Social Sciences

Social Science Track 

2014 Social Sciences Students

Through a series of seminars and a carefully-supervised research projects in an area of personal interest, students explore how the social sciences share some intellectual heritage and how they can come together to address problems confronting the contemporary world. Track participants will come. Track participants will examine the perspectives of psychology, sociology, political science, and anthropology on matters including the family, work life, the legal system, religion, hatred, aggression, poverty, international conflict, and other topics.

Students in the Social Science Honors Track can expect a unique learning opportunity led by interdisciplinary teams of accomplished social scientists who are committed to their role as teachers. Students will read and discuss some of the finest thinkers in history and learn how to conduct meaningful social science research. We hope that many students in this track will be able to present their findings at scholarly conferences, and even to publish their work.  

 

The Track is Ideal For:

  • Students of all majors with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Students interested in the fields of sociology, psychology, political science, and anthropology
  • Students who wish to strengthen their applications to law school or graduate school in psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, and associated fields

 

Curriculum:

*Track courses may be taken in any order with the permission of the track director.

Honors Seminar in Social Sciences I-Theory (SSH 2010)

As social scientists attempt to decipher human social behavior, they make various moral, theoretical, political, and methodological choices. The first two seminars in the program examine the intellectual origins of such choices. A special effort is made to identify where the various social science disciplines differ and where possibilities exist for interdisciplinary cooperation. Students in the first seminar explore these issues while reading and discussing classic works in psychology, sociology, political science, and anthropology.

Prerequisite: Admission to the Social Sciences Honors Track

Honors Seminar in Social Sciences II-Methodology (SSH 2020)

This seminar focuses on the various methodologies of social sciences. As in SSH 2010, students read important social scientific studies in the original. An effort is made to use such works, often drawn from scientific journals, as the basis for discussion of the methodological questions. The seminar covers qualitative as well as quantitative approaches.  

Prerequisite: Admission to the Social Science Honors Track

Honors Seminar in Social Sciences III-Application (SSH 3010)

Each semester, this seminar examines a different social dilemma from a variety of social science perspectives. Seminars may address: (1) Law and Justice, (2) International Conflict, (3) Family Matters, (4) Religion, or other topics.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Social Sciences Honors Track or Permission from the Program Director

*Students may repeat this course for credit, though subsequent enrollment would count as electives

Honors Thesis I (SSH 4010)

Students design and carry out research in preparation for writing an Honors Thesis. We will embrace methodological diversity, requiring primarily that a project be feasible and fall within the domain of the social science broadly conceived. Faculty members are committed to helping students conduct successful research.

Prerequisites: SSH 2010, SSH 2020, and SSH 3010, or permission from the Program Director

Honors Thesis II (SSH 4020)

Students write and present an Honors Thesis.

Prerequisites: SSH 4010, or permission from the Program Director 

 

What projects have students completed in the past? 

Students in the Social Sciences Track have produced theses with the following titles:

Thesis Title

Student Name

Year

Educational Achievement and Second Generation Hispanic Americans

 

Veronica Giandomenico

 

2014

Reel Psychologists: Hollywood Portrayals of psychologists, 2000-2013

 

Caitlin Hoolihan

 

2014

Proposal for Foster Youth Transitional Program at William Paterson

 

Shannon Itjen

 

2014

Trends of National Party Mobilization and State Party Demobilization of Youth: A New Jersey Case Study

 

Gordon Kessler

 

2014

Lawyers on Television: A Content Analysis Study of TV Lawyers

 

Matthew Leitner

 

2014

Media, Peer, and Parental Influences on Dieting Behaviors of Young Adults

 

Cristen Lim

 

2014

Self-harm among Adolescents

 

Katherine Pirera

 

2014

Perception of Accents in an Employability Setting

 

Cynthia Antunes

 

2013

Portrayal of Speech Impediments in Classic Cartoons

 

Shannon Pagan

 

2013

Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speeches: A Content Analysis

 

Joseph Toth

 

2013

Psychological Theories and Ethnosemantic Application to Vodka Advertisements

 

Miranda Van Dunk

 

2013

Are Relationships Using New Modes of Technology as Satisfying as Face-ti-Face
 Interactions?

