There are currently six programmes running at the Doctoral School:
COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMME
The training focuses on one central and rapidly developing field of modern psychology, cognitive psychology and some of its co sciences, primarily on psychophysiology. Education and related research therefore mainly focus on the experimental study of the (broadly defined) cognitive processes (perception, attention, memory, language and communication, social cognition, behaviour management and control). The methodological background is primarily based on various behavioural and EEG/event-related potential procedures, including the eye-tracking process. The topics focusing on mature cognition, development (from infancy to old age) and atypical cognition (e.g. autism) are included in the programme’s framework, both in education and research. During the training, besides methodological preparation and intensive participation in research, there is a strong emphasis on conceptual foundations relating to the global issues of cognition. The programme is the result of close cooperation between the ELTE Institute of Psychology and the Institute of Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
BEHAVIOURAL PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMME
The aim of the program is to provide an introduction to the modern Systems approach to the theory and to the empirical study of the regulation of behaviour. The courses of the program cover the roles of genetic, perinatal and biological factors in behaviour regulation, and discuss the processes of behaviour regulation with a special emphasis on the role of consciousness and altered states of consciousness – as for example hypnosis. The program discusses the broad spectrum and neuroscientific background of affective phenomena of vital importance in human interactions from the perspective of the ”affective revolution” which has recently taken place. We aim to develop a critical approach in our students to enable them to identify possible confounding contextual factors and plan for controlling them in their empirical studies of behaviour.
PERSONALITY AND HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMME
The primary and special objective of this programme is to provide an up-to-date presentation and processing of personality psychology and health psychology that can be considered as an applied science of personality psychology, as well as current trends in clinical psychology and addiction. The programme’s objective is to introduce and analyse the healthy and pathological functioning of the personality and the acquisition of modern personality theories and methods of measurement. Another basic objective is to prepare PhD students to conduct international standard research in the fields of personality, health and clinical psychology and addiction, in order to be able to contribute effectively to the intensive development of these fields. The programme, considering both the approach and the methodology, combines biological, psychological and social aspects; it aims to integrate these aspects regarding the understanding of human functioning. The programme shares the general goals of the Doctoral School in Psychology: its intention is to develop proficiency in scientific research methodology and in the application of complex data management methods, as well as in forms of activity that are integral part of scientific work, such as the written and oral presentation of scientific work and the inseparable scientific-critical analytical activity.
SOCIALIZATION AND PSYCHOLOGY OF SOCIAL PROCESSES PROGRAMME
The aim of the program is to prepare the students for doing creative research, enabling them to study research areas related to the relationship between the individual and society and fields related to the psychological components and factors in social processes. By including the perspectives of related branches of social science, this doctoral school aims at conveying the phenomena and rules of socialization, namely, the development, integration and role-taking of the individual in society, in an integrated way. Thus, the range of preparation for scientific work extends beyond social psychology, to the significant areas of educational psychology and cross-cultural psychology as well, while also discusses some aspects of decision making in economy and organizations and those of political psychology. Society, culture, and economy all depend upon and shape natural and built environments – as systematically demonstrated by studies in environmental psychology. The program creates a frame and prepares for the scientific study and application of historical, political, environmental, and organizational psychology as well (the latter aiming at the non-profit sphere, like school organizations).
CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY AND ADDICTION DOCTORAL PROGRAMME
Aim of the program is to train researchers in the field of clinical psychology and addiction science. Professors involved in this program are internationally known experts of psychiatry, clinical psychology, and addiction science and have wide experience in running research projects using qualitative and quantitative methodology. Epidemiologic approaches, survey methods, as well as self-reports, behavioural, neuropsychological and neuroimaging methods are used in this respect. Recent research interest is focused especially on mood disorders, schizophrenia, psychopathy, substance use and behavioural addictions (internet gaming disorder, exercise addiction, gambling, compulsive buying, hypersexuality), and neurological disorders (e.g. Huntington’s Disease, Spinocerebellar Ataxia). Behavioural and psychological characteristics as well as cognitive (e.g. learning, memory) and affective (e.g. emotion processing and regulation) processes in the background of these disorders are in focus.
SPORTS AND HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMME
The program is focusing on life-style, recreation, physical activity and health. The aim is to approach these topics on a multi- and interdisciplinary. Students will become acquainted with the holistic concept of health and with the basic elements of healthy lifestyle. In addition, life-style will be explored from the perspective of recreation, leisure, and well-being. Physical activity, a major factor in mental health, will also be explored in the program, including exercise addiction. The students will also get acquainted with those exercise physiological and sport psychological methods by which they become able to characterize the psycho-physiological fitness which can help them to determine the optimal load. The program also deals with representations of the body, which provide the basis for the self and are closely connected to characteristics important in education like self-esteem, perceived competence and well-being. The placebo/nocebo phenomenon is also a topic approached from a psychophysiological point of view.