Behavioral sciences study human beings through examination of their behavior in a broad sense, putting emphasis on the process of behavior rather than its products. Students can survey behavioral sciences from a wide variety of perspectives, select a specialization to study it in depth, and obtain practical knowledge and skills. The Division of Behavioral Sciences now has five departments with 30 faculty members. It accepts approximately 80 new students each year.
The primary task of philosophy is to open a new field for each science to explore by discerning structures in the unmapped areas of our thinking. The Department of Philosophy is unique in that it combines the traditional concerns of philosophy with various issues raised by the rapid progress of modern technology. Among the subjects studied in the department are (1) formal semantics of Japanese language and its implications for philosophy of language, (2) ethical problems raised by recently developed technologies, such as organ transplants and brain death, and (3) ancient philosophy and science, including the study of Greek and Chinese classical texts.
Members of the Department of Cognitive and Information Sciences study information from such diverse angles as biology and logic. In one of the laboratories, students study the relationship between auditory perception and vocal production of singing birds. In another lab, students analyze human conversation word by word. Across the hallway, pigeons are trained to categorize complex visual patterns. In yet another room, students are all busy at UNIX terminals. A faculty member is manipulating complex mathematical formulae. The concept of "information" is the common thread that runs through all the Department's activities.
The Department of Psychology program has two main emphases: experimental Psychology and personality and social Psychology. For scientific understanding of the human mind and behavior, its orientation in both is thoroughly empirical and quantitative; i.e., research and education are centered around experiments and surveys, and theoretical analysis and interpretation of the data. However, with the help of adjunct faculty, courses are also offered in the areas of physiological, developmental, clinical, and applied psychology in order to better prepare students for careers in all areas of psychology.
Sociology is a study of the whole and parts of society, mainly through the conduct of individuals. We are almost invariably obliged to live and take part in various groups and organizations in our lives. Sociology aims to theoretically and empirically define and explicate the problems and meanings of such phenomena. Specific themes of research at the Department of Sociology range from theoretical studies concerning behavior, value, social system, communication, culture and social consciousness, to more empirical studies dealing with family, community, industry, consumption, environment, leisure, and social problems.
The goals of study in the Department of Cultural Anthropology include acquisition of intellectual insights as well as practical abilities in dealing with contemporary social and cultural dynamics in the international community. The academic program emphasizes (1) theories of biological and cultural adaptation, (2) ethnography of major cultural areas of the world, (3) practical fluency in foreign languages (Western and non-Western), and (4) the ability to plan and execute a field work project and report on it. Field research training is a particular feature of the curriculum of the Department.