Summer @ Stonehill Pre-College Program: General Psychology

PSY 101 | General Psychology | 3 credits | For rising junior, rising senior high school students and graduating senior high school students


Monday, JULY 9 - Friday, JULY 27, 2018

Course Description

Psychology is an incredibly diverse, fascinating field. This course will provide you with a foundation for potential further study in the field of psychology.

We will use a scientific approach in exploring psychology – the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make up so much of human life – and its many sub disciplines, including biological psychology, learning, altered states of consciousness, human development, human memory and emotion, personality, social behavior, and psychological disorders & treatment. What unites many psychologists from various, diverse perspectives is the common goal of understanding behavior (broadly defined) and using scientific methods toward this end. Each sub discipline brings its own unique perspective to this challenge.

By examining various fields of study within psychology, as well as their interactions, you will also have the opportunity to develop and hone a range of critical and conceptual thinking skills. Whether or not you decide to pursue additional study in the field of psychology, these skills will expand your capacity to examine evidence and draw your own conclusions about a variety of important issues.

Our Summer@Stonehill Pre-College Program is a high-demand program with a competitive application process. Applications will be now be accepted until May 31, 2018 with supporting materials due by June 15.

Course Instructor

David B. Hurley

David B. Hurley

Faculty member in Psychology Department


  • B.A., Psychology, Bates College
  • Ed.M. & Ed.D., Counseling & Sport Psychology, Boston University


Why did you decide to study psychology and pursue a career in higher education?
Ever since I can remember I was a “people person” and part of what made me so outgoing was that I was so interested in learning more about other people. I was constantly considering questions about others – What were other people thinking? How are they perceiving the events compared to how I am perceiving them? Why on earth is that person acting that way? – and psychology provided me a formalized way to explore and understand these questions. I come from a family of teachers, and always saw myself as a teacher. Once I learned that a career in higher education would allow me to both teach, and further explore questions fundamental to human beings, I was hooked.

What has been your greatest experience as a professor at Stonehill?  
I cannot think of a singular experience, but the students make Stonehill a great experience for me. The fluctuations from one class to the next, from day-to-day, make teaching an exciting endeavor for me. At Stonehill, the students are always willing to match my energy and excitement, and it shows each day in class, with our stimulating discussions and the adventure of learning new things. While I cannot pinpoint a single experience, I really love it when students experience a revelation, or learn something that will change the way they think (and especially when it is so evident that I can literally see it in their faces). I always love seeing students challenge themselves also. In particular, I get so jazzed up by a student, who is typically quiet and reserved, taking a chance and saying something in class. So often, these students’ risks are rewarded by their realizations that their thoughts are meaningful contributions to class, and watching that process play out is always incredible.

Who is your favorite author? 
Do I have to choose just one? Michael Lewis. He is the most impressive storyteller that I have ever read. He made statistical analysis in baseball and the stock market into riveting and suspenseful encounters for the reader. Also, Malcolm Gladwell. Many social scientists (myself included) are in awe of the way that Gladwell constructs an engaging narrative about social science issues.

What is your favorite movie?
Rudy. Or Anchorman. (Depends on my mood.)

Where did you go to high school?
Arlington High School, Arlington MA (Go Spy Ponders!)

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