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Swift Thinking: 2008 Winter


Spring Courses

A table showing our anticipated course offerings for Spring is available online. The table includes information on meeting days and times. In addition, it indicates which major and minor requirements each course can fulfill, whether a course is available for preregistration, and whether you need permission to enroll.

Please check this table and the registrar's webpages for updates. Descriptions of psychology courses are available through the registrar's webpages.

Preregistering for Spring Courses

The psychology department will be offering preregistration through CAESAR for almost all of our courses the week prior to regular registration. 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.

The only courses not available for preregistration for Spring quarter are Psych 101-Freshman Seminar, Psych 205-Research Methods, Dr. Engeln-Maddox’s section of Psych 357–Advanced Seminar in Personality, Clinical, or Social Psychology, and 397/398/399 research courses. Details on how to sign up for these courses are below.

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 all other courses requiring department or instructor permission, a wait list will be maintained in the Psychology department office. As students drop a course, permission numbers will be distributed to those on the list.

All psychology courses will require department permission during the add period (the first week of spring 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. (If you wait until after preregistration, then it will not count toward your two-course preregistration maximum.)



Tuesday, February 19

1:00 - 4:00


Wednesday, February 20

9:00 - noon


Wednesday, February 20

1:00 - 4:00

If you are unable to go to the office at your scheduled time, then go as soon after that as you can. Remember that Psych 201-Statistical Methods in Psychology is a prerequisite for Psych 205.

Other Courses Requiring Department or Instructor Permission

You will need permission to register for Psych 357 – Advanced Seminar in Personality, Clinical, or Social: Psychological Tests and Measures with Dr. Renee Engeln-Maddox. For this course, students must have taken Psych 205-Research Methods in Psychology, and either Psych 204, Psych 215, or Psych 303. Students should go to the department office and see Ms. Ginger Gilmore during preregistration to request permission numbers, according to the following schedule:


Tuesday, February 19

1:00 - 4:00


Wednesday, February 20

9:00 - noon


Wednesday, February 20

1:00 - 4:00

Ms. Gilmore will check that you have completed the prerequisites for the course, and give you a permission number if there is room in the course. For more information on this class, see the article on special courses .

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, February 19. 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 in Psych 398-Senior Honors Seminar will need permission numbers to register as well. Permission numbers will be available in the department office beginning Tuesday, February 19th, for everyone participating in the honors program this year.

Special Courses For Spring Quarter

Psych 314 – Special Topics: Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (Dr. Sue Mineka)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a leading treatment for many emotional and behavioral problems. This course should be of special interest to students thinking of careers in clinical psychology and to other students as well. The course will provide students who have completed Psych 303-Psychopathology with an enhanced understanding of the scientific foundations of cognitive-behavior therapy for a wide range of disorders--anxiety disorders, depression, addictive disorders, sexual disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, personality disorders, etc. Lectures, readings, and discussion will focus on the scientific rationale for different treatments, as well as scientific evidence showing that certain treatments work and how they work. Some exposure to case examples will also be provided. Comparisons with other scientifically validated treatments such as medications and interpersonal psychotherapy will be made.

The prerequisite for this course is Psych 303-Psychopathology, either taken previously or concurrently (i.e. Spring 2008). If you have not taken Psych 303, please contactProf. Mineka for permission to enroll. For more information, see the Registrar’s course description.

Psych 314 – Special Topics: Introduction to Schools of Psychotherapy (Dr. Carol Donnelly)

Clinical psychology is the application of theoretical perspectives to an individual, couple or group for the purpose of psychological healing. This course will investigate, within a ‘biological-psychological-social’ framework, the major theoretical perspectives, their views on normal and abnormal development, and their therapeutic interventions. Special focus will be given to competing and controversial perspectives both between and within paradigms. The emphasis will be on Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Humanistic, and Psychopharmacological approaches with some background discussion on recent developments in Neuroscience. For more information, see the Registrar’s course description.

Psych 357 - Advanced Seminar in Personality, Clinical, or Social Psychology: Lab in Psychological Tests and Measures (Dr. Renee Engeln-Maddox)

What do IQ tests really measure? Do psychologists still show people inkblots? Why does my future employer want me to take a personality test? This course will address these and many other questions related to the current science of psychological tests and measurements. The assessments we'll focus on will primarily be from the fields of clinical and personality psychology. We will also cover some tests relevant to social psychology and industrial-organizational psychology. Course topics include the theory behind psychological testing and assessment; the historical context for psychological testing and related legal and ethical considerations; the basics of test construction and evaluation, including reliability, validity, and standardization; and common measures of personality, psychopathology, and ability, and their psychometric properties. 

