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Kerry Towler

Chair, Department of Social Sciences; Associate Professor of Psychology

ktowler@tnwesleyan.edu (423) 746-5257

What do you think the title Associate Professor of Psychology suggests about what I do? A title provides little information except that which YOU carry with you while reading. My guess is that your first thoughts are of counseling or clinical interests. It is a good guess; but, it is incorrect. My professional training is in the field of experimental psychology, more specifically, in the domain of cognitive neuroscience a branch of biological psychology.

My training as a social scientist began as an undergraduate at the University of Central Arkansas and continued with graduate work at the University of Tennessee (UTK). As an undergraduate I studied both social and natural sciences to obtain a B. S. in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry; this course of study provided excellent foundations for graduate school in biological psychology. The graduate degrees that I obtained from UTK included both an M. A. and Ph. D. in Psychology with Experimental emphases. My graduate research utilized the Electroencephalograph (EEG) to investigate early diagnostics for Alzheimer ’s disease and learning disabilities (dyslexia). In addition, I have a background in the biological research of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). My work at TWC has emphasized teaching; however, I use research to help my students understand the role of science in growing their own knowledge.

Experimental psychology provides the scientific foundation which informs all psychological domains. My students and I have investigated such topics as math anxiety in college students, students’ perceptions of their college instructors, gender similarities in math abilities, and college students’ health behaviors. Sometimes our investigations take the students into the classroom while other investigations are web-based. Wherever people can be found, we can perform scientific research which addresses our research questions. When we complete our investigations, we take our projects to regional and national conferences so that we can complete the scientific process by publishing our results.

As you see, my training and research interests overlap that of the clinical domain; however, I am an experimental psychologist. My students and I have fun investigating a world filled with people.