In the second year, students also take four papers. This year provides a foundation for the research-led teaching of the final year while also allowing students to begin to specialise in those areas that interest them.
All students take the following paper:
PBS 3: Social and Developmental Psychology
Course Organiser: Dr Alex Kogan
PBS 4: Biological and Cognitive Psychology
Course Organiser: Dr Greg Davis
Every process in the mind is the result of underlying biology. This paper covers a selection of biological and cognitive topics involving the connection of brain, body, and behaviour. Specific content includes neurophysiology and structure of the brain, learning, memory, judgment and decision making, consciousness, and atypical psychology. Lectures include relevant methodologies and methodological issues. Students are expected to read in depth, as well as broadly, and to bring their independent perspective and insight to the material at hand.
PBS 5: Experimental Psychology
Course Organiser: Dr Kate Plaisted-Grant
This paper aims to give a broad understanding of different approaches to the study of mind and behaviour, and the forms of evidence and levels of explanation provided by modern experimental psychology. It includes work on sensory processes and perception (especially vision and hearing), attention and the control of action, language and cognitive processes, learning and memory, cognitive and social development, intelligence, reasoning and problem solving, cognitive neuropsychology and psychopathology. Lectures on this course are supplemented by practical laboratory classes, for which students are required to submit written reports as part of their assessment.
PBS 6: Research Skills Project
Research Project Coordinator: Dr Alex Kogan
Students will be supervised by a member of the Department of Psychology or associate institutes, to provide training in the analysis and presentation of data. These research skills will be assessed by a project report of up to 5,000 words, submitted at the end of the academic year.
The list of optional papers may vary from year to year but will typically include papers in:
- biological anthropology
- history and philosophy of science
- social anthropology
A student who has not previously completed the PBS first year (those switching from another course or affiliated students) must, except with the permission of the Committee of Management, offer PBS 1 and PBS 2 as their optional papers if he or she has not previously taken these papers within another Tripos.
With the exception of the research project, students sit a written exam in each paper at the end of the year.