 

Joseph Whitaker

 

2012

Religion in the Early Republic

 

Holley Cornetto

 

2011

An Investigation of the Effects of Diet and Gastrointestional Issues on the Symptoms of Autism

 

Christina Freer

 

2011

Gender and the Perception of Emotion

 

Emily Fritzky

 

2011

"Facebook Behavior and the Consideration of Future Consequences"

 

Rachael Mierzwa

 

2011

An Argument for a revised Scale to Test Teachers' Attitudes towards
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Michelle Palmieri

 

2011

Restructuring American Democracy

 

Tyler Peckio

 

2011

Humorous Advertising: A Content Analysis of Anheuser-Busch Budweiser and Bud Light Brand Super Bowl Commericials

 

Madeline Zayac

 

2011

General Education: Core Curricula, Democracy, and Higher Education

 

Jennifer Bauer

 

2010

Marijuana Policy at State and Federal Levels of Government

 

Nicholas Mattera

 

2010

Bullying and the Law: Legal Deterrents to Peer Harassment in School Districts

 

Jesenia Ponce

 

2010

Male and Female Infidelity in Movies: A Content Analytic Study

 

Leah Viray

 

2010

"Souls Sought Through the Mind's Eye: The Presence of the Anthropological Other as Expressed through the works of Charles Bird King and George Catlin"

 

Kelly Patterson

 

2009

Understanding Psychological Resilience: Coping Styles, Stress, and Levels of Resilience

 

Erin Burger

 

2008

Training Parents of Autistic Children: A Proposal for refining ABA-based Programs

 

Mayra Gastell

 

2008

Moral Education in American Public High School

 

Samantha Branin

 

2007

The Effect of Ethnicity, Acculturation, and Support Systems on a Graduate Student's
Perception of Stress

 

Carol Chu
 

 

2007

Acculturation, Ethnic Identity, and Qulaity of Life of Greek-Americans in Northern and
Central New Jersey

 

Christopher Larres

 

2007

Popularity, Assertiveness, and Aggression among boys and girls in Middle-School

 

Jennifer Sudol

 

2007

Black Racial Identity in the United States and Political Group Cohesiveness

 

Tiffany Clarke

 

2006

Interracial Adoption and its Effects on Ethnic View of Self

 

Alyson Heller

 

2006

A content Analysis of Representations of American Indians in Movies from 1933 to 2005

 

Diana Hilbig

 

2006

Childhood Origins of Dependent Personality Disorder; Parental Authority and its Effects
on Adult Attachment Style

 

Kerri Lindenthaler

 

2006

The effects of the scheduled news announcements about the United States Gross
Domestic Product value on the United States Dollar versus the Euro Dollar Exchange Rate
 

 

Madalina Radu

 

2006

The Psychology of Abusive Dating Relationships in College-Age Women

 

Maite Rago

 

2006

Profiling As a Tool in Airport Security Operations

 

Renato Antunese

 

2005

How Society Thinks About Left-Handers and How Left-Handers Think

 

Mirta Alsina

 

2005

 

How do I enroll?

To enroll in the Social Science Honors Track, contact the Director, Dr. Neil Kressel, at (973) 720-3389 or at kresseln@wpunj.edu. You could also contact Jan Pinkston at (973) 720-3776 or at pinkstonj@wpunj.edu. A completed track application must also be submitted to the Honors College. 

 

About the Track Director:

Professor Neil Kressel holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University and a M.A. in comparative history from Brandeis University. A recipient of William Paterson’s award for excellence in research and scholarship and – recently – a Visiting Fellow at Yale University, his books include: Bad Faith: The Danger of Religious Extremism (Prometheus, 2007), Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror (Plenum, 1996; rev. ed., Perseus/ Westview Press/Basic Books, 2002); Stack and Sway: The New Science of Jury Consulting (Perseus/ Westview Press/Basic Books, 2002; paperback, 2004), and Political Psychology (Paragon House, 1993). He very much enjoys supervising undergraduate student theses.