2011-12 Pomona College Catalog 
    Feb 01, 2023  
2011-12 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2022-23 catalog.


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Professor Richard Lewis, department chair

Professors Buriel2, Goto1, Lewis, Smiley2, Thompson
Associate Professor Hurley
Assistant Professors Borelli1, Holmes
Instructor Pearson
Visiting Assistant Professor DiLorenzo
Lecturers Drew, Keil, Vajk

The ability to engage in the critical analysis of ideas and evidence lies at the heart of the major in psychology. Critical thinking is a fundamental part of a liberal education, a valuable personal asset and a key to success in many professions, including academic psychology, but also medicine, business, law, social work, education, clinical and other fields.

Department faculty believe that firsthand experience in planning, performing and interpreting research is the best teacher of critical thinking. Consequently, many psychology courses have an associated laboratory. Students are also encouraged to take the Independent Reading and Research courses (PSYC 199DRPO  and PSYC 199IRPO ) and to seek out opportunities for research with faculty members. The capstone experience for majors is the completion of a senior thesis. The thesis is an independent, empirical research project in an area of special interest. It allows students to demonstrate their ability to develop and test hypotheses and to reflect on the significance of their research questions for psychological theory and application.

The department offers excellent facilities for research including a dedicated computer lab, a one-way vision room for observational research and a wide range of specialized equipment for work in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Graduate schools in both clinical and experimental areas of psychology, not to mention many other fields of study, look for a strong laboratory background in their applicants.

All majors are required to have their academic advisor within the Psychology Department in order to receive guidance that will tailor the major according to the student’s interests and goals. Majors in psychology are also encouraged to practice the application of psychological science to the solution of human problems by participating in fieldwork in psychology, particularly if interested in pursuing a career in clinical or community psychology. Several courses have fieldwork components or involve critical analysis of contemporary social issues. Internship opportunities are also available through the Pomona College Internship Program.

The course of study in psychology enables students to develop a broad background in empirical findings and theories in psychological science as well as an understanding of change in the theoretical frameworks used to study human behavior. Students focus on critical analysis of the methods, ethics and significance of research in order to become critical consumers of knowledge and to understand how psychology can be applied to the solution of real world problems. The Psychology Major prepares students for life in a diverse society, by emphasizing the sociocultural context of behavior in courses throughout the curriculum. Several courses in the psychology curriculum contribute to the College’s aspiration for students to engage in critical thinking about the dynamics of difference and power. Psychology coursework enables students to develop informational and technological literacy, as well as skills in written and oral communication. The department also offers a minor in psychology.

Students may pursue the Psychology Major in conjunction with study in other Pomona programs and departments, as well as several intercollegiate departments, learning to integrate psychology with perspectives from related fields. Each such program or department has an advisor in the Psychology Department.

Psychology/Public Policy Analysis is a joint major designed to integrate psychology with the study of how society formulates and implements public policy (Mr. Buriel).

Psychology/gender & women’s studies is a joint major that focuses on critical analysis of existing knowledge of women and gender by examining accepted beliefs and introducing new theoretical frameworks (Ms. Burke).

Psychology participates in the Neuroscience Program to provide students with an interdisciplinary study of the nervous system and behavior (Mr. Lewis, Ms. Weekes).

Psychology participates in the Linguistics and Cognitive Science Major, whose cognitive science track is concerned with the human mind and the nature of intelligent activity (Mr. Banks, Ms. Burke).

Psychology faculty are co-appointed in and students may pursue joint majors with the intercollegiate departments of Asian American Studies (Ms. Goto), Africana Studies (Mr. Hurley) and Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies (Mr. Buriel).

1On leave fall 2011 2On leave spring 2012 3On leave 2011-12


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