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Swift Thinking: 2008 Spring

Registration Information

Fall Courses

Tables showing our anticipated undergraduate course offerings for Fall 2008 and a still-tentative Academic Year 2008-2009 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 2008 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, 326, 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) and Psych 326 – Social and Personality Development, wait lists 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 13          

 1:00pm - 4:00pm


Wednesday, May 14

 9:00am - noon


Wednesday, May 14

 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

You will need permission to register for Psych 326 – Social and Personality Development with Professor Emily Durbin. Applications for permission to enroll will be available from Ms. Ginger Gilmore in the psychology department office, according to the following schedule:

Juniors & Seniors       

Tuesday, May 13th          

1:00 - 4:00


Wednesday, May 14th

9:00 - noon


Wednesday, May 14th

1:00 - 4:00

The application will ask you to indicate how you have fulfilled the prerequisites for the course (Psych 205 plus at least one of the following: 204, 215, and 218). Accepted students will be given permission numbers and will then be able to enroll through CAESAR. 

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 13. 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 13, for everyone on the list of students selected to participate in our honors program next year.

Special Courses for Fall Quarter

Psychology 150 – Advanced Introductory Psychology
This new course will be open only to first-quarter Northwestern students who have received a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Psychology exam or have completed an Introductory Psychology course elsewhere. The course is not open for May registration, and it is not open to students who are already enrolled at NU. Additional information will be provided to eligible students in the summer. Through readings, discussions, lectures, and hands-on experiences, students in the course will explore principles of scientific psychology at an advanced level. 

Psych 314 – Special Topics: Native American Culture(s) and the Environment
Prof. Doug Medin will teach this course in the fall, which will focus on Native-Americans, culture and cultural processes, and environmental decision making. Some have argued that Native Americans have a spiritual connection with nature that leads them to respect and protect the environment. Others have suggested that "the ecological Indian" is a myth. This course will examine some of these ideas with a primary focus on research relevant to these questions. Students will prepare an analysis of contemporary Native-American cultures in relation to the environment and propose further studies. See the registrar's webpage for further information. 

Psych 314 – Special Topics: The Brain and Memory
Prof. Aryeh Routtenberg will teach this course in the fall. This course will explore the following questions: Where are memories stored in brain? How are those memories stored in particular neural networks? What synaptic modifications take place to alter the network properties? What molecular events occur on both sides of the synapse to modify this nodal point? What are the latest attempts to deal with disorders of memory in aging such as Alzheimer's disease? What new information are gene targeting studies in knockout mice and conditional mutants providing? What do brain imaging studies tell us about human memory? See the registrar's webpage for further information and recommended prerequisites. 

Psych 358 – Advanced Seminar in Cognition or Neuroscience: Human Memory
Professor Ken Paller 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. This course concerns the scientific study of human memory. Key concepts will include: memory systems of the brain, amnesia, remembering, forgetting, encoding, consolidation, memory suppression, and memory distortion.  A cognitive neuroscience perspective will be emphasized.Psychology 205 (research methods) is a pre-requisite for this course. One or more of the following are recommended as additional prerequisites: Psych 361, 363, 364, 365, 324. See the registrar's webpage for more information.

Psych 371 -- Personality Research 
This course, formerly Psych 301, has been given a new course number. Prof. Bill Revelle will continue to be the instructor, and the course content and structure will be the same as in previous years. Psych 205 and 215 are still prerequisites for the course, and the course will continue to count toward the Column A and upper-level research requirements for psychology majors.

Psychology Honors Students and the Undergraduate Research Symposium

The psychology department has a stellar group of honors students this year!  Please consider attending the 2008 Undergraduate Research Symposium to see these students present the results of their honors research. The symposium will be held in Norris University Center on Monday, May 19. In addition to learning more about the impressive research efforts of these students, attendees can vote on their favorite posters.  Those students receiving the most votes will receive “People’s Choice” awards!
Here's a list of this year’s honors seminar students and their projects: 

Matthew Braslow
An Exploration of Faith and Politics: What Narratives Reveal

Diana Carlson
Cultural and Neural Differences in Perception and Learning of Physical Environment

Hira Diwan
Tick-Tock Clock: The Effect of Time-Related Stress on Time Management Skills

Alex Dybsky
Decision Making Processes in the Market Place

Janell Fetterolf
The Impact of Employment and Educational Attainment on Relationships, Career, and Wellbeing: A Possible Selves Study with Undergraduate Women

Stacy Grossman
Over the River and through the Woods: Parsing Continuous Human Action by 6- and 8-Month-Old Infants

Samantha Holland
Mach IV Scale Components and Trustworthiness Behavior

Andrea Katz
The Effect of Socioeconomic Status on Empathy and Helping

Emily Knight
The Effects of Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance on Memory, Evaluation and Attribution of Social Interactions

Maya Kuehn
How We Get Along: Social Strategies in Naturalistic Interaction

Alyse Lattanzi
The Promise and Pitfalls of Perspective Taking in Intergroup Contexts

Sarah Kate McGowan
Correlates Among Regional Brain Activity and Children's Emotions to Structured Tasks

Marina Miloslavsky
Possible Selves in Psychotherapy Narratives

Melanie Richmond
The Effects of Parental Psychopathology: Examining Parenting Behavior as a Mediator between Parental Depression and Anxiety and Child Internalizing Outcomes