During the course, you will work to develop your own measure of a psychological construct and to evaluate the psychometric soundness of test scores resulting from this measure. After successful completion of this course, you should be able to demonstrate proficiency with regard to the terminology and concepts involved in psychological testing, conduct relevant statistical analyses including factor analysis, demonstrate an understanding of the purposes and applications of commonly used psychological tests, and critically evaluate the use and misuse of psychological testing, both historically and presently. This course is highly recommended for those hoping to pursue graduate study in psychology and those planning to do an honors thesis in psychology.

The prerequisite for this course is Psych 205 - Research Methods and one of the following: Psych 204, Psych 215, or Psych 303. This course can count toward both theColumn A (personality/social/clinical) and upper-level research requirements for psychology majors. For more information, see the Registrar’s course description.

See Other Courses Requiring Department or Instructor Permission for details on how to register for this course.

Psych 357 - Advanced Seminar in Personality, Clinical, or Social Psychology: Psychology of Life Stories (Dr. Dan McAdams)

The past decade has witnessed an upsurge of interest among psychologists and other social scientists in autobiographical recollections, life stories, and narrative approaches to understanding human behavior and experience. The course examines the use of narrative (that is, story-based) methods and concepts in contemporary psychological research and the techniques and rationales for narrative therapy in clinical work. Students will also conduct a small life-story research project. The course seeks to link science and clinical practice in the psychology of life stories.

The prerequisite for this course is Psych 205 - Research Methods. This course can count toward both the Column A (personality/social/clinical) and upper-level research requirements for psychology majors. For more information, see theRegistrar’s course description.

Psych 357 - Advanced Seminar in Personality, Clinical, or Social Psychology: The Self and Identity (Dr. Wendi Gardner)

This seminar will focus upon social psychological research and theory concerned with the self and issues of identity. Classic and contemporary readings will be used to illustrate basic issues concerning the study of the self, including issues related to the self-concept, self-esteem, and self-regulation. 

The prerequisite for this course is Psych 205 - Research Methods. This course can count toward both the Column A (personality/social/clinical) and upper-level research requirements for psychology majors. For more information, see theRegistrar’s course description.

Psych 358 - Advanced Seminar in Cognition or Neuroscience: Psychology of Learning Design and Technology (Dr. David Rapp)

This course provides an introduction to theory and practice in the development of technologies for both formal and informal learning, in the classroom, the workplace, and our everyday world. The course will examine a variety of design approaches for developing and implementing effective instructional/ training materials for individuals and organizations. The topics covered in this course will be directly relevant for students interested in education, psychology, learning and organizational change, engineering, and computer science, to name some of the domains directly involved in the design of effective learning experiences.

The prerequisite for this course is Psych 205 - Research Methods. This course can count toward both the Column B (cognitive/neuroscience) and upper-level researchrequirements for psychology majors. For more information, see the Registrar’s course description.

News from the UPA

by Stacy Grossman (, UPA President

The Undergraduate Psychology Association is planning some exciting events for winter quarter, but first we would like to extend a big thank you to our members for participating in our fall quarter events!

Last quarter, we hosted a meet and greet for incoming psychology majors and minors.  Professors Broaders and Finkel, along with the UPA board, offered advice to new students and answered their questions.  Additionally, Professors Durbin, Rapp, Suzuki, Engeln-Maddox, Chiao, and Herrera served as panelists for our Graduate School in Psychology event.  They provided us with thoughtful advice on everything from admissions to life as a graduate student. 

This quarter, we will be hosting a Psychology-related Career Panel. Panelists will include: Dr. Danielle Black, a Clinical Psychologist from The Family Institute; Shipra Parikh, a Northwestern alumna and Social Worker; Dr. Christopher Bauman, a postdoc at the Kellogg School of Management; and more exciting panelists with other diverse backgrounds.  Our panelists will discuss careers in the field of psychology, as well as opportunities in the fields of education, policy, business, and more!  This event will take place on Monday, February 18th, from 5:30-7:00pm in Annenberg Hall G21.

