Steven Quackenbush
Professor of Psychology

Ph.D., Kansas State University
M.S., Kansas State University

University of Maine at Farmington Professor of Psychology Steven Quackenbush believes that psychological theory and research can be presented as a drama as exciting as the best that television has to offer.

His ultimate goal is to help students learn to think like psychologists. The problem, however, is that psychologists do not always think alike.

Consider, for instance, the question regarding why a partner in a romantic relationship may experience an excessive degree of jealousy. This seemingly simple problem can be considered from many points of view, including psychoanalysis, behaviorism, humanism, trait psychology, attachment theory, and cognitive neuroscience.

Yet Steve’s goal is not to encourage students to adopt a specific opinion or theory. Rather, each perspective in psychology can be considered as a potentially legitimate answer to questions regarding why we think, feel, and act in particular ways. Steve’s classes involve a considerable degree of “role playing,” as students learn what it means to consider the world from a broad range of psychological perspectives.

Outside the Classroom: Innovation and Excitement — Putting Theory into Practice

Steve advises a student research group that conducts original research projects relating to a broad range of topics in the fields of developmental, social, and personality psychology. Recent projects have included examinations of societies’ attitudes toward disaster victims as well as the tendency of younger people to talk to the elderly as if they were children.

A True Academic — Areas of Special Interest

Steve Quackenbush’s scholarly interests include the history of psychology and narrative approaches to the study of life span personality development.

His recent publications have explored issues relevant to the narrative structure of personal identity as well as the general problem of theoretical unification in the social sciences.

Respected in the Field — Noteworthy Accomplishments

Of his various accomplishments, Steve Quackenbush is especially proud of his long track record of involving undergraduate students in original research. In the last five years, ten such projects have resulted in regional or national conference presentations with undergraduate students serving as presenters or co-presenters.

Outside of Academia — Personal Interests and Activities

Outside of the classroom, Steve can be found reading anything and everything and listening to music of all kinds.