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Swift Thinking: 2010 Winter

Registration Information

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 website for updates. Descriptions of psychology courses are available through the registrar's website. 

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.

Courses not open for preregistration. The only courses not available for preregistration for Spring quarter are:
* Psych 101-Freshman Seminar
* Psych 205-Research Methods (all sections)
* Psych 314–Special Topics: Cognitive Behavior Therapy with Dr. Mineka (only this section)
* Psych 340-Psychology and Law
* Psych 394-Professional Linkage Seminar 
* 397/398/399 research courses

Students can register for Psych 340 and Psych 394 at their regular registration times. Details on how to sign up for Psych 205, for Psych 397, 398, and 399, and for Dr. Mineka’s 314 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.)



Monday, February 15

9:00 - noon


Tuesday, February 16

9:00 - noon

Sophomores and Freshmen

Wednesday, February 17

9:00 - noon

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 (or an approved substitute) is a prerequisite for Psych 205

Other Courses Requiring Department or Instructor Permission

You will need permission to register for Psych 314-Special Topics: Cognitive Behavior Therapy with Dr. Mineka. You must complete Psych 303-Psychopathology BEFORE you take this course; you may not take both courses at the same time. Students should go to the department office and see Ms. Brenda Robertson during preregistration to obtain the form required to register for the course. You may obtain this form according to the following schedule (or as soon as possible after your scheduled time): 


Monday, February 15

9:00 - noon


Tuesday, February 16

9:00 - noon


Wednesday, February 17

9:00 - noon

Ms. Robertson will check that you have completed the prerequisites for the course and will 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 Thursday, February 18. 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 Seminar will need permission numbers to register as well. Permission numbers will be available in the department office beginning Thursday, February 18, for everyone participating in the honors program this year. 

Special Courses For Spring Quarter

In Spring 2010 the psychology department will be offering four sections of Psych 314-Special Topics, two sections of Psych 357-Advanced Seminar, two sections of Psych 358-Advanced Seminar, and a special Psych 394-Professional Linkage Seminar. Descriptions of these courses, as well as information on their prerequisites and how they can count toward requirements, are below.

Psych 394 – Professional Linkage Seminar
Psych 314 – Special Topics in Psychology
Psych 357 and 358 – Advanced Seminar

Psych 394 – Professional Linkage Seminar: Culture and Education: The Challenges and Opportunities in American Indian Education  (Dr. Megan Bang)

Weinberg College Professional Linkage Seminars allow students to explore links between the academic programs of the College and issues and practice in the outside world. Students will have the opportunity this spring to take a Professional Linkage Seminar with Dr. Megan Bang, the Director of Education for the American Indian Center in Chicago. Dr. Bang earned her PhD from Northwestern and studies cross-cultural differences in thinking and learning, with a focus on American Indian cultures. The course is designed to develop a historically informed perspective on contemporary challenges and opportunities in Indian education. First students will be oriented to contemporary Native America to ensure that they are working from contemporary perspectives and realities.  Students will consider the fundamental roles and purposes of education as they relate to American Indian societies and to the broader U.S. They will then examine how these roles and purposes have changed over the course of American history.  Students will explore the impacts and implications of this history in order to turn towards contemporary challenges in American Indian education. The course will ground students’ grappling with these challenges in three main dimensions: Native intellectual traditions, language, and educational infrastructure. As part of the course requirements, students will explore a current educational effort underway in a Native community.

Enrollment in this course is limited to 15 students. Because it is being offered through the Weinberg College “Professional Linkage Seminar” program, it is not available for preregistration by psychology majors and minors and is open only to students in WCAS.  It can count as a 300-level course for the major or minor in psychology. For more information, see the course description in CAESAR.


Psych 314 – Special Topics: Dangerous Ideas (Dr. Mike Bailey and Aaron Greenberg)

Are there some things that we are better off not knowing? Are there scientific hypotheses that should not be considered because they are so dangerous or unorthodox or offensive? The claim that we are better off without some kinds of knowledge or that we should resist openly discussing certain ideas, even in the university, is sometimes made about controversial ideas. Historical examples have included the possibility that humans evolved via natural selection and that God did not create the universe. Current examples addressed by psychologists and others include: the possibility that some behavioral differences between races or sexes are not socially caused; research on sexual orientation that may allow parents to influence their children's sexual orientation; the (possibly mild) consequences of childhood sexual abuse; and that humans have evolved adaptations for morally repugnant behavior (e.g., rape).

Students in this class will directly consider several dangerous ideas (including the aforementioned examples), examining the evidence for them and against them. For each dangerous idea, the class will examine the reasons why some people insist it is too dangerous for consideration, as well as the costs and benefits of studying it versus failing to study it. The prerequisite for this class is Psych 110, and it counts as a 300-level course for psychology majors and minors. For more information, see the course description in CAESAR.

