Chatham University

Psychology Faculty and Staff

Thomas Hershberger, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Hometown : Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Joined Chatham : 1972

Academic Areas of Interest

Positive Psychology (hope, happiness, optimism, joy, etc).

Personal Areas of Interest

Sadie and Sebastian (grandkids), cooking (teaching and professionally), exercise, everything with wheels, building and repairing things.


I completed my Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University in experimental psychology with a minor in statistics and with significant work in computer and information science and have happily been on the faculty at Chatham for 37 years, serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty for 14 of those years. I have taught a variety of courses, including general psychology, statistics, research methods, cognition, animal behavior, motivation, learning, psychobiology, and graduate statistics and research methods (including assessment and program evaluation.) Other courses have included positive psychology, doing good, and writing seminars for FY students. I have taken students abroad to Costa Rica, Italy, Greece and Haiti. I have been a lecturer in a wide variety of setting, including Harvard University’s Institute of Educational Management and Carnegie-Mellon’s Academic Institute. I have conducted and presented research in a wide range of areas, including biodiversity in the rainforest, elephant reproduction, endangered species, self-assessment of competence, optimism, and public mental health policy, and human-computer interaction (HCI) analysis of educational software. The present research is focused on developing an instrument to measure a unitary trait in positive psychology. I have worked in a number of consulting capacities, including grant proposal evaluations for the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities and several large private foundations. In addition I have conducted many program evaluations (often pro bono) in a variety of settings, including education, at both the secondary and higher education levels, corrections, and the arts. Other activities have included cofounder of WYEP public radio station and volunteer work at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti and have traveled in 40 different countries. I have served on numerous non-profit boards.