I woke up before my alarm this morning, probably because I was nervous for the first day of classes. I went down to breakfast with one of the girls in my tour group, Elizabeth, and then we met up with some other friends. Yesterday in the the Great Hall part of the dining hall, I met a girl named Meg from Los Angeles who was also taking psychology. We exchanged numbers so that in the morning we could find the class together. After I ate breakfast, I met up with her and another girl taking psychology, Alyson, and we walked to our class at Beecher Hall. Luckily, our class's building is only about ten minutes from the dining hall and the dorms. I know many of the other Insight programs are located fifteen minutes or more from our location, so we were fortunate.
We arrived about five minutes early, and a couple other people were already in the room. The first thing I noticed about the room was that it was a small meeting room with no more than thirty seats in the room, and all of the seats were at a large rectangular table. Since I took a summer class at Brown last year that had about 140 students, I assumed this is the kind of class it would be. I thought this because when I looked on the application website, it said the class was full and that a weight list had begun. I did not understand that the class size maxed out at sixteen. Once everyone got there, I also noticed something else about the room. Out of sixteen students, only three were boys.
The professor is Named Cassie, and the TA is named Amanda. We started out by doing introductions and then some name games. Most of the morning was spent revising the syllabus and going over some basics. Our final project is to conduct a research experiment with a group, make a group presentation, and write a ten to fifteen page paper on it. We discussed the details of this project later in the day. We also talked about some specific psychological studies that were done decades ago that were not ethically correct and why. One case was at Stanford University, and it was where college students were put into a scenario where the group was split into prisoners and guards. Both took on these roles, and pretty soon the guards were abusing their power and getting too absorbed in the study. Some "prisoners" went crazy and the experiment had to be ended early. It turns out that the man who ran the experiment is now very involved in making sure that research with human subjects is safe and ethically correct.
Before long it was noon and time for lunch. I went with Alyson back to the dining halls, although there were some food trucks. We both did not bring our wallets, but I am sure at some points we will grab lunch at the food trucks instead of the dining hall. Every meal is fun because you end up sitting with some people you have not met yet, and some people you know, so you get to meet more people and here about their experiences. Around eight of us were at one table and all discussing how the first half of our day went. Some were saying their class was relaxed and laid back and others were saying they knew their class was going to be a challenge. This class is definitely going to a challenge for me because of the workload outside of the class, but it is so interesting so I will be very motivated.
One hour for lunch may seem like a lot at first, but walking there and back takes time, so you end up having to keep a close eye on the time. I started heading back, but I did not reach the building before it started pouring. I was soaked by the time I entered class, and will definitely remember to bring my umbrella next time.
The next half of class was primarily focused on our group project. We had several options of subjects in developmental psychology that we could focus on. Five other girls and I picked what children’s morality looks like at a certain age, and whether that changes from when they are alone to when they are with a stranger around. Our group of six will split into two smaller groups; one to test the child alone, and one to test the child with another person in the room. Our plan is to tell the child that they will be given a simple questionnaire. We will leave the room with a bowl of candy on the desk with a sign saying only take one piece please. Whether they take zero, one, or more than one will be recorded, and whether when asked about it whether they lie about it or not will also be recorded. We talked this through with Cassie, who likes the idea. Tomorrow we are going to figure out more details.
After class ended I went back to the dorms to work on my homework, which I had quite a bit of. I hope tomorrow I will have enough time to get out of the dorms for a bit.