Psychology is both a behavioral and a social science, based on
Facilities and Resources
theory and validated by empirical studies of human and animal
behavior. Psychology examines contemporary perspectives on
The department’s offices and facili-ties are located in Bowdoin’s newest
principles of human behavior in areas ranging from cognition,
language, development, and physiological psychology to inter-
personal relations and psychopathology.
basement floor houses the psychology/neuroscience research and teaching
Bowdoin offered its first psychology course as part of the Department of Phi-
losophy in 1904. In the decades since then, the field has grown dramatically and
tains faculty offices, the department’s
has evolved close ties to both natural sciences and humanities, making it a cen-
tral part of Bowdoin’s overall liberal arts curriculum. The Department of Psychol-
floor contains an observation suite, an auditory research suite, and a multi-
ogy currently offers courses in areas ranging from animal neurophysiology to
human language, from basic perceptual processes to developmental and clinical
psychology. Its approach emphasizes scientific methods of inquiry and analysis.
tion, the Quantitative Skil s Program, the Writing Project, and the Baldwin
The Neuroscience Program, sponsored jointly by the departments of psychology
and biology, examines the relationships between biological processes and behav-
iors, including both human and animal studies.
the center for the sciences at Bowdoin.
Courses in the department cover the central areas of modern psychology,
supplemented by several interdisciplinary areas. Introductory courses include a
general survey course, research design, and data analysis. Intermediate courses
examine human development, social behavior, personality, abnormal psychology,
PsychInfo database, containing ab-stracts of journal articles, disserta-
cognition, neuroscience, and other areas. Advanced courses focus on topics such
as organizational behavior, cognitive development, social development, language,
and clinical psychology. Class sizes in the department vary from the introductory
course, which enrolls up to fifty students in five sections per year, to advanced
in both developmental and abnor-mal psychology, and have access to
courses that generally have fewer than sixteen students.
Bowdoin’s science facilities, which support animal and behavior research.
completed before the senior year. Psychology
The Major Program
majors are encouraged to consider an indepen-
Between thirty and forty students major in dent study course on a library-, laboratory-, or
psychology each year. Students in the depart-
field-research project during the senior year.
courses, including Introduction to Psychology,
ment can choose a major within the program
Those who plan to study away from campus Research Design in Psychology, Data Analy-
itself or elect an interdisciplinary major in neu-
for one or both semesters of their junior year sis, and one laboratory course.
roscience. Ten courses are required for the should complete at least one laboratory course
psychology major, including Introduction to before leaving for their off-campus experience Independent Study and
Psychology, Research Design in Psychology, and plan to enrol in two 300-level courses after Honors
Data Analysis, two laboratory courses, two ad-
Students pursuing independent study in the de-
vanced courses, and three other electives at
The neuroscience major consists of twelve partment identify topics of interest to develop
the intermediate level or above. The three elec-
courses, including ten core courses in psychol-
with the faculty. Independent study courses at
tives are intended to al ow students to pursue ogy, biology, and chemistry, and two elective any level count as electives, but do not count topics of interest and sample the breadth of the courses from among several choices in psychol-
toward the required laboratory courses or the
field after consulting with their advisors. It is ogy, biology, and computer science. An intro-
two required advanced courses. Qualified psy-
recommended that the laboratory courses be ductory physics course is also recommended.
chology majors undertake yearlong senior hon-
ors projects involving original research. At the end of the year, honors projects are submitted
as both a written report and an oral presentation to the department. Honors are awarded solely
Recent honors theses completed by majors in the department include
on the basis of the student’s performance on this
• Parents, Peers, and Social Pressures: Adolescent Peer Orientation
project; other courses and grades are not con-
Mediates Parenting’s Effect on Negative Conformity
• Young Children’s Understanding of the Distinction between Biological and
also available to neuroscience majors. Inde-pendent study may be used to fulfil one of the
• Should a Spider Take an Aspirin? The Development of a Folk Biopsychology
• Development of the Ability to Distinguish between Comprehension, Memory,
Barbara S. Held,
Barry N. Wish Professor of
• The Role of Metrical Stress in Spoken Word Recognition: Segmentation or
Psychology and Social Studies, A.B. (Douglass),
Ph.D. (Nebraska), specializes in clinical psychol-ogy and philosophical psychology. She teaches
• The Problem between Endogenous Testosterone and Responses to
courses in introductory psychology, personal-
Aggressive Stimuli in Humans
ity, abnormal psychology, and philosophy of
• Understanding Failure Experiences: Does Concreteness Matter?
psychology and psychotherapy. Her research
• Moral Motivations as a Factor in Children’s Rating of Lies
interests include the philosophies (of being and knowing) that inform systems of psychother-
• Can Scientific Psychology Incorporate Human Agency?
apy and approaches to psychological inquiry.
