The Department of Psychology endeavors to stimulate students' intellect and curiosity in the acquisition and understanding of the discipline. Both theoretical and applied orientations are integrated to provide students with the widest range of approaches and perspectives in the area of psychology. The department shares with the University a commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. We also share a commitment to develop the intellectual competencies to think critically and creatively, and to encourage participation in extracurricular activities related to the discipline.
Most laypersons identify psychology with the ideas and activities of Sigmund Freud. This is unfortunate because very few psychologists identify with Freud and his theories. Furthermore, his methods of investigation are totally unrepresentative of methodology in psychology today. Most laypersons also identify psychology with "helping people." However, that alone is not what distinguishes psychology from other disciplines. Social work and pastoral counseling also involve helping people. What separates psychology from these other fields is that psychological theories and constructs have been derived from and tested through scientific research.
Psychology is a science, a data-based scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Thus, probably the most important skills related to the discipline that an undergraduate program can provide for its students is a solid foundation in its methods for answering and generating questions about human behavior and mental processes. At Lock Haven University, the Department of Psychology requires three integrated courses which together provide our students with a solid foundation in psychology's methodology. Furthermore, we teach students how to critically evaluate information from the popular media that many other programs typically ignore.
In addition to having a solid research core, our program exposes students to the many subfields that constitute the discipline of psychology (e.g., developmental, cognitive, physiological, and individual processes). The structure of our program ensures that every student's experience will have that breadth. Moreover, we offer some very unique courses in areas such as leadership skills and health psychology. In addition to course work, the strong majority of our students receive academic credit for conducting independent research projects with one-on-one faculty supervision. Many students also work with professionals in a variety of settings through Pre-Professional Internships.