looking out from a cave

Teaching

Lifespan Developmental Psychology is designed to give an introductory overview of lifespan developmental psychology. We progress through the lifespan starting with neonatal development and ending with adulthood. At each period in the lifespan we discuss physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development. PSY203 is a service learning course and requires students to do 10 hours of community service in an area related to lifespan developmental psychology and facilitated through the service learning office. By the end of the course, you will be able to detail how human development progresses across the lifespan, explain fundamental historical theories of human development, and describe important critical modern research in the field. Finally, in addition to learning about lifespan developmental psychology, it is my hope that this course is also personally useful as we cover topics that will, in all likelihood, be relevant to you at some point in your life. Spring 2017 syllabus.

PSY230: Psychology of Religion builds on both the historic and modern interest in psychology of religion. In this course, you will learn to operationally define religion and spirituality. You will be able to identify key genetic and biological factors in religion and key characteristics and triggers of religious experience. You will learn how religion develops across the lifespan and the importance of socialization processes in this development. You will explore conversion experiences and the psychology of sects and cults. Finally, you will learn about modern research into the correlates of religiosity and the role of religion in both the psychological and physical health process. All of this will take place in the context of assigned readings, course lecture, class discussion, and a variety of immersive projects. This course is specifically designed to use a broad, inclusive treatment of religion, addressing not just Judeo-Christian religiosity, but comprehensive ideas of religion and spirituality that cut across various religious traditions and is equally accessible to the higly religious and the highly secular student. Psychology of Religion fills your College level Field 1 requirement! Fall 2016 syllabus.

PSY302: Personality Psychology is designed to give an in-depth overview of modern personality psychology. We begin by talking about what personality is, walk through the different ways of approaching and assessing personality, discuss causes of individual differences in personality across the lifespan, and end by examining some of the many important things personality influences. By the end of the course, you will be able to detail multiple different approaches to personality psychology, explain how personality is shaped across the lifespan, and describe the impact personality has on important life outcomes. In addition, you will enhance your skills in critically evaluating primary source literature through reading peer-reviewed journal articles rather than reading a traditional textbook and engage with personality psychology outside of the classroom through a variety of immersive experiences from examining your own personality to visiting the zoo when we discuss comparative personality psychology. Finally, you will spend extensive time researching how personality influences important life outcomes in collaboration with our partnership with the Buffalo Museum of Science. Spring 2017 syllabus.

HON270: Psychobiography is designed to provide a forum to better understand the life of an individual, a literary figure, or a historical period through the use of psychological science. At the same time, it facilitates the critical evaluation of psychological theory by examining where theory and research does and does not work in real-world contexts. We will begin the semester by studying psychobiography as an art, an intellectual pursuit, and as a scientific discipline that can inform theory and research. The rest of the semester will be student driven applying psychobiographical techniques to evaluate theories across psychology within the context of a student-chosen focal topic. By the end of the semester, students will be fluent in the theory and techniques of psychobiography, have led a lecture on the psychological theory and research of their choice, and have developed a substantive psychobiographical or psycholiterary work integrating a biographical review of the life of the individual, scientifically derived rationale for key aspects of the lived life, and a critical evaluation of current scientific standing on relevant theory and research based on the target individual’s lived life. ​ Spring 2017 syllabus.