The PhD Program "Psychology and Cognitive Science", as far as the scope and structure of its subjects of interest, the width and interdisciplinary characterization of the Board of Professors, and the network of National and International research collaborations are concerned, complies with the criteria established by the Ministry and approved by the National Council of University (CUN) concerning “the adoption of aggregations about relevant subjects”, and “the acknowledgement of the subjects, without ruling out highly interdisciplinary innovative subjects”.
With regards to its training paths, the doctoral program addresses many scientific fields which are methodologically and culturally strongly related, and characterised by evident multidisciplinary connections; the core teaching activity is based upon workshops and seminars. First-year students are also supposed to acquire a broad and critical knowledge of advanced parametrical and non-parametrical statistical methods (structural equation modelling, trend analyses, log-linear models, cluster analyses, etc.), and statistical methods for psychological testing. Also, they must fully develop their skills in experimental designs and signal analysis for psychological and physiological laboratory research. Workshops and seminars are held by members of the Board of Professors and by professors from other Italian and foreign universities. Students are encouraged to publish papers about their experimental results on scientific journals and to present their results at national and international conferences. Each year, students are assessed according to the credits assigned by the members of the Board of Professors belonging to each training path. During the first year, the students’ research activity consists of critically reviewing the literature about a specific research topic they have chosen with the approval of the Board of Professors; during the second year, the students have to run at least a pilot study aimed at investigating the main issues raised in the critical review; during the third year the students have to carry-out conclusive results from their extensive research and to write their doctoral thesis.
During the first year, courses are mainly focused on parametric and non-parametric methods (structural equations, trend analysis, log-linear methods, cluster analysis, etc.); methods for adapation and validation of psychometric instruments, experimental designs, and techniques and methods in psychophysiological and psychological research. More in datail, the courses include: Scientific Englih (basic module), Epistemology and Philosophy of Science; Scientific Methods in Experimental Psychology; Programming for data analysis, graphics, and experimental stimuli (basic module).
The courses of the second year are more focused on scientific publications, peer-reviewing , fundarising. More in datail, the coureses include: Scienfic English (intermediate module), Publishing in scientific indexed journals; Scientific Method in Exoerimental Psychology; Il metodo scientifico in Psicologia sperimentale; Programmazione per l’analisi dei dati, rappresentazioni grafiche e gestione esperimenti: dalla programmazione alla pratica (moduli avanzati); Programming for data analysis, graphics, and experimental stimuli (advanced module).
The courses during the third year are mainly focused on the experimantal projects of the PhD students and associated publication of their results. More in detail, the courses include: Seminars on the topic of their own theses; Fundraisng; Scientific Englis (advanced module): praparation of articles, cover letter, responses to referees, proofreading.
In the past years, the PhD program has activated 4 doctoral theses in collaboration with France, 2 in partnership with Poland, 1 in partnership with Germany and 3 in partnership with Spain. Further, the PhD program has been recognized by the Italia-MIT committee, and one of our students (the only one in ’Sapienza’ and in Italy as far as Psychology is concerned) has been given the chance to run a research project at MIT. In the past years, the PhD program has given student grants through agreements with the Universities of Cagliari (3 grants), Perugina (1 grant), LUMSA (1 grant) and with CNR (2 grants). A student grant is now active through an agreement with the University of Cagliari, University of Perugia, LUMSA University, CNR.
During past years, a Palestinian student was enrolled in the PhD program with a grant from the Italian Ministry of University. Moreover, an Iranian student was enrolled as a foreigner student. Today, specific agreements for co-tutorship are active with the University of Granada, Spain and one thesis in co-tutorship with the Netherlands was submitted to the Rector's signature. Two international students are currently enrolled in the Doctorate.
The Route A is concerned with cognitive processes, individual differences, and states of consciousness.
Route A aims at preparing researchers with strong expertise in the study of the basic processes of psychology, and in the methods for experimental research in main fields of psychological research, such as Attention, Perception, Memory, Thinking, Emotions, Language, Personality traits, Decision, Neuropsychology, Psychophysiology of sleep and dream, Sleep Disorders, Ontogenesis of sleep, Electro-cortical correlates of cognitive processes, Cognitive Ergonomics, Tutoring Psychology.
Route B stems from the former PhD. Program in Cognitive Psychology and its main aim is to prepare researchers who could plan and carry out research oriented to the study of cognitive processes, using all the contributions from the cognitive sciences and considering all the lifespan.
Cognitive Processes: recognition, attention, mental representation/mental imagery, concept formation, memory, thought, reasoning, problem-solving, language, intelligence, emotions both in normal and pathological subjects. Further interest of Route B of the Doctorate is to orient students toward the study of the following themes: (a) Music Cognition: cognitive analysis of the musical behaviour in its three forms: composition, execution, enjoyment; applicable to the fields of communication, multimedia, school, education and creativity; (b) Decision and Prediction Processes: models of cognitive processes involved in decision and prediction behaviours in risky situations, in cooperative and competitive behaviours; (d) Cognitive Processes in disabled persons and in situations of emergency: models of cognitive activity in situation of emergency, models and experimentation of development and the modalities of cognitive activity in disabled, psycho-technologies for integration, international classification and models of estimate of the processes of benefit granting; models of learning in international cooperation, History of Psychology,Personality and Individual Differences.