Ethan Ludwin-Peery 09F

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ethan Ludwin-Peery
Contact Ethan

Mail Code CS
Ethan Ludwin-Peery 09F
Adele Simmons Hall 104

Ethan Ludwin-Peery visiting assistant professor of psychology, received his B.A. in cognitive science from Hampshire College and his Ph.D. in psychology from New York University. 

His research is focused on questions of reasoning, abstraction, and mental representation. His dissertation work centered around an interdisciplinary research program investigating theories of intuitive physics. Additional research and teaching interests include the history of science, moral psychology, emotion, artificial intelligence, statistics, and research methodology.


Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • Before they got famous, every celebrated scientist was just some person. Perhaps they did amazing work in their time, but these people did not spring fully formed from the mind of God. Many of them were strange and unusual. Newton would go to taverns in disguise to catch counterfeiters, as part of his day job at the Royal Mint. Niels Bohr loved cowboy movies but always had a hard time following the plot. Don Quixote was one of Einstein's favorite books. In this course, we will read about the lives and work of 24 scientists from across the span of history. Some of them you've heard of; others you have probably not. You will read a little of their research, and learn a bit about them as a person. And I think you will find that, in many ways, they are not what you have been taught to expect Keywords:History of science, history, science

  • The goal of experimental psychology is to try to understand why people think and act as they do. How do we interpret and use the information gathered by our senses? Why do we pay attention to some things and not others? How do we learn things? How do we remember things, and why are some things forgotten? What is the source of our beliefs? What is the process by which we make decisions? This course will focus on the ways in which psychologists have attempted to answer these questions over the past century and a half using scientific methods. KEYWORDS: science, cognitive science, research methods, psychometrics, measurement

  • Science proceeds as a series of scientific revolutions, each revolution bringing new frameworks and new modes of understanding. Thomas Kuhn coined the term "paradigm shift" to describe these revolutions, with sciences passing from one paradigm, one way of understanding and organizing the world, to another. Kuhn also famously claimed that psychology has no paradigm, and I believe he was correct. Though it's not for lack of trying - there have been many attempted revolutions, but none of them have been completely successful at providing a shared paradigm. Psychological science is still divided. In this course, we will begin by reading about the theory of scientific revolutions. Then, we'll look back in time and examine successful paradigm shifts from the other sciences. Finally, we'll look at several historical attempts to make a paradigm for psychological science, finishing out the course by looking at some paradigms that might hold promise for the future. KEYWORDS:cognitive science, paradigm, ontology, history of science

  • Once upon a time, all scientific research was carried out by amateurs in their free hours. Most of these people either had day jobs, or were independently wealthy. Over time, however, research became professionalized. Today, almost all research is conducted by career academics, inside the academy. But things may be changing. With the explosive growth of the internet, a small number of independent researchers have started doing psychological research outside of the academic system. In this course we will read pieces by and about psychological scientists who are not graduate students or faculty, and not working for a corporation or university. First we'll reach far back and read research from before psychology was professionalized. Then, we'll look to the recent past, reading work by chronically-ill housewives, medical students, sex workers, bloggers, and other individuals doing psychological science outside the confines of academia. Keywords: psychology, cognitive science, sociology

  • Replication is a cornerstone of science. If you've discovered something, other researchers should be able to try your design and see it for themselves. No one should have to take your word for a finding. But modern academic science often has no time for replications. This was one of the causes of the Replication Crisis - when psychologists finally checked to see if their work could be replicated by independent teams, they discovered that much of it could not. In this course, we'll start by reading about the history of replication. Then, working as a class or in teams, we will replicate several classic studies in psychology. Because we will try to replicate several studies in one semester, a breathless pace in the world of research, we will probably butcher some of them. And that's ok. No research experience required. Keywords:psychology,cognitive science,replication,research methods

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  • Is all of psychology fake? A prestigious journal publishes evidence that people have psychic powers. A team of researchers show that listening to a Beatles song can make you almost a year and a half younger. Many labs try to replicate 100 psychology studies, and only 40 work. Something is very, very wrong. These events are part of a massive upheaval in the field that has come to be known as the replication crisis. In this advanced course, we will look at the replication crisis and the role of replication in psychological science. We will look at the problems that led to the crisis, proposed solutions, critiques of those solutions, and debates that are still ongoing. We'll consider what this means for classic psychology results (How many of them are fake? How can we tell?) and what this means for the future of the field. Keywords: research methods, cognitive science, statistics