Roger A. Drake
Professor of Psychology
B.A., Western Washington University; M.A., University of Iowa; Ph.D., University of Tennessee.
I love teaching psychology at Western. Our location high in the Rocky Mountains attracts students and professors who are active, who like to do things more than they like to watch other people do things. This makes our students special. Many of them came from an active life in high school involving the arts, student government, athletics, outdoor recreation, or academic clubs. These are all available and are heavily used by students at Western.
These dynamic characteristics mean that classes in psychology have lots of student participation. I enjoy teaching General Psychology to beginning students plus Cognitive Psychology, Industrial Psychology, Motivation, and Social Psychology to our advanced students. In every course there is a great deal to learn from the scientists working in the field, but we also engage the students by linking that material to their own past experiences and future career plans.
To improve my teaching and research I have taken several sabbaticals away from the Western campus. One year I was a Fulbright professor at Sheffield Hallam University in England. Another time I was a research professor at CU Boulder. I spent a year each as a professor at the medical schools of Johns Hopkins University and at the University of Southern California.
Psychology students at Western are active in their major area outside of the classrrom. Most are members of the Psychology Club and many advance to membership in our national honor society Psi Chi. Students select individual internships locally or nationwide in organizations that offer them experience and practice in their future careers. Students make observations and perform research independently in our animal or human laboratories. Among my thirty professional articles, two of the most recent are:
Drake, R. A., Quinn, M. H., Ebrecht, G. M., & Starks, M. F. (2009). A neural substrate for Cialdini's Preference for Consistency scale and Kruglanski's Need for Closure scale. Manuscript submitted for publication, under revise and resubmit.
Drake, R. A., & Myers, L. R. (2006). Visual attention, emotion, and action tendency: Feeling active or passive. Cognition and Emotion, 20, 608-622.
All of my coauthors of these papers were my students at Western who earned credit for their involvement in the research. Each contributed substantially to the planning, the execution, and the writing of these articles. All of my fellow professors at Western are similarly involved with students on a daily basis in their classes and individually outside of the classroom.