PSYC272: The Social Psychology of Collective Action on Climate Crisis

Graduate, Fall 2021, Tues 3 to 6.00pm

Grassroots social movements are essential to push city, state and national representatives to cut emissions by leaving fossil fuels in the ground, accelerating the renewable energy transition in the next 10 years, and cutting consumption. While these grassroots movements are gaining momentum they are still tiny as a proportion of the population. The first part of this seminar will be didactic, covering the United Nations process, physical science, climate impacts, political economy, energy policy, climate justice, psycho-social aspects of skepticism and collective action, and the global climate movement. The second part will be collaborative. We will pool our collective knowledge and resources to arrive at a better understanding of the psychological and sociological variables related to building mass social power for emissions-reduction action. [The class will include fieldwork, outside speakers, and student-selected material and student-run discussion].

PSYC185: The Psychology of Climate Crisis

Undergraduate, Spring 2021, Tues/Thur 5 to 6.20pm

This course provides tools for the student to think about the escalating climate crisis. Urgent action is needed at a large­ societal scale to prevent the worst consequences of anthropogenic global heating. Better understanding the prospects for such action can come from human psychology. How do people arrive at their beliefs? What is the basis of denial and delay? How does belief flow to action? What kinds of actions can people take?

PSYC108: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience

Undergraduate (Large) Class, NEXT OFFERED: TBA

This class starts by covering basic brain anatomy and modern methods for measuring brain function in humans and non-human animals. It then examines the topics of action, attention, memory, learning, emotion, and language in terms of brain regions and networks. Vignettes help students to consolidate what they have learned in relation to real-world issues and problems around them: drugs for ADHD; environmental toxins leading to Parkinson’s disease; brain-machine prosthetic devices for people who have lost limbs, and how to lay down the best memories. Highly relevant for students minoring or majoring in psychology; pre-med students; and general science students.

PSYC210: The methods of human cognitive neuroscience

Graduate ProSeminar; NEXT OFFERED: TBD

Learning objectives:

– familiarity with most of the neuroscience methods available to study humans
– appreciation of how various data are analyzed
– appreciation of the strengths, weaknesses, pitfalls and interpretational limitations of each method

PSYC123: Cognitive control and frontal lobe function

Undergraduate (Small) Class,; NEXT OFFERED: TBA

This course explores a rapidly evolving topic in cognitive neuroscience; the most “human” and recently evolved region of the brain — the frontal lobes. Students will learn how the frontal lobes enable us to engage in complex mental processes, how they work in concert with the rest of the brain, how vulnerable they are to injury, and how devastating the effects of damage often are — leading to chaotic and even criminal behavior. This is a small class, with a flipped-classroom format. There is an emphasis on in-class discussion and students write short papers and make presentations.

[Below, Adam draws attention to climate crisis at a neuroscience meeting]