Intersections Between Classes: Experimental Psychology, Physics of the Brain, Consumer Behavior – Oh My!

As we’re nearing the end of the semester, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what I believe to have been the most cohesive set of diverse classes I have ever taken simultaneously.

As a tour guide, I introduce myself:

“Hi, I’m Aaron! I’m from Charlotte, North Carolina, double majoring in Neuroscience and Marketing.”

Then, parents often ask:

“That’s quite a combination! What do you plan to do after graduation?”

To which I often respond:

“Great question!”

Interestingly enough, comparisons between the two majors are much more apparent than one might think. And, for me, this has become increasingly evident this semester as I’m taking Experimental Psychology, Physics of the Brain, and Consumer Behavior concurrently. Although the first two will only count for my major in Neuroscience, and the last will count for my major in Marketing, all three share themes and ideas that strengthen my understanding of, well, all three.

During Consumer Behavior, I learn about human decision making processes as they relate to business and marketing. Then, in Experimental Psychology, I can learn how I might go about testing that behavior in a research setting to learn more about decision making patterns, or to gain the ability to analyze trends in data. Then, I can go to Physics of the Brain, and quite literally learn exactly how action potentials firing in the brain might give rise to these certain behaviors. That’s so cool.

This is my favorite thing about WashU – exploration is highly encouraged. Things you learn in one class can be applied to things in another class, to things in an extra-curricular, to things in everyday life. (I might be stretching here, but you get the point.) Everything we learn can be interrelated, and the flexibility between colleges at WashU echoes just that.

P.S. I’d like to give an honorable mention to the other two classes I’m taking this semester – Microeconomics and Computer Science. Although neither of these classes are likely to refer to the Milgram Experiment (as my Consumer Behavior and Experimental Psychology classes did in the same week), I still find myself applying what I’ve learned in these classes to other classes as well, and vice versa.