics include peer and social relations, self-esteem, identity development, cognitive development, school achievement, parenting, family management, and neighborhood influences.
Explores how the family influences children's development. Topics include family theories, genetics, family structure (e.g., single parents, working mothers, divorce), discipline, parent behavior and values and beliefs, fathers and ethnic diversity.
Examines the evolution and development of behavior patterns and their physiological substrates.
The developmental period of adolescence is studied from a multidisciplinary perspective. The course will distinguish among early, middle, and late adolescence and will cover several theoretical perspectives.
This course examines the effects of racial discrimination among African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American adolescents using a psychological perspective to critically examine empirical research. The course examines racial discrimination, power, and equity and is recommended for students interested in serious, thought-provoking discussions.
This course will provide an overview of the use of digital technologies to increase opportunities for training in, access to, and use of evidence-based mental health services. Coverage will include the current status of and future directions in research, innovations in service delivery, and policy implications. Special attention will be given to the evolution of the field, the potential costs and benefits, and the promise to address health disparities in particular.
Various special areas of psychological study, offered as needed. Course may be repeated for credit. Honors version available.
Required preparation, minimum of two other psychology courses and junior/senior standing. Designed for highly motivated psychology majors interested in exploring professional opportunities in psychology-related areas. Students complete hands-on internships at community sites for approximately 120 hours across the semester. Students also attend a weekly one-hour class with other interns.
A survey of theories bearing on atypical development and disordered behavior, and an examination of major child and adolescent behavior problems and clinical syndromes.
An in-depth coverage of the traditional clinically based personality theories of the early 20th century contrasted with more recent empirically based perspectives.
A developmental approach to the study of adulthood, from young adulthood through death. Topics include adult issues in personality, family dynamics, work, leisure and retirement, biological and intellectual aspects of aging, dying, and bereavement.
This course examines race and culture in the psychological processes and behavior of African Americans.
An in-depth coverage of psychological, biological, and social factors that may be involved with health.
This course examines the mental health and psychological factors that impact the performance of athletes. Furthermore, the mental health of sports fans, along with the physiological and psychological impact of being a spectator will be examined.
This course will review literature regarding peer relations among children and adolescents, including peer acceptance/rejection, popularity, bases of friendship selection, peer crowds, romantic relationships, and theories of peer influence.
The social, developmental, and biological contributions to mania and depression are examined, as well as the impact of these moods on the brain, creativity, relationships, quality of life, and health.
PSYC 245 and 270 recommended but not required. This course will provide students with a comprehensive overview of the etiology and treatment of addiction, along with exposure to real-life stories of addiction.
This course addresses techniques in answering new questions with existing data. Students will learn about data from multiple perspectives: different data source and types, intended audiences, and visualization, analysis, and presentation formats. This will make students more savvy consumers as well as producers of data.
Students work with a community partner to identify a research question related to our understanding and treatment of psychological health. Using an iterative scientific method, students collaborate to develop hypotheses, to prepare and analyze data, to propose interpretations of data, and to present their results to the public.
Emphasis on the methodological principles underlying experimental and correlational research. Interaction of theory and practice in the design and interpretation of psychological studies. This is a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE).
Basic psychometric theory underlying test construction and utilization. Detailed study of issues and instruments used in assessing intellectual functioning, educational progress, personality, and personnel selection.
This course examines the science of quantitative psychology. Topics include the analysis of data, the design of questionnaires, and the assessment of psychological attributes, among others. Honors version available.
Consideration of multiple regression and the general linear model in psychological research, including hypothesis testing, model formulation, and the analysis of observational and experimental data. Honors version available.
Introduction to programming and the implementation of statistical techniques. Topics include data manipulation, graphical procedures, writing loops and functions, data simulation, use of regular expressions, and scraping data from the web.
