To complement classroom learning, Hiram psychology students have numerous opportunities to participate in faculty-led research and independent projects. These opportunities assist students with the development of laboratory research and observation skills while cultivating specific knowledge and exposing students to the diverse environments in which psychology is applied.
Computer terminals and programs are available for conducting experiments, simulations and for data analysis; video-taping equipment can be used for animal or child developmental research or student training; we have a playroom equipped for unstructured small group play with an observation area which can be used to study young children; we also have equipment for individual cognitive assessment interviews. Comparative and physiological laboratories include facilities for maintenance and study of several species of animals. The Hiram psychology department belongs to the Ohio Consortium for Undergraduate Psychology Conferences which meets every spring. We encourage students to present their research at this and other conferences.
Several recent research projects on which students have worked are:
- parental choice of toys and infant development among Zimbabwe parents
- assessment of resident adjustment and satisfaction at Hopewell, a therapeutic community
- ability of rats to interact with a touchscreen display
Hiram psychology students also are encouraged to pursue internships/field experiences with area organizations. The department has contacts with many social service agencies in the area. Students may arrange internships or field placements which provide an opportunity to work with adolescents, young children, or older adults. These human services experiences can be arranged in many different contexts, from the criminal justice system to residential or out-patient treatment facilities.
Recently, students have interned at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, the Portage County Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, and Hattie Larlham Hospital for Severely Disabled Children, Hopewell therapeutic community, among many others. In addition to these applied learning experiences, every year Hiram students submit their undergraduate research for presentation at a regional psychology conference.
Hiram is also a member of Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, offering students opportunities to apply for various grants to support their scholarship and leadership in the field.