The study of psychology is more than counseling, more than research, more than rat mazes. 

Psychology at E&H teaches skills for success in the 21st century. Our students apply the basic principles of psychology in the lab, community, and the broader world.

Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology

    To provide a general program for students who wish to study a wide range of psychological topics; to prepare students for possible graduate study or employment in human services.

  • Bachelor of Science, Psychology

    To provide a specialized program for students interested in aspects of psychology that relate to the natural sciences.

  • Minor, Psychology

    A student may minor in psychology by completing 101, 102, 211, and two additional courses in consultation with the department. Statistics 163 is also required for the minor in Psychology (Statistics 161 or 162 may be substituted).

Our students do more than attend classes, they:

  • conduct independent research and travel to present at conferences.
  • can serve as an intern in a mental health clinic, occupational or physical therapy, human resources, school counseling, or other field.
  • study psychology abroad and learn how to interact with other cultures.
  • refine their critical thinking skills and learn to solve complex human problems, all skills sought after by future employers and graduate schools.

Student Research

  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Psychological Impacts of Coal Mining on Appalachian Communities</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="494" height="371" alt="Myranda Staiano" src="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1889_IMG_7943.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image1889 lw_align_left" srcset="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/2x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1889_IMG_7943.jpg 2x, https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/3x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1889_IMG_7943.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400"/>The southern Appalachian region of the United States has a long and varied relationship with coal mining. However, wide consideration has not been given to the effects on the psychological well-being of the region’s inhabitants. Myranda Staiano ’18 explores the questions of how and why the mental health of people in Appalachia is affected by coal mining. She is using quantitative and qualitative examinations of depression, anxiety, and quality of life. These measures will be correlated with measures of place attachment, economic impacts of coal mining, levels of solastalgia, and cultural orientation in the region in order to attempt to explain and draw attention to the psychological impacts of coal mining on the region.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">The Role of Workplace Spirituality in Faculty and Staff Organizational Commitment, Occupational Stress, and Satisfaction with Life</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="494" height="371" alt="Alan Berry" src="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1888_IMG_3674.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image1888 lw_align_left" srcset="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/2x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1888_IMG_3674.jpg 2x, https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/3x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1888_IMG_3674.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400"/></p><p> Alan Berry ’17 examined spirituality in the workplace, with spirituality in this case being defined as a sense of connectedness, belonging, and fulfillment rather than a belief in religion. Alan set out to examine how much workplace spirituality plays a role in staff and faculty satisfaction at a small liberal arts college. Results were similar to previous studies analyzing similar factors of the workplace. Inner life in particular, which measures a person’s hopefulness, awareness of personal values, and concern for spiritual values, seemed to be a common predictor of commitment and happiness. Findings suggest that if employees feel more aligned with the organization’s values, they are more committed and experience less occupational stress. </p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">The Role of Parent, Peer, and Place Attachment in Adjustment to College Life</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong><img width="494" height="371" alt="Caroline Taylor presenting at the annual Southeastern Psychological Association" src="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/2/width/494/height/371/419_Caroline_Taylor.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image419 lw_align_center" data-max-w="640" data-max-h="480"/></strong><strong>Caroline Taylor ’17</strong> assessed whether attachment to parents/peers impact student adjustment to college. She also examined place attachment to both Emory & Henry College and place attachment to home. Connecting to the way in which students are able to adjust to college in accordance to the ways in which they are attached to parents/peers/place. Knowing how one transitions to college, and is able to adjust to college, is crucial to understand the different approaches that can be made to help students transition to college easier.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Stigmatization of Mental Health Problems in Gender-Typical and Gender-Atypical Disorders</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><span><img width="494" height="371" alt="Skyla Renner" src="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1891_IMG_7927.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image1891 lw_align_left" srcset="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/2x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1891_IMG_7927.jpg 2x, https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/3x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1891_IMG_7927.