Course Description

The following courses are offered by Psychology. Not all courses are offered in an academic year. Please click here​ for the courses that will be offered in a particular semester. 

Foundation Courses

HP7001 Advanced Research Design and Data Analysis

The course is designed to acquaint researchers with the principles of experimental design, basic experimental designs used in social science research including between-subjects, within-subjects/repeated-measures, mixed (split-plot) and nested designs. The core statistical tool to be disc​ussed is General Linear Models with emphasis on model comparison approach to analyze data collected from various experimental designs.

HP7002 Research Seminar (offered only to Psychology graduate students)
This is a one-year course. The purpose of this course is to expose students to the most up-to-date research in various fields of the behavioral sciences. Through exposure to established scholars’ research and readings on research methodology, students will acquire broad knowledge in various fields of behavioral sciences and the foundation knowledge on research methodology needed for their own research. Students are expected to actively participate in research seminars and integrate the knowledge that they have gained in the research seminars into their own research. In addition, students will receive some professional training in the form of two faculty presentations per semester on research methods, and a workshop on writing psychology.


HP7101 Pro-Seminar in Human Development
Not Available.

HP7102 Pro-Seminar in Industrial & Organisational Psychology
Not Available.


HP7103 Pro-Seminar in Social Psychology
The course provides students with an advanced survey on major theories and research in social psychology. Discussion covers both classics and contemporary hot topics in areas such as attitudes, the self, motivation and goals, emotions, social cognition, and intergroup processes. Students participate in critiques and presentations of the readings and develop their own social psychological research towards the end of the course.


HP7106 Pro-Seminar in Cultural Psychology
Culture has played an increasingly important role in psychological research in the past 30 years. From the early research that focused mainly on documenting cross-cultural differences, cultural psychology has gone beyond the description of cross-cultural differences to address theoretical questions concerning the process of the co-construction of culture and individuals. A major part of this course will focus on the critical analysis of the theoretical perspectives that cultural researchers have taken in understanding culture’s interaction with individual psychology. Review of relevant empirical research will be included as illustrations of the theoretical perspectives and the associated methodologies used in the study of culture and psychology. 


HP7108 Pro-Seminar in Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive Psychology is the study of how we plan and carry out everyday tasks while interpreting and responding to the constant input of sensory stimulation present in the world. Cognitive psychology addresses both bottom-up (sensation driven), and top-down (internally driven) processing. The seminar will begin with perception in the visual and auditory domains, and then move to higher levels of processing including, object recognition, attention, memory, executive processing, language, learning, reasoning, social cognition, and an overview of the development of cognition across life span. Modern research has focused on finding the neural basis of cognition, and this seminar will reflect this focus. The objectives of the class are to (1) to learn the critical importance of the cognitive approach to studying psychology, (2) to study brain-behavior connections, and (3) to inform about the state-of-the art research in cognitive psychology. Students are expected to be able to review critically currently psychological findings of cognitive psychology, and more importantly, to be able to design and conduct cognitive psychology research.


​Special Topics

HP7202 Special Topics in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
This course provides graduate students with a theory-based, integrative, hands-on, practical view of leadership from the individual and organizational perspectives. Students will use a cross-cultural perspective to distill useful and practical concepts from each theory, which will be reinforced with individual interactive on-line activities and self-assessments designed to highlight practical application and personal skills. Class meetings will entail discussion and review of theory and concepts in the psychological literature and provide opportunity for group discussion and class debate supplemented with experiential activities, role plays and case studies designed strengthen skills with diagnosing situations and applying the appropriate leadership style. Students will each complete a research paper on an aspect of leadership in Asia and make a short presentation to the class on their conclusions from their review of the literature.

HP7203 Special Topics in Social Psychology 
It is known that the study of technology can bring about a better understanding of human behavior, and that the study of human behavior will result in better technologies. This course aims to help student better understand the role that technology plays in our everyday social interactions, and have a deeper understanding of the phenomena and impact brought by technology. This course will cover a number of topics such as social interactions in massive multiplayer online games, cultural differences in on-line communities, psychology of virtual humans, intelligent agents with social skills, and impact of social networking technology on inter-personal relationships and well-being.


