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Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes: how people act, how they think and how they feel. To approach this broad scope of inquiry at Earlham, we begin the program of study with a core of common courses that enable students to become familiar with the many different theoretical and methodological approaches to psychology. From that foundation of knowledge, students engage in research, interdisciplinary connections and applied courses in psychology.
One of the most significant features of our department is its "hands-on" orientation. Our hands-on approach is coupled with a remarkable diversity of faculty interests: including infant development, human development in Japan, prejudice, counseling and psychotherapy, community psychology, biological basis of memory and positive psychology.
Students find support for their own diverse interests, as well as a range of opportunities in course work for real-life observation and practice of counseling skills, the opportunity to assist in research, and, as senior psychology majors, the chance to conduct original research. This rich hands-on approach allows students to be involved in their discipline in ways that are both relevant and demanding.
Our graduates have pursued advanced degrees in psychology at places like Washington University in St. Louis, Bryn Mawr College and Ball State University in cognitive, developmental and clinical areas. Recent graduates also have pursued advanced degrees in social work, education, medicine, law and business at Boston, Cornell and George Washington universities among others.
Erik Patel’s doctoral research on the silky sifaka lemur has received press from such publications as National Geographic magazine and The New York Times; the BBC will soon release a documentary. But it got off to a humble start.
Alicia Kees refined her ideas of teaching through a variety of experiences, including her Bonner Scholars work at the Boys and Girls Club and her classroom assistant experience at Westview Elementary.
Adetokunbo Adeshile '09 describes himself as a professional troublemaker. He's shaking things up at Ivy Tech Community College in Richmond, where he organizes service-learning opportunities for students.