Chatham University

Psychology Faculty and Staff

Thomas Hershberger, Ph.D.

Thomas Hershberger, Ph.D.

hershberger@chatham.edu
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.

Biography

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.

Education

  • B.A., Allegheny College, 1966
  • M.A., Northern Illinois University, 1969
  • Ph.D, Northern Illinois University, 1978

Awards

  • Sigma Xi
  • Burger Advising Award

Organizations

  • Psi Chi
  • Sigma Xi
  • Eastern Psychological Association
  • American Psychological Association

Presentations

  • Mitchell, M., Hershberger, T. J., Stubbs, M., and Nemeth, Britny. (2009). A unifying component of happiness, hope, gratitude, optimism, humor, self-efficacy, forgiveness, empathy and mercy. Paper presented at Eastern Psychological Association Meeting, March 5-8, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Hershberger, T. J. and Hamilton, D. Stability and a common factor across 12 positive psychological traits.
  • Presentations 2003-2008
  • Hershberger, T. J., Mitchell, M., Stubbs, M. L., and Hamilton, D. (2009). Developing and measuring a positive psychological trait (p). First World Congress on Positive Psychology, June 18-21, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Hershberger, T., Hamilton, D. , Vincent, A., & Yusz, C. (March 2008). The interrelationships, change, and stability of 12 positive psychology traits. Paper presented at Eastern Psychological Association Meetings, Boston, MA.
  • Hershberger, T., Hodder, K., & Hamilton, D. (March, 2008). Perceptions of gender differences among college women. Poster presented at Eastern Psychological Association Meetings, Boston, MA
  • Stubbs, M., Barriors, K., Wister, J., & Hershberger, T. (March 2008). Using art as a stress management tool for university students. Poster presented at Eastern Psychological Association Meetings, Boston, MA.
  • Sheftel, A., Stubbs, M. L., Harris, J., & Hershberger, T. (June 2007). Self-objectification, self-reported comfort with vaginal touching, menstrual product and contraceptive choice. Paper presented at Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, Vancouver, BC.
  • Hershberger, T., Sarkis, J., and Hall, C. (2007, March). The interrelationships of eight positive psychology traits. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association. Philadelphia, PA.
  • Hershberger, T., Hodder, K., Hall, C., Stubbs, M.L., and Valutis, S. (2007, March). The perceptions of gender differences among college students. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association. Philadelphia, PA.
  • Sheftel, A., Stubbs, M.L., Harris, J., and Hershberger, T. (June, 2007). Self-objectification, self-reported comfort with vaginal touching, menstrual product
  • Hershberger, T., Mannarino, M., Stubbs, M.L., Arnold, S. & Tobin, M.. (2005, August). Tolerance toward mental illness: Education, experience and occupational setting. Poster presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
  • Stubbs, M.L., Cohen, S., Frieze, I., Larsen, E., Hershberger, T. (2005, June). Attitudes towards hormonal contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and menopause following the women’s health initiative (WHI). Poster presented at the biennial conference of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, Boulder, CO.
  • Hershberger, T. J. & Pishoto, M (2006, March). The relationship between exposure to terrorism and resilience levels in Israeli young adults. Paper presented at Eastern Psychological Association, March 16-19, 2006. Baltimore, MD.
  • Hershberger, T. J., Landock, C., Stubbs, M., & Bayliss, N. (2006, March). Optimism, life and college satisfaction as factors for persistence in college students. Poster presented at Eastern Psychological Association, March 16-19, 2006. Baltimore, MD.
  • Hershberger, T. J. & Tobin, M. (2004). Tolerance and ability to identify mental illness: The effects of education and experience with mental health treatment. Poster presented at Eastern Psychological Association Meeting, Washington, D. C.
  • Hershberger, T. J. & Brooks. L. (2004) Lesbian and bisexual women’s sexuality and the implication for homophobia. Poster presented at Eastern Psychological Association Meeting, Washington, D. C.
  • Hershberger, T. J., & N. Dunmire, B. (2003). The relationship between self-esteem , life satisfaction and perceived competence. Paper presented at Eastern Psychological Association Meeting, Baltimore, M.D.
  • Hershberger, T. J., & McNamee., B. (2003). Stigma associated with psychotherapy in undergraduate and graduate psychology students. Paper presented at Eastern Psychological Association Meeting, Baltimore, M.D.
  • Elephant Reproduction and Behavior: For over seven years we have been conducting research on captive African elephant reproduction at the Pittsburgh Zoo, contributing the birth of four baby elephants and an internationally recognized program.