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The Psychology of Robots

A new psychology course pairs students and robots to learn the methods of cognitive science. (VIDEO)

Mar 9, 2016 — Article by: Amy Manley


One of the robots used in the new cognitive science class in the Psychology department

Professor Michael Kalish’s psychology class does not sound like your typical campus lecture. Whirring motors, turning gears and the occasional beep serve as the soundtrack of a new offering in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Supported by the College’s new Science Equipment Excellence Fund (SEEF), both undergraduates and graduate students in PSY 400/600 can explore the methodologies of Cognitive Science using robots of varying complexities.

Because robots are much more predicable than humans and animals, they are the perfect case study for students learning about information processing, the foundation of cognitive research.

Established in 2014 by an anonymous donor, and cultivated by Dean Karin Ruhlandt, the Science Equipment Excellence Fund helps promote scientific literacy, which is central to a liberal arts education, regardless of one’s major or career path.

Hear more about the robots used in the “Understanding Cognitive Science” class in the video below. 

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Amy Manley