Connection to Sustainability: Among its many links to sustainability, psychologists help to develop and maintain the science and practice involved with: human resource management; interpersonal relationships, health and wellness; helping community members thrive and overcome barriers; and developing the necessary infrastructure for psychological services to be scaled up in rural areas. Moreover, psychology facilitates our understanding of the behavioral and cognitive elements of environmental problems; examines the links between pollution and human development; and uses psychological principles and strategies to foster pro-environmental behaviors.
Teaching: Psychologists teach across a broad array of topics, including: conservation psychology, human growth and development, mental health and wellness, cognitive psychology, behavioral change, research methods, behavioral science, statistics, neuroscience, social psychology, the intersection of law and human behavior (e.g., forensic psychology), psychology in the schools, industrial/organizational systems, and many areas traditionally within the realm of psychology such as: developmental disabilities, autism, depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorders and suicide prevention.
Research: The faculty in the Department of Psychology conduct original research on several important topics, including but not limited to: judgment and decision-making, health and safety promotion, development of eating behavior, safety and wellbeing interventions, interpersonal violence, gerontology, dementia, neuroscience, animal learning, social psychology, rural mental health service delivery, organizational psychology, cognitive development, suicide prevention, child development, psychopathology, psychotherapy outcome, eating disorders and interpersonal relationships.
Student Engagement and Outreach Activities: Our undergraduate and graduate students are fully engaged in the communities surrounding Appalachian State University. We have established several community partnerships and programs, many of which have been in operation for 10 years or longer. For instance, undergraduates and graduates regularly take part in assistantships, practica and internships at the Psychology Clinic and the Appalachian Counseling Center. In addition, there is considerable engagement with school mental health clinics called the Assessment, Support and Counseling (ASC) Centers, which have been established in 3 regional public school systems including the Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany School Districts. Other regular community partners for service learning opportunities and internships include the Health and Hunger Coalition, High Country Community Health, the Children's Playhouse, the Blue Ride Conservancy and Western Youth Network.