Students can pursue research in a wide range of areas, including those of animal behavior, development, developmental or adult psychopathology, human cognition, learning, neuroscience, personality, sensation and perception, and social psychology. Some courses or research projects also make use of off-campus facilities, including schools, retirement communities, and a state mental hospital.
Psychology students are regular visitors to the Sunflower Day Care Center, located on the Bucknell campus. Students enrolled in Developmental Psychology (PSYC 207) volunteer at Sunflower 10 hours a semester in order to gain hands-on experience with children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 6 years. Students enrolled in Child Lab (PSYC 297) conduct their own research projects at Sunflower, and several students each semester complete independent research projects there under the direction of one of the Psychology faculty.
The animal research laboratory houses honey bees and colonies of Hamadryas baboons, lion-tailed macaques, brown capuchin monkeys, and squirrel monkeys. Research is also conducted using golden hamsters and rats.
Students who take the abnormal psychology course (PSYC 210) also participate in an out-of-class experience at Danville State Psychiatric Hospital. Students interact with the patients at Danville over five consecutive weeks in a forum of arts and crafts or other activity. This activity gives students "hands on" experience interacting with people with a variety of psychiatric disorders, and yet it often leaves students with an awareness of the sometimes blurry boundaries between "normal" personality and psychopathology.
The people from Danville also enjoy these interactions, and grow to count on the activities and visitors. Students in the abnormal laboratory (PSYC 291) often engage in projects conducted at Danville State Psychiatric Hospital. Working closely with staff, the students take on projects that allow them to appreciate the complexities of clinical research, while addressing questions that have some practical implications for the staff and clients at Danville.
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