Additionally, on Saturday, February 16th, a group of students from the UPA will be volunteering their time at the Anixter Center in Evanston.  The residents at this home are people our age who have been living together since they were children.  They have mental and physical disabilities and very much appreciate visitors to do art, story, or music activities with them. If you are interested in going or want more information, please contact Carolyn at ASAP.  We need to finalize the list of volunteers before the event.

Next quarter, we plan on hosting a “Path to graduate school” information sessionfeaturing current Northwestern graduate students.  Lastly, we will be holding UPA elections in April, and we would like to encourage you to begin thinking about running for a position – there are many opportunities to get involved.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact the UPA board members at any time with questions and suggestions for UPA events.

If you would like to join our listserv, please email our Vice President, Yoon-Hee Hong, ( We encourage you to join because we will be sending out more detailed information about our events, as well as announcements about psychology-related opportunities both on-campus and in the community. We also encourage you to email the UPA executive board members with questions you have – we will do our best to answer them or to get you in touch with faculty members who can.  Also, please email us with ideas and suggestions for events because we greatly appreciate your input. We hope to see you at our upcoming events!

The UPA Board

The Senior Honors Program: Announcement for Current Juniors

Each spring a few juniors with outstanding records in psychology are invited into Psychology 398, the Senior Honors Program. Each participant in the honors program conducts a year-long research project under the guidance of a faculty member. The project culminates in the preparation of an honors thesis. In addition, honors students participate in a special honors seminar. Those students who fulfill all the requirements for the Honors Program are usually eligible to graduate with Honors in Psychology.

Students interested in participating in the Honors Program next year will need to submit formal applications this spring. Applications are due April 18, 2008. Additional information on the psychology honors program, including how to apply, is available online.


Research and Travel Awards for Undergraduates

Funds for Summer Research

It's still winter, but it's not too soon to start thinking about summer – and about the possibility of spending your summer doing research in our department. Each summer the Psychology Department offers two or more undergraduates a Benton J. Underwood Summer Research Fellowship. Professor Underwood was chair of the psychology department and a distinguished researcher in the field of memory. He worked to establish the fund that makes these fellowships possible. Last year, the amount of the fellowship was $3000.

Acceptance of an Underwood Fellowship implies a commitment to spend most of your summer working on research here at Northwestern with a psychology professor. Your exact schedule will be worked out with the professor who supervises your research. Both current juniors and current sophomores can apply for this award. However, priority will be given to current juniors. Work on an Underwood project often serves as the foundation for a senior honors project. (Receipt of an Underwood fellowship does not guarantee acceptance to our honors program.)

If you are interested in doing research this coming summer, you should look into other funding sources too. All Underwood applicants should also apply for a Northwestern University Summer Research Grant from the Undergraduate Research Grants Committee (URGC). Weinberg College also has funds for summer research by students (see the webpage on Weinberg College undergraduate research funds). Psychology students might also be interested in undergraduate summer research fellowships from the Cognitive Science Program or the summer research assistants program through the Institute for Policy Research.  Different funding sources have different selection criteria, and applying to more than one will enhance your chances of receiving an award. 

To apply for an Underwood Fellowship, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a faculty member to supervise your research and talk with him or her about what you will be doing and what your time commitment will be. You should also talk with the faculty member about the need for Institutional Review Board approval for your planned project.
  2. Prepare an application in which you include (a) a statement describing your plans for this research (this can be the same proposal you submit to the university's grants committee); (b) a copy of your transcript (an unofficial transcript is fine); and (c) information about your general interests in psychology, your relevant course work, your previous research experience, and anything else that you think is relevant.
  3. Have the faculty member who will supervise your research write a confidential letter of support for your application.
  4. Get your application and letter of support to Joan Linsenmeier by Friday, March 14. This is also the deadline for submitting summer grant applications to the University's Undergraduate Research Grants Committee and the Cognitive Science Program.

The Hunt Award for Undergraduate Research

If you are actively involved in doing psychology research this year--as an honors project, a 397 or 399, or in some other way--consider submitting a paper for the William A. Hunt Award. Dr. Hunt was a distinguished clinical psychologist and a past chair of our department. The Hunt Award goes to the undergraduate 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 Dr. David Uttal by Friday, May 2nd.