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400"/>Skyla Renner ’18</span><span> analyzed people’s attitudes towards individuals with mental illnesses and their gender role beliefs. Replicating Wirth and Bodenhausen (2009), Skyla created four surveys consisting of one case study vignette each. Each vignette described one of the following cases: a man with Substance Abuse Disorder, a woman with Major Depression, a man with Major Depression, and a woman with Substance Abuse Disorder. After reading the case study, respondents rated their feelings of anger, concern, disgust, irritation, sympathy, annoyance, pity, and dislike towards the client described. Respondents then rated how likely they would be to help the client and whether they believed that the client’s diagnosis was biological, genuine, unusual, and/or character defect.</span> <span>Upon responding to the various scales, respondents were asked to indicate whether they had a mental health diagnosis or knew a friend or family member who did; they then were asked to indicate the extent of experience that they had with the diagnosis.</span></p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">An Analysis of Locus of Control and Intrinsic/Extrinsic Motivation in an Academic Setting</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="494" height="371" alt="Brandon Minton" src="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1893_IMG_8009.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image1893 lw_align_left" srcset="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/2x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1893_IMG_8009.jpg 2x, https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/3x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1893_IMG_8009.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400"/>Brandon Minton ’18 wanted to examine the potential relationship between locus of control and motivation in an academic setting in the United States. Results suggest that though locus of control and motivation may similarly influence particular traits such as psychological empowerment and innovation performance, the influence of these two variables may be indirect. Future research should consider how the independence of these traits could play a role in influencing other aspects of academic performance or life in the workplace. Studies could examine and compare how locus of control and motivation may vary by setting or whether cultural influence plays a significant role in the development of these traits and how they function. This study adds to the knowledge of locus of control and motivation and has implications for organizational management, training, employee efficiency, and work-life balance.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">The Influence of Patient-Physician Race and Gender Concordance on Patients’ Perceptions of Physicians</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="494" height="371" alt="Emilee Young" src="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1892_IMG_7930.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image1892 lw_align_left" srcset="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/2x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1892_IMG_7930.jpg 2x, https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/3x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1892_IMG_7930.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400"/></p><p> Emilee Young ’17 examined the role of a physician’s race and gender on patients’ perceptions of the physician’s personal manner and technical skills. Faculty, staff, and students (<em>N</em> = 199) were randomly assigned to complete one of four questionnaires rating a photograph of a physician on courtesy, warmth, respect, knowledge, sensitivity, comfort, carefulness, competence, and thoroughness. The photographs varied by gender and race (i.e., African-American/Caucasian and Male/Female). According to the results, patients do not seem to have a preference regarding the race or gender of their physician. However, results suggest that individuals who express more modern racism are more likely to rate African American physicians and female physicians lower on personal skills and competence. </p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Rape Myth Acceptance, Empathy, and Sexism as Predictors of Bystander Attitudes Toward Sexual Violence</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p>  </p><p><img width="611" height="458" alt="Kaylee Widener presents research at the 2019 annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Ass..." src="/live/image/gid/9/width/611/height/458/6266_IMG_2830.rev.1554749500.JPG" class="lw_image lw_image6266 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/9/width/611/height/458/6266_IMG_2830.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/9/width/611/height/458/6266_IMG_2830.JPG 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400"/><span class="lw_image_caption lw_align_left" style="width: 611px">Kaylee Widener presents research at the 2019 annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) in Jacksonville, FL</span>Sexual violence is an issue on college campuses where is estimated that one-fourth to one-fifth of women have experienced an attempted or completed rape (McMahon et al., 2014). Studies suggest that beliefs about rape, empathy, and sexism may influence the willingness of bystanders to intervene in sexual violence. Direct bystander intervention can help to prevent rape, protect future victims from harm, and provide support for victims after an assault has occurred (McMahon, 2010). Rape myths are stereotypical beliefs about rape that do not accurately reflect the reality of sexual assault such as “she asked for it,” “she lied,” “he didn’t mean to,” and “it wasn’t really rape.” Belief in rape myths may prevent bystanders from taking action if they do not perceive the situation as dangerous or if they believe that victims are to blame (McMahon, 