The goal of the Psychology Department is to provide students with the tools to pursue novel questions about behavior and the mind using the scientific method. Strong emphasis is placed on helping students learn to communicate their ideas clearly and concisely.
About the Major
At Hamilton, psychology students are introduced to a breadth of topics (e.g., clinical, cognitive, developmental, evolutionary, neuroscience, and social) while also gaining a strong foundation in research methodology and statistics. Students have opportunities to apply their knowledge, such as through research with a professor or at the New England Center for Children, a treatment facility for individuals with autism. From introductory courses through the Senior Project, students learn to use the scientific method to pursue questions about human nature.
Students Will Learn To:
- Explain how behavior and the mind are shaped by a variety of factors (e.g., biological, sociocultural)
- Evaluate sources, evidence, and psychological theories critically
- Employ appropriate research methods and statistics to address novel psychological questions ethically
- Communicate ideas clearly and concisely, demonstrating awareness of both disciplinary conventions and the target audience
A Sampling of Courses
Explore these select courses:
This course will explore the interactive relationships among evolved adaptations, development, learning, and culture, emphasizing ways in which these work together to shape individuals’ behavior. Questions covered will include: What does it mean to take an evolutionary approach to psychology? What are the major evolutionary theories, and how have they been used to explain human behavior? What are the methods and assumptions of evolutionary approaches?
In this course we will take a social psychological approach to understanding stereotypes, prejudice(s), and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other group memberships. We will examine classic and contemporary theories and research on topics such as cognitive, motivational, evolutionary, and sociocultural explanations of prejudice; modern forms of prejudice/implicit bias; the impact of prejudice and discrimination on targets of prejudice; and prejudice reduction.
Meet Our Faculty
Acting Chair, Carolyn C. and David M. ’38 Ellis Distinguished Teaching Professor of Psychology
defensive self-esteem, responses to ego threat, and negative consequences of thought suppression
Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and associated behavior problems; transition to college; assessment; learning disabilities; parent training; stress and coping
Explore Hamilton Stories
Hamilton students take on unique projects that reflect their talents and interests. In many cases, they collaborate with faculty mentors on this work, which often leads to co-authored papers, joint presentations at professional conferences, and professors mentoring students during academic competitions. Check out what some of our students have been up to recently.
Careers After Hamilton
Hamilton graduates who concentrated in psychology are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:
- Senior Financial Analyst, IBM
- Clinical Social Worker, Washington, D.C. Department of Mental Health
- Product Quality Analyst, Google
- School Psychologist, Dundee Central School
- Neuroscientist, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Chief Architect, Port Authority of NY & NJ
- Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
- Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
- Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service
- Program Director, National Science Foundation
- Senior Deputy General Counsel, San Francisco Unified School District