Psychology students are provided a thorough background in the basic concepts, theories, and experimental findings in psychology, and a well-developed set of research skills and experience in thinking creatively and critically about the world using the information they have learned.

The Psychology Program assists students as they develop a thorough understanding of key ideas, works, persons, events, and issues within the discipline of psychology.

Students enhance their understanding of scientific psychology by developing their research skills in a variety of settings ranging from laboratory to independent field research projects. In addition, students enrich their understanding of applied psychology through internships and course work. Finally, students strengthen and diversify their critical and creative thinking skills and their multidimensional communication skills in each of the above contexts.
In addition, the program seeks to provide students with the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the scientific enterprise as undergraduates through their own research. The program provides students with a fine background for advanced training and work in both applied and scientific research areas.


Read about the PSYCHOLOGY program:

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Jennifer Goetz

Photo of  Jennifer  Goetz
Associate Professor of Psychology • Chair of the Psychology Program (Fall/CT) Psychology Work Young Hall—211 Work Phone: 859.238.5327

Jennifer Goetz joined the Centre College faculty in 2011. She is associate professor of psychology and was awarded a Stodghill Research Professorship in 2014. Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Goetz taught at Middlebury College.

Goetz is a social and cultural psychologist who specializes in emotional experience and expression, cultural values, and Chinese culture. Her research on compassion, expression of positive emotions, and the influence of social class and power on emotional experience have appeared Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Science, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. She has published chapters on cultural influences on mixed emotions and self-conscious emotions and wrote the introductory chapter of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Compassion Science. In her previous research, Dr. Goetz studied human-robot interaction to examine how humans anthropomorphize robots.

Goetz teaches a variety of upper-level courses in psychology including Cultural Psychology, Motivation and Emotion, and Psychology of Race and Ethnicity. She also enthusiastically teaches Experimental Methods and mentors students in independent research.

She earned a Ph.D. in social and personality psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in information and decision systems from Carnegie Mellon University. Somewhere in between that she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa.


File last updated: 9/7/16

Brian Cusato

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Associate Dean of the College • Associate Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Centre CollegePsychology, Behavioral Neuroscience Work Old Centre Work Phone: 859.238.5330

Brian Cusato joined Centre’s faculty in 2006 as assistant professor of psychology, and he became an associate professor and Centre Scholar in 2009. In 2016, Cusato was named associate dean of the College. For the 2018-19 academic year, he will serve as interim vice president of academic affairs and dean of the College.

Cusato’s research interests concern the behavioral mechanisms of learning in animals. He is most interested in adaptive specializations in learning, as well as the integration of biological, comparative and evolutionary approaches to the study of learned behavior. Cusato’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, and findings from his experiments have been published in numerous journals including Animal Learning and Behavior, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Behavioural Processes, The International Journal of Comparative Psychology, and Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

Cusato received a B.A. in psychology from Muhlenberg College, a master’s degree from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.


File last updated: 8/2/13

Aaron Godlaski

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Assistant Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience • Dental School Advisor Psychology Work Young Hall—220 Work Phone: 859.238.6333

Aaron Godlaski joined Centre’s faculty in 2012 as an assistant professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Kentucky, where he studied alcohol and human behavior. Following the completion of his dissertation, he interned at SUNY Upstate Medical University and Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., specializing in clinical health psychology and outpatient psychotherapy.

Godlaski’s research interests include the effects of mindfulness meditation on cognitive and physiological processes, and the effects of alcohol on human behavior. He is also interested in pedagogical innovations associated with meditation and other contemplative practices, and how such practices can enrich the lives of students.


File last updated: 2/19/16

Mary Gulley

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Assistant Dean for Advising • ADA Coordinator • Assistant Professor of Psychology • Academic and Disability Services Academic Affairs, Psychology Work Old Centre Work Phone: 859.238.5223

Mary Gulley joined the faculty of Centre College in 2004 as assistant professor of psychology.

