Food for Thought
Whatever you do, don’t think about oranges.
Don’t think about their round shape, their bright, textured skin, and their aromatic sweet smell. Just don’t.
So you thought of an orange — and that’s ok. We know it’s hard not to precisely because that’s what our brain is built for: rapidly processing and translating stimuli from our five senses into information, thoughts, and impressions of the world around us. In microseconds, we weigh all of this against what we know, what we think we know, what we feel, and what we have experienced.
Given a certain set of variables, the study of psychology then becomes about understanding and predicting what factors might correspond to thoughts and behavior.
From understanding how a certain customer demographic will respond to commercials, to the ways in which children develop a code of ethics, to yes, even why you thought about oranges after you were told not to — the College of Science psychology program works to explore the deepest inner workings of our brains and uncover why we do what we do.
Introduces students to the role of culture in psychological science. Discusses the relationship of culture to psychological theories and research.
Offers beginning students a general overview of the effects of drug use/abuse in many segments of society with particular attention placed on the collegiate population.
Introduces the range of topics that are of concern both to psychologists and to members of the legal profession. Covers the legal and ethical issues inherent in the conduct and process of professional psychology.
Experiment with Experience
Co-op is a cornerstone program for Northeastern University, and the psychology department is home to a variety of co-op opportunities for students. From real-world settings such as Boston hospitals, conducting research in labs both on or off campus, working in these spaces allows students to gauge their likes and dislikes about different psychology careers before making a commitment.
Center Support Teacher at Bright Horizons
“During my co-op, I really loved being able to provide positive guidance to all of the children at the center in order to augment their self-esteem as well as to encourage good behavior. Ever since my co-op came to an end, I realized that I had a preference for interacting with the toddlers at the center. This has made me more aware of the fact that if I were to pursue Speech-Language Pathology as a career then I would definitely specialize in Early Intervention.”
Clinical Research Assistant at CARE Lab, McLean Hospital
“I recently completed my second and final coop at the CARE Lab at the Behavioral Health Partial Program, an acute psychiatric clinic at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. During my time there I worked on several grant-funded research projects that focused on targeting various cognitive processes, such as impulsivity and cognitive interpretation bias. Being trusted to administer a clinical assessment was an amazing opportunity that I did not imagine I would be given as an undergraduate student.”
Research Coordinator at CORE Lab, Northeastern University
“For my first co-op, I worked as Research Coordinator at the Conceptual Organization, Reasoning, and Education Lab, a psychology lab on campus. The lab is focused on cognition and education, studying how people organize and apply their knowledge about the world around them. As Research Coordinator, I acted as a bridge between the undergraduate Research Assistants, graduate students, and principal investigator of the lab and made sure the lab was running smoothly and efficiently. One of my favorite parts of this co-op was making connections with so many different people. The undergraduate RAs come from many different majors and all had very unique interests, providing so many new perspectives on the projects. Working with lots of different research assistants and graduate students gave me the chance to expand my own ideas and knowledge.”
Human Factors Co-op at QinetiQ-NA
“During my co-ops, I used motion capture suits and eye trackers to make human-technology interactions more functional. The acquisition of the skills has allowed me to be a competitive applicant in the current job market and has given me the confidence needed to land my dream job at an amazing company, straight out of my undergraduate education!”
Research co-op in the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Lab
“I had previously done a co-op at another cognitive science lab, leading me to believe that working at the IASL would be more of the same. While some surface features remain, the experience I have thus far received at the IASL is significantly different, and no less valuable than that from other placements. Overall, the experience has been enlightening, and most of all fun. I foresee that some of the skills, both technical and professional, that I learn here will be invaluable in the world of active research.”
Research Co-op at Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
“First of all, I came to Northeastern University because of the co-op program. Co-op gave me the hands-on clinical and research experience I so craved and needed, allowing me to figure out whether my mental goals were on point in reality. Most importantly to me, though, I was able to hone my manner of interaction with patients by working closely with them for weeks at a time and administering the non-invasive brain stimulation, which as you can imagine, is a very personal therapy. Developing a rapport with the patients—something I could really only have done in a setting like my co-op at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center— and helping them was my favorite part of co-op: their gratitude was inexpressibly rewarding to me.”
Have you been hearing of the “Murder Hornet” in headlines recently? Assistant Professor of Psychology Ajay Satpute weighs in on the fears of the murder hornet, a huge wasp that recently showed up in the Pacific Northeast. Satpute says fear can play a functional role in society to handle different problems. Without fears toward certain circumstances, people and animals wouldn’t be motivated to take useful and corrective behaviors.
This article was originally published on News@Northeastern on May 22, 2020. To continue reading, click here!
Psychology Professor David DeSteno says that instead of confronting people for going against public health guidelines, it might be more fruitful to have a conversation that emphasizes how wearing a mask could help protect others at risk, and not just oneself.
Seeing other people engage in behaviors that might be harmful to others could evoke anger and frustration. But even when those feelings might compel people to turn into mask vigilantes, it’s best to focus on how those behaviors can help protect people who are more likely to develop complications. Don’t approach an uncovered face with hostility, DeSteno says.
To continue reading this article, click here. Originally published on News@Northeastern on May 15, 2020.
I recently completed my second and final coop at the CARE Lab at the Behavioral Health Partial Program, an acute psychiatric clinic at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. During my time there I worked on several grant-funded research projects that focused on targeting various cognitive processes, such as impulsivity and cognitive interpretation bias.
A few of my responsibilities included recruiting participants, administering cognitive computer tasks and maintaining convoluted databases. Additionally, I was trained to administer one-on-one clinical assessments with patients, such as the Columbia Suicide Scale. Being trusted to administer a clinical assessment like this was an amazing opportunity that I did not imagine I would be given as an undergraduate student.
Due to my interest in neuroscience, one of my favorite things about my coop was that I closely worked with an electroencephalogram (EEG), a test that is used to measure electrical brain activity. By the end of my coop I had the knowledge to be able to execute an EEG alone and collect neuropsychological data for data analysis, something that will greatly help me in my future neuropsychological research.
Another opportunity I am grateful for, is that I had the chance to complete my own independent research project that I will be presenting at a conference. I was able to combine psychology knowledge from the classroom with the research skills I gained through working, in order to create novel research questions on a topic that interests me. This experience allowed me to challenge my critical thinking and writing skills as well as to contribute innovative ideas that may be a gap in psychological research.
This coop experience has helped me grow both professionally and personally. It has significantly prepared me for my next steps in accomplishing my future goals, which include pursing a PhD in clinical psychology and has helped me become more confident, more independent and knowledgeable about the challenges in the psychology field.
“I’m not saying fear and concern aren’t warranted right now; they certainly are,” says DeSteno, who studies the effect that our emotional states have on our decision-making abilities.
David DeSteno, a Professor of Psychology does a Q&A with News@Northeastern about his research, the contagiousness of fear and offered some tips for breaking out of the constant cycle of fear and anxiety.
This story was published on News@Northeastern on April 1, 2020. To continue reading, click here!