Prospective Students

For Potential Undergraduate Students

   My basic philosophy of working with undergraduates is to try to help you develop into who you are going to be personally, intellectually, and professionally. Thus, I try to help you figure out who you are and where you are going. Here you can find a list of what some Knox College Alumni are currently doing professionally.

   My classes work in this way by focusing on a variety of theoretical perspectives, as I know that not all students will find themselves drawn to the viewpoints that I happen to find most interesting.

   At Knox, all psychology majors must complete an independent research project under the mentorship of a professor. When I supervise student's research projects, I try to help them to find questions that they are most interested in and passionate about. As such, many of the projects I supervise are outside my realm of topical expertise: I have supervised projects on many topics in clinical, developmental, social, and personality psychology, including offbeat topics like dog massage and alien abduction. I really enjoy the process of helping students come up with and design a project, as I end up learning more about different areas of psychology and get the chance to sharpen my own research skills. Some of the student projects I've supervised have been so well done that they have resulted in papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  These include:

Kemph, B. T., & Kasser, T. (1996). Effects of sexual orientation of interviewer on expressed attitudes toward male homosexuality. Journal of Social Psychology, 136, 401-403.

Oldham, J. D., & Kasser, T. (1999). Attitude change in response to information that male homosexuality has a biological basis. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 25, 121-124.

Kasser, T., & Sharma, Y. (1999). Reproductive freedom, educational equality, and female's preference for resource acquisition characteristics in mates. Psychological Science, 10, 374-377.

Curry, N. A., & Kasser, T. (2005). Can coloring mandalas reduce anxiety? Art Therapy, 22, 81-85.

Engle, Y., & Kasser, T. (2005). Why do adolescent girls idolize male celebrities? Journal of Adolescent Research, 20, 263-283.

Klinesmith, J., Kasser, T., & McAndrew, F. T (2006). Guns, testosterone, and aggression: An experimental test of a mediational model. Psychological Science17, 568-571.

Ferguson, Y.L., Kasser, T., & Jahng, S. (2011).  Differences in life satisfaction and school satisfaction among adolescents from three nations:  The role of perceived automomy support.  Journal of Research in Adolescence, 21,649-661.

Stillmaker, J., & Kasser, T. (2013).  Instruction in problem-solving skills increases the hedonic balance of highly neurotic individuals.   Cognitive Therapy and Research, 37, 380-382.

Smith, L. M., & Kasser, T. (2014).  Mortality salience increases defensive distancing from people with terminal cancer. Death Studies, 38, 44-53.

For Potential Graduate Students

   Sometimes students write asking whether they can come pursue graduate studies with me. Knox does not offer Masters or Doctoral degrees, so this is not possible. I have had one graduate student, however, come work with me for a year, just to gain research experience; you can e-mail him for a more detailed description of his experience. I am open to such possibilities of working with unpaid trainees in the future as well.

   If you are still interested in studying the kinds of topics that I have worked on, you might consider the possibility of working with one of my colleagues. The self-determination theory web site lists many of the individuals with whom I have collaborated over the years, some of whom are at institutions that offer post-graduate degrees. Unfortunately, relatively few psychology professors are currently conducting much research on topics related to consumerism and materialism, making it harder for potential graduate students to find mentors. As such, I think your best bet is to find a professor to work with who seems likely to be sympathetic to these ideas or who is using methods that you think hold particular promise for research in these areas. Good luck!