Psychological science is our focus. Students who complete courses in Psychology are expected to be familiar with current psychological theories, research findings, and should possess the skills that enable them to be life-long learners and productive community members. Faculty members strive to develop in students the kinds of communication, learning, and problem-solving skills that will be useful in a wide variety of pursuits.
As faculty members, we try to instill in our students:
- A thorough understanding of the major areas of inquiry in the field,
- The ability to think critically,
- An appreciation of the usefulness of applied statistics, research methodologies, and the scientific method in general, and
- Effective verbal and written communication skills.
Together, these skills should enable students to pursue their career goals, whether that is continuing education or entering the workforce. The Department of Psychology’s devotion to excellence in teaching is reflected in the numerous awards for teaching our faculty have received. These awards have included the university’s top award for teaching, regional and national awards, college awards, student body awards, and even an award from a local radio station. Several of the faculty have contributed to advancing the science of teaching by participating in workshops, symposia, and panel discussions. They have also written pedagogical texts, journal articles, and supplemental materials.
All members of the department maintain active and diverse programs of research. Indeed, the department has received local, regional, national, and international recognition for its research contributions. Psychology has remarkably high research productivity. In rankings published by the Dean’s office, the Psychology Department at Boise State consistently ranks at or near the top in areas such as external research funding, average number of publications per faculty member, average number of conference presentations, books and book chapters, etc.
Current projects include influence of homelessness and poverty on child development, community empowerment, credibility assessment, effects of childhood trauma on adult functioning, student experiences (retention, evaluations, grade inflation), prevention of adolescent alcohol related problems, prevention of childhood skin cancer, biological rhythms (including shift work, jet lag, and basic processes responsible for circadian rhythms) and central nervous system insult and recovery (traumatic brain injury, stroke, tumors, spine injury, Parkinson’s treatment through deep brain stimulation, sleep disorders). For more information on faculty research, see the faculty web pages.
Psychology is also the home of the Family Studies Research Initiative (FSRI). Consistent with our pedagogical focus on psychological science, we have earned wide spread acclaim for involving undergraduate students in all aspects of research productivity including data collection, literature search and evaluation, data analysis, writing and publishing journal articles, and presentations at professional conferences. Thus, our students not only study research in the classroom but have opportunities to learn about research experientially by becoming research assistants.
The department has a strong commitment to service. Members of the department are well known for contributing in multiple domains serving the university, Boise, and the State of Idaho, as well as service to the discipline of Psychology. Moreover our faculty serves the larger community at regional, national, and international levels. This emphasis on the value of serving the community is evidenced by the vast number of service awards and recognition our faculty have received as well as by the substantial numbers of committees that list our faculty as active members.