Robin Arkerson


Robin Arkerson, PhD

Associate Professor






Liberal Arts 363


2005University of Wisconsin MadisonPhD
1999University of Wisconsin MadisonMS
1992Boston UniversityBA


  • PSY250 Biological Bases in Behavior
  • PSY393 Research Methods in Physiological Psychology
  • PSY478 Emotion





A broad survey of principles underlying the systematic study of behavior. Using examples from basic research and applied settings, a variety of perspectives are explored, including findings associated with the physiological, behavioral, cognitive, developmental and social approaches.

Introduction to the biological basis of behavior. Topics will include basic neuronal functioning and brain specialization, as well as the relation of other biological systems (e.g. sleep/wake cycles, circadian rhythms) to brain function and behavior.

Engaging actively in the research process. Students will get a chance to ear more advanced hands-on experience in the research process. Students interested in pursuing an independent study or honors thesis project would take this course as an intermediary step to developing their own research ideas. Supervised one-on-one with faculty.

Students independently pursue an individual research project, under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Advanced seminar in the study of developmental psychology. Students will study current research on a specific topic in developmental psychology and learn to think critically about the underlying theory and research in the field.

Student develops and executes an independent research thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor. Graded A-F.

Student develops and executes an independent research thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor. Graded A-F.


Online and Continuing Education Courses

The nature of normative transitions across the life span. The course fosters an understanding of change from pre-conception through death. A study of the individual from both the developmental and experimental approaches allows for an understanding and appreciation of change across the lifespan. The domains of human development (physical, cognitive/intellectual, and social/emotional) are replicated for infancy/toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Topics that may be included are methodology in lifespan research, heredity and environment controversy, intelligence, language and communication, learning across the lifespan, as well as motor, cognitive, perceptual, personality, and social development.
Register for this course.


Research interests

  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Emotional development
  • Affective physiology
  • Development of aggressive behavior
  • Social relationships in childhood

Select publications

  • Locke, R. L., Davidson, R. J., Kalin, N. H., & Goldsmith, H. H. (2009).
    Children’s context inappropriate anger and salivary cortisol.
    Developmental Psychology, 45(5), 1284-1297.
  • Locke, R. L., Miller, A. L., Seifer, R., & Heinze, J. E. (2015).
    Context-inappropriate anger, emotion knowledge deficits, and negative social experiences in preschool.
    Developmental Psychology, 51(10), 1450-1463.
  • Locke, R. L., & Lang, N. J. (2016).
    Emotion knowledge and attentional differences in preschoolers showing context-inappropriate anger.
    Perceptual and Motor Skills, 123(1), 46-63.