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"The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best." - Paul Valery, French poet

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The Psychology Major is a program that establishes the preparatory foundations for study and application in the "science of behavior and mental processes." Students graduate with the critical thinking skills and knowledge for advanced graduate study in psychology as well as for professions in the applied liberal arts.

The Psychology Major emphasizes the scientific, experimental approach to the study of behavior and mental processes. The emphasis on psychology's science-based identity is universal in psychology with the goal to expose students to a broad base of psychological theory, methods, research, and application. To this end, the Psychology Major at CSUMB fulfills all ten recommendations by the American Psychological Association: Board of Educational Affairs, "Undergraduate Psychology Major Learning Goals and Outcomes: A Report ."

Psychology Major pathway

Psychology Minor pathway

Need advising for Psychology??

See Chrissy Lofgren at the Undergraduate Advising Center. An appointment can be made to see her at (831) 582-3937.

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Two Faculty in Psychology to Present at Society for Research in Adolescence in March 2014 in Austin, Texas.

Ranu Sinha and Vickie Nam will present their work on letter writing as a tool for teaching in psychology courses. Their roundtable will explore letters (“epistolaries”) as an innovative pedagogical tool for teaching psychology courses focusing on issues of adolescent development. Teacher-scholars have argued that letter writing invites students to link personal experiences with psychological theories and concepts that are distinct from the conventional ‘reading response.’ The reading, writing, and sharing of letters offers a ‘non-threatening’ approach that encourages students to discover and express identities and perspectives that might otherwise be silenced (see White, Wright-Soika & Russell, 2007). After reading and discussing articles describing how psychologists incorporated letter writing into their pedagogical praxis (Junn, 1989; Keith, 1999), the panelists decided to assign letters in their courses.

Panelists will be asked to consider how letter writing allows for underrepresented (e.g., racial- and sexual-minority) perspectives to emerge organically, in the students’ own words; thus, offering richer, more descriptive examples of how culture and context influences development during adolescence and beyond. Vickie Nam and Mrinal Sinha (CSU Monterey Bay), who teach at a Hispanic-serving institution, will begin this dialogue to address the implications of letters as a strategy that enacts an inclusive, anti-racist model of learning. Drawing examples from her Child and Adolescent Development course, Melanie M. Ayres (University of Wisconsin River Falls) will discuss how letters enhanced students’ understanding of disciplinary topics (e.g., parenting, identity, gender socialization) in addition to their own personal growth. Lastly, Elizabeth M. Morgan (Springfield College) will critique letters as compared to traditional reflection papers based on implementing them in her Interviewing and Counseling course.

Nam, V., Sinha, M., Ayres, M., & Morgan, E. (2014). “Dear Madre, Omma, Mami, Maman, Mom …”: Letter-writing as an inclusive pedagogical tool for teaching about topics on adolescence. Roundtable presented at the Annual Meeting for the Society for Research on Adolescence, Austin, Texas.