Psychology Overview picture of a McDaniel student and professor at the rat lab illustration


Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. At McDaniel, you will examine the questions of human and animal behavior using psychological theories and scientific methods. You will work closely with faculty and other students on research projects (all laboratory facilities are designed to be used by students) and may even present your own research at a regional or national conference. In addition, you will have the opportunity to use your developing skills by working with clients and organizations in the community.

“I have been able to connect multiple concepts to different classes. This has helped me solidify my understanding of the topics, and apply that understanding to my classes.” — Psychology Major, Spring 2011

Merritt Hall

Dr. Madeline E. Rhodes
Department Chair
(410) 857-2435

Psychology Online Catalog

Majors & Courses

The Psychology department offers courses in a variety of fields including human learning, behavior analysis and modification, cognition, adulthood and aging, counseling, psychological research, social psychology, child and adolescent development, psychopharmacology, and hormones and behavior.

  • Students will develop a foundational knowledge in the basic areas of the discipline, including an understanding of how psychological principles can be applied.
  • Students will define research questions, select methods for collecting and analyzing data, and critically evaluate research findings.
  • Students will be competent comprehending scholarly literature from the field and communicating, both orally and in written form, in the manner of the discipline.
  • Students will understand ethical principles and be able to respond appropriately to ethical dilemmas in psychological research and practice.

Faculty actively work to help our students establish internship connections in areas such as substance abuse, behavioral psychology, career counseling, child and family therapy, crisis intervention, health and wellness, and therapy. Such experience prepares students to earn admission to some of the best graduate and professional programs in the field as well as careers in clinical work, education, health, law, business, and public policy.


Associate Professor and Department Chair Madeline E. RhodesAssociate Professor and Department Chair Madeline E. Rhodes

(Ph.D., The University at Albany – SUNY), is a behavioral neuroendocrinologist, who teaches Behavioral Neuroscience and includes students in her studies of interactions between commonly used therapeutic drugs and the endocrine system and subsequent effects on hormonally-influenced behaviors, including the effects of anti-epileptic drugs on androgen-mediated behaviors such as anxiety, social, cognitive, and reproductive behaviors.

Associate Professor Jack ArnalAssociate Professor Jack Arnal

(Ph.D., University of Arkansas), a cognitive psychologist with special interests in memory processes, collaborates with students in his Cognitive Psychology and Psychology Method and Statistics classes on studies of false memory and prospective memory, particularly in forensic settings such as the prospective memory of eyewitnesses and whether they remember to contact the authorities when a suspect is spotted.

Assistant Professor Holly McCartney ChalkAssociate Professor Holly McCartney Chalk

(Ph.D., The Ohio State University),a counseling psychologist who teaches Abnormal and Counseling Psychology, Capstone: Inside Mental Illness, and Writing in Psychology. She mentors her students in research examining how behavioral and demographic factors predict psychological, emotional, and academic adjustment to college. Visit Dr. Chalk's faculty page.

Professor and Director of General Education Stephanie MadsenAssociate Dean of Sophomore Students and Professor Stephanie Madsen

(Ph.D., Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota), a widely publicized expert in adolescents’ romance, teaches classes in Child and Adolescent Development, Adolescence, Development and Interpersonal Relationships and Controversies in Psychology, while collaborating with students in how relationships with significant others impact child and adolescent development, the significance of teenage dating experiences for relationships in young adulthood and how parents influence their adolescents’ romances.

Senior Lecturer Paul MazeroffSenior Lecturer Paul Mazeroff

(Ed.D., Vanderbilt University) is a licensed psychologist and counselor whose interests in psychopharmacology, stress and psychopathology extend into his research with students on the effects of music on emotion, the application of psychology to the humanities and Jungian psychology as well as in his classes: Music, Mind & Brain; Drugs and the Mind; Coping with Stress and Madness, Genius and Creativity.

Associate Professor Margaret McDevittProfessor Margaret McDevitt

(Ph.D., University of California, San Diego), who teaches Psychology of Learning, Behavior Modification, Radical Behaviorism and Psychology of Women, spends much of her time with her students in McDaniel’s pigeon laboratory collaborating on such research interests as the basic learning processes of operant and Pavlovian conditioning, behavioral contrast, delayed reinforcement, and how information affects the optimality of choice behavior.


Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Development Wendy L. MorrisAssociate Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Development Wendy L. Morris

(Ph.D., University of Virginia), a social psychologist whose courses – Psychology of Gender, Psychology and the Law, Living in the Margins, Stereotyping and Stigma, Social Psychology – are reflected in her research with students on stereotyping, discrimination, the stigma of being single, and the question of whether people can improve their ability to detect deception. Visit Dr. Morris' faculty page.


Internships »

Research Opportunities »

Other Opportunities »



Interested psychology students have the opportunity to conduct independent research with any of our professors. In addition, we strongly encourage clinical psychology students to pursue internships. Several internship courses (offered during Jan Term), enable a group of students to complete an internship experience together, often at Spring Grove Hospital Center or Adams Hanover (PA) Counseling Services. Students may also complete independent study internships in clinical psychology at one of 30-plus sites in the area where our student interns serve.

Recent Internship Placements for Psychology Majors:

  • Adams Hanover Counseling Services
  • ARC of Carroll County
  • Carroll County Senior Center
  • Carroll Lutheran Village Wellness Center
  • Carroll Spring School
  • Department of Juvenile Services
  • Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland
  • Head Start of Carroll County
  • Human Services Programs Cold Weather Shelter
  • HSP Domestic Violence Safehouse
  • HSP Family Support Center
  • Maryland Department of Juvenile Services
  • Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County
  • Safehaven Shelter (for individuals with mental illness)
  • Sheppard Pratt Hospital
  • Spring Grove Hospital Center
  • Target Community and Educational Services, Inc
  • Westminster Boys & Girls Club


Research Opportunities

Psychology majors, particularly those considering graduate school, are encouraged to work closely with a faculty member on original research. Conducting research is a great way to learn about psychology first-hand and it is also an important experience to have when applying for graduate school. Recent research projects include:

Behavioral Neuroscience (Dr. Madeline Rhodes)

  • Oliver Avaritt - The effects of green tea polyphenols on seizure-induced learning deficits of male rats
  • Carolyn Sledzik, Jason Stein, & Emma Hanisch - The combined effects of fluoxetine and clozapine on learning and memory and depressive behavior of male rats
  • Jason Stein, Oliver Avaritt, Danielle Hagglund, Kate Hudson, Jasmine McCormick, & Carolyn Sledzik - EGCG's effects on androgen levels of male rats
  • Laura Barbour -The Effects of Different Anti-Epileptic Drugs on Behavior and Endocrine Outcomes of Male Rats.

Clinical Psychology and the Brain's Response to Music (Dr. Paul Mazeroff)

  • Emily Beeson - Fate and Destiny in Wagner's Ring
  • Katya Spitznagel - Power and Love in Wagner's Ring
  • Danielle Haggland - Attitudes toward Alcohol
  • Jennifer Romano - Physiological Responses to Religious Relics

Cognitive Psychology (Dr. Jack Arnal)

  • Janel Cubbage, Samantha Wilson, & Alex Dodge - The effects of a source/destination memory manipulation on prospective memory for word and face targets
  • Chris Carlin - Precognition
  • Sarah Miller - Source memory, destination memory, and the other race effect.
  • Brett Myers - Dialect Perception and Attitudinal Judgments

Counseling and Clinical Psychology (Dr. Holly Chalk)

  • Kailey Beck & Madison Deegan - First in the Family: Effects of Academic Motivation in First Generation College Students
  • Allie Shreeves & Katelyn McCabe - The Price of Success: Differential Predictors of College Adjustment Based on Family Income
  • Emily Sanders - Predictors of Psychological Outcomes in Sexual Minorities
  • Britany Miley- Fitting the mold: Alcohol use and body image disturbances in Greek and athletic affiliated undergraduates

Developmental Psychology (Dr. Stephanie Madsen)

