The Science of Psychology

Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
I - June 25–July 13, 2018
II - July 17–August 3, 2018
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 11:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 3:10–5:00 p.m.
Maria Anderson, Erin Kendall Braun, Maneeza Dawood, Raphael T. Gerraty, Sydney Krueger, Michaela Porubanova

“I was simply surprised by the quality of the instructors and how excited I was about the material."  —   Brooke Shearon

Course Description

This course is designed for students interested in the fundamental concepts, principles, and theories of psychology, the science of mind and behavior. It examines this basic question: What influences human behavior? The course provides an overview of the diverse topics within psychology, including biological bases of behavior, learning and memory, sensation and perception, cognitive development, language acquisition, and personality and social influences on behavior. Special emphasis is placed on current psychology research and topics relevant to both individual experience and real-world events.

In addition to lectures, students participate in in-class experiments demonstrating key psychological phenomena. Working in teams, and under instructor supervision, students design, run, and present data from an original psychological experiment.

Laptops, while not required for this course, are highly recommended.


Maria Anderson

Dr. Maria Anderson is an assistant professor of biological psychology at Farmingdale State College and a researcher at Stony Brook University. Her research focuses on the influence of lifestyle factors such as cardiovascular exercise and cognitive stimulation on the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. She holds a B.A in psychology, a B.A. in Italian language and literature, an M.A. in psychology, and a Ph.D. in integrative neuroscience. In addition to conducting research, Maria teaches a variety of courses including Introduction to Psychology, Biopsychology, and Learning and Behavior. 

Erin Kendall Braun

Erin Kendall Braun is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology at Columbia. She researches memory and decision making, focusing on how decision outcomes modulate memories, how these modulated memories subsequently bias decisions, and the neurobiological bases of these effects. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Language from the University of Wisconsin -- Madison and a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University. She has served as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer for Behavioral Neuroscience; Introductory Statistics; and Mind, Brain, and Behavior. In addition to mentoring undergraduate students, Kendall has tutored high school students and regularly volunteers at a local school's science fair. 

Maneeza Dawood

Maneeza Dawood is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. She researches prejudice and discrimination, focusing on interventions to reduce discrimination. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia and has served as a teaching assistant for Introduction to Cultural Psychology and Introduction to Social Cognition. In addition to mentoring undergraduate students, Maneeza organizes scholastic tournaments for high school students. 

Raphael T. Gerraty

Raphael T. Gerraty is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology at Columbia. His research focuses on large-scale brain communication, specifically on the roles of both intrinsic organization and dynamic reorganization of widespread brain networks in learning under uncertainty. He received a dual B.A. in neuroscience and German studies at Wesleyan University. He has served as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer for Behavioral Neurobiology; Mind, Brain, and Behavior; and Introductory Statistics, and has mentored both high school and undergraduate students in cognitive neuroscience, research methods, statistics, and computer programming. 

Sydney Krueger

Sydney Krueger is a Ph.D. student in Columbia University's Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab within the Department of Psychology. She researches how emotion regulation changes across the lifespan and how those changes may affect daily life functioning for older adults. She received her B.A. in psychology from Princeton University, where she worked in the Human Working Memory Lab studying individual differences in memory performance. Before graduate school, Sydney was a research assistant in the Stanford Lifespan Development Lab studying how social motivation changes over the adult lifespan. She has experience teaching two undergraduate introductory psychology courses at Columbia and has mentored high school, undergraduate, and post-baccalaureate students in the psychological sciences. 

Michaela Porubanova

Dr. Michaela Porubanova is an assistant professor of cognitive psychology at The State University of New York, Farmingdale, where she also directs the Visual Cognition and Emotion Research Laboratory. Her research revolves around the role of emotion in visual attention and consciousness. She is a functionalist believing in the evolutionary shaping of our cognitive architecture. In addition to research, she has taught a large variety of classes topic-wise (cognition, consciousness, culture and cognition, the psychology of learning, independent research), location-wise (The Czech Republic, US, UK, Italy, Austria), and type-wise (face-to-face, hybrid, online).  

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.