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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 have 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 (45 years), and in the almost 200-year-history of Knox, only five professors in any department served longer.


I have always been deeply engaged with the day-to-day life of the college. 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 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. I currently reside on the prairie in

  Western Illinois in a house that is 120-years-old..


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

*I was a wrestler in high school and college, and most of my students and 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.

      * Maryjo was a long-suffering kindergarten teacher who eventually found a second career as an

         archivist. She is a graduate of Misericordia University.

       * Tim has degrees from Kenyon College & Washington University (St. Louis), and he is a

          member of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Tim's spouse, Rose Dunphy McAndrew,

          earned a doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Washington University and she is on the

          faculty at St. Louis Community College after putting in many years as a practicing therapist.

          Coincidentally, Rose also happens to be  a Knox College graduate. 

       Tim & Rose's daughter Colleen is a 6th grader who plays the viola and enjoys swimming,

          amusement parks, and playing online games with her friends.

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

           musician, media specialist, and adjunct instructor at the University of Oklahoma where her                       spouse, Robert Bailey, is an Associate Professor of Art History.

*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.
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