Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. At McDaniel, you will examine the questions of human and animal behavior using psychological theories and scientific methods. You will work closely with faculty and other students on research projects (all laboratory facilities are designed to be used by students) and may even present your own research at a regional or national conference. In addition, you will have the opportunity to use your developing skills by working with clients and organizations in the community.
“I have been able to connect multiple concepts to different classes. This has helped me solidify my understanding of the topics, and apply that understanding to my classes.” — Psychology Major, Spring 2011
Dr. Stephanie D. Madsen
Majors & Courses
The Psychology department offers courses in a variety of fields including human learning, behavior analysis and modification, cognition, adulthood and aging, counseling, psychological research, social psychology, child and adolescent development, psychopharmacology, and hormones and behavior.
Faculty actively work to help our students establish internship connections in areas such as substance abuse, behavioral psychology, career counseling, child and family therapy, crisis intervention, health and wellness, and therapy. Such experience prepares students to earn admission to some of the best graduate and professional programs in the field as well as careers in clinical work, education, health, law, business, and public policy.
5-year B.A./M.S. programs
Students interested in becoming counselors can earn their bachelors in Psychology and master’s Counseling through the 5-year counseling degree which combines undergraduate and graduate level coursework. In addition, there is a 5-year Psychology/Gerontology program through which students earn a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Gerontology.
Associate Professor and department chair Stephanie Madsen
(Ph.D., Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota), a widely publicized expert in adolescents’ romance, teaches classes in Child and Adolescent Development, Adolescence, Development and Interpersonal Relationships and Controversies in Psychology, while collaborating with students in how relationships with significant others impact child and adolescent development, the significance of teenage dating experiences for relationships in young adulthood and how parents influence their adolescents’ romances.
Assistant Professor Jack Arnal
(Ph.D., University of Arkansas), a cognitive psychologist with special interests in memory processes, collaborates with students in his Cognitive Psychology and Psychology Method and Statistics classes on studies of false memory and prospective memory, particularly in forensic settings such as the prospective memory of eyewitnesses and whether they remember to contact the authorities when a suspect is spotted.
Assistant Professor Holly McCartney Chalk
(Ph.D., The Ohio State University), a counseling psychologist who teaches Inside Mental Illness and Abnormality, Counseling and Health Psychology, mentors her students in her research on how students cope with the transition to college, how patients and caregivers adjust to living with a chronic illness and exploring the counseling process, therapeutic relationship, and outcomes of clinical and counseling services.
Senior Lecturer Paul Mazeroff
(Ed.D., Vanderbilt University) is a licensed psychologist and counselor whose interests in psychopharmacology, stress and psychopathology extend into his research with students on the effects of music on emotion, the application of psychology to the humanities and Jungian psychology as well as in his classes: Music, Mind & Brain; Drugs and the Mind; Coping with Stress and Madness, Genius and Creativity.
Associate Professor Margaret McDevitt
(Ph.D., University of California, San Diego), who teaches Psychology of Learning, Behavior Modification, Radical Behaviorism and Psychology of Women, spends much of her time with her students in McDaniel’s pigeon laboratory collaborating on such research interests as the basic learning processes of operant and Pavlovian conditioning, behavioral contrast, delayed reinforcement, and how information affects the optimality of choice behavior.
Associate Professor Wendy L. Morris
(Ph.D., University of Virginia), a social psychologist whose courses – Psychology of Gender, Psychology and the Law, Living in the Margins, Stereotyping and Stigma, Social Psychology – are reflected in her research with students on stereotyping, discrimination, the stigma of being single, and the question of whether people can improve their ability to detect deception.
Assistant Professor Madeline E. Rhodes
(Ph.D., The University at Albany – SUNY), is a behavioral neuroendocrinologist, who teaches Behavioral Neuroscience and includes students in her studies of interactions between commonly used therapeutic drugs and the endocrine system and subsequent effects on hormonally-influenced behaviors, including the effects of anti-epileptic drugs on androgen-mediated behaviors such as anxiety, social, cognitive, and reproductive behaviors.
Interested psychology students have the opportunity to conduct independent research with any of our professors. In addition, we strongly encourage clinical psychology students to pursue internships. Several internship courses (offered during Jan Term), enable a group of students to complete an internship experience together, often at Spring Grove Hospital Center or Adams Hanover (PA) Counseling Services. Students may also complete independent study internships in clinical psychology at one of 30-plus sites in the area where our student interns serve.
