Middlebury

 

About the Psychology Department

It is a fact of life that people want to understand one another and that we are curious about human behavior.

 

 

What causes people to be assertive or passive? Why can’t this child learn to read? What makes a mob dangerous? Why is he afraid of heights and she afraid to leave the house? Why don't people make rational decisions? How does memory work or fail to work? Psychology attempts to find objective answers to these and other questions about human behavior through the scientific study of emotions, behavior, and mental processes.

In our department, students explore psychology from social, cognitive, behavioral, cultural, clinical, biological, developmental, and applied perspectives. They learn to apply methodologies to identify and evaluate factors that control or influence human and nonhuman behavior. They become comfortable working with data—an important component in psychology—because figures, results, and statistics form the basis for our theories and explanations about behavior.

Consistent with our emphasis on the scientific approach, majors and joint majors are strongly encouraged to participate in directed and independent research projects.