Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and the mental, emotional, and physical processes associated with behavior. It is a science, an academic discipline, and a profession. As scientists, psychologists are concerned with the careful and systematic observation of behavior, as well as the collection, analysis, and interpretation of empirical data. As academicians, psychologists deal with theoretical concepts and interpretations, and ethical controversies. As professionals, psychologists are dedicated to improving the quality of life, enhancing personal and organizational effectiveness, and preserving the dignity of their fellow humans.
Students drawn to psychology must be willing to extend the boundaries of their knowledge about human behavior, develop mature and ethical values, learn to distinguish between valuable and trivial information, and acquire the broad prespective necessary to influence and shape the world around them. They gain from their studies a solid knowledge of psychological terms, concepts, theories, methods, and issues. They develop the ability to gather and synthesize information from a variety of sources, inside and outside the classroom, and they learn more about the human condition in the process.
Whenever a particular method has been found for discovering truths of a certain kind, a new discipline has been identified and broken off from the mother discipline. Biology, physics, and (much more recently) psychology all started in this way. But plenty of issues remain for philosophers to address. Many of these are ethical: Is it ever right to lie? Does the end justify the means? Is anything absolutely wrong? Others are religious: Is it rational to believe in God or miracles or life after death? What can we know, or reasonably believe, about God? Others are about truth, or knowledge, or thought, or the mind, or language.
The Department of Psychology offers a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, and minors in leadership studies and psychology.