The Lois Elizabeth Henrikson Undergraduate Travel Award

The psychology department is happy to announce an award to fund student travel to professional conferences. The Henrikson Award provides up to $400 to support students presenting their work at conferences. The money can be used to pay for conference fees and travel expenses. Preference will go to students who are first author on the presentation. The application for this award is due February 14th , 2008. There will be another application period in April for conferences later in the spring and summer. Please submit your applications to Dr. Wendi Gardner via email. Put "Undergraduate Travel Award" in the subject line

In addition to providing this information, please ask your faculty sponsor to write a brief letter of recommendation describing your role in the research. This letter can be emailed to Dr. Gardner as well. Please ask your faculty sponsor to put “Undergraduate Travel Award” in the subject line.

Northwestern University Psychology Research Opportunity Grants (NUPROG)

The Northwestern University Psychology Research Opportunity Grants (NUPROG) program was designed to enhance the research involvement of NU undergraduates interested in graduate study in psychology. The NUPROG program aims to increase the diversity among students who go on to graduate education in all areas of psychology. Students who are from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate psychology programs (e.g., certain racial and ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, etc.) are encouraged to apply for NUPROG awards. Each student who applies for a NUPROG award must have a faculty sponsor in the psychology department. Academic year awards cover research expenses and summer awards may cover research and/or be applied toward living expenses. We anticipate making three awards of up to $500 each but requests up to $1500 will be considered as long as the student provides a detailed budget and budget justification. At the conclusion of the project, students who receive a NUPROG award will be expected to turn in a written report summarizing their research project.

To apply:

  1. Complete a Northwestern University Psychology Research Opportunity Grants application form; forms can be downloaded from the Psychology Department website.
  2. Complete a short project proposal (approximately two pages) including a clear specification of the timeframe for the project.
  3. Have the faculty member who will supervise your research write a confidential letter of support.
  4. Submit a copy of your transcript (an unofficial copy is fine)
  5. In the case of requests exceeding $500, complete a detailed budget and budget justification.

All application materials should be submitted to Dr. Wendi Gardner, Department of Psychology, 102 Swift Hall.

The department will accept new applications and make awards on a rolling basis.

Lab Notes

Franconeri Lab

Work in the Visual Attention & Cognition Lab 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.  Students interested in volunteering in the lab should contact Dr. Franconeri.

Rosenfeld Lab

The Rosenfeld lab researches the mechanisms and detection of deception. We were the first to publish the use of brain wave indices of deception, but recently learned that these protocols may be defeated with countermeasures that subjects easily learn. Thus, preventing countermeasures is a recent objective. Our projects recently included development and application of a new, theoretically determined, brain-wave based, countermeasure-resistant protocol which accurately diagnoses more than 95% of both innocent and guilty persons whether or not the guilty subjects use countermeasures. In another project, we present key items subliminally and note their (subliminal priming) effect on responses to supraliminal stimuli. This method detects 86% of subjects accurately, but guarantees that countermeasures are not possible since the key stimuli are not perceived, and therefore cannot be countered. We are also in a joint project (with a Harvard scientist) that uses event related brain potentials ("P300") and the BOLD fMRI signal to study what the cognitive mechanisms of deception are, e.g., conflict (between true and false answer) and recognition (of denied but familiar information).

Uttal and Gentner Labs

From Professors Uttal and Gentner comes this news release:

There’s More to Photos Than Meets the Eye

Young children learn to understand photographs through an interesting series of developmental events, new research by SESP associate professor David Uttal and his colleagues has found. We often take understanding of photographs for granted, says Uttal. Because photographs are pictures, we assume that children immediately understand them. “But just because a symbol is visual does not mean it is inherently understandable,” explains Uttal. Some aspects of photograph understanding require learning and development. His recent study with psychology professor Dedre Gentner, Linda Liu and Alison Lewis investigated how young children grow in their understanding of photographs. Building on their prior work, the study compared children from 3 to 7 years of age, as well as adults, in their understanding of photographs showing arrangements of objects. 

The researchers found that younger children recognized when the objects were the same as those shown in photographs. However, older children and adults went a step further. They also took into consideration when objects were in the same position relative to each other. This progression shows a development in children’s understanding of the similarity between photographs and what they show. Significantly, the research highlights how children develop understanding of similarities. They grow in their ability to recognize ways that photographs are similar to their referents. Ideas about similarity develop gradually and in a predictable way, the study found.

“The developmental perspective makes us think about this in a new light,” Uttal notes. “Children’s conceptions of photographs continue to develop well into the elementary school years.” The research, which involved 130 participants in a series of three experiments, is published in the current issue of Developmental Science. It was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the Institute for Education Sciences.