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



*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


Class Integration of Public Schools


Alexander Alvarez


Descriptive Menu Labels in Upscale Restaurants


Jake Drappi


Perspective Gender Stereotypes for Attractiveness: High Standards Keep Women Down


Ashley Lemoncelli



Second and Third Wave Feminist Theory on Sexualization and Empowerment


Samantha Mercado


Juror Bias and the Insanity Defense


Lachelle Rouse



How Well Are Children's Rights Protected in the U.S. and Abroad?


Diane Segreto



Educational Achievement and Second Generation Hispanic Americans


Veronica Giandomenico



Reel Psychologists: Hollywood Portrayals of psychologists, 2000-2013


Caitlin Hoolihan



Proposal for Foster Youth Transitional Program at William Paterson


Shannon Itjen



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


Gordon Kessler



Lawyers on Television: A Content Analysis Study of TV Lawyers


Matthew Leitner



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


Cristen Lim



Self-harm among Adolescents


Katherine Pirera



Perception of Accents in an Employability Setting


Cynthia Antunes



Portrayal of Speech Impediments in Classic Cartoons


Shannon Pagan



Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speeches: A Content Analysis


Joseph Toth



Psychological Theories and Ethnosemantic Application to Vodka Advertisements


Miranda Van Dunk



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


Joseph Whitaker



Religion in the Early Republic


Holley Cornetto



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


Christina Freer



Gender and the Perception of Emotion


Emily Fritzky



"Facebook Behavior and the Consideration of Future Consequences"


Rachael Mierzwa



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


Michelle Palmieri



Restructuring American Democracy


Tyler Peckio



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


Madeline Zayac



General Education: Core Curricula, Democracy, and Higher Education


Jennifer Bauer



Marijuana Policy at State and Federal Levels of Government


Nicholas Mattera



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


Jesenia Ponce



Male and Female Infidelity in Movies: A Content Analytic Study


Leah Viray



"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



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


Erin Burger



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


Mayra Gastell



Moral Education in American Public High School


Samantha Branin



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


Carol Chu



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


Christopher Larres



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


Jennifer Sudol



Black Racial Identity in the United States and Political Group Cohesiveness


Tiffany Clarke



Interracial Adoption and its Effects on Ethnic View of Self


Alyson Heller



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


Diana Hilbig



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


Kerri Lindenthaler



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



The Psychology of Abusive Dating Relationships in College-Age Women


Maite Rago



Profiling As a Tool in Airport Security Operations


Renato Antunese



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


Mirta Alsina




How do I enroll?

To enroll in the Social Science Honors Track, contact the Director, Dr. Neil Kressel, at (973) 720-3389 or at You could also contact Jan Pinkston at (973) 720-3776 or at 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.