WINTER 2020 GRADUATE COURSES

PLEASE NOTE: Course offerings are subject to change.  For the most up-to-date information regarding graduate courses, including the full list of courses offered, time, and location, please see classes.ucr.edu.

Psychology 257: Seminar in Personality/Social Psychology
Instructor: David Funder

Topic: “Repligate”: Reliability and Reproducibility in Psychology

This seminar will address issues relevant to the controversy over the reliability of psychological research.  Topics will include (but not be limited to)

  • Critiques of the current science, including the claim that “most published research findings are false”
  • Controversies over the replicability of particular findings, including behavioral priming and ESP
  • The way practices by journal editors, granting agencies, and hiring committees do and do not encourage reliable, replicable research
  • Recommendations for improving conduct and reporting of research, including statements by professional societies, journals, and government agencies
  • Related methodological issues including
    • Null-hypothesis statistical testing
    • The “new statistics” emphasizing effect sizes and confidence intervals
    • Exploratory vs. confirmatory research
    • p-curving, the test for excess significance, and other statistical tools intended to detect questionable research
  • Defenses of the current state of psychological research, and the various kinds of push back against what some call the “anti-false-positives movement” and others simply call “shameless little bullies.”

Readings will include journal articles, editorials, blog posts and probably even a tweet or two.  While a lengthy reading list will be provided, we will be selective in what we actually read in depth; skimming will be encouraged when appropriate.  The course structure will be discussion of the readings.  That’s all.  No exams or papers.  But do come to class ready to talk.

PSYC 258: Seminar in Developmental Psychology
Instructor: John Franchak

Topic: Developmental Cascades and Everyday Experience

This course will examine developmental cascades—the idea that acquisition of new abilities in one domain can lead to downstream effects on another. We will review claims about cascading effects in different developmental domains—motor, cognitive, linguistic, and social development—with a critical eye. For each example, we will analyze how sufficiently the data distinguish between cascade and non-cascade mechanisms (e.g., domain-general change, maturation). The course will discuss what the role of everyday experiences might be in mediating cascading effects. For example, what changes in infants’ daily experiences could explain the supposed link between learning to walk and improvements in vocabulary? Dr. Lana Karasik — a visiting professor from CUNY Staten Island and expert on cascading effects of learning to walk on social development — will join for some class discussions.

PSYC 258: Seminar in Developmental Psychology
Instructor: Aerika Loyd

Topic: Identity Development: Issues in Theory and Research

This course is designed for researchers who are interested in learning about identity development among diverse populations. This course will begin by reviewing foundational theories by William James, Erik Erikson, and James Marcia. We will then discuss research and theory on differentiated aspects of identity (e.g., racial, ethnic, gender, religious, and national). Throughout the course, we will discuss primary social contexts through which personal and group identities form, such as families, peer groups, schools, and neighborhoods, and how identity relates to other outcomes (e.g., academic achievement, well-being, and mental health). We will approach this topic from a multidisciplinary perspective, drawing from peer-reviewed articles and readings in psychology, education, sociology, and cross-cultural studies. Students are expected to come with a working project or idea, such as a second year project, thesis/dissertation study, or idea for publication to discuss in the seminar. Overall, the course will focus on how different researchers assessed identity and students will consider and discuss the best methods for their research questions.

PSYC 251: Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience
Instructor: Edward Korzus

Topic: TBD

Description: TBD