Psychology 281

Taught by: Dr. Jeff Beeler
 New at Queens College for
the Fall, 2015 semester!
 Thursdays, 12:30 p.m. –
3:20 p.m.
 Will count as an elective
course towards the Psych
 Listed on CUNY First as
“PSYCH 281: Problems in
 Registration code: 71316
Course Description: Psychology has traditionally approached the study of motivation
with the basic question of 'why do we do what we do?' In this course, rather than seek root
systems that drive motivated behavior-- the source of motivation-- motivation will be
defined in a more utilitarian way as the allocation of resources, posing the question of
motivation as essentially one of economic decision-making. The course will begin with
developing an economic framework and consider this framework in the context of evolution
and environmental adaptation. The course will then shift to neuroeconomics and neural
substrates involved in decision-making and action selection. The course will conclude by
considering 2-3 topics traditionally considered motivational (e.g., addiction, regulation of
eating, consumer behavior) from the neuroeconomic framework developed throughout the
semester. The goal is to reconceptualize traditional notions of motivation as economic
functions distributed across particular neural substrates.
Prerequisites: Behavioral Neuroscience (PSY243) & Statistical Methods
(PSY107) Recommended: Psychology of Human Motivation (PSY231)