309 Vincent Science Center
Psychology is the study of human and animal behavior. Psychology has three faces: It is a discipline, a major subject of study in colleges and universities. It is a science, a method of conducting research and of understanding behavioral data. Psychology is also a profession, a calling that requires one to apply special knowledge, abilities, and skills in order to solve human problems. Thus, the department’s mission is threefold. First, we strive to provide our students with discipline specific knowledge that is accurate and reflects current approaches in the field of psychology. Second, we instruct them in the scientific method of acquiring knowledge and enhance their research skills and sense of inquiry. Third, we prepare students to enter the profession in which they can apply the knowledge and abilities acquired to understand and suggest solutions for real-world problems. The cornerstone of our mission and our curriculum is a commitment to provide our students with a strong experimental foundation, or understanding that psychology is a science, and as such uses the scientific method to conduct research and to understand behavior. This experimental foundation is necessary so that students are prepared to do research, or if that is not in their plans, to be critical consumers of the research literature in whatever area of psychology they choose.
Jennifer Sanftner McGraw
Elizabeth Boerger, Catherine Massey, Chris L. Niebauer, Ann Romanczyk, Jennifer Sanftner McGraw, Linda Veronie, Jennifer Willford
Psychology is the science of behavior. The discipline is experiencing unprecedented growth and change. This is an important and exciting science that attempts to understand human behavior.
The Department of Psychology is oriented toward meeting three broad educational needs: preparation of students for occupations related to the field; preparation of exceptional students for entry into graduate programs at universities; preparation for other fields, such as medicine, law, social work, and others. The department has established experimental laboratories for studying human behavior, including character and moral development and imagination in children and young adults, gender development and interpersonal processes in emerging adulthood across the lifespan; LGBT identity development and health; brain functioning and consciousness; social judgment, stereotypes, and cross cultural studies; eating disorders and body image; personality and coping styles; brain structure and function via brain imaging and effects of drugs in the developing brain.
Opportunities for professional involvement include Psi Chi, the Psychology Club, and the Reflections Body Image Organization who organize and participate in service, fundraising, social, and educational activities. There are opportunities to gain research experience via participation in departmental research activities. A significant number of majors have achieved co-authorship on research presentations at national meetings and on articles published in professional journals. Internship experiences generally reflect the career interests of the student. Recent sites include agencies offering services involving troubled youth, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, geriatric agencies, children and youth services, crime victim advocates, and general psychiatric facilities.
Alumni have successfully pursued graduate training in a wide spectrum of professional areas including clinical, counseling, developmental and social psychology, as well as medicine and neuroscience. Most are involved in professional services.