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Psychology

Your lab work will begin with your first course, and the hands-on approach to study will give you an early grounding in the scientific method. You will find many opportunities for research and fieldwork, for instance during a semester at the New England Center for Children.


Sabrina Yurkofsky '15

Communication, psychology and an alumna’s path to the TV industry

As a Hamilton College student Sabrina Yurkofsky ’15 wanted to pursue a career in the television industry, and she majored in two subjects she thought would help her get there: communication and psychology. With help from the College Career Center, she did internships related to the field. And she received a prestigious Hamilton fellowship that allowed her to spend her senior year doing a research project to evaluate sexism on television and its effects on viewers. The work combined both disciplines. (Note: communication is now offered only as a minor at Hamilton.)

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Now Yurkofsky is pursuing an MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business as a recipient of the William R. Berkley Scholarship. She’, concentrating in entertainment, media and technology and intends to enter the television and film industries.

Both her Hamilton majors helped her understand the relationship between people and the media they consume, she says. Her communication studies focused on the messages themselves. “The study made me think more critically about the messages we receive, which led to my interest in media effects from the psychology perspective,” she says.

In psychology she explored the impact of media messages on the viewer. “I learned how to conduct a quantitative experiment examining this impact. As someone who wants to go into television production, I consider it an obligation to understand the potential positive and negative impacts of such media on viewers,” she says.


Hannah Schacter '12

A graduate’s progress: on track for a Ph.D.

Hannah Schacter ’12  is earning a doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She discovered a passion for developmental research at Hamilton College; she was riveted by work that shows how bullying has an impact on  children’s later adjustment, be they victim or perpetrator.

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“This topic immediately captured me, and I quickly grew interested in understanding why kids who are bullied, for example, end up faring so poorly. Although I began investigating some of these topics at Hamilton through independent research and my senior thesis, I didn’t want to stop there,” she says.

As a Ph.D. student she continues to research bullying during early adolescence.

“Especially as we see more and more tragic news stories surfacing about youth who have been chronically victimized, I see my research as having the potential to address a pressing public health issue. At the end of the day – and at the risk of sounding cheesy – success in a career for me means knowing my work has made even the slightest difference in the lives of any victims of bullying,” Schacter says.