Introduction to the Science of Psychology (Online)

Open to students entering grade 9 or 10 in the fall
I - June 29–July 17, 2020
II - July 21–August 7, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 11:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 3:10–5:00 p.m.
Itamar Grunfeld, Alison Jane Martingano

"I was surprised by how much we were learning in such a short amount of time. My knowledge really expanded.” – Catherine C. | Grandview, New York

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of the mind, brain, and human behavior. Participants are introduced to many of the broad areas of scientific research in psychology and typically spend a portion of each day watching live lectures and a portion in learning activities such as virtual group work, discussion, online experiments, and behavioral and personality tests.

The course establishes a strong grounding in scientific principles and methodology and then applies these concepts to areas such as personality, learning, memory, prejudice, and psychopathology.

Students are encouraged to think about how empirical methods can be used to study the human condition, to recognize and appreciate experimental rigor, and ultimately to question common assumptions about human behavior found in ordinary discourse and the popular press.

Armed with an understanding of the scientific method and an introduction to important findings in psychology, participants conduct their own research. Students formulate research questions in groups of peers and may choose to observe behavior in their local communities, survey their family and friends, or conduct an online experiment. After collecting their data, students analyze it and present their findings in an engaging manner to the class.


Itamar Grunfeld

Itamar Grunfeld is a Ph.D. student in the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is interested in how exposure to chronic stress can serve as a potential risk factor for developing psychiatric disorders. His research explores how stress can cause a breakdown in discrimination, causing previously innocuous stimuli to appear threatening. Itamar holds a B.S., an M.S., and an M.Phil. in psychology and has spent time working with clinical populations in hospitals. He is currently a lab instructor for Introductory Biology and Principles of Biology, and he works with various organizations throughout New York City to foster neuroscience education in high schools.

Alison Jane Martingano

Alison Jane Martingano is a Ph.D. candidate in the psychology department of the New School for Social Research. She specializes in social and personality psychology, with a particular interest in empathetic processes. She is interested in distinguishing the multidimensional nature of empathy in order to promote its beneficial outcomes whilst buffering against negative consequences such emotional distress and burnout. Her dissertation research explores how virtual reality can be used to achieve both of these goals. Alison Jane holds an M.Phil. and M.A. in psychology from the New School for Social Research and a B.Sc. (hons) from the University of York. She is passionate about teaching and holds positions as an adjunct lecturer, teaching fellow, and guest faculty member at various higher education institutions.

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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.