The Department of Psychology awards the Ph.D. in seven programs,
each covering a wide range of research topics, as described below.
Main areas of emphasis: behavioral neuroscience and behavioral endocrinology.
Research focuses on the neurological and neurochemical mechanisms of behavior and development;
species-specific behaviors; early experiential factors in behavioral development; the ontogeny of
learning and memory; psychophysiological factors underlying affects and emotions; autonomic nervous system;
animal models of neurodegenerative diseases; behavioral pharmacology.
Various methods for the assessment of sensory, perceptual, associative and cognitive functions are practiced,
including classical and operant conditioning. Research methods include electrophysiological, neurosurgical,
neuropharma-cological and psychophysiological approaches.
The main areas of emphasis: systematic research on clinically-relevant problems; assessment and
treatment of problematic behavior. There are three subspecialties: adult, child, and health.
Faculty emphasizes behavioral, cultural, developmental, and social perspectives. Faculty research
interests include health psychology, i.e. cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, cancer, psychoneuro-immunology,
women's health and related topics. In the adult and child specialties, the areas of interest include personality,
assessment and training of social skills, clinical/social judgment, sexuality, childhood psychopathology and
anxiety disorders. The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The department's
Psychological Services Center and other cooperating mental health facilities are the sites for clinical training.
Main areas of emphasis: cognition/memory/learning; human performance; and perception.
Faculty research includes: perceptual-motor coordination, psychophysics, categorization,
decision-making, human factors, electrophysiological correlates of human cognition and
information processing, language processing and psycholinguistics, auditory and visual
perception, and music perception/cognition.
The Counseling Psychology Program is no longer accepting applicants because the program
is being phased out by the department.
The Developmental Psychology Program considers fundamental questions in the field of psychology from the perspective of developmental change. The primary area of emphasis is cognitive development, including attention and memory, learning and conceptual development, language acquisition, and the interactions among these processes. Secondary areas of emphasis include social cognition, moral development, and parent-adolescent relationships. Faculty employ state-of-the-art experimental methods for studying cognition in infants and young children, for example preferential looking, habituation, EEG, fMRI, microgenetic approaches, as well as traditional experimental techniques and physiological measures. Students are encouraged to visit individual labs for more specific information about on-going research.
Main areas of emphasis depend on student's area of specialization in MR/DD Psychology.
The MR/DD-Developmental track deals with issues such as normal and abnormal life span development,
early intervention, and habilitation; the MR/DD-Clinical track focuses on psychopathology in mental
retardation, which includes issues of classification, assessment, treatment, and prevention of behavior
problems and psychiatric disorders; the MR/DD-Industrial/Organizational track concentrates on issues of
human services administration, public policy, and employment of persons with developmental disabilities.
Current faculty research interests in developmental disabilities include epidemiology, classification, behavior
management, and psychopharmacotherapy of severe aberrant behaviors (antisocial behavior, stereotypy and
self-injurious behavior) and psychiatric disorders (Including autism, specific reading disorders, depression,
anxiety, fear, panic); psychotherapy research; psychological and cognitive correlates of psychiatric disorders;
applied behavior analysis and ecobehavioral analysis; development of diagnostic tests and assessment instruments
for adaptive and maladaptive behavior; socio-emotional development; health promotion.
There are three areas of specialization within the quantitative program:
(1) traditional quantitative methods, including multivariate quantitative methods and models,
measurement theory, and model selection; (2) judgment and decision making, including modeling
and experimental studies of human judgment and decision processes; (3) mathematical psychology,
including development and application of mathematical models of psychlogical processes.
Students can focus their studies in one area, or a combination. The program helps students develop
and expand their mathematical, statistical, and computer skills, and encourages them to apply those
skills to substantive areas in psychology. There is considerable flexibility to accommodate students
with a variety of interests.
Faculty research includes quantitative methods such as covariance structure models, factor analysis,
categorical data analysis, models of multilevel data, clustering, and multidimensional scaling;
mathematical modeling of human judgment and decision processes, including axiomatic, algebraic, connectionist
and stochastic approaches; and model selection methods.
Students, faculty, and prominent visiting scholars interact in weekly seminars.
The area supports several microcomputer laboratories, including a judgment and decision making laboratory.
Main areas of emphasis: attitudes and persuasion, social cognition, attribution, political pyschology,
intergroup relations and personality processes and individual differences. Applied opportunities and
training are also available in consumer psychology and health psychology.
The program emphasizes the acquisition of research and conceptual skills. Current research and theory are
evaluated in weekly seminars, many of which are conducted by outstanding visiting scholars. Laboratory
space and equipment, including computer-based attitudes and social cognition laboratories, closed-circuit
audio/video facilities and one-way observation rooms, permit the study of the full range of social processes.