HP7204 Special Topics in Personality Psychology
In this seminar we will study the state-of-the-art in the field of personality psychology, with a specific focus on the major theoretical, methodological, and developmental issues surrounding child and adolescent psychopathology. The course will investigate how group level and individual differences in psychopathology can be explained by personality and developmental factors. The major theoretical issues covered include: assessment of personality and psychopathology; personality stability and coherence and its relationship within the course of a disorder; contributions of individual and life-stage factors in risk and resilience to psychopathology. After several introductory sessions to survey the field, the rest of the term will involve student-led discussions about particular disorders such as Oppositional and Conduct Disorders, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Childhood Depression.


HP7205 Special Topics in Developmental Psychology
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives on the development of self-regulation. Topics include the development of executive function, theory of mind, and emotion regulation. General developmental trajectories as well as individual differences will be covered. Both biological and environmental impacts, including genetic disposition, parental practices, socio-economic status, and culture, on the development of self-regulation will be discussed. Additionally, developmental disorders related to self-regulation will be introduced. 


HP7206 Special Topics in Asian Psychology
Psychology, being a scientific study of human behavior, is intimately related to the social cultural context in which the behavior takes place. Historically modern psychology has its roots in Western culture, the present pro-seminar, seeks to introduce psychology, with its scientific approach, to the Asian cultural context. The seminar will begin by introducing the different framework and orientations to the culture and psychology connection, different approaches to culture, methodological issues and specific topics of research of psychology in Asia will be introduced and discussed. The objectives of the seminar are to (1) learn the critical importance of culture in psychological research, (2) ways to study culture-behavior connections and (3) inform about scientific studies of psychology in Asia. Students are expected to be able to review critically currently psychological findings of people in the Asian context and more importantly, to be able to design and conduct research of psychology in the Asian context.


HP7208 Special Topics in Cognitive Psychology
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives, in the field of cognitive psychology. The course focuses heavily on discussion of the major findings and the theoretical positions that drive current research in cognitive psychology. Research findings will be discussed in the context of both modern theories and the theoretical positions from which they originate. In any given year in which the course is offered, the topic(s) chosen for discussion may include, but not necessarily be limited to, one or more of the following: (i) attention and memory, (ii) reasoning and problem solving, (iii) judgment and decision making, (iv) intelligence and learning, (v) perception.

HP7209 Special Topics in Sensation/Perception 
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives, in the field of sensation and perception. Multisensory integration is an important area in psychology and behavioral neuroscience. The course focuses heavily on discussion of the major findings and theories of research on vision, audition, and visual-auditory integration. It will focus on the brain mechanisms for the individual sensory systems and integrating the sensory systems, and its application in multimedia processing. The course is pitched on an advanced level so that students can broaden their knowledge of vision, audition, and multimedia perception for future research.

HP7213 Intergroup Relations 
This course covers the social and psychological processes that influence how people perceive, categorize, and behave towards those who belong to other groups (outgroups). Course content will especially focus on psychological and behavioral manifestations of problematic intergroup relations, such as stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, and intergroup conflict. While prejudice and discrimination are typically associated with groups defined based on race and ethnicity, this course will also explore the psychology of intergroup relations in other domains, such as gender, age, teams, organizations, disability/illness, and stigmatized traits. In addition to offering lectures, readings, and presentations of empirical papers on the psychology of intergroup relations, students will also be encouraged to develop their own research questions through class discussion and writing assignments. The final project of the course will involve the application of knowledge gained through course activities to the preparation of the students' own research proposals.

HP7215 Family and Human Relationships
There is an increasing awareness that the individual's behavior takes place in the context of others. Individual behaviors develop within the context of interpersonal relationships and human organizations such as the family. Family and Human Relationships introduces the students to the major theories and empirical studies in the structure and processes of the family and interpersonal relationships. Students are expected to read the theories, significant empirical findings and the emerging theoretical and methodological perspectives in family and relationships studies.