Ashley Rolnik
Here's Looking at You: The Psychological Impact of Sorority Rush

Gene Schwartz
Family Size and Other Biodemographic Correlates of Sexual Orientation in Men

Leanne Silverman
Framing Effects on the Decision to Undergo Elective Eye Surgery

Jennifer Simpson
Do Actions Speak Louder than Words? Correlations Between Observer-Rated and Self-Reported Personality and Hypomania Measures

Deborah Son
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Misattribution of Arousal in Romantic Interracial Interactions

Monica Tang
Stimulus Probabilities in the Brainwave-based Complex Trial Protocol for Detection of Concealed Information

Samantha Topper
Regulatory Focus and Social Dilemmas: Promotion and Prevention in Strategic Decision Making

Anastasia Voskoboynik
Anthropomorphism in Children's Picture Books and Childhood Anthropocentrism

News from the Undergraduate Psychology Association (UPA)

by Stacy Grossman, UPA President

Spring Quarter is an exciting time for the Undergraduate Psychology Association! On May 7th at 7pm, we will be hosting a graduate student panel with Northwestern graduate students from psychology, Kellogg, and SESP. The event will be held in TechLR4 and is a good way to learn about graduate school options and the application process. Additionally, every other Saturday, members from the UPA have been volunteering at the Anixter Center, a home for young adults with severe mental and physical disabilities. If you are interested in volunteering, please email In the beginning 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 Emily at In addition, we will be having two more volunteer trips to Anixter Center and a social event towards the end of the quarter so look out for emails about these events!

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 Rachel at with your suggestions. If you are not already receiving email updates about our events, please email Carolyn 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

Stacy Grossman, President (
Yoon-Hee Hong, Vice President (
Rachel Ostrov, Treasurer (
Marina Miloslavsky, Secretary (
Nick Liadis, Academic Chair (
Carolyn Hsu, Community Service Chair (
Kira Geselowitz, Event Implementation Chair (
Marianne Abouyared, Publicity Chair (
Emily Medvin, SAB representative/community outreach chair (
Marissa Smith, Social Chair (

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, 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 automatically considered for this award and do not need to apply. Students who have completed a research paper as part of a 397 or 399 can be considered 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 14th.

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. 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 Considering Graduate Study in Clinical Psychology.

The Undergraduate Psychology Association (UPA) also sponsors programs each year for students interested in continuing their study of psychology at the graduate level. On May 7th at 7pm, they will host a panel with Northwestern graduate students from psychology, Kellogg, and SESP. See the article on UPA for more details.

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 Dr. Broaders, Dr. Engeln-Maddox, or Dr. Linsenmeier. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Broaders, Dr. Engeln-Maddox, or Dr. Linsenmeier, contact Ginger Gilmore in Swift 102 (phone 847-491-5190). Our tentative 2008-09 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 Friday, June 20, 2008. The reception will he held from 2:00-3:30 P.M. on the first floor of Swift Hall; a formal awards ceremony will take place at 2:30 in Swift 107. All of our graduating seniors and their families are invited to attend and to celebrate with us!

Lab Notes

Prof. Peter Rosenfeld

Prof. Rosenfeld’s lab has developed a wholly novel P300-based deception detector protocol just accepted by Psychophysiology. It is 90+ % accurate and resistant to countermeasures. This is an exciting development in the Rosenfeld lab’s ongoing research into the ability to use measures of brain activity to reliably distinguish between lying and truth-telling.

Prof. Steve Franconeri

The Visual Attention & Cognition Lab explores how the visual system manages the overwhelming amount of information presented by the visual world. Prof. Franconeri and his students 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. They 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. The 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

Prof. Waxman’s research explores fundamental issues of early conceptual development, language development, and the relation between the two. A recent article in “Cognitive Daily” provides details of an excellent example of this research.  Click here to read the article about Prof. Waxman’s research exploring how infants recognize words as different from non-language sounds. For more information, please contact Dr. Sandra Waxman.

Prof. Dedre Gentner

Prof. Gentner’s research was recently profiled in the New York Times.  Click here to read this fascinating article that includes information on how Prof. Gentner’s research informs ongoing debates about the interplay between language and perception. 

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:

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

Sally Martinez received a Cognitive Science Summer Fellowship.

The Psychology Department is pleased to announce that Diana Carlsonand Georgette Argiris both received funds from the Lois Elizabeth Henrikson Undergraduate Travel Award to present their research.  Additionally, Sarah Kate McGowanAshley Rolnik, Gene Schwartz, and Chris Warren have received Underwood Travel Awards to present their research.  

Several of our faculty members have been honored this year as well!

Prof. Alice Eagly has received the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Social Psychology by the American Psychological Foundation.  This prestigious award recognizes a distinguished career and enduring contribution to advancing psychological science.

Prof. Eli Finkel won a Sage Young Scholar Award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology.  This award recognizes those who “have demonstrated exceptional individual achievements in social and/or personality psychology, doing research placing them at the forefront of their peers and demonstrating innovation, creativity, and potential to make a significant impact on the field.”

Prof. Lance J. Rips received a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship. Prof. Rips will use this fellowship to pursue research on “Concepts of individuals and their persistence.” The project studies how people keep track of objects as these objects change over time, how they reorganize their concepts as the results of such changes, and how their decision making adapts to anticipated changes in their own future selves.