Discover The Psychology Department
Psychology is the science of how we think, feel and behave. It is a field with both broad purpose in enhancing our knowledge of human behaviour, as well as having important applications for the local and wider community. Studying Psychology at Bishop’s is being part of a warm, tightly-knit community with many benefits. Just some of the things you can expect are:
You are not a number
As class sizes are relatively small, our students are able to work closely with our friendly, approachable professors. It is a comforting feeling to be known by your name and not your student number when approaching them. We are particularly proud of the quality of our teaching, with six of our faculty members having been recognized with teaching awards. Above all else though we are available for our students and go the extra mile to make sure they get the most out of the Bishop’s experience, and beyond; every year a number of our graduating students go on to Masters and Ph.D. programs across the country and around the world.
Research opportunities in important current areas
How do our thoughts and feelings affect our experience of pain? Why is music so important to so many people and how does it affect our emotions and actions? Is procrastination bad for your health? Why do some people thrive while living with a chronic illness while others just survive? How does time perspective influence health and well-being? What do we know about the brain that would help us to better understand behavior and the behavior of more at-risk populations? How can we better trace the debilitative effects of concussions? How can we stem the tide of stigmatization towards those faced with mental illness? Why does society marginalize others according to their sexual, ethnic or religious identity? How does being part of a linguistic minority group impact perceived access to healthcare? These are just a few of the important questions in Psychology that faculty members are investigating in their research. In particular, our Department is at the core of the Psychological Health and Well-being research cluster; a theme that has recently been identified as one of the four research priorities of the University.
The Psychological Health and Well-being research cluster is a multidisciplinary research group comprised of members from the fields of Social Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Business. Their overall objective is to produce and share knowledge regarding how to enhance the psychological health and well-being of individuals and the communities that they live in.
New and interesting courses
Our size means that not only are we able to offer opportunities in more personalized areas of interest such as in our Practicum course, where advanced students can gain applied experience outside the classroom, but that we can have an evolving program where our professors can bring their expertise from their research into the classroom. Recent additions to the Psychology program include:
PSY336 Interviewing (Prof Charpentier); which explores both the theory behind interviewing techniques and the practical skills involved in interviews in a variety of applied settings.
PSY277 Physical and Mental Health (Prof Standing); which examines the biopsychosocial interactions underpinning psychological and physical health issues and the therapeutic interventions we use to treat them.
PSY292 Psychology of Music (Prof Mitchell); which gives an introduction to an emerging field of scientific research exploring the human relationship with music, including the applications of music in social, health, educational and therapeutic settings.
PSY477: Personality, Health and Well-being (Prof Sirois); which is an advanced seminar that undertakes a critical analysis of historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives on the role of personality in physical and psychological well-being.
Life outside the classroom
Being part of Bishop’s is to have opportunities to develop fully; to have confidence when communicating your knowledge of your subject and your own ideas, to have a broad range of skills and interests, and to approach life with an open outlook. Throughout the program, we maintain a firm commitment to the core competencies of Psychology; critical thinking and analysis, experimental design and data analysis, and knowledge of both historical theory and current research. Our students also enjoy many extra-curricular activities such as the twice-yearly wine and cheese run by the Undergraduate Psychology Society where faculty members and students get together in a beautiful mansion house in Lennoxville.
Alexander McKelvie '99
McKelvie is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, one of the top-ranked universities in Entrepreneurship in the US. He earned his PhD in 2007 from Jönköping International Business School in Sweden. He has published widely in leading entrepreneurship and management journals on topics concerning new firm growth and innovation. In 2008, he received the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) best doctoral dissertation award within the field of Entrepreneurship as well as a 'Research Promise' Award from the Academy of Management. Alex says, "BU was a huge factor in my development. I believe that BUs teaching philosophy on critical thinking and challenging the status quo really has helped me to ask more interesting research questions and bring in new approaches to understanding problems".