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 musicwhy clowns creep us out, and why we remember our high school years so vividly. I have also been involved with several documentary films. (See a trailer for one of them.

My career has been about far more than just research and writing. I have cherished my role as a teacher and adviser to generations of students, and I have been deeply engaged with the life of the college during my 40-plus years at Knox.  Among 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. I even lived in the dormitories for four years with my family as a "Head Resident," and I organized the annual Flunk Day softball game for more years than I can remember.

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 am the longest-serving psychology professor in the history of Knox College (42 years & counting), and in the

  almost 200-year-history of the college, only eight professors in any field have served longer.  

*I have taught over 10,000 students in 20 different courses.

*More than 110 of my former students have completed a doctoral degree in psychology or a closely related field.

*I have co-authored journal articles or conference presentations with 61 different undergraduate students.

*I have reviewed manuscripts for 67 different peer-reviewed professional journals.


*I was born on a U.S. military base in Germany and I mostly 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.


*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 placer) and in college (NCAA Division II program - see a video

  of the history of King's College wrestling), 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.


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

  and a dog named Audrey Hepburn.

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

*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 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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