Skip to main content

Swift Thinking: 2007 Spring

Registration Information

Fall Courses

Tables showing our anticipated undergraduate course offerings for Fall 2007 and a still-tentative Academic Year 2007-2008 course plan can be found online. Please check the registrar's website for updates to these schedules and descriptions of psychology courses.

Preregistering for Fall Courses

The psychology department will be offering preregistration through CAESAR for most of our courses the week prior to regular registration. To see which courses are available for preregistration, look at the “prereg” column in our Fall 2007 course schedule. All students listed as psychology or cognitive science majors or minors in the registrar's computerized system should be able to preregister through CAESAR for these courses.

Preregistration times are announced by the Registrar's Office. You can preregister for at most two courses .

Most courses not available for preregistration are those for which students need department or instructor consent in order to enroll. Psych 205, 397, 398, and 399 require department permission throughout the registration period. See the sections below on Registering for Psych 205 and on Other Courses Requiring Department Permission for additional information on these courses.

Wait Lists

Psychology courses are very popular, and they often close during registration. What should you do if a course you want to take has closed? That depends on which course it is.

For most of our courses, we will be using the "electronic wait list" function on CAESAR. If you try to add a course that is full, CAESAR will tell you that there are no openings and will ask if you would like to be on the wait list. As students drop the course, we will check the electronic wait list and send permission numbers to students who can enroll.

For Psych 205-Research Methods in Psychology (all sections), a wait list will be maintained in the Psychology department office.

All psychology courses will require department permission during the add period (the first week of fall classes). Course professors will prepare lists of students whom they have agreed to add to their courses, and these students will then receive permission numbers. In many cases, available slots will be offered to interested students who come to the first class and are nearest the top of the CAESAR wait list.

Registering for Psych 205-Research Methods

You will need a permission number in order to register for Psych 205-Research Methods in Psychology . Psychology and cognitive science majors and minors interested in this course should go to the department office, Swift 102, the week prior to registration to get permission numbers. You should be able to use your permission number to sign up for the course during preregistration or during your regular registration time. Remember that Psych 201-Statistical Methods in Psychology is a prerequisite for Psych 205 .

When to get your psych 205 permission number:

Juniors & Seniors: Tuesday, May 8 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Sophomores: Wednesday, May 9 9:00am - noon
Freshmen: Wednesday, May 9 1:00pm - 4:00pm

If you are unable to go to the office at your scheduled time, then go as soon after that as you can.

Other Courses Requiring Department or Instructor Permission

One great way to learn more about psychological research is to become actively involved in research activities through Psych 399-Independent Study or the two-quarter Psych 397-Advanced Supervised Research . This is especially valuable for students considering graduate study in psychology, and it can be an educational and enjoyable experience for others as well. To enroll in Psych 397 or Psych 399, you should get an application in the department office, fill it out, and have it signed by the professor with whom you will be working. Then, take the signed application to the department office to get a permission number for the course; permission numbers will be available beginning Tuesday, May 8. Remember that Psych 205-Research Methods in Psychology is a prerequisite for Psych 397 . For more information on 397 and 399 -- including the differences between them, how they count towards requirements, and tips on finding a research adviser -- see our webpage on doing research for course credit.

Students who will be taking Psych 398-Senior Honors Seminar next year will also need permission numbers. These will be available in the department office beginning Tuesday, May 8, for everyone on the list of students selected to participate in our honors program next year.

Special Courses for Fall Quarter

Psych 314 – Introduction to Schools of Psychotherapy

Professor Carol Donnelly will teach this course in the fall. See the registrar's webpagefor a course description.

Psych 357 – Advanced Seminar in Personality, Clinical, or Social Psychology: Social Psychology and the Unconscious Mind

Professor Galen Bodenhausen will teach this course in the fall. This course can count toward both the Column A (personality/social/clinical) and upper-level research requirements for psychology majors. Psychology 205 (research methods) is a pre-requisite for this course. See the registrar's webpage for a course description.