HP7216 Behavioral Decision Making
The purpose of the seminar is to introduce students to the fast growing field of behavioral decision making. This is an interdisciplinary domain that has its roots in Economics and psychology, and has important bearings in operation research and almost any discipline within the social sciences. The course attempts to identify and describe rules for optimal decision making - the so called normative view, and contrast it with the manner in which people actually make decisions – the so called descriptive view. The gap between the two, leads to the old question of the extent to which people are always rational actors. Deviations from rational behavior are explained in cognitive (e.g., limited processing capacity, limited memory, reasoning faults) as well as in motivational and emotional terms (e.g., the role of expectancies, self control, regret and disappointment). What are good decisions (from an individual and societal viewpoints) will be examined from both normative (rational) and descriptive (empirical) perspectives. Applications to different fields such as economics, marketing, medical decision making, and judgments in the judiciary system, will be briefly discussed. 

HP7217 Applied Functional Neuroscience
The purpose of the seminar is to introduce students to the fast growing field of neuropsychology where neuroimaging is applied as an advanced technique to study brain functions. This is an interdisciplinary domain that has its roots in psychology, neuroscience and biomedical engineering, and has important bearings in advancing psychology as an interdisciplinary science. The course attempts to provide an introduction to major neuroimaging techniques in neuropsychology in studying brain function, as well as, how these techniques can be combined complementarily to answer some of the more perplexing questions in cognitive neuroscience. We will focus on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as a measurement technique that observe brain functions as it occurs and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a manipulation technique that change how the brain functions. With these foundations, students will be exposed to readings on how these techniques are applied to various areas of neuropsychology to advance our knowledge of the intrinsic properties of brain function, higher cognition in subcortical structures, the normal aging process of the brain, as well as, pathological aging in dementia.

HP7218 Language in Perception & Thought
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives from the field of psycholinguistics, as they pertain to the relationship between language, perception and thought. In the first half of the semester, the Whorfian Hypothesis will be introduced. Topics will include grammatical gender, categorical perception, spatial and numerical cognition. Perspectives from the domain of cross-modal perception and synaesthesia will be introduced to provide neurological bases for language-perception interactions. In the second half of the course, students will conduct a mini-study on interactions between language and vision, language and audition, or language and number, the results of which they will present at the end of the semester. An in-depth focus on the development of speech perception will be used as a test case for discussions about the direction of influence between language and cognition/perception. Interactions between mind and language in extreme scenarios will also be addressed.

HP7223 Applied Conservation Psychology
This course covers social science applications to the modern ecological crisis. Students will learn how to apply what is known about our psychological relationship with the natural world and the underlying psychology behind our ecological impact to sustainability issues. Students will examine how to apply psychological methods to understanding behavior towards the environment. Students will review studies in psychology looking at how people respond to natural stimuli, various ways that people interact with natural environments, why people behave unsustainably, and what kinds of approaches can help foster improved sustainable behavior. Students will develop a project, apply psychological approaches to research, and  consider mitigation of environmental problems. The course provides useful background for a wide variety of careers working on social problems, environmental management, and research on human psychology.   

HP7225 Seminar on Psychological and Sociomoral Reasoning in Infancy
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives from the field of social cognition. In the first half of the course, students will learn about young children’s psychological reasoning. Topics will include how infants make sense of intentional actions of an agent in a scene, by specifying the agent’s mental states such as informational states (e.g., knowledge, ignorance, false beliefs), and motivational states (e.g., intention, desire, goal, disposition), and how infants identify agents. Review of early psychological reasoning sets the stage for learning about early socio-moral reasoning in the second half of the course, where students will learn about how young children reason about the interactions between two or more agents. Topics will include sociomoral expectations that apply to all individuals (fairness, no-harm), expectations that apply to individuals from the same social group (ingroup support and loyalty, authority), and expectations that depend on individuals’ prior interactions (reciprocity). 

HP7227 Primate Psychology
Non-human primates share similar traits with human beings and provide a useful comparison for understanding behavior. In this course, we review primate research related to psychological phenomena. We discuss the foundations of behavior by studying behavioral ecology, social behavior, and cognitive capacities in primates. We then explore primate studies in aggression, conflict resolution, parenting, sexuality, emotion, personality, communication, and social cognition. Overall, the course offers an introduction into behavioral primatology and provides an assessment of how social minds evolve and function.