2010). Empathy is also reported to be a factor in the willingness of a bystander to intervene (Bennett & Banyard, 2016). Moreover, individuals who endorse greater sexism are more likely to believe in rape myths. Hostile sexism occurs when someone actively discriminates against a those of another sex due to feelings of superiority, whereas benevolent sexism is more passive in nature and places women in stereotypical roles (Glick & Fiske, 1996). Linear regression analysis using the overall rape myth score and empathy as predictors and bystander attitudes as the criterion variable indicated that these two variables together accounted for 27.9% of the variance in bystander attitude scores. Multiple regression using the two sexism subscales as predictors and rape myth scores as the dependent variable showed that together hostile and benevolent sexism accounted for almost 60% of variance in rape myth belief scores, Results suggest that the likelihood of intervening can be predicted using measures of rape myth acceptance and empathy and that sexism can lead to rape myth beliefs. The relationship between sexism and rape myth acceptance shows that beliefs that place women in inferior or stereotypical roles are related to victim blaming as well as the belief that the perpetrator was not responsible for the rape. Although educational programs may be tailored to prevent rape myth acceptance directly, they can also be updated to target such topics as empathy, bystander attitudes, and sexism.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">The Role of Parental Divorce in Attachment Patterns and Academic Dishonesty Among College Students</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="494" height="371" alt="Hannah Doss" src="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1890_IMG_7942.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image1890 lw_align_left" srcset="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/2x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1890_IMG_7942.jpg 2x, https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/scale/3x/gid/9/width/494/height/371/1890_IMG_7942.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400"/></p><p>  Hannah Doss ’17 studied how parental divorce and interpersonal relationships may play a role in college students’ academic dishonesty.</p><p> Research has shown that parental divorce often has a negative influence on attachment patterns in children. Moreover, the attachment patterns developed in childhood often continue to affect relationships in adulthood (Bookwala & Zdaniuk, 1998).</p><p> More recently, research has been found that parental divorce plays a role in students’ academic performance (Storksen, Roysamb, Holmen, & Tambs, 2006). As adolescents, the supervision and parental control that a child experiences has a long-term affect that extends into adulthood (Devore & Ginsburg, 2005). Research has shown that children whose parents have divorced are more likely to experience decreased supervision or receive less attention than children from non-divorced families (Hawkins & Fackrell, 2009).</p><p> The purpose of this study was to look at the potential role that parental divorce and interpersonal relationships may have on academic dishonesty. It also examined college students’ perceptions of parenting styles and compares them to disciplinary practices parents used when the students were children. I hypothesized that parental divorce will play a role in attachment patterns in young adults, which in turn will affect students’ participation in academically dishonest behavior.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">Predictors of Anti-Trans Prejudice in College Students</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="611" height="458" alt="Jay Lawson wins a Psi Chi Research Award at the 2019 meeting Southeastern Psychological Associati..." src="/live/image/gid/9/width/611/height/458/6263_IMG_2833.rev.1554749016.JPG" class="lw_image lw_image6263 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/9/width/611/height/458/6263_IMG_2833.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/9/width/611/height/458/6263_IMG_2833.JPG 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400"/><span class="lw_image_caption lw_align_left" style="width: 611px">Jay Lawson wins a Psi Chi Research Award at the 2019 meeting Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) in Jacksonville, FL.</span></p><p> The transgender community often suffers from negative mental health outcomes as a result of victimization and discrimination (e.g., Bariola et al, 2015); however, few studies have specifically researched predictors of the attitudes that lead to anti-trans prejudice and discrimination. The present study considered anti-LGB prejudice, traditional gender role beliefs, acceptance of stereotyping, gender, levels of interpersonal contact and exposure, attribution of transgender identity, and religiosity as possible predictors of anti-trans prejudice. Greater religiosity, homophobia, acceptance of stereotypes, and endorsement of traditional gender roles were significant predictors of negative attitudes towards transgender individuals The predictors of religiosity (and most particularly ideological religiosity), homophobia, stereotype acceptance, and an endorsement of traditional gender roles suggests that a possible reason that higher levels of these factors may predict negative attitudes is that they may result in socialization that tends toward traditional values and beliefs. With interpersonal contact being a predictor for more positive attitudes, it may be helpful for educational programming to be implemented to better educate individuals on the topic of transgender identity. Both indirect (positive depictions in media) and direct facilitated intergroup contact with transgender individuals could be helpful in this regard. Future research may look into interpersonal contact in its various forms to determine what effect it may have on attitudes towards transgender individuals.</p></div>