  • Alexandra Andrea, Jen Shillingburg, Grace Chaney, Bria Butler, Juliann Rossi, & Rebekah Gerwitz - Use of Imaginary Companions in Sports Play
  • Molly Barker, Kaitlin Cutter, Jessica Dunn, & Rebecca Tilyou - Romantic relationships in adolescence and emerging adulthood
  • Jessica Dunn - Parental Management of Adolescent Romantic Relationships in a Low-Income Sample
  • Rebecca Tilyou - Religiosity and recklessness in college students

Psychology of Learning (Dr. Margaret McDevitt)

  • Stephen Watson & Michael Monaco - Conditioned Reinforcement Effects on Choice
  • Lucien Joy - Psychology and Social Policy
  • Emily Sanders - Preference for Information
  • Olivia Marinho de Andrade, Patricia Repsher, & Maura Livingstone - The Effect of Changeover Delays on Preference in Simultaneous Choice Procedures

Social Psychology (Dr. Wendy Morris)

  • Jasmine McCormick - The effects of stereotype threat, gender, and power in face-to-face and email negotiations
  • Amber-Lynn Mitcheltree and Samantha Wilson - Qualitative data analysis of cancer patients
  • Tyler Justice - An analysis of modern deception detection techniques
  • Michael Mandel - The effects of gender and perceived similarity on the social contagion of laughter

During the past few years, students and faculty have collaborated on a wide variety of research. Some of these research collaborations have led to student co-authored publications and conference publications. Many of our students have also received Student Research and Creativity Grants to fund their own research projects or pay for travel expenses to present their research at national conferences. Recent student publications and conference presentations include:

  • Chalk, H. M., *Miller, S. E., *Roach, M. E., *Schultheis, K. S. (2013). Predictors of obligatory exercise among undergraduates: Differential implications for counseling college men and women. Journal of College Counseling, 16(2).
  • *Hoffman, R.A., & Arnal, J. D. (2014). The Effects of Images and Speech Pattern Used for Presenting a Foreign Language on Memory. Poster presented at the annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science.
  • McDevitt, M. A., Watson*, S. A., & Monaco*, M. (2012) Conditioned reinforcement effects in chain schedules. Poster presented at the Eastern Psychological Association annual meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Melendez*, R. M., & Madsen, S. D. (2012). Need for relatedness among white college students and college students of color: Links to academic achievement. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Slonim, G., Morris, W. L., & Kemp*, B. K. (2012). How does sexual orientation affect stereotypes of singles? Symposium presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.
  • *Spitznagel, K., *Beeson, E., & Mazeroff, P. (2014). Redemption through Love and Death in Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungen. Talk given for the Baltimore Jungian Working Group.
  • *West, J., *Seibert, D., & Rhodes, M.E. (2014). Effects of acute mindfulness on state mindfulness following a mild stressor. Poster presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting , Boston, MA.

* Denotes student authors

The department of psychology announces a partnership with PsychForums. By recruiting participants from PsychForums, we give individuals with psychological diagnoses a chance to have their voices heard in our research. More information about submitting a survey is available here


Other Opportunities

Graduates from our program go on to get jobs in the fields of education, business, and counseling (among others); many decide to continue their studies in psychology in graduate school and we've been successful in placing our students in leading programs.

The Psychology Department sponsors a chapter of Psi Chi, the international honor society in Psychology. Students are eligible if they are in the top third of their graduating class, maintain a GPA in psychology courses of at least 3.2, and have completed three Psychology course beyond Introduction to Psychology at McDaniel College, one of which must be Psychological Methods and Statistics I.

Many of our students have also received Student Research and Creativity Grants to fund their own research projects or pay for travel expenses to present their research at national conferences.

Major accomplishments

Raquel Melendez ’11,  completed an internship at the highly regarded Spring Grove psychiatric hospital, and headed for a Ph.D. program in Counseling or Clinical Psychology. She remembers with McDaniel pride walking on campus with a friend from another college when they met one of Raquel’s Psychology professors who greeted her with a hug. Her friend said, “Your professors hug you?” Says Raquel, “I like going to the kind of college where professors hug you.”

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