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Faculty Profiles > Aubrey Immelman

Aubrey Immelman

Associate Professor of Psychology

Student research is a concept that continues to grow at CSB/SJU. As part of the coordinate strategic plan – to increase faculty-student collaboration in scholarly and artistic works – students often encounter research opportunities throughout their coursework. Aubrey Immelman, associate professor of psychology, consistently devotes his time to doing research and other scholarly or creative projects and believes “student research has both instrumental and intrinsic value in undergraduate education.”

In the area of psychology, student research is instrumental in the sense that it is often a prerequisite for admission to Ph.D. programs. “It [student research] is also useful for students who enter the labor market directly upon graduation, because it documents a prospective employee’s ability to work independently, think analytically, collect and analyze data and communicate results,” said Immelman.

A more profound impact, noted by Immelman, is the intrinsic value of student research in a liberal education, as it nourishes some of the most fundamental human needs relevant to learning and personal development — namely curiosity and achievement motives, which energize disciplined inquiry and the strive for excellence. “I teach my students to be distrustful of simple explanations for human behavior, that behavior has multiple causes.”

Immelman introduces these ideas of questioning, curiosity and challenging theories early on in his students’ coursework. In reference to Introduction to Psychology, which Immelman notes is his favorite course to teach, he says, “By the time students finish my class, I hope they’re fascinated by the complexity of human behavior and mental processes, able to ask good questions, more ready to solve complex problems and better equipped to become self-motivated lifelong learners.”

In his dedication to student research, Immelman has assisted countless students in publishing journal articles, presenting papers at professional meetings, presenting posters at student research conferences, publishing newspaper articles and writing research papers. In 1999, Immelman established the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics (USPP), a faculty-student collaborative project with the mission of conducting psychological assessments of candidates for political office and disseminating the findings to professionals, the national media and the public.

His work in the USPP has been recognized both in academic circles (invited chapter in the “Personality and Social Psychology” volume of Wiley’s forthcoming 12-volume Handbook of Psychology) and by media professionals (two Society of Professional Journalists awards for empirically based political analysis conducted in collaboration with students.)

View Aubrey Immelman’s Web page.


Psychology Department