about me -
I am not what most people picture when they think of "a psychologist." I am not a therapist, and I have little interest in mental illness. Instead, I am an experimental psychologist who just wants to understand human nature. I am especially interested in the psychology that underlies everyday life.
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, why 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.)
I have been deeply engaged with the life of the college during my 40-plus years at Knox. Among many other things, I founded the environmental studies program 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 am particularly proud of the fact that more than 100 of my former students have completed a doctoral degree in psychology or a closely related field.
in Western Illinois in a house that is 115 years old.
*I was a wrestler in high school (two-time state placer) and in college (NCAA Division II program), and
many of my academic colleagues are unaware that I masqueraded as a 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 had the distinct privilege of serving as Stephen Colbert's host and introducing him when he
delivered the 2006 commencement address at Knox College.
(Click on the elephant to see pictures of an elephant attacking my car.)
B.S. in Psychology (1974 - magna ignoramus)
The founding mission of King's was
"to educate the sons of coal miners."