Kathleen E. Cook, PhD
PhD, Social & Personality Psychology
Department Chair, Psychology
Building/Room: HRDG 140L
Dr. Kathleen Cook teaches undergraduate courses in Social Psych, Senior Seminar, and Statistics and Research methods. She also places students in research labs, social service agencies, businesses and schools. Undergraduate Practicum Director. Her research is in social cognition (how people think about their social worlds) and teaching and learning.
Teaching and Research Interests
Teaching has been a lifelong passion of mine. I was a band director in the public school system after getting my undergraduate degree in music and education. I began my collegiate teaching career as a Teaching Assistant my first quarter at the University of Washington and went on to serve as a Teaching Fellow, then Lead Teaching Assistant, ultimately teaching my own undergraduate and graduate courses. While in graduate school, I occasionally worked for software companies as a usability specialist and there I was called on to teach such things as how to conduct and interpret statistics, how to develop measures, and how to give a talk. I believe strongly in the difference that a compassionate and challenging education makes.
At Seattle University I teach many of the required undergraduate courses, including the statistics and research methods sequence, senior seminar, and occasionally introductory psychology. I also teach some of the basic electives including social psychology and cognitive psychology. Another course that I have taught is Advanced Social Psychology.
My research serves two different but related purposes. One is the goal of basic psychological research to enrich our understanding of human behavior. The other is to teach undergraduate researchers how to understand and conduct their own psychological research. Both of these goals echo Seattle University’s mission. My research adds to our understanding of the human condition, exploring issues of justice and equality. My work with students demands critical thinking, encouraging understanding of others, their world, and themselves.
I research primarily in the area of social cognition. My research concerns people’s self-perceptions and how those perceptions affect them and their experiences. Throughout this research, I have woven my lifelong interest in education and gender differences in information processing. In addition, my questions are generally questions of social justice, often about the equality of social structures and systems. For example, I study perceptions of gender, power, and the law, all of which echo Seattle University’s mission of social justice.