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.
Erin Kendall Braun, Maneeza Dawood, Raphael T. Gerraty, Rebecca Martin, 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.


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. 

Rebecca Martin

Rebecca Martin will be receiving her Ph.D. from Columbia’s Department of Psychology in May, 2017. She is a member of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab and researches topics in adolescent brain development. Her current projects include understanding how social influence shapes emotion across development and how neural systems underlying emotional reactivity and regulation change during the teen years. She received her B.A. in history at New York University, an M.A. in teaching at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.Ed. in mind, brain, and education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Rebecca has taught several courses in the social sciences including research methods in psychology, socio-anthropology, women’s studies, and human geography, and she has led many workshops in neuroanatomy, drugs and the brain, and general topics in neuroscience. 

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).  

Back to the Course Guide

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.