Recent Internship Placements for Psychology Majors:
- Adams Hanover Counseling Services
- ARC of Carroll County
- Carroll County Senior Center
- Carroll Lutheran Village Wellness Center
- Carroll Spring School
- Department of Juvenile Services
- Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland
- Head Start of Carroll County
- Human Services Programs Cold Weather Shelter
- HSP Domestic Violence Safehouse
- HSP Family Support Center
- Maryland Department of Juvenile Services
- Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County
- Safehaven Shelter (for individuals with mental illness)
- Sheppard Pratt Hospital
- Spring Grove Hospital Center
- Target Community and Educational Services, Inc
- Westminster Boys & Girls Club
Psychology majors, particularly those considering graduate school, are encouraged to work closely with a faculty member on original research. Conducting research is a great way to learn about psychology first-hand and it is also an important experience to have when applying for graduate school. Recent research projects include:
Developmental Psychology (Dr. Stephanie Madsen)
- Cassandra Allen - Adolescent romantic relationships
- Ellen Inverso & Colleen Gray - Parental involvement in adolescent relationships
- Rachel Schmidt - Media consumption and body image in adolescent girls
- Rachel Schmidt & Cassandra Allen - Can you build a baby genius?
- Melissa Collison & Cara Jacobson - Psychosocial effects of type I diabetes in adolescents
Clinical Psychology and the Brain's Response to Music (Dr. Paul Mazeroff)
- Teri Hamer - Differential emotional response to happy and sad music
- Elizabeth Meade - Psychophysiological differences in responses to songs with comprehensible words and songs with incomprehensible words
- Rachel Hurley, Elizabeth Meade, & Kristin O'Toole - The effect of musical notation on the cerebral hemispheric processing of music
- Ellen Gulya - Measuring psychotherapy outcomes in a partial hospitalization program
Counseling and Clinical Psychology (Dr. Holly Chalk)
- Kate Maloney: Effect of mental health stigma on willingness to seek counseling
- Samantha Baron: Influence of family relationships on stress and risky behavior in first-year college students
- Bethany Grove, Christie Morley, & Lauren Hild: Predictors of anxiety and depression in first-year students
- Brittany Eyler: Exploration of the therapeutic relationship
Behavioral Psychology (Dr. Margaret McDevitt)
- Diego de los Rios - Effect of reinforcement context on reinforcement value
- Jodi Hunter - Transitivity of preference with probability schedules of reinforcement
- Nathan Klunk - Effect of reinforcement context on reinforcement value
- ArpinehMelrabi - Effect of temporal variables in conditional discrimination learning
- Mike Heady - An experimental analysis of free versus forced choice
- Christine Mayne - Similarity of preference with differentially signaled and unsignaled delayed reinforcers
Social Psychology (Dr. Wendy Morris)
- Chelsea Phillips & Jillian Hoffman - Improving accuracy in deception detection
- Allison Frush, Meghan Longhurst, & Emily Paull - Stereotypes in first encounters
- Molly Bolek – Coaches’ perceptions of eating disorders in athletes: Underdiagnosing the atypical
- Jillian Hoffman - A longitudinal study of deception detection in friendships
- Emily Paull - The effects of punk music on conformist behavior
- Brittany Kemp - Assessing the stereotypes of singles
During the past few years, students and faculty have collaborated on a wide variety of research. Some of these research collaborations have led to student co-authored publications and conference publications. Many of our students have also received Student Research and Creativity Grants to fund their own research projects or pay for travel expenses to present their research at national conferences. Recent student publications and conference presentations include:
- *Bolek, M. T., & Morris, W. M. (2009). Coaches’ Perceptions of Eating Disorders in Athletes: Under Diagnosing the Atypical. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA.
- Chalk, H. M., *Grove, B., *Hild, L., & *Morley, C. (2009). Easing the transition: Protective effects of self esteem and group cohesion on psychological adjustment to college.
- *Maloney, K. M., & Chalk, H. M. (2009). College students’ willingness to seek help: Social support, perceived public stigma, and the mediating role of personal attitudes toward counseling. Poster presentation at the 2009 Eastern Psychological Association Convention.
* Denotes student authors
Graduates from our program go on to get jobs in the fields of education, business, and counseling (among others); many decide to continue their studies in psychology in graduate school and we've been successful in placing our students in leading programs.
The Psychology Department sponsors a chapter of Psi Chi, the international honor society in Psychology. Students are eligible if they are in the top third of their graduating class, maintain a GPA in psychology courses of at least 3.2, and have completed three Psychology course beyond Introduction to Psychology, one of which must be Psychological Methods and Statistics I.
Many of our students have also received Student Research and Creativity Grants to fund their own research projects or pay for travel expenses to present their research at national conferences.