One-Week Summer Day Program for Pre-High School Students

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This fun, fast-paced introduction to psychology is loaded with hands-on experiments and research activities that provide a sampling of major fields of psychology. Students begin by exploring cognition and memory.  They’ll complete tasks and games that test their abstract and combinatorial reasoning skills and learn how to think on a higher level.  Students play memory games and learn tips and techniques that almost instantly double or triple certain types of memory.  They also learn about distraction and attention span through hands-on activities.  

Personality is up next!  Students will complete a questionnaire to see where they fall on major personality dimensions such as extraversion and openness to new experiences.  They will also learn how personality affects mental health and life success.

Wonder and excitement continues with the social psychology unit. How do characteristics of a group affect its performance? Under what conditions can group decisions be clouded – sometimes catastrophically – by GroupThink.  If you want to persuade someone, should you make your case first or last? 

The developmental psychology unit will focus on changes that occur during the teen years.  Friendship patterns, personality, moral reasoning, and problem-solving patterns all show striking changes from adolescence to early adulthood.  Teens will complete questionnaires and surveys to see how they have changed and where they are heading.  

Students then take a deep dive into the brain, using models from neuroscience and anatomy, even creating their own models to visualize parts of the brain and their functions. They may use casts of skulls to compare the brains of humans to those of other species.  Sensation is part of the central nervous system as well!  Optical illusions will be used to provide insight into sensory perception and how it can go wrong. 

The fascinating world of mental illness will be surveyed as well.  Students will learn through film and photos the gifts and limitations that come with various mental disorders. Abraham Lincoln struggled his entire life with depression and yet… Vincent VanGogh, one of the most talented artists in history had bipolar syndrome.  So did Mozart. This exciting glimpse into clinical psychology and psychiatry completes students’ voyage into the world of Psychology. 

All the while, true to the Boston Leadership Institute’s mission of educating students about STEM research, students will be taking their first steps at conducting psychology research.  Students will create tables, charts and graphs for various experiments.  They may even use Chi-squares and t-tests to ascertain where differences across conditions are significant.  Students may then collect data, create their own measures, and use statistics such as correlations and regressions to examine whether hypothesized relationships appear. 

Come experience for yourself why Psychology is one of the most popular college majors.  From marketing to advertising to HR and management, psychology can be the ticket to a fascinating career.  Start now! 

NOTE: This one-week summer course is a day program only, and enrolled students are not eligible for residence on campus. Classes run from 9AM-3:30PM and extended day programs are available until 5PM at no additional charge.

Summer 2021 Dates

Date: June 28 – July 2, 2021
Gann/Bentley – Waltham, MA

Teaching Team: Dr. Jane Bybee

Jane Bybee received her PhD in Psychology from Yale University. She completed post-doctoral research at the Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine.

Dr. Bybee won the Excellence in Teaching Award at Northeastern University, where she taught Developmental Psychopathology. She played a leading role in gaining American Psychological Association accreditation for the Clinical Psychology doctoral degree at Suffolk University, the school’s first PhD program. She taught courses in Childhood Psychopathology at Suffolk University at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Bybee edited a book (Guilt and Children) and authored numerous journal articles. Her research has been featured in the Boston Globe and Boston Herald as well as on 20/20.

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