At a Glance

The Psychological Science Department at Carthage builds on the American Psychological Association’s blueprint for undergraduates by providing broad exposure to the five core research areas of the field. Students pursue deeper content knowledge and research in the specific areas that interest them.

Major

  • Psychology

Minor

  • Psychology

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Using science to understand human behavior.

Carthage’s Psychological Science Department emphasizes learning and applying modern research methodology to content areas in the five pillars of psychology identified by the American Psychological Association. Students are provided with opportunities for a deeper understanding of core areas that they are interested in, which includes both content knowledge and research experience.

 

  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg" alt="Amber Redmond" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2316" data-max-h="3088" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I wholeheartedly believe I would not be where I am today without the professors I’ve had here at Carthage. The psychology and studio art professors showed me that I am in the right place. The relationships I’ve built have led to so many opportunities for me. The faculty here at Carthage is unmatched.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2178-amber-redmond">Amber Redmond</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg" alt="Lin Sensenbrenner" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1080" data-max-h="1441" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “Joining clubs has pushed me outside my comfort zone and led me to meet students around campus with shared interests who I wouldn’t interact with otherwise. It has also introduced me to a large number of upperclassmen that serve as mentors to me.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2164-lin-sensenbrenner">Lin Sensenbrenner</a> ’26</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg" alt="Luke Ehlert ?24" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg 3x" data-max-w="750" data-max-h="983" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “With the professors being so open and willing to help, I was able to be involved and conduct research as a sophomore. I wouldn’t be able to do that at most other colleges.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2076-">Luke Ehlert</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/19/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,170,227/33315_Brianna_Jordan_23.rev.1644506918.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/19/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,170,227/33315_Brianna_Jordan_23.rev.1644506918.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/19/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,170,227/33315_Brianna_Jordan_23.rev.1644506918.jpg" alt="Brianna Jordan ?23" width="183" height="183" data-max-w="170" data-max-h="227" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “My relationship with faculty has helped me succeed because of their motivation and support.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/1520-">Brianna Jordan</a> ’23</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg" alt="Jude Dzurak" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg 3x" data-max-w="720" data-max-h="720" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I chose Carthage because I felt a lot more confident in knowing I’d make a connection with my professors because of how much smaller the classes are. It doesn’t hurt that the lake is beautiful too.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2172-jude-dzurak">Jude Dzurak</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg" alt="Zoey Kurka" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2316" data-max-h="3088" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “The Carthage faculty are amazing. My professors taught me so much and inspired me to enjoy the work I do in the classroom. The encouragement I’ve received from them has been one of my greatest helpers at college.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/1876-">Zoey Kurka</a> ’25</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/117,58,307,248/426_GiannaTrippiedi.rev.1638389814.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/png" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/117,58,307,248/426_GiannaTrippiedi.rev.1638389814.png 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/117,58,307,248/426_GiannaTrippiedi.rev.1638389814.png" alt="" width="183" height="183" data-max-w="190" data-max-h="190" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “My favorite classes are currently Social Psychology and Abnormal Psychology. I really enjoy being in classes that allow for open discussion and interpretation of the material.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/478-">Gianna Trippiedi</a> ’22</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>


A Modern Approach to A Classic Curriculum

Carthage psychology students are trained not only in the content of psychology (theories of behavior and mental processes), but also in the scientific process that has informed our understanding of the mind. As they learn about the modes of scientific inquiry within psychology, they gain practice applying those within the five pillars of psychological science:

  • Biological — studying the brain and behavior, often in non-humans
  • Cognitive — studying mental processes, typically in humans
  • Developmental — studying behavior across the lifespan
  • Social and Personality — studying individual differences and interactions between people
  • Mental and Physical Health — studying techniques for enhancing and promoting wellbeing

Students focus their research efforts on the areas that most interest them, gaining first-hand experience working in one of the departmental laboratories. Students who plan to work in health or social services can participate in Carthage’s fieldwork program. A third of psychology majors have a second major, many in allied areas like neuroscience or criminal justice. More than half go on to graduate school.

Five Pillars of Psychology identified by the American Psychological Association


Hands-on Experience

The department emphasizes undergraduate research. Students learn research techniques in classes, experience those techniques in laboratory work, and then become eligible to conduct independent research. Many students present the results of their research at national and international conferences, and some publish their work in scientific journals. Every faculty member in the department has an active line of research that involves undergraduates as co-investigators.

Current research topics include:

  • Culture and cognitive development
  • Odor memory and odor perception in pregnancy
  • The psychological basis of magic and illusion
  • Prosocial behavior in peer relationships
  • The psychological and physiological consequences of stress
  • Understanding of death and the afterlife
  • Handwritten word perception
  • Development of humor over the lifespan
  • Attentional fluctuations over time
  • Quantitative literacy in college students
  • Personality and selection of undergraduate major
  • The neuroendocrine bases of human decision-making and cooperation
  • Concepts of supernatural agents

As a senior you can pursue field placements, putting what you learned in the classroom to practice. Special programs, such as the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, give students further opportunities. In SURE, students immerse themselves in the research process, working one on one with a faculty mentor.