PSY 206 Social Psychology
A study of social factors in psychology and psychological factors in society.
Major in psychology and you develop strong research skills, learn in ways that are interactive and hands-on, and get to know your professors well. You study clinical, social and experimental psychology; we also offer an interdisciplinary major in behavioral neuroscience. We encourage you to develop your own research interests, which may culminate in a senior honors thesis or an individual study with a professor. We offer more than 35 courses – a reflection on the diverse interests of our faculty. You have many opportunities to learn outside the classroom, including study abroad or an internship at a medical center, social services agency or mental health institution. In addition, a dozen distinguished scholars and practitioners in the field visit campus each year to speak.
You can combine your psychology major with another major or a certificate from one of the College's academic centers. For example, a psychology major in the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts interned with an advocacy group in Argentina and also did cross-cultural research on body image and eating disorders. Another major in the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy researched the impact of residential treatment on troubled youth.
Professors host weekly or biweekly discussions on a wide range of research topics, from developmental psychopathology and feminist psychology to personality and clinical research. You might use the group for feedback as you develop a research proposal, help a professor with a research project or collaborate with other students.
Joan Chrisler is a strong believer in "writing to learn" and in connecting course concepts to everyday life experiences, popular culture and items in the news. Chrisler is internationally known for her research and writing on the psychology of women and gender and women's health issues, particularly on weight, eating behavior, body image, menopause, attitudes toward menstruation, and menstrual cycle-related changes.
Ann Devlin teaches courses on cognitive processes, industrial and organizational psychology, environmental psychology, and a research methods course. Her expertise lies in environmental psychology, particularly in the creation of more humanistic environments for healthcare, including psychotherapy offices, and for facilities that house the elderly.
Jennifer Gorman teaches PSY 100 (Introduction to Psychology) lecture and laboratories and PSY 202 (Research Methods).
As a behavioral neuroscientist, Ruth Grahn's central interest is to investigate the mechanisms by which neural activity mediates behavior. She has taken an approach that is best described as functional neuroanatomy. How does activity in Brain Region X control or modulate Behavior Y?
Jason Nier is a social psychologist whose research focuses primarily on intergroup relations. As a result, he is concerned with the psychological processes that are responsible for prejudice and discrimination, and the processes through which biases may be reduced.
Joseph Schroeder has a diverse background in psychology, neuroscience, cell biology, neuropathology and pharmacology. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of behavior has been the unifying theme of his research interests from the beginning of his career.
Jefferson A. Singer, the Elizabeth H. Faulk Foundation Professor of Psychology, was appointed Dean of the College in 2015. He is the author of five books and over 90 articles, chapters, and book reviews in the fields of personality, autobiographical memory and clinical psychology.
Audrey Zakriski teaches courses in clinical, developmental and general psychology, with an emphasis on community-based learning. To facilitate an understanding of normative development and the development of psychopathology, students in her Developmental Psychopathology course work with typically developing youth, at-risk youth, and youth with psychological disturbances in a range of community settings.
Psychology, gender and women's studies
A: Human behavior fascinates me. The complexity of the human mind is indescribable, and it is exciting and challenging trying to figure out why we are the way we are. After taking the introductory course, I was hooked.
A: This semester, I am taking a “Couples and Family Therapy” seminar with Professor Singer. In addition to learning about the history and techniques of therapy, we are encouraged to engage personally with the material and think about our own families and relationships.
A: Since my sophomore year, I have been an active member of Professor Joan Chrisler's Feminist Psychology Research Group. In addition to assisting Professor Chrisler on some of her projects about women's health, I completed an independent study with her last year that I am going to present at the 2015 Association of Women in Psychology Conference. Currently, I am also completing an honors thesis under her supervision.
A: I studied in Copenhagen, Denmark, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I've always been fascinated with Scandinavian culture, so when the opportunity came up, I jumped at it. I wandered the streets of Copenhagen, ate Danish pastries for every meal, rode my bike across the city, traveled all around Europe, and even interned at a Danish psychiatric center.