Contact Informationpstokesportrait

Address: Psychology Department

Barnard College, Columbia University

 3009 Broadway

New York, New York 10027

Office:          415L Milbank                 

Office Hours:  Wednesday 3-4

Phone:    212-854-2764




        B.A., Social Science, Michigan State University
        M.F.A., Painting, Pratt Institute
        Ph.D., Psychology, Columbia University


             J.Walter Thompson, N.Y. and Tokyo
             Avon Products, N.Y.
             Grey Advertising, N.Y.

         V.P., Senior Creative Supervisor
               Ted Bates Advertising, N.Y.

         V.P., Associate Creative Director
               Shaller Rubin Associates, N.Y.

         V.P, Creative Services
               Jordan, Case, McGrath, N.Y.


         Adjunct Professor, Barnard College 

Favorite Honors

         Fellow American Psychological Association
         Emily Gregory Teaching Award


Introduction to Psychology

Format and Requirements:  

This is a lecture class.  There are three exams (with extra-credit essays). To do well you will have to meet the following goals.

  1. To master basic brain anatomy and chemistry.
  2. To apply this knowledge to understanding how drugs work.
  3. To apply this knowledge to understanding how learning changes the brain.
  4. To apply this knowledge to understanding how neural plasticity affects development.
  5. To apply this knowledge to understanding the brain basis of major disorders.     

Reacting to the Past 

Format and Requirements:

  1. Reacting uses a “role playing” format to replicate three historical debates: the trial of Socrates in Athens, the succession crisis of the Ming Dynasty in Bejing, and the trial of Anne Hutchinson in Boston.
  2. It is a seminar, which means active participation is required of all students.
  3. To actively participate, you must be present at and prepared for each class.
  4.  Preparation will include reading, answering questions (at the start of each game), public speaking, and writing.    

The Psychology of Creativity 

Format and Requirements:

This senior level seminar investigates the creative process by briefly reviewing classic models of creativity before applying contemporary models to several domains. Our discussions will be organized around the question “Are people (painters, architects, mathmaticians) more creative working with or without constraints?”  Current models suggest that the (counter-intuitive) answer is the second, that constraints make creativity possible.  To see if this is so, readings and museum visits will acquaint us with the habits and output of major creative figures. Each seminar member will pursue an area for individual investigation (and class presentation).   Our ongoing investigations will be recorded in a “handbook” that will be written (in parts) throughout the semester.   The completed handbook is the required research paper. Finally, since psychology shows that we learn best by doing, we will “try on” a series of compositional constraints to see which make our own writings more precise, convincing and, perhaps, creative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *