Research & Practica

Child development

The psychology curriculum prepares students to understand the diverse modes of psychological inquiry and trains them to carry out their own research studies. In addition to curricular preparation, students often work as part-time research assistants in faculty laboratories or carry out independent projects under faculty supervision. Each summer, several students remain on campus to conduct research. Grants and awards are available from the department and the College to fund this work. Many students have been co-authors of papers that have been presented at national research conferences or published in psychology journals.

Examples of recent research include studies of language development; school-based programs for preventing depression; cross-cultural research about suicide and self-harm; brain biochemistry and memory; metaphor comprehension; perceptual adaptation; self-control and self-regulation of eating; social cognition and conflict resolution; and gender issues in psychotherapy.

The clinical practicum provides field experience for students who are considering careers in clinical psychology, psychiatry, social work, and counseling. Some advanced students undertake research practica to gain experience in clinical settings such as a shelter for battered women, a program for children with autism, and a residential treatment facility for mentally challenged individuals.

Summer Research Projects

Some psychology students have an opportunity to conduct research during the summer, either in a faculty member's on-going research program or on a self-designed project. Financial support for this is available from the social and natural science divisions (Joel Dean and Howard Hughes grants, respectively).

The psychology department also awards the Hans Wallach Summer Research Fellowship to one student who submits a qualifying proposal. Faculty sponsorship is required.

The application deadlines for these programs are in mid- February or early March, with notification of award winners in early April.

Many students have been co-authors of papers that have been presented at national research conferences or published in psychology journals. Examples of recent research include studies of language development; school-based programs for preventing depression; cross-cultural research about suicide and self-harm; brain biochemistry and memory; metaphor comprehension; perceptual adaptation; self-control and self-regulation of eating; social cognition and conflict resolution; and gender issues in psychotherapy.

Clinical Practicum

The clinical practicum provides field experience for students who are considering careers in clinical psychology, psychiatry, social work, and counseling. Some advanced students undertake research practica to gain experience in clinical settings such as a shelter for battered women, a program for children with autism, and a residential treatment facility for mentally challenged individuals.