PSY 141: Introduction to Psychological Science (Fall 2019)

How does the mind create the reality we perceive? How do experiences shape the brain, and how do processes in the brain influence thought, emotion and behavior? This course investigates these and similar questions by studying the science of the human mind and behavior. The course covers topics such as memory, perception, development, psychopathology, personality, and social behavior. A focus is on the biological, cognitive, and social/cultural roots that give rise to human experience. Additionally, the course will consider how behavior differs among people, and across situations. Cross-listed: Mind, Brain, Behavior.

PSY 334: The Science of Behavior Change–Promise & Pitfalls (Fall 2019)

As human beings, we have to choose from a myriad of behaviors to engage in and/or refrain from—whether it is eating, drinking, exercising, socializing, playing, working, sleeping, or binge watching, just to name a few. How do we know exactly which behaviors are most congruent with our goals, and which are at odds with those goals? When certain patterns of behavior undermine health and wellbeing, are there any evidence-based cognitive or motivational strategies that can meaningfully change human behavior? How much truth is there in the saying “old habits die hard?” In this seminar, we will take a deep dive into the science of behavior change, discussing both the promise and challenges of this budding field of study. Readings will consist of peer-reviewed empirical articles and literature reviews in the psychological and brain sciences, as well as selected articles from online blogs and popular news sources. Students are expected to give in-class presentations of course material (individually and in groups) and write a final research-oriented paper (e.g., a study proposal or a review paper). The course is open to all moderated psychology and MBB students, or with permission of the instructor.