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.

Enrollment in this class is by permission only; see the article on courses requiring permission for details. The prerequisite is Psych 303-Psychopathology. It counts as a 300-level course for psychology majors and minors. For more information, see the course description in CAESAR.

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 and their views on normal, 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. The prerequisite for this class is Psych 303-Psychopathology. It counts as a 300-level course for psychology majors and minors. For more information, see the course description in CAESAR.

Psych 314 – Special Topics: Psychology of Instructional 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 110. It counts as a 300-level course for psychology majors and minors. With permission, it can also count toward the Column B (cognitive psychology/neuroscience) requirement; contact Joan Linsenmeier for details. For more information, see the course description in CAESAR.

PSYCH 357 and PSYCH 358 – ADVANCED SEMINAR (4 sections)

Psych 357 - Advanced Seminar in Personality, Clinical, or Social Psychology: The Self (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.  It can count toward both the Column A (personality/social/clinical) andupper-level research requirements for psychology majors. For more information, see the course description in CAESAR.

Psych 357 - Advanced Seminar in Personality, Clinical, or Social Psychology: Political Psychology (Dr. Craig Joseph)

Political psychology is as old as psychological science itself – older, in fact, since people have been thinking and writing about the relationships between psychology and politics since ancient times and in many cultures.  This course is an intensive survey of the phenomena, theories, and research methods that have defined political psychology, from its earliest beginnings as a scientific discipline to its most current contributions.

Throughout the course, we will be tracing three intertwined topics.  The first is theoretical: we will survey the major theoretical perspectives in political psychology, especially those deriving from psychoanalysis, social psychology, decision making, and public opinion and attitude research.  The second is substantive: an exploration of the various phenomena studied by political psychologists, including voting behavior, ideology, authoritarianism and radicalism, identity, nationalism, ethnic conflict and violence, charismatic leadership, political culture, terrorism, and “sacred values.”  The third is methodological: we will continuously pay explicit attention to the diverse research methods that have been used in political psychology, including survey research, attitude scaling, the analysis of Q methodology, the semantic differential, projective tests, and in-depth interviewing.  Students will get hands-on experience using these methods, and one of the primary topics of discussion throughout the course will be the question of matching methods to research questions: what do different methods offer, and what are they unable to offer, in the way of understanding politics?

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

Psych 358 - Advanced Seminar in Cognition or Neuroscience: Early Learning and Conceptual Development (Dr. Sandra Waxman)

Word-learning, perhaps more than any other aspect of human development, stands at the very intersection of language and cognition. This course will be devoted to the topic of word-learning, cognitive development, and the relation between them in infancy and early childhood. The very best work in this area draws upon strong theoretical traditions in psychology and linguistics to discover new insights into existing evidence and to forge new programs of research that are well-informed by each of the intellectual traditions. In this course, we will consider both traditions. We will take advantage of recent reviews and primary source materials. The first several weeks will be focused on fundamental psychological issues, including notions such as 'domain specificity', 'core knowledge', 'universality', 'innateness' and the shaping role of experience. We next go on to explore current evidence on word-learning and its relation to conceptual development. All along the way, we will consider the ways in which cross-species, cross-linguistic, and cross-cultural developmental research can inform these issues. In the final weeks, we will focus on infants growing up bilingual. 

This is an advanced, writing-intensive and participation-intensive seminar. There is no text and the reading will consist largely of primary source materials. Both undergraduates and graduate students may enroll, and all students will be expected to summarize and critique seminar readings. The two groups will meet together for one session each week (Tuesday, 2:00-3:20), and there will also be a separate weekly meeting for each group (Thursday 2:00-3:20 for undergraduates).  

The prerequisites for this course are Psych 205 plus at least one course in cognitive or developmental psychology; students who lack the prerequisites will not be permitted to take the course. The course can count toward both the Column B (cognitive psychology/neuroscience) and upper-level research requirements for psychology majors. For more information, see the course description in CAESAR.

Psych 358 - Advanced Seminar in Cognition or Neuroscience: Consciousness (Dr. Satoru Suzuki)

What is consciousness? Do we have it, do we need it, why do we think about it, is it real, is it a physical entity, is it pure computation, is it fundamentally unknowable? The course reviews how psychologists, neuroscientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, and physicists have tackled fundamental questions about consciousness. Students will discuss book chapters and scientific articles to evaluate what neural processes and/or computational principles could account for subjective awareness, and what the current scientific evidence says about the existence (or non-existence) of free will. Students will also develop their own theories of consciousness. The prerequisite for this course is Psych 205 (or a biology/physics background). This course can count toward both the Column B (cognitive psychology/neuroscience) and upper-level research requirements. For more information, see the course description in CAESAR.

