Experimental Psychology Concentrations
Purpose: The Cognitive Neuroscience specialty focuses on an integration of cognitive psychology and neuroscience. The content of the specialty reflects the research and teaching interests of the associated faculty. Formal coursework focuses on basic issues in cognition and neuroscience, while specialty seminars focus on specifics of faculty and student interests. In the laboratory, emphasis is place on acquiring technical and practical skills in the instrumentation and research methodology associated with the student's specialization. Also, writing and presentation skills necessary for the communication of research are emphasized through course assignments, grant writing, presentations at regional and national meetings, and publications.
Description: All students in the Cognitive Neuroscience specialty are required to be involved in research every semester, with the level of that involvement matching student competencies. Ultimately this will lead to work on the master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation as well as writing publications and grant applications. Students are also encouraged to be involved in some aspect of teaching. Initially this may involve preparation of single lectures for courses, or presentations at meetings, but eventually may involve responsibility for a full course.
Career Opportunities: This specialty is designed to prepare students for research careers in basic and applied settings and college teaching.
Faculty: A. Michael Anch, Tony W. Buchanan, Ronald T. Kellogg, Brenda A. Kirchhoff, Donna J. LaVoie, Lisa Willoughby
Purpose : Developmental psychologists investigate the origins, changes, and continuities of human behavior. Consistent with the overall goals of the experimental program, the developmental concentration integrates theory and research through rigorous coursework, research activities, and professional experiences. The developmental faculty's research strengths converge on the social aspects of child and adolescent development (e.g., parent-child interaction, gender cognitions, stereotyping and prejudice, cultural influences, identity, emotion understanding, and socio-moral reasoning).
Description : In addition to more general studies in experimental psychology, students admitted to the developmental concentration complete survey courses exploring issues in social and cognitive development, as well as topical seminars more specific to faculty research interests. Research training follows an apprenticeship model, in which students begin by immersing themselves in their mentor's research area, conducting collaborative, and increasingly independent, work throughout their tenure in the program. Many students further engage in teaching activities - ranging from teaching assistant duties or guest lectures to full responsibility for a course - in order to prepare for future academic appointments. A weekly "brown bag" meeting of graduate students and faculty is designed to promote our shared identity as a developmental concentration and support professional development. Activities include presenting research ideas or findings, discussing empirical or theoretical articles of shared interest, reviewing teaching-related practices, and planning other professional development activities (e.g., joint conference presentations, hosting panel discussions).
Career Opportunities : The Developmental Psychology Concentration prepares its graduates to teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, and other research settings.
Faculty: Judith L. Gibbons, Janet E. Kuebli, Kimberly K. Powlishta, Bryan W. Sokol
Associated Labs: Cross-Cultural Human Development Lab | Gender Cognitions and Development Lab
Purpose : The purposes of the Social Psychology specialty are to train students in (1) mastery of the theoretical and research literature in Social Psychology; (2) conducting basic and applied research in Social Psychology; and (3) the application of the theoretical and research expertise to solve real-world problems.
Description : The Social Psychology specialty offers academic and research training, as well as an applied component, involving both course work and professional experience. Students obtain training in theoretical and programmatic research as those fields relate to both basic and applied issues.
Career Opportunities : Graduates of the specialty will be prepared for research careers in academic and applied settings as well as college teaching.
Faculty: John Chambers, Eddie M. Clark, Richard D. Harvey, Ruth H. Warner