Balancing Evidence and Ideas in Search of Psychological Truth
What is consciousness, and what is the relation between mind and brain? To what extent is human behavior determined? How do we predict states of mind and behavior, and to what end? Being situated both in the world of facts and the realm of ideas, the psychology major at Hillsdale supports the College’s dedication to the liberal arts by helping students develop a deftness in dealing with truth expressed both in the language of science and the humanities. No other discipline is so uniquely positioned in this regard. Neither is any other burdened with so great a responsibility to handle its subject matter with care. This is because it recognizes the hazards that arise when evidence, properly understood, is swept aside, and when skepticism is elevated to such a status that our greatest ideas are dismissed for “lack of proof.” In this way, the major can be viewed as a concentrated effort toward achieving balance in the study of human persons, but a balance that always stands in the service of humanity’s call to higher principles. Students of the major engage with these important problems in close relationship with faculty members and also have the opportunity to conduct scientific research and pursue publication in the field. Ample laboratory space is available for this purpose, as are classes concerning scientific method, data analysis, and writing. Psychology is available both as a major and a minor.
"My approach to teaching psychology begins with treating the ways of thinking that motivate different kinds of psychological inquiry as the most important discoveries students can make."
Collin D. Barnes, Psychology
"I believe that higher education allows students to develop or satisfy a passion for learning. It gives students time to explore their interests in depth, and it gives them a chance to interact with professors who have been exploring those topics for many years."
Jeri Little, Psychology
Training of undergraduate researchers is an important part of the psychology curriculum at Hillsdale College.
The Psychology Department offers students a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research purposes.
The department supports students who wish to pursue psychology-related internships in Hillsdale, surrounding communities, and beyond. Organizations students intern with include Domestic Harmony, Head Start, The Region II Community Action Agency, Court House Probation Work Program, Hillsdale Hospice, Key Opportunities, Family Independence Agency, Alpha Omega Women’s Care Center, Hillsdale Senior Center, and local schools. Students have also been placed at the American Psychological Association’s (APA) headquarters in Washington D.C. and at Penn State University’s Center for the Protection of Children in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology.