Psychology

The discipline of psychology is dedicated to the scientific study of mind and behavior.

Psychology is one of the fastest growing undergraduate majors in the country. Psychology provides a rich body of knowledge, important issues, and fascinating questions–both for students who major in the field as well as for those seeking to enhance their general liberal arts education. Psychology at Williams is represented by 16 faculty members whose subfields include behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, the psychology of education, and social psychology.

Learning Goals

As engaged professors, active researchers, and dedicated mentors, we seek to convey to our students a sense of excitement in psychology today. Our goal is for our students to develop each of the following skills:

  • Ability to generate hypotheses, design a methodologically sound study, and to collect, analyze, and interpret data
  • Critically read and interpret scientific articles
  • Think critically  about psychological theory, data, and ideas
  • Develop the ability to integrate scientific literature with observations and experiences in the real world
  • Acquire knowledge of major theories, concepts, and findings in multiple sub-disciplines of psychology
  • Learn to write well, including but not limited to scientific writing
  • Learn to talk about psychology with others in formal and informal settings (give scientific presentations, engage in discussion and debate about ideas, research, and applications).

We seek to achieve these goals not only through coursework, but also by providing opportunities for students to think critically about, and actually become involved in, research — from the very first course in psychology through the senior year.

Psychology as a discipline exists within a web of related fields, including biology and neuroscience, women’s and gender studies, cognitive science, ethnic studies, economics, public health, sociology, and other related fields and programs. Many Psychology majors choose to double major or concentrate in a program. Psychology faculty have been centrally involved with several Interdisciplinary Programs at Williams including: Cognitive Science, Leadership Studies, Justice and Law, Neuroscience, and the Program in Teaching.