Psych 358 – Advanced Seminar in Cognition or Neuroscience: Left Brain, Right Brain

Professor Mark Jung-Beeman will teach this Advanced Seminar in the fall. This course can count toward both the Column B (cognition/neuroscience) and upper-level research requirements for psychology majors. Psychology 205 (research methods) is a pre-requisite for this course. See the registrar's webpage for a course description.

Psych 358 – Advanced Seminar in Cognition or Neuroscience: Memes, Genes, and the Mind

Professor Joan Chaio will teach this Advanced Seminar in Cognition or Neuroscience. This course can count toward both the Column B (cognition/neuroscience) and upper-level research requirements for psychology majors. Psychology 205 (research methods) is a pre-requisite for this course. See the registrar's webpage for a course description.

Psych Nite Announcement

What: A poster session of research by psychology students
When: Wednesday, May 16, 2006, from 4:15-6:00 pm
Where: Second Floor Landing of Swift Hall and Swift 231

Come hear this year's senior seminar students talk about their research in our department – and enjoy the refreshments too. Talking with these students is not only a good way to learn about the research they've done, but also a great way to learn more about opportunities for undergraduate student research in psychology. Here's a list of seminar students and their projects:

Jennifer Daniels
Moral Intuition and Their Effects on Political Identity in Religious Life Narrative

Leslie Halpern
Colorblind and Colormute: Avoiding Racial Labels During Interracial Interaction

Melissa Mitchell
Been There, Done That: Does Experience Moderate the Depleting Effect of Emotion Suppression?

Rebecca Newland
Children's Emergent Understanding of Letters as Symbols

Tim Paans
Who is Creative? The Influences of Culture and Motivation on Creativity

Michelle Rheinschmidt
Social Exclusion, Loneliness, and Perspective Taking

Maya Ragavan
Perceptions of Self or Perceptions of Ingroups: What is Driving the Ultimate Attributions Error?

Richard Yao
The Effects of Video Game Play on Visual Attention


News from the Undergraduate Psychology Association (UPA)

by Michelle Rheinschmidt, UPA President

Spring Quarter is an exciting time for the Undergraduate Psychology Association! In April, we collaborated with Kaplan on a GRE Information and Strategy Session that helped us sharpen our test-taking skills. We also co-sponsored an engaging set of lectures during Sex Week that featured one of our UPA advisers, Professor Finkel, and Professor Fenrich. At the end of April, we held our elections for the 2007-2008 Executive Board. We are proud to announce the new board members:

We (the outgoing board) are truly impressed with our new board members' ideas for the UPA, and we know that they have a great year ahead of them! The incoming executive board has begun working on a few projects for the end of the school year. First, the UPA would like to encourage all psychology majors and minors to nominate their favorite psychology professor for the UPA Distinguished Teaching Award. Each year, the UPA recognizes a professor who has “demonstrated dedication to undergraduates, creativity in the classroom, and enthusiasm for his/her field.” If you would like to submit a nomination, please write a brief paragraph, explaining why your professor is a great candidate for this award, and submit it to Marina at .

Towards the end of this quarter, the incoming board will also be planning a volunteer trip to Greenwood Care Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center and possibly a social event. The new board is excited for next year, and they have already begun generating some ideas for fall quarter events. However, they would love to hear your ideas for UPA events! Please email Stacy at with your suggestions. If you are not already receiving email updates about our events, please email Yoon-Hee at to subscribe to our listserv.

Finally, the outgoing board would like to thank our members for their enthusiasm and for attending our events throughout the past year. We hope that we have been a resource for you, and we encourage you to contact the new board members at any time with psychology- and department-related questions. Please feel free to ask them for advice as you sign up for your fall quarter classes.

Thank you again for a wonderful year!