• Using Failure to Gain Success: Achieving Long-Term Strategy Selection
She also studies the impact of our culture of “positivity” on psychological functioning and disciplinary psychology.
fant and child development, social development, guage, and research methods. Her research
Suzanne B. Lovett,
and research methods in developmental psychol-
interests are in the influence of linguistic infor-
associate professor of ogy. His research interests involve interactions mation on the organization of memory and the
psychology, A.B. (Bowdoin), Ph.D. (Stanford), between child temperament and parenting in the processing of spoken words.
specializes in cognitive development. She teach-
prediction of normal and problem behaviors in
es courses in cognitive development, infant and
Richmond R. Thompson,
child development, introductory psychology, and
sor of psychology and neuroscience, B.S.
statistics. Her research interests include chil-
Seth J. Ramus,
assistant professor of psy-
(Furman), Ph.D. (Cornell), specializes in behav-
dren’s ability to distinguish between the mental chology and neuroscience, B.S. (California – ioral neuroscience, endocrinology, and neuro-processes of comprehension and memory and Berkeley), M.S., Ph.D. (California–San Diego), anatomy. He teaches introductory psychology, their folk theories of psychology and biology. specializes in comparative psychology and physiological psychology, comparative neuro-She is chair of the department.
cognitive neuroscience. He teaches courses anatomy, hormones and behavior, and behavior-
in data analysis, neurobiology of learning and al neuroscience. His research interests are in the
memory, neuropsychology, and comparative neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate social
chology, B.S. (Iowa), Ph.D. (Penn State), special-
cognition. His research interests lie generally behavior in vertebrate animals.
izes in social and emotional development. He in the neurobiology of learning and memory in
teaches courses in introductory psychology, in-
mammals, and particularly in understanding how different brain regions interact to store Each year, several graduates from the depart-long-term, declarative memories.
ment go on to advanced study in psychology. Recent graduates have pursued doctoral de-
Paul E. Schaffner,
associate professor of grees at Boston University, Columbia, Cornell,
psychology, A.B. (Oberlin), Ph.D. (Cornel ), Johns Hopkins, Michigan State, Penn State, Pur-
For more information about
specializes in social and organizational be-
Bowdoin, please write or call
due, Stanford, and the universities of Alabama,
havior, personality, and political psychology.
Dean of Admissions
Chicago, Denver, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts,
He teaches courses in organizational psychol-
North Carolina, Oregon, and Pittsburgh.
5000 College Station
ogy, social psychology, research methods, and
Brunswick, ME 04011-8441
Many of Bowdoin’s psychology majors under-
group dynamics. His research interests are the
take graduate training in related fields, such as
patterning of work-related affect, micro-level medicine, law, business, public administration,
theory development in organizational behavior, or social work. Often, students will work for a
In its employment and admissions practices Bowdoin
year or two before entering graduate programs.
is in conformity with all applicable federal and state statutes and regulations. It does not discriminate on
Louisa M. Slowiaczek,
professor of psy-
Such interim activities take them into the Peace
the basis of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation,
chology, B.S. (Massachusetts–Amherst), Ph.D. Corps, Teach for America, residential treat-
marital status, religion, creed, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, or physical or mental handicap.
(Indiana), specializes in cognitive psychology, ment centers for emotionally disturbed children, language processing, and spoken-word recog-
schools, university or medical center research
The information in this publication was accurate at the time of publication. However, Bowdoin College re-
nition. She teaches introductory psychology, programs, and private business, providing valu-
serves the right to make changes at any time without prior notice to any of the information, including but
cognitive psychology, the psychology of lan-
able experiences for future careers.
not limited to course offerings, degree requirements, regulations, policies, procedures, and charges. The College provides the information herein solely for the convenience of the reader, and to the extent permis-
For more information, visit
sible by law, expressly disclaims any liability that may
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