Psychology

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.

Cassidy Clevenger
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.

News

Photo Psych Friday at Hoover Public Library

Free Public Event Will Highlight Psychology Careers, Research, March 3

Psych Friday, supported by a grant from the American Psychological Association, is open to teachers, high school students and other interested audiences. 
Photo Amanda Howard and Friends

Adoption, Foster Care Expert Howard Addresses Australian Parliament

At the invitation of the Adopt Change organization, she sought to help Australian policy makers and practitioners understand the value of more trauma-informed services for children in the child welfare system, and the importance of creating truly permanent homes for children in care.  
Photo DNA rendered in stained glass

Developing Minds Have ‘God-Shaped Space,’ Barrett Says at Samford

“It looks like children, just because of the way their minds naturally develop, have this tendency to see the natural world as purposeful in its design, to understand that it takes a god and not humans to account for that design,” Barrett said.