Gulley’s areas of specialty include social psychology, interpersonal communication, social and personality development, and life span development. Her research has been published in the Journal of Social Issues, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and the International Society for the Study of Personal Relationships.

Gulley holds B.A. degrees in biological sciences and psychology from Transylvania University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in experimental psychology from the University of Louisville.

To read about Dr. Gulley’s CentreTerm course on Alfred Hitchcock, click here.


File last updated: 5/2/13

Mykol Hamilton

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H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Psychology Psychology Work Young Hall—209 Work Phone: 859.238.5332

In 2005, Mykol Hamilton was named Stodghill Professor of Psychology at Centre, where she has taught since 1988. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Stanford University and an M.A. in women’s studies from San Jose State University. She earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in social psychology at UCLA.

Hamilton teaches courses such as Law and Human Behavior, Psychology of Women, Social Psychology, and Research Methods.

Her research in the last decade has focused on the social psychology of jury selection and changes of venue in high-pretrial publicity cases. The research stems from legal consulting and expert witness work she began in 2005. She is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants (ASTC) and is the Research Director of the ASTC Foundation.

Hamilton’s collaborative psychology of law research with students has resulted in publications, presentations, and posters. She and her research teams have won first place at ASTC’s national conference for three years running. She was recently quoted in newspapers around the world concerning the difficulty of choosing unbiased jurors in the “Bridgegate” trial of two of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s aides.

Hamilton also has an extensive history of research and publications on gender issues. She has published articles and book chapters on sex bias in language and its effects on girls’ and women’s attitudes and aspirations. She co-authored two articles on gender representations in children’s picture books based on work done with David Anderson (Centre professor of economics). She has also studied son vs. daughter preference in the United States and elsewhere.


File last updated: 8/15/16


EXPERT: Legal psychology, including changes of venue in high profile cases; difficulty of recognizing juror bias in voir dire (jury selection); psychology of gender; sex bias in language; female under-representation and father invisibility in children’s books; and son/daughter preference

Her scholarly interests focus on legal psychology (e.g., changes of venue in highly publicized cases, juror bias, jury selection/voir dire, jury questionnaires, “prehabilitation”—a term coined in her research lab), and the psychology of women (female under-representation and father invisibility in children’s books, sex bias in language, son/daughter preference). Research includes AIDS issues related to people’s attitudes toward homosexuality. She has frequently delivered papers at scholarly conferences, including an invited address on her research on AIDS risk perception. Co-authored with students: “The Ubiquitous Practice of “Prehabilitation” Leads Prospective Jurors to Conceal Their Biases” co-authored with Florida professor Kate Zephyrhawke: “Revealing Juror Bias Without Biasing Your Juror: Experimental Evidence For Best Practice Survey And Voir Dire Questions.” Co-authored with Professor of Economics David Anderson: “Gender Role Stereotyping of Parents in Children’s Picture Books: The Invisible Father”.

Matthew P. Kassner

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Assistant Professor of Psychology Psychology Work Young—214 Work Phone: 859.238.5747

Matthew Kassner joined Centre in 2014 as assistant professor of psychology.

He earned a B.S. at the University of Tennessee, and earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in social psychology at Purdue University.


Jan Wertz

Photo of  Jan  Wertz
Associate Professor of Psychology • Chair of the Psychology Program (Spring) Psychology Work Young Hall—210 Work Phone: 859.238.5334

Jan Wertz is associate professor of psychology. She was named a Centre Scholar in 2007. In 2005, and again in 2015, she received the Kirk Award for excellence in teaching. Her primary interest is how stress and coping are related to burnout.

Prior to coming to Centre, she was assistant professor of psychology at Kentucky Wesleyan College. Wertz has a Ph.D. and an M.S. from the University of Kentucky. She holds two B.S. degrees from Montana State University and the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology. She had a pre-doctoral internship at a VA hospital in Tacoma, Wash., performing neuropsychological evaluations, working with Alzheimer’s patients, and assisting homeless veterans gain housing and employment.


File last updated: 06/05/15