The (Outgoing) UPA Executive Board

Summer Study in Psychology

Several psychology courses will be offered at Northwestern during the summer session. These include some courses taught during the regular academic year and some summer-only sections of Psych 314-Special Topics in Psychology. To learn more about NU Summer Session courses, pick up a summer session catalog at 405 Church Street or see the summer session website.

Taking Summer Courses at Another School

If you plan to take psychology courses at another school this summer and want to count them toward your NU degree, then you must have prior permission from the Weinberg Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising (OUSA) and from our department. Take your course descriptions to the OUSA at 1922 Sheridan Road , pick up the relevant forms, and then see either Prof. Linsenmeier or Prof. Broaders to talk about getting psychology department approval. You can schedule an appointment to see either of them with Ginger Gilmore in Swift 102 (phone 847-491-5190). Weinberg College guidelines and the petition form for courses taken away from Northwestern are also available online.

The Hunt Award for Undergraduate Research

Each year the Psychology Department chooses a student to receive the William A. Hunt Award . Dr. Hunt was a distinguished clinical psychologist and a past chair of our department. The award goes to the student judged to have written the best research paper in psychology. It includes a small cash prize and a mention in the Commencement program.

All students writing senior honors theses in psychology are considered for this award. Students who have completed a research paper as part of a 397 or 399 can apply as well; give a copy of your paper and a letter of support from the faculty member who supervised your research to Joan Linsenmeier by Wednesday, May 16th.

Graduate School Information

If you're thinking of doing graduate work in psychology, the department has several resources you may find helpful. One resource is the department webpage on graduate study in psychology. Florence Sales in the department office can lend you books with information on programs around the country. These include The Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology and two books from the American Psychological Association (APA), Graduate Study in Psychology and Getting In . In addition, our faculty members and graduate students can provide you with useful information about choosing a field of specialization, applying to graduate school, and what life as a graduate student is like.

If you're interested in clinical psychology, be sure to take a look at So You're Considering Graduate Study in Clinical Psychology .

Juniors: Time To Petition to Graduate

Spring quarter is the usual time to file your Application for a Bachelor's Degree . You need to file an application for each major you plan to complete, as well as a Minor Application if you plan to graduate with a minor. This is important for making sure that you haven't overlooked or misunderstood any graduation requirements--and that you and the degree auditors in the Registrar's Office agree on how your courses fit department, college, and university rules. It's also a good opportunity to think about how you'd like to spend your final year as an undergraduate student.

Forms should be submitted to the Registrar's Office a full year before you plan to graduate. If you expect to graduate next June with a major or minor in psychology, then this quarter is the time to do your petition. Get a copy of the appropriate form at the Registrar's Office or in our department office, or download it from the Registrar's webpage. You should fill the form out and then discuss it with either your psychology faculty adviser or Prof. Linsenmeier or Prof. Broaders. To schedule an appointment with Prof. Joan Linsenmeier or Prof. Sara Broaders, contact Ginger Gilmore in Swift 102 (phone 847-491-5190). Our tentative 2007-08 course schedule may be helpful to you as you complete the form.

After your form is signed, turn it in to the Registrar's Office. Be sure to look carefully at the feedback you get from the Registrar's office after you file this form.

Seniors: Complete Our Senior Survey

Please take the time to complete a short survey. We're asking about your plans for the future and about some of the experiences you've had in our department. This will help us to stay in touch and will guide our thinking about strengths and weaknesses of our undergraduate program. We also need to provide information on our graduates as part of Northwestern's re-accreditation process. So, please complete the survey and send us your responses. Thank you!

Seniors: Graduation Reception

The psychology department will honor all students graduating with a major in psychology at a reception on the day of commencement, June 15, 2007. The reception will take place from 2:00-3:30 P.M. in the lobby of Swift Hall. All of our graduating seniors and their families are invited to attend and to celebrate with us.

