PSYC 741W (02) - Special Topics

SpcTop/Psychology of Curiosity

Durham   Liberal Arts :: Psychology
Credits: 4.0
Term: Fall 2024 - Full Term (08/26/2024 - 12/09/2024)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   20  
CRN: 16203
New or specialized courses are presented under this listing. Advanced material not normally covered in a regular course in which instructor has specialized knowledge through research and study. May be repeated for different topics.
Prerequisite(s): (PSYC 402 and PSYC 502) or (NSB 500 and NSB 501 and NSB 502 and NSB 503)
Repeat Rule: May be repeated up to unlimited times.
Equivalent(s): PSYC 741, PSYC 741A, PSYC 741B, PSYC 741C, PSYC 741D
Only listed campus in section: Durham
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course
Instructors: STAFF

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
8/26/2024 12/9/2024 TR 11:10am - 12:30pm MCC 230
Additional Course Details: 

Topic: Psychology of Curiosity

Curiosity is fundamental to the human experience: it's what makes us ask questions, Google things, experiment, and explore. The goal of this course is to introduce students to research on curiosity through the lens of cognitive science. We will consider questions like: What kinds of situations make people curious? How does curiosity manifest in the brain? Are children more curious than adults? Is curiosity present in non-human animals? How does curiosity shape decision making, memory, and learning? Through reading, writing, and discussion, students will learn about these topics and deepen their understanding of empirical research in psychology.

Dr. Emily Liquin will be joining the psychology department in the fall of 2024.
Research Interests

  • Cognition
  • Child development
  • Learning
  • Curiosity
  • Question asking

Her research investigates how humans learn and discover new things, with a particular focus on curiosity, exploration, and question asking. For example, her recent work has asked: How are curiosity, exploration, and question asking shaped by a person’s prior knowledge, experience, and context? And how does information-seeking behavior change between childhood and adulthood? Dr. Liquin takes an interdisciplinary approach to answering these questions, incorporating perspectives and methods from cognitive, developmental, and social psychology, philosophy, and artificial intelligence. Her ultimate goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how humans play an active role in their own learning—with the potential to inform interventions to improve learning in everyday settings.  Lab Website: