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Jacqueline Austin

Teaching Philosophy 

Understanding human behavior is an intuitively interesting topic.  Thus, I find it is not difficult to garner interest from students in class because the topics I teach can be applied to situations they encounter in everyday life.  Although psychology is interesting, sometimes lectures are not.  Thus, I take a multifaceted approach to teaching, which includes a combination of lecture, videos, in-class demonstrations, clips from popular sitcoms, and media on current and past events.  These activities bring levity into the classroom and provide concrete examples to help demonstrate how psychology applies in day-to-day life. 

I also favor a research-oriented education.  Psychology is a science after-all! Therefore, I try to incorporate research related examples to help explain various phenomena and theories.  Incorporating research methods in every course also provides me with the opportunity to teach students how to do psychology, which leads me to my final goal in my approach to teaching: the development of skills that are applicable to their future careers.   To name a few, I try to develop a student's ability to think critically and creatively and to develop strong communication skills through both verbal and written assignments.  I believe these skills will enable students to be smart consumers of information in an information driven society and provide them with the skills necessary to communicate professionally and in an intelligent manner.  In other words, I provide students with marketable skills regardless of what career path they choose.     

Classes Taught 

Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 031)

Experimental Psychology (PSYC 105)

Social Psychology (PSYC 169)

Psychology and the Law (PSYC 167) 

Research Interests 

My research attempts to promote procedural fairness in legal proceedings by examining the assumptions made by the legal system about human behavior and cognition. My recent and current lines of research examine the legal assumptions surrounding the admission of unreliable expert testimony and Court's assumption regarding the effectiveness of jury deliberation at correcting individual memory errors.  In all my research endeavors, I strive to conduct research that will inform legal policy and promote agreement between what we know about how humans think, feel, and behave and legal proceedings.  

Curriculum Vitae