Psychology is the study of human nature – how people use information, what motivates them and how they develop and change. Psychologists study behavior and brain function, collect information, identify disorders and research emotional patterns. They apply methods such as observation, assessment and experimentation to develop theories about the beliefs and feelings that influence a person. While most people are aware of clinical psychology, psychology’s domain is broad and encompasses many subfields including counseling, developmental, forensic, industrial-organizational, school and social psychology. Students develop critical thinking and scientific skills to solve human problems important to all of those areas.
Students are encouraged to pursue research in collaboration with faculty to develop their skills and gain experience. Psychology faculty conduct research in a wide variety of areas such as personality influences on workplace accomplishment, personality assessment, treatment and prevention of trauma and its effects, reducing the effects of occupational stress and exploring factors that can influence one’s perception of pain. In addition, students are invited to experience hands-on training with faculty supervision in different community settings.
The Department of Psychology is home to two interdisciplinary institutes that feature sponsored research conducted by faculty. The Institute of Biochemical and Psychological Study of Individual Differences (IBPID) explores the links between biological and genetic systems and their psychological counterparts. The University of Tulsa Institute of Trauma, Adversity, and Injustice (TITAN) institute is committed to evidence-based education, scholarship, research and service that reduces the incidence and impact of trauma and adversity. Both institutes offer opportunities for research and student travel grants as well as local, national and international networking.
Students have coauthored presentations at regional and national conventions on topics ranging from forensic evaluation to non-conscious acquisition of information. Undergraduates also have coauthored journal articles that have appeared in a range of psychological journals. The psychology club, Psi Chi, and a colloquium series of distinguished guest speakers also provide research, career and networking opportunities for students.