Teaching

Below is a brief description of the courses Dr. Henkel regularly teaches.

Statistics for Life Sciences (PY 201)

Statistics is a tool that researchers use to describe and analyze their data. Topics include ways to summarize and describe data numerically and graphically, and ways to test research hypotheses using z tests, t tests, ANOVAs, correlation, regression, and nonparametric procedures such as chi square. This is a required course for psychology majors and should be taken in your sophomore or junior year, and it is strongly recommended for biology and chemistry majors as well.

Research Methods (PY 202)

This course is a 4-credit lab class in which you will learn how to read, evaluate, design, conduct, analyze, and report psychological research. The course is meant to provide you with knowledge and skills so that you can better understand psychology as a scientific discipline. This is a required course for psychology majors and should be taken no later than your the junior year. Research methods is at the very heart of the psychology major, and as such it provides useful knowledge and skills for the other courses you will be taking. In addition, if you plan on being involved in additional research (supervised research with a faculty member, independent study, or an honors project), you need to take the course as early as you can so that these doors are open to you as you continue your education here at Fairfield. These additional research opportunities are very valuable if you plan on continuing on to graduate school, though the number of openings are limited, so the early you start, the more you can accomplish in your undergraduate degree.

Cognitive Psychology (PY 285)

This course examines how people think -- how they pay attention to things, how they perceive the outside world, how they learn and remember, and how they reason, solve problems, and use language. We explore how the brain produces these various cognitive processes, and we learn the application of principles from cognition into our everyday lives. This is an elective course for psychology majors that fulfills requirements from Group II of the psychology major requirements at Fairfield. It can serve as an elective for people majoring in areas in which better understanding how people think would be valuable --e.g., education, nursing, business, biology, and law.

False Memories Senior Seminar (PY 385)

Most of the time, our memories serve us quite well. However, many of the strategies and mechanisms that help us remember accurately much of the time can also lead to errors. This course examines various types of memory distortions and what they can tell us about the mechanisms of memory. Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, we will explore psychological research addressing confusions between real and imagined memories, the reliability of eyewitness recollections, children’s suggestibility, as well as clinical issues such as repression and dissociation from a cognitive perspective. This course is one of several senior seminars that can fulfill the senior seminar requirements for psychology majors. Juniors and nonpsych majors (especially students interested in law or social work) can also enroll with permission of the instructor.

Supervised Research (PY 295)

This course provides research experience for a small group of students who will serve as research assistants in my Memory & Cognition Lab. Rather then expecting students to be able to conduct independent research on novel topics, I mentor and supervise students so that they can get a better idea of how actual research is conducted. We cover many different aspects of research in cognition – from memory errors and distortions, to how people make choices, to age-related changes in cognition. Students register for 3 credits for this. If you are interested, please contact me at lhenkel@fairfield.edu We have a weekly lab meeting, and the remaining lab hours (for testing subjects, developing materials, coding data, etc.) will be set around your schedule. Some students use this as a springboard for an independent research project; others take it just for what it is. Wherever your future may take you, research experience is invaluable in any area of psychology. Permission of instructor is necessary to register.

Independent Research (PY 395)

In this course an individual student designs, runs, analyzes, and reports on a full research project. I will work closely with you every step of the way either building off of a project you worked on in Supervised Research or on a project that you develop on your own. Permission of instructor is necessary to register. If you are interested, please contact me at lhenkel@fairfield.edu

Teaching Internship in Psychology (PY 296/297)

In this elective course, the student serves as a teaching intern (TI) for my Statistics for the Life Sciences (PY 203) course. The TIS are responsible for running the weekly lab sections during which students learn how to run SPSS and complete structure exercises. This is an excellent opportunity to see the classroom and the dynamics of learning from the other side. You not only will refine your understanding of statistics, you will learn about what you can do as a teacher to help people learn. If you are interested, please contact me at lhenkel@fairfield.edu