Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental experience. Psychologists study any and all influences on our thoughts, feelings and behavior. A popular misconception about psychology is that it is about treating disordered behavior or it is about "getting in touch with your feelings." It is true that some psychologists study and treat disordered behavior, but this is just one area of a diverse, scientific field. Psychological research ranges from the structure and function of the brain all the way to the influence of culture on behavior. Psychologists can be found working in businesses, industry, schools, government, hospitals, research labs, as well as in private practice. This fascinating field is a synthesis of the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities.
In the Department of Psychology at Samford, our goal is to educate our students about all of the influences, both internal and external, that direct thought and behavior. Our students learn the principles of psychological research--the assumptions, methods, and reasoning used to understand thought and behavior--and the usefulness and limitations of such research. All of our students conduct original psychological research, and many present their research at local and national conferences. We take great pride in the many professional papers that our students have presented based on research they have conducted at Samford. Many of our students pursue graduate study in psychology and related fields, or go on to professional schools such as law, medicine, business, and seminary.
At a large university, it is easy to get overlooked for grant or internship opportunities. At Samford, professors know each student. In some cases, the professor may even have faith in the student before the student has faith in herself. Cassidy Clevenger - ASPIRE research student in Psychology
The Department teaches psychology in a liberal arts context, which makes clear the interconnections between psychology and other disciplines, promotes critical reasoning skills and, consistent with the Christian mission of Samford, emphasizes the ethical and moral dimensions of psychology and psychological research. Finally, our students are trained to apply psychological knowledge to real world situations in an appropriate manner, and to be discriminating consumers of social and behavioral research.
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