Psychology Institute

Take a trip inside the mind. Explore the brain, emotions, and senses from the perspective of a psychologist. Discover why people think, act, and feel the way they do.

Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Dive into the structure of the brain through hands-on dissection and learn about how illusions, emotions, and biases affect how we see and interact with the world. Can you really trust everything you see and hear? You’ll conduct your own observational study to get a more in-depth look at the world and the people around you.

At a Glance

Dates: June 6 – 11 and June 13 – 18

Who Can Apply?: 9th – 12th grade students

Program Length: Sunday – Friday

Program Tuition: $2,500

Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Campus

Day or Overnight Program: Overnight

Apply Now

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University certificate of achievement will be awarded to all Psychology Institute participants.

What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered:

  • How Emotions Pervade our Daily Lives
  • The Disordered Brain
  • Sensation and Perception
  • The Magic of Neuroscience
  • The Psychology of Addiction

Hands-On Experiences:

  • Guided Sheep Brain Dissections
  • Neuron Keychains
  • Conducting Observational Research
  • Sensory Perception Lab
  • Present Team Research Findings

*Hands-on experiences are subject to change.

Psychology Institute Cost:

Winston-Salem (Overnight) | $2,500

jumping psychology
Wake Forest psychology professor teaches his class on emotions in Greene Hall on Thursday, November 30, 2017.

A Day in the Life

  • 8:00 am – Morning Meeting and Breakfast
  • 9:00 am – Welcome from Dr. Waugh, Dr. Maffeo and Program Ambassadors
  • 9:30 am – Introduction to Psychology Design and Hypothesis Testing
  • 10:30 am – Psychology vs Common Sense
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 1:00 pm – Travel to the Mall to do Observational Study
  • 3:00 pm – Mall Observational Discussions and The Psychology of Marketing
  • 5:00 pm – Debrief of the Day
  • 5:30 pm – Dinner
  • 6:30 pm – Evening Activities
  • 7:30 pm – Free Time
  • 9:00 pm – Prepare for Bed
  • 10:00 pm – Lights Out

*The “A Day in the Life” sample schedule is subject to change.

Meet Your Academic Leaders

Christian Waugh

Christian Waugh, Ph.D.

Academic Leader, Psychology Institute

Dr. Waugh received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology with a certificate in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. There, he worked on topics related to resilience to stress and positive emotions. He then finished a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University, where he worked on topics related to emotion flexibility, depression, and resilience. A professor at Wake Forest University since 2010, Dr. Waugh and his ‘EmoLab’ investigate how people use positive emotions to regulate stressors and the temporal dynamics of emotional experiences using a wide array of methodologies including neuroimaging, psychophysiology, behavioral experiments and surveys in distressed populations.


Melissa Maffeo, Ph.D.

Academic Leader, Psychology Institute
Dr. Maffeo received her PhD in Neuroscience from Florida State University in 2012. During graduate school, Dr. Maffeo studied the neuroscience of development. Specifically, she investigated the effects of adolescent nicotine administration on mood-related behaviors in adulthood, as well as the effects of blocking sound sensation during auditory system development on brainstem auditory nuclei. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Maffeo conducted her postdoctoral training at Wake Forest Medical Center, where she was interested in pharmacological treatments for alcohol-withdrawal seizure. Dr. Maffeo then joined the faculty in the Wake Forest Psychology Department, where she teaches neuroscience to undergraduate students.