about me -

I study human social behavior from an evolutionary perspective, and when I am not conducting or writing up psychology experiments, I write for the average person-on-the-street.  I cover topics as diverse as why we grieve so deeply over the death of our dogs, why old people hate new music, and why clowns creep us out. I also appeared in several documentary films. (See a trailer for one of them.


I am the longest-serving psychology professor in the history of Knox College (43 years & counting), and in the almost 200-year-history of the college, only nine professors in any field served longer.


I have always been deeply engaged with the day-to-day life of the collegeAmong other things, I founded the environmental studies program, served as the associate dean of the college, and chaired the psychology department for a decade. On the side, I also worked with the McNair Scholars Program and coached the wrestling team for many years, and I organized the annual Flunk Day softball game for longer than I can remember. My family and I even lived in the dormitories for four years as "Head Residents." 


Last, but not least, I had the distinct privilege of serving as Stephen Colbert's host and introducing him when he delivered the 2006 commencement address at Knox College.


*I was born on a U.S. military base in Germany and I grew up in the anthracite coal region of

  Northeastern Pennsylvania.  I also lived in Maine for five years, and I now reside on the prairie 

  in Western Illinois in a house that is 114-years-old.


*I am the oldest of five children and I attended Catholic Schools for 17 years.

*I was a wrestler in high school (two-time state placewinner) and in college (NCAA Division II program), and

  many of my academic colleagues are unaware that I masqueraded as college wrestling coach for 30 years,

  with 12 years as a head coach.

*I once pitched to a busload of tourists on the "Field of Dreams" baseball field in Iowa.


*My wife (Maryjo) and I have two grown children (Tim & Maura), one ungrown grandchild (Colleen),

  and a dog named Audrey Hepburn.

      * Maryjo was a long-time kindergarten teacher who found a second career as a college archivist.

       * Tim has degrees from Kenyon College & Washington University (St. Louis), and he works in the U.S.

          Intelligence Community. Tim's spouse, Rose Dunphy McAndrew, earned a doctorate in Occupational

          Therapy and has held faculty positions at several universities after putting in many years as a practicing

          therapist; their daughter Colleen is a 4th grader who plays the viola.

      * Maura has degrees from Macalester College & the University of Pittsburgh. She is a writer, musician,

          editor, media specialist, and adjunct instructor at the University of Oklahoma where her spouse,

          Robert Bailey, is an Associate Professor of Art History.

       * Audrey Hepburn mostly just drinks out of the toilet and does other dog stuff.

*I have been lucky enough to have experienced the animals of South Africa and Tanzania in the wild.

                          (Click on the elephant to see pictures of an elephant attacking my car.)

Purple - Blue Gradient

Research Interests

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B.S. in Psychology (1974 - magna ignoramus)


The founding mission of King's College

was "to educate the sons of coal miners."

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West Side Central Catholic High School

       Kingston, Pennsylvania (1970)

                     (now defunct)

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I worry about the future of
the "other" Great Apes.