As opposed to hypothesis-driven data analysis, machine learning takes an exploratory and predictive approach to data analysis. This course introduces machine learning approaches in psychology to identify important variables for prediction and uncover complex patterns in datasets, such as nonlinearity, interactions, or clusters. Classes include theoretical lectures and hands-on examples.
Theory and research in social psychology, which explores the cognitive processes underlying social phenomena. Specific topics covered include attributions, emotions, automaticity, heuristics, self, goals, stereotyping, expectancies, social motives, and others. Honors version available.
PSYC 270 Recommended. This advanced course will comprehensively cover the social psychological literature on normally-developing interpersonal relationships, with implications for relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and romantic partners. This is a research-intensive course with a major aspect involving an independent research project to facilitate learning by doing.
PSYC 270 recommended. Examines the determinants, functions, processes, and consequences of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Prospects for change are considered. Class presentations and participation required.
A detailed consideration of the theoretical issues in attitude and belief change.
This advanced course in positive psychology is research intensive and intended as a capstone for majors in psychology. Majors only.
Surveys cutting-edge research across the field of social psychology and how it matters for everyday life. Topics include morality, mind perception, judgment and decision making, happiness, affective forecasting, emotion, relationships, negotiation, personality, free will, stress/health, and religion. Clear communication of research also emphasized through figures, presentations, and papers.
PSYC 270 recommended. An intensive review of self-regulation theory and research, focusing on the cognitive, motivational, and affective processes involved in goal commitment, monitoring, and overriding behavioral responses.
Social neuroscience is the study of how social processes and experiences are represented in and influence the structure and function of the brain. This course will focus primarily on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of humans, though we will also discuss other brain imaging techniques and patient studies. Previously offered as NSCI 571.
An in-depth examination of psychological research and theory pertaining to the influence of gender on the lives of men and women. In general, emphasis will be placed on understanding gender as a social psychological construct.
This course will discuss theories, methods, and empirical research findings on the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of the psychology of women, as well as topics such as feminist psychology, intersectionality, bias in psychological research, sexual orientation, sexuality, lifespan development, work, and health. Men and masculinity, the psychology of transgender persons, and a critique of the gender binary are also discussed.
Each of us is committed to our moral values and often struggle to understand those who with different beliefs. This course will focus on difficult moral disagreements (e.g., abortion, euthanasia), using social psychology and related disciplines to reveal the basis of our moral judgments, the drivers of moral divides, and how best to bridge them. We will cover both theory and application, and practice having constructive dialogue and civil disagreement to forge moral understanding.
This course examines positive psychology, also called the science of thriving. One basic premise of positive psychology is that thriving individuals and thriving communities require the presence and interplay of positive emotions, positive relationships, and positive meaning. A second basic premise is that thriving does not result simply by curing pathology and eliminating problems. Rather, thriving requires building and capitalizing on human strengths and capacities. Students will apply course concepts in their everyday lives.
Examines the legal system from the perspective of psychology methods and research, with a focus on criminal law. Discusses dilemmas within the law and between the legal system and psychology.
Major topics of general psychology are examined from an evolutionary perspective with an emphasis on empirical studies asking why much current human behavior and experience would have been adaptive for our early ancestors.
Required preparation, cumulative GPA of 3.3, in-process or completion of PSYC 395 (or equivalent experience in a faculty research lab), and acceptance through application to the honors committee. To be taken in the fall of the last year of studies as the first course in the two-semester honors sequence. Students conduct research under the direction of a faculty advisor and receive classroom instruction in research-related topics.
Admission to the psychology honors program required. To be taken as the second course in the two-semester honors sequence. Students conduct research under the direction of a faculty advisor and receive classroom instruction in research-related topics.
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Davie Hall, CB# 3270
Regina M. Carelli
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Director of Undergraduate Psychology Advising
Director of Neuroscience Curricula
Director of Undergraduate Neuroscience Advising
Associate Director of Cognitive Science Program
Student Services Manager
Undergraduate Instructional Program Coordinator