Dr. Jay L. Michaels

  • Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Office location: Harrington-Peachtree building, Room HP-124
  • Office phone: 864.833.8350
  • jmichaels@presby.edu
  • Teaching fields: Experimental Study of Behavior, Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, Systems and Theories of Psychology
  • Research interests: Social psychology and data analysis/statistics

I am the social psychologist in the Presbyterian College Psychology Department, and joined the faculty here in 2012. The liberal arts have been a continual foundation in my own academic journey. I completed my A.A.  degree at Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College) before completing my B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in History at the University of Central Florida. I finished my M.A. and  Ph.D. at Florida Atlantic University, situated only a couple of miles away from the beautiful South Florida beaches.

Social psychology is my primary area of specialization in both teaching and research. I am particularly interested in dynamic processes that influence people’s social behavior. That is, what factors interact and change over time to directly or indirectly influence the thoughts, feelings, and actions people experience or chose to engage in?

I teach Social Psychology, Systems and Theories of Psychology, Experimental Study of Behavior, and Introductory Psychology. My teaching is inspired by the liberal arts model. Instead of framing psychology as a narrow, specific field I instead try to teach my students about how psychology has important connections with nearly all fields, topics, and daily life. After all, psychology is the study of behavior, and our behavior is a continual part of daily life.

I welcome student involvement in research and independent study projects. Since social psychology is a broad field that encompasses topics ranging from group interaction to motivation to personality, I can offer guidance with numerous specific topics. I have supervised student research pertaining to human conflict, self-esteem, and even sports psychology. I have presented research at many of the leading psychology conferences, including the annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference and the annual Association for Psychological Science convention. I am always interested in motivated students who seek to develop high quality research that they may present at a conference or even try to publish.

Outside of teaching and research, I am a co-advisor for Presbyterian College’s Psi-Chi chapter (the national psychology honor’s society). Beyond psychology, I am interested in meteorology, astronomy, mathematical models, history, art, and hiking.

If you are interested in social psychology or would like to communicate with me about the psychology program here at Presbyterian College, please feel free to contact me. I greatly welcome your email, phone call, or office visit.