As indicated in the sections on the undergraduate and graduate programs, the department places special emphasis on the use of research to answer questions in psychology, applied as well as basic. Much of this instruction takes place within the laboratories of individual faculty members.
The department also offers a series of laboratory courses in which students work in groups on laboratory projects as well as attend lectures. These courses are offered in a wide variety of areas, and include instruction in:
- Conditioning and Learning (Psych 514),
- Cognitive Processes (Psych 505),
- Experimental Child Psychology (Psych 660),
- Advanced Physiological Psychology (Psych 654),
- Experimental Social Psychology (Psych 677), and
- Applied Behavior Analysis (Psych 502).
The Undergraduate Bulletin contains a complete listing. All of these advanced laboratory courses have as a prerequisite a lower level laboratory course in in Research Methods (Psych 325).
The laboratory program is taught in well-equipped teaching laboratories with much of the work employing computer control of experiments. Most of the courses also use specialized equipment, whose exact characteristics depend on the particular subject matter. This equipment includes physiological recording devices, microscopes, operant chambers for work with rats, and audio and video equipment, as well as software specially designed for studying reaction time, attentional processes, and stimulus control of human behavior.