Novel Scientific Approaches to the Study of Emotion

In this course, we introduce students to recent advances in theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of emotion, where emotions are, simultaneously, emergent events within an individual, a relational context, and a culture. We focus on a rapidly evolving family of constructionist theories and discuss their neuroscientific, psychological, social, cultural, and evolutionary bases.  We discuss how construction provides an integrative framework, both horizontally (incorporating key insights from other theoretical perspectives), as well as vertically (across levels of analysis).  Together with the course participants, we will chart the future research agenda for continuing innovation in the study of emotion.

Instructors: Lisa Feldman Barrett, Batja Mesquita

Intergroup Relations and Disparities

This course provides a survey of the psychology of intergroup prejudice, discrimination and oppression. More broadly, we will consider the psychological factors that contribute to the perpetuation of inequality and discrimination.  Throughout the course, we will consider both proximate (immediate) influences on behavior, such as the immediate social situation as well as distal (more remote) influences on behavior, such as human evolution.  We will also consider both conscious and unconscious attitudes and behavior.

Instructors: Jim Sidanius, Linda Tropp


Instructors: ​David Pizarro, Benoit Monin


Personality Development

Allport (1937) concluded that, “Every personality develops continually from the stage of infancy until death, and throughout this span it persists even though it changes.” The goal of this course is to expand upon Allport’s insight by providing an overview of the theories, methods, and findings that characterize personality development.  The course will consider multiple levels of personality from traits to life stories, as well as multiple types of personality stability and change.  We will adopt a lifespan perspective and emphasize the role of person-environment transactions as the mechanisms that produce both personality stability and change.  

Instructors: Brent Donnellan, Rebecca Shiner


Evolutionary Processes

Evolutionary psychology provides a powerful meta-theoretical perspective from which to understand a tremendous range of human psychological processes and behavior. This course will focus on theoretical and empirical tools used by evolutionary social psychologists. In addition to discussing basic principles of evolutionary reasoning, the course will cover empirical research related to human mating, social affiliation, hierarchy, intergroup psychology, self-protective processes, kinship, and emotion. 

Instructors: Debra Lieberman, Jon Maner, Josh Ackerman



Dyadic Data Analysis

Instructors:  Tessa West, NYU

Best Research Practices: An Error Balance Perspective

Instructors:  Eli Finkel, Northwestern University