Faculty Profile

James Skelton

Associate Professor of Psychology (1981)

Contact Information


Kaufman Building Room 160


His teaching interests are in social psychology and in the philosophy and design of psychological research. His research interests include self-perception of bodily states, interpersonal issues in health care, and psychology applied to social problems.


  • B.A., Washington & Lee University, 1976
  • Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1981

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

PSYC 150 Cross-Cultural Psychology
This course takes the position that human behavior can best be understood only in the cultural context in which it occurs. Discussions focus on the impact of culture on human behavior including the nature of culture; political and religious elements of culture; perceptions, stereotypes and the realities of cultural differences; how nationalism and animosity between cultures grow; and sources of prejudice and cultural conflict, and how they may be reduced. Suitable for all students, regardless of prior background in psychology.

HEST 400 Senior Sem in Health Studies
The Senior Seminar in Health Studies is an interdisciplinary, topics driven course, with specific foci dependent upon the specialization(s) of the instructor. Students will survey the relevant literatures of at least two disciplines; identify specific problems or topics; complete a research project based on secondary and/or primary sources; and offer a final presentation of interdisciplinary work (in the forms of academic papers, oral presentations, or some other creative project (including film, narrative, performance, etc.). Prerequisite: 201 and at least two other courses in Health Studies (as accepted by Health Studies Coordinator), or permission of instructor.Normally offered fall semester.

Spring 2015

PSYC 340 Rsrch Meth in Social Psych
We conduct empirical studies in order to become familiar with techniques for measuring attitudes and social behavior in the field and the lab, for analyzing and evaluating data, and for reporting findings and conclusions. Students gain direct experience in the process of conducting research studies by working as experimenters and data analysts. Three hours classroom plus three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisites: 140, 201 and 202.

PSYC 440 Seminar in Social Psychology
In this seminar, we read and discuss primary sources in theoretical or applied social psychology. Previous seminars have looked at applications of social psychology principles in law, medicine, mental health, consumer behavior, conservation, and education, and theories of social construal, social influence, and social systems. Students are responsible for leading class sessions and contributing to a group document, such as an annotated bibliography or literature review. Prerequisites: 201 and 202.

HEST 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch