About Me

Miriam Tatzel, portraitI have been a student of psychology ever since I was a psych major at Queens College in the 1960’s. Over the years I have focused on many different topics at different times. My doctoral studies at Columbia were in social psychology (emphases on personality and persuasability and on cognitive and physiological bases of obesity). After I graduated, my interests turned to personality theory and psychotherapy – and to alternative education. I trace my career as an Empire State College mentor to a project I worked on at the Social Science Research Council on philosophies and methods of education.

I came to Empire State College after being at Hunter College, which was where I gained experience in teaching and in trying out some of the approaches to education that I had learned about. As soon as I heard about the new alternative college of SUNY, I knew that Empire was the place for me

For some time, I have been a “consumer psychologist,” which is really an extension of and application of social psychology. Currently my favorite topics to teach are social psychology, consumer psychology, statistics, research methods, and positive psychology. A new interest of mine is in political psychology; I am learning about cognitive and motivational differences between liberals and conservatives and about the effects of income inequality on interpersonal behavior and on consumer behavior. I look forward to sharing all these interests with students.

Empire State College is where I can apply my beliefs about teaching and learning: that learning assists with life, and that life is the raw material and the testing ground of learning.