Message from Avril Thorne, Chair

September 06, 2011


Having been at much larger universities and at private colleges, I have found that nothing compares with Psychology at UC Santa Cruz.  The students are unusually creative and bold. They are excited to discover that psychology research needn’t be bottled up in the lab because most of what people think, feel, and do happens in the everyday world.  And regardless of whether they are interested in cognitive, developmental, or social psychology, many of the students, like the faculty, are committed to socially responsible careers.

As you navigate this website you will see that a major theme in our research and teaching is how people behave and change in the everyday world. Our laboratories include family and peer conversations, email, playgrounds, and prisons. We study a wide array of questions, such as

  • What do children learn by eavesdropping? 
  • Where is a sense of self and identity located?
  • How do African-American men become feminists?
  • Why is filing email a waste of time? 

You will discover many fascinating research programs, courses, and service learning opportunities as you navigate this website. I hope you find what you are looking for.