Department Profile

Connecticut College

Connecticut College is a highly selective, coeducational, private liberal arts college. It is located in historic New London, on the north shore of Long Island Sound. The beautiful campus occupies 702 acres (including the 426 acre arboretum) on a hill overlooking the Thames River and Long Island Sound. New London is approximately halfway between New York City and Boston. Originally chartered in 1911 as Connecticut College for Women, the College was founded to provide women with an institution in Connecticut where they could earn a degree. Men were admitted to graduate study in 1960, and in 1969 the College changed its name and opened up its undergraduate programs to men, who now make up nearly half of the 1600 students enrolled.

The Department of Psychology has nine full-time and two part-time faculty, whose efforts are occasionally supplemented by the efforts of emeriti faculty or additional part-timers. Most faculty teach both undergraduate and graduate students, and we pride ourselves on running integrated activities and giving individual attention to students. Our faculty are actively involved in professional associations and on editorial boards, and have achieved recognition for their research, scholarly writings, and leadership activities. Faculty sponsor weekly meetings of the following faculty-student research groups: Behavior Analysis, Developmental Psychopathology, Environmental Psychology, Feminist & Health Psychology, Neuroscience, Personality & Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology.

The Department sponsors an annual colloquium series, a monthly newsletter, skill development workshops for students, and regular social events. Our very active Psi Chi Chapter sponsors an annual student research conferences, publishes an annual volume of the Connecticut College Psychology Journal, and sponsors various other educational and service-related events. National Psi Chi awarded our Chapter the Eastern Regional Award and the Florence L. Denmark Faculty Advisor Award in 2000.

Undergraduate Program
Psychology is one of the most popular departments on campus. One in 10 students selects one of the three majors we offer: Psychology, Psychology-based Human Relations, Neuroscience. Others choose to minor in psychology. Human Relations and Neuroscience are interdisciplinary majors, and psychology faculty participate in several other interdisciplinary programs offered by the College: Architectural Studies, Cognitive Science, Gender & Womens Studies, and Urban Studies. Students are also offered the option of designing their own majors, and many have chosen to do so with the guidance of psychology faculty. We offer a broad array of courses for a department our size, and students are encouraged to graduate with “honors” in psychology by designing and completing an empirical thesis. Students who have participated in our research groups have presented their work at scientific meetings across North America and have co-authored with faculty and graduate students articles published in professional journals. Our department has a tradition of encouraging students to volunteer at community agencies, which a large proportion do each year. Thus, our students leave well prepared for graduate study or jobs that require them to apply their psychological skills.

Graduate Program
The M.A. program in psychology admits 10 – 15 students each year. Students may concentrate in one of four areas: Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Health Psychology/ Behavioral Medicine, Personality/Social Psychology. The goal of the program is to provide rigorous academic training beyond the B.A. level for students who plan to enter doctoral programs and for those who are preparing to enter directly into careers in psychological work. Most of our students do go on to doctoral programs, although some may be found at work in local agencies. Most students receive some clinical training at one of our many practicum sites. Research training is a major focus of the program; students are expected to complete an empirical M.A. thesis and to participate in one or more of our faculty-student research groups. The majority of graduate students have presented papers or posters at scientific meetings during their time with us, and many have also had the opportunity to co-author articles or chapters with faculty.



Joan C. Chrisler
Ann Sloan Devlin
Ruth E. Grahn
Jason A. Nier
Jefferson A. Singer, Chair
Stuart A. Vyse
Audrey L. Zakriski


Otello Desiderato
John R. MacKinnon
Bernard I. Murstein
Jane W. Torrey


Gary Greenberg
Barbara E. Silver


Jennifer A. Gorman
Heather M. Ulsh

Faculty Research Interests

  • gender roles; psychology of women; women’s health
  • weight and eating behavior
  • menstruation and menopause
  • coping with chronic illness
  • body image; eating disorders
  • design of housing for the elderly and therapeutic environments for the mentally ill
  • interactive computer use for way finding
  • children’s aesthetic judgments
  • effects of stressors on behavior
  • learned helplessness
  • the role of seratonergic and GABAergic systems in depression and anxiety
  • interactions of monoamine neuotransmitter systems
  • social psychology of collective action
  • reducing intergroup bias; assessing intergroup attitudes
  • emotion and memory
  • racial and ethnic identity
  • substance abuse and addiction
  • adolescent development and psychopathology
  • behavioral analysis; human operant behaviordecision-making
  • the psychology of irrational behavior
  • superstition; paranormal beliefs
  • social development and the development of psychopathology
  • contextual assessment of child psychopathology
  • peer rejection
  • dominance and aggression
  • long term sequelae of abuse
  • media literacy

Contact Information

Department of Psychology
Connecticut College
2700 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320
(860) 439-2330; Fax: (860) 439-5300

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