Since 1924, many thousands of persons have come into contact with the department. The majority of them have been undergraduates at Washington University who have majored in psychology or taken one or more classes. Over 1100 others have been graduate students, whose careers and lives have been shaped by their experiences while in the department’s charge. About 140 others have been psychologists appointed to our faculty, many of whom spent a good portion, if not all, of their academic careers engaged in research, teaching, and service at Washington University.
Two themes are notable in this history. First is that Psychology has become a major enterprise among the academic departments at Washington University. This shows in the fact that psychology continues to be one of the most popular majors in Arts & Sciences. The second notable fact is that the department has developed and maintained a particular research ethos over the past 80 years that comes from an overarching commitment to the scientific method. This shows up in the research accomplishments of faculty and graduate students and the shared vision about how scientific progress is achieved in psychology. Even the clinical program is closely integrated with the rest of the department and shares its focus on scientific research.