Lab Notes

Prof. David Rapp

In the Reading Comprehension Laboratory, we examine processes that underlie memory and language by integrating perspectives from cognitive psychology, educational psychology, and literary theory. Our psycholinguistic projects focus on understanding the role of higher-order cognitive processes in the service of comprehension. Current studies investigate a) naturalistic experiences of suspense, and readers' preferences for characters or desires for events, to assess how they influence ongoing comprehension of texts, b) conditions that facilitate or impede the likelihood readers will update prior knowledge, and how those conditions lead to comprehension successes and failures (i.e., false memory), and c) the degree to which particular naturalistic variables such as emotion/mood, instructional contexts, and seductive text content can influence readers' attention to different elements of texts. During the last quarter we have collected data for each of these ongoing projects, and plan on following those projects up with additional research. We enthusiastically encourage undergraduates interested in psycholinguistics, the learning sciences, memory processes, and any of the above topics to contact us for information about becoming actively involved in our lab activities. Students can earn course credit working as research assistants in the lab. E-mail Dr. Rapp for further information.

Prof. Renee Engeln-Maddox

Members of our research team have been hard at work on a number of studies examining body image-related issues in both women and men. Topics of research in this lab include the influence of media-created body ideals on self-perceptions, the impact of sexually provocative advertisements on beliefs about rape, and gender differences in actual and imagined experiences of sexual objectification. If you are interesting in getting involved in this research, please contact Dr. Engeln-Maddox for an application to work as a research assistant in the fall.

Prof. Steve Franconeri

The Visual Attention & Cognition Lab work explores how the visual system manages the overwhelming amount of information presented by the visual world. We study the tools that people use to sift through this information, such as eye movements, internal visual selection of location and features, and visual memory. We also study how these tools are used in seemingly simple processes such as the perception of spatial relations, to more complex processes like face and scene perception, or selecting objects that refuse to stay in one place. Our lab uses behavioral measures, as well as eyetracking and brain electrophysiology. Students interested in volunteering in the lab should contact Dr. Franconeri.

Prof. Sandra Waxman

Our research explores fundamental issues of early conceptual development, language development, and the relation between them. Infants live in an enormously rich environment that would be overwhelming if parts of this environment, such as objects and events, were treated as unique. Therefore, an essential developmental task is to form concepts to capture commonalities among their experiences and to learn words to express these. Recent research reveals powerful and implicit links between conceptual and linguistic organization, across development and across languages. Infants begin the task of word-learning with a broad initial expectation linking novel words to a range of commonalities. This sets the stage for the evolution of more specific expectations, linking particular kinds of words (e.g., noun, adjective, verb) to particular kinds of relations (e.g., category-, property-, and motion-based commonalities). The overarching goal of our current studies is to concentrate on two types of evidence that will bring us closer to understanding the origins and evolutions of these links between language and conceptual development. Both developmental and cross-linguistic evidence are essential in discovering the origin of infants' early expectations, identifying which might be universal, and specifying how these are shaped by experience with the native language under acquisition. For more information, please contact Dr. Sandra Waxman.

Awards and Accolades

Congratulations to the many psychology majors and minors who have won awards, presented papers at conferences, or been involved in other special activities this year. Listed below are some of the students in our department who have received recognition for their achievements this year.

Three students will receive Underwood Fellowships for research this summer from the Department of Psychology:

Five students will receive Undergraduate Research Grants funding for research this summer:

Weinberg College has selected Aisha Smith as a recipient of a Davee Foundation Summer Fellowship.

The Psychology Department is pleased to announce that Rebecca Newland andMarina Miloslavsky both received funds from the Lois Elizabeth Henrikson Undergraduate Travel Award to present their research at a meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development in Boston .

Congratulations to Professor Sandra Waxman , who was recently awarded both a Cattell Sabbatical Fellowship and a Guggenheim fellowship. These are both extremely competitive awards and are a testament to the high quality research she produces. Dr. Waxman plans to use these funds to facilitate writing a book.