HP7235 The Last Dance: Psycho-Socio-Cultural Perspectives of Death, Dying and Bereavement
This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of the major psycho-socio-cultural perspectives, theories and clinical practices on death and dying from a global viewpoint with a critical focus on the Asian experience. Through interactive lectures, experiential workshops and creative group projects, students will be offered an opportunity to examine the psychological, socio-spiritual, ethical and political issues of mortality through a range of cultural lenses. Such exploration will facilitate insights, reflections and personal growth for enhancing students’ capacity in dealing with the inevitability of morality, while equipping them with the core intellectual skills and values for living a meaningful and purposeful life. 

HP7237 Comparative Physiology of Social Interaction
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives from the field of social interaction using a comparative physiology approach. The main purpose of this course is for students to acquire knowledge and skills in the field of physiology across mammalian species of the regulatory system that mediate the social interaction. A secondary aim of the course is for students to develop their critical appraisal of how early social interaction between infants and their caregiver influence typical and atypical development in humans. 

HP7247 Clinical Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine 
This course provides graduate students with an advanced overview of the theoretical orientations, methodology, and empirical findings in the field of clinical health psychology and behavioral medicine. Students will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in clinical health psychology, including potential applications of behavioral interventions in medical settings. Another aim of the course is for students to develop their critical thinking and appraisal skills in formulations and evaluations of behavioral interventions for health promotions or disease management from a multidisciplinary biopsychosocial perspective. The course focuses on both theories and practical applications. 

HP7257 Integrative Animal Behavior
Animal behavior is the scientific investigation of behavior. The integrative approach to behavior was derived from animal studies, and it applies various levels of causation for explaining behavior. Animal behaviorists integrate proximate mechanisms, developmental processes, and evolution into how we explain behavior. In this course, students will learn how to measure and study behavior, as well as being challenged to apply an integrative approach to understanding behavioral processes. Students will learn some foundational mechanisms of behavior and how behavior is influenced by genetics, neurology, ad physiology. Furthermore, students will learn developmental processes affecting behavior. Students will also be exposed to a wide range of behavior, including feeding and predation, sociality, communication, aggression, reproductive behavior, and territoriality. As a graduate student, he/she will gain some experience reading the primary literature in the field and developing a research project in animal behavior.

Skills Courses

HP7301 Advanced Quantitative Methods in Psychology
This course serves as the continuation of HP 7001. In HP 7001, we examine different types of experiments designs commonly used in psychological studies and discuss statistical methods for analyzing experimental data through general linear models. This course concerns advanced statistical methods for analyzing multivariate data collected from experimental and non-experimental settings. This course is designed to prepare students to conduct independent empirical research for their required thesis. Throughout the course there will be an emphasis on both conceptual understanding and the development of practical ‘how-to’ skills. Students will learn to select and conduct appropriate advanced statistical analysis relevant to their research.

HP7302 Qualitative Methods in Psychology 
This course introduces the theoretical foundations and basic techniques of qualitative methodology for psychological research, including how to conduct interviews and focus groups, grounded theory fundamentals, content analysis, domain analysis, coding, and how to write up qualitative findings. Students will be expected to complete weekly readings and weekly skill development tasks in and out of the classroom as well as to collect data, and then analyze and present findings based on the techniques covered in the course.


HP7888 Independent Study in Psychology
The Independent Study Module provides the student an opportunity to engage in independent psychological research related to the proposed thesis. The content and activities of each Independent Study Module is to be determined by the student and her supervisor with approval by the Head of the Division.

HP7889 Directed Reading
One important element of graduate research training is a student's familiarization with classic and contemporary literature in the student's field of specialization. This would provide a solid theoretical and conceptual basis needed for advanced empirical scientific enquiry. This familiarization not only depends on student's reading of relevant topics in breadth and in depth, but also relies on the exchange of critical thoughts between the student and a faculty member who specializes in the specific area. In this course, students are expected to read widely and in depth under the guidance of a faculty supervisor.

 • Courses and requirements are subject to review and change. 
 • Not all courses are available in one given semester. 
 • Courses will be offered on the basis of student intake, research areas and availability of faculty.
  Please click here​ for the courses that will be offered in a particular semester.