Psychology major Heather Tiller ’13 discovered that JBU’s classes didn’t just teach her about human behavior. “One of the most useful skills I’ve learned from studying psychology has been research,” she said. “Through studying research, I’ve learned effective ways of gathering and interpreting information, managing my time and writing scholarly papers.”
Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes. Thus, courses introduce students to the methods of psychology as a science, psychological language, literature, principles and schools of thought. Professors challenge students to consider the relationship between biblical truth and psychological truth.
Psychology students develop skills in research methods, then apply the skills in a research seminar in which they plan and develop an empirical research project. Students also have an opportunity to submit their research for publication in the Psychology department's online journal of undergraduate research: Initial Forays in Psychological Science.
Students may gain field experience through placement in a variety of off-campus settings where they can have practical exposure to the professional field. Faculty encourage students to use class-learned skills in the Siloam or JBU community. For Heather, this means working with a non-profit organization to develop a music program for children with special needs. “I’m using my major by applying elements of developmental, behavior, cognitive and social psychology to my work,” she explained.
What does Heather want to do after graduating from JBU? “I’m considering grad school,” she said. “I would want to do work in child development or music therapy.”