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    Hamline University
    May 23, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

Psychology Department

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Psychology is a wide-ranging discipline that involves the empirical study of mind and behavior. Contemporary psychological science is focused on basic and applied research in many domains, including physiological bases of behavior, cognitive neuroscience, emotion, development and personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy, social processes, psychology in the workplace, and clinical and health psychology.

The psychology major is basic to pre-professional training for a career in psychology, which requires graduate study leading to the MA, MS, PsyD, and PhD degrees. Professional careers in psychology include teaching and research in colleges and universities; counseling and clinical work in mental health settings, in schools, and in community settings; psychology-related work in hospitals and public health settings, in the military services, and in the justice system; and psychology-related work in industry, and in local, state and federal agencies of many kinds. Over the years Hamline psychology majors have obtained advanced degrees from many of the nation’s leading graduate programs, and our majors have established successful careers as counseling and clinical psychologists, social psychologists, experimental psychologists, industrial/organizational psychologists, and developmental psychologists. 

The student majoring in psychology who does not plan on a psychology-focused career receives an excellent liberal arts education and is qualified for diverse employment opportunities. Examples of such opportunities are teaching, personnel work in business and industry, industrial relations, merchandising and sales, advertising, and other community enterprises. Psychology majors have pursued careers in education, health and medicine, law, human resources, management, and government services.

Honors in Psychology

Each spring, outstanding juniors apply to complete an honors project in psychology. Students develop a proposal for an empirical study or literature review, and proposals are submitted to the psychology faculty for review and approval. Students whose proposals are accepted then complete the honors project during the senior year, and present their projects at the annual meetings of the Midwestern Psychological Association and the Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference. 

Awards and Prizes in Psychology

Donald Swanson Prize

The Swanson Prize is awarded to an outstanding junior in the psychology department.

Faith L. Murry Prize

The Faith L. Murray Prize is awarded to the outstanding senior in the psychology department.

Paterson Award

Since 1961, the Paterson Award has been given by the Minnesota Psychological Association to the outstanding graduating psychology major in the state of Minnesota. Students at all four-year institutions in Minnesota compete for the Paterson Award, and a Hamline psychology major has received it 19 times.


Erik Asp, assistant professor. BA 2003, St. Olaf College; Ph.D. 2012, University of Iowa. Research interests/publications: Cognitive neuroscience, neural correlates of belief and doubt.

Dorothee Dietrich, professor. BA 1984 Humboldt State University; MS 1987, PhD 1990, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Research interests/publications: self-handicapping and other self-esteem related processes.

Serena M. King, associate professor. BA 1998, University of Michigan-Dearborn; MA 2001, PhD 2005, University of Minnesota. Research interests/publications: substance use disorders and antisocial personality traits.

Paula Y. Mullineaux, associate professor. BA 1998, Indiana University Southeast; MA 2003, Southern Illinois University; PhD 2006, Southern Illinois University. Research interests/publications: child development, parent-child interactions, and behavior genetics.

Matthew H. Olson, professor. AB 1973, University of California-Davis; PhD 1977, University of Michigan. 1991 Sanders Award for Outstanding Professor. Textbook author in learning theory and personality theory. Research interests: learning and decision making.

Robin Hornik Parritz, professor, chair. BA 1983, Brandeis University; PhD 1989, University of Minnesota. Research/clinical interests: psychology of emotion, developmental psychopathology.  Textbook author of Disorders of Childhood:  Development and Psychopathology.


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