News from the UPA

By Carolyn Hsu (

Welcome to Winter Quarter 2010 from the UPA!  Last quarter enjoyed a successful Graduate School Panel where Professors Hespos, Reber, Richeson, and Zinbarg shared their wisdom and advice about how to get into graduate school, how to choose graduate schools, and other advice for those pursuing graduate studies in psychology.  We also held a Lunch with a Prof with Professor Rosengren who talked about his research in Mexico on children’s thoughts about death, among other topics.  There was a second Lunch with a Prof with Professor Franconeri who gave examples of his research on how humans group visual items and compare them.

We have a lot of great events in the works this quarter.  The annual Career Panel will give undergraduates insight on the variety of careers they can pursue with their degree in psychology.  Location, date, and time will be announced as soon as they are determined.  We will have two more Lunch with a Profs this quarter, so look out on our listserv for those advertisements.  We are continuing to volunteer at Rice Center (contact: and with Natural Ties (contact:  Also, looking to the future, we are setting the foundations for a Psychology Alumni Network in which undergraduate Psychology majors and minors will be able to access information and contact alumni who studied psychology at Northwestern through the Blackboard site.

To join the listserv and receive our most up-to-date news, contact Bonnie at  And as always, if you have any suggestions, comments, or questions about UPA, don’t hesitate to contact any one of our Executive Board members listed below.  We’re looking forward to a great quarter with you!

Carolyn Hsu, President:
Bonnie Vu, Vice President:
Stephanie Richman, Secretary:
Scott Beymer, Treasurer:
Katie Belleville, Academic Chair:
Josilyn Banks, Community Outreach Chair:
Rachel Salk, Events Implementation Chair:
Aime Lynn Goudie, Social Chair:
Stacy Congdon, Publicity Chair:

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 a senior 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. Updated information on this program, including details on how to apply, will be posted on our website on Honors in Psychology by March 8. 

Research and Travel Awards for Undergraduates

  • Congratulations to our Award Winners!
  • Funds for Summer Research
  • Hunt Award for Undergraduate Research
  • Henrikson Conference Travel Awards

Congratulations to our Award Winners

Five psychology majors were awarded Undergraduate Research Grants in Fall 2009 for their research in our department. Congratulations to:  
* Jesse Bastiaens (adviser: Dan Molden) 
* Daniel Hegeman (adviser: Peter Rosenfeld) 
* Timothy Hermann (adviser: Eli Finkel) 
* Stephanie Richman (adviser: Wendi Gardner) 
* Rachel Salk (adviser: Renee Engeln-Maddox)

The Undergraduate Research Grants Program, funded by the Office of the Provost, offers Academic Year Grants (up to $1000) and Summer Grants ($3000) to undergraduates pursuing independent research projects.   The remaining deadlines for 2009-10 are February 23 (for Academic Year Grants) and March 12 (for Summer Grants). More information is available at .

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. Students who accept these fellowships spend most of the summer working on research at Northwestern with a psychology professor. The exact schedule is worked out with the professor who supervises the research. Both current juniors and current sophomores can apply for this award; priority is given to current juniors.  Work on an Underwood project often serves as the foundation for a senior thesis 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 summer research fellowships from the Cognitive Science Program.  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 12. 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, April 30.

The Henrikson Undergraduate Conference Travel Award

Are you doing research with a psychology faculty member? Do you hope to present your research at an academic conference? The Lois Elizabeth Henrikson Award provides funds for psychology students presenting their work at conferences, including those geared specifically for undergraduates and those sponsored by regional or national organizations. Preference is given to students who are first author on the presentation. 

Applications for the Henrikson Award are due March 1, 2010. Students hoping to attend conferences later in the spring or in the summer can submit applications by the spring quarter due date, April 12, 2010. Please submit your applications to Dr. Karl Rosengrenvia email. Put "Undergraduate Travel Award" in the subject line of the email. In the email, please include the following information: 
* Name 
* Class (e.g., sophomore, junior, senior) 
* Name of conference 
* Conference location 
* Dates of conference 
* Budget (conference fee; housing; transportation)       
* Title of presentation 
* Author/s on presentation (in order) 
* Abstract of conference presentation (250 words or less) 

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. Rosengren as well. Please ask your faculty sponsor to put “Undergraduate Travel Award” in the subject line. 
Students applying for the Henrikson award should look into other funding sources too. The university provides grants to assist students who are presenting the results of their research at professional conferences through its Undergraduate Research Grantsprogram. Information on Weinberg College grants is available through the college website on funds for undergraduate research.