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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:

An exploration of theoretical and methodological questions involved in the study of learning and neural plasticity. Questions covered will include: What is learning? What are the mechanisms that support neural plasticity, and how do they contribute to learning-induced changes in behavior? How does learning change across the lifespan? Laboratory exercises will include the development of original experiments to elicit and measure learning at the behavioral and neural levels, as well as the analysis of neural data. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory.

A theoretical and methodological exploration of the psychological and physiological mechanisms of stress. Questions will include: How does psychological stress impact health and well-being? What neurobiological mechanisms are involved? What is the role of environmental context? Laboratory exercises will include designing original experiments to examine the role of stress on behavior and physiological activity, as well as analyzing data, writing papers based on findings, and oral and poster presentations. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory.

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.

Seminar in psychological services combined with eight to ten hours per week of field study in one of several cooperating local agencies and schools. Extensive written project addressing theoretical issues relevant to field work. Topics include methods in provision of psychological, educational and applied services, and methodological and ethical issues in psychotherapy, counseling and educational psychology.

Meet Our Faculty

Tara E. McKee

Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology

tmckee@hamilton.edu

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and associated behavior problems; transition to college; assessment; learning disabilities; parent training; stress and coping

Vikranth Rao Bejjanki

Associate Professor of Psychology

bejjanki@hamilton.edu

learning and inference; functional neuroimaging; computational neuroscience; cognitive science

Jennifer L. S. Borton

Carolyn C. and David M. ’38 Ellis Distinguished Teaching Professor of Psychology

jborton@hamilton.edu

defensive self-esteem, responses to ego threat, and negative consequences of thought suppression

Rebecca Dyer

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

rdyer@hamilton.edu

moral judgment, moral behavior, perceptions of blame, and social cognition

Kelly Faig

Assistant Professor of Psychology

kfaig@hamilton.edu

emotion, social stress, psychoneuroimmunology, psychophysiology, and neurogenetics

Alexandra List

Associate Professor of Psychology

alist@hamilton.edu

cognitive neuroscience of perception and attention; experimental psychology; cognitive psychology; human neuropsychology

Abigail Myers

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

amyers@hamilton.edu

Siobhan Robinson

Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Director of Neuroscience

sxrobins@hamilton.edu

neurobiology of learning, memory and motivation

Rachel White

Associate Professor of Psychology

rewhite@hamilton.edu

cognitive and socioemotional development; self-control; play and imagination; psychological distancing

Keelah Williams

Associate Professor of Psychology; Director Jurisprudence, Law and Justice Studies

kewillia@hamilton.edu

law, stereotyping and prejudice, and evolutionary psychology

Penny Yee

Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the Faculty

pyee@hamilton.edu

cognition, attention, memory and language processing

intellectual and developmental disabilities, assessment and treatment of challenging behavior, organizational change management

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

Explore Hamilton Stories

Class of 2023 outcomes collage

What’s Next: The Class of 2023

Members of Hamilton’s Class of 2023 have walked off the Commencement stage, canes in hand, and out into the world ready to make a difference and take the lead on global issues and needs.

Research Round-Up / Kudos - illustration of a microscope, a student presenting a poster, books, and a student painting.

Kudos! Recent Student Accomplishments

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.

Keelah Williams, assistant professor of psychology

Williams Publishes Article on Stereotypes of Criminality in the U.S.

Assistant Professor Psychology Keelah Williams published a sole-authored article, “Stereotypes of criminality in the U.S. track ecology, not race,” in Evolution and Human Behavior.

Contact

Department Name

Psychology Department

Contact Name

Tara McKee, Chair

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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