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Jordan Hall is named after the first president of Stanford, David Starr Jordan, and home to the Department of Psychology. The Department of Psychology is ranked as number one in the nation, and has been the leading psychology department among American universities for decades. This extraordinary achievement was honored by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. in 2003.

The Psychology Department is located on the Main Quad of the Stanford campus.

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A Bayesian model of metaphor understanding: How will Juliet infer Romeo's intended meaning? Nonliteral language is, quite literally, everywhere in human communication, often creating poetic or humorous effects that add rich dimensions to language. Building upon recent advances in formal models or pragmatics, researchers in the Computation and Cognition lab develop computational models that use pragmatic reasoning to interpret metaphorical utterances.

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Department Photo - 2011

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Faculty in the Affective Science area study how people experience, evaluate, and regulate emotions. One tool they use, pictured above, is Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which can provide information about the structure of the brain, and about how the brain functions under different emotional circumstances.

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How do we acquire, store, and use complex knowledge?  Faculty in the cognitive area combine experimental investigations with computational simulation techniques to understand the nature of human knowledge systems.  Image on the left shows the output of a computational model as it progressively learns to differentiate concepts over learning trials.


Image reprinted from Figure 6a, p. 318 of McClelland, J. L. & Rogers, T.
T. (2003).  The parallel distributed processing approach to semantic
cognition. /Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4,/ 310-322.

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A happy participant in one of the studies being run in the department's Developmental group.

 

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Professors Greg Walton and Geoff Cohen showed that a one-hour belonging intervention (reading about the struggles of senior students and noting their similarities to oneself) during their freshman year could dramatically improve the GPA and health of African American Students 3 years later.
(GPA shown here – See Science, March 2011)