Brian Smith, PhD
Division Chair, Professor Psychology
The world needs more people who can think, discuss and work productively with each other. Education is one path toward that goal. I teach to help make the world a better place.
As Professor of Psychology at Graceland University, I understand the scientific approach psychology offers to understanding ourselves and each other. Our everyday understanding of human behavior often is incomplete – or worse. The challenge is, what could be more difficult to study than people? The ability to evaluate claims about the ways people think, feel and act is important for any educated person.
As chair of the Division of Social Sciences, I particularly enjoy courses in Research Methods because students learn a new way of thinking. I appreciate the opportunity to work with students in courses like Social Psychology and Industrial/Organizational Psychology (psychology applied to organizations – whether workplaces, non-profit agencies or student groups). As a recovering attorney, Psychology and Law lets me share two very different ways of understanding the legal system.
Teaching and administrative tasks fill the majority of my time. As for scholarly interests, my wife and I are frequent co-presenters at teaching and learning conferences. As a member of the editorial board, I review submissions to Law and Human Behavior.
Our cats regularly remind me that we people aren’t as important as we’d like to think, yet they readily forgive our shortcomings. My spouse, as forgiving of my shortcomings, encourages me to devote attention to high performance driving, where I provide either in-car or classroom instruction.