Born in Germany and raised in Brooklyn, Fenigstein joined the Kenyon faculty in 1974. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, the University of Miami in Florida, George Mason University in Virginia, the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, the University of Kent at Canterbury, the University of London and Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Currently chair of the Department of Psychology at Kenyon, he was honored with the Tomsich Science Award in 1998 for excellence in scientific research. Fenigstein has done research and written on media violence and aggression, the evolution of human sexuality, self-consciousness, paranoid behavior and the psychology of genocide. He is currently involved in work on the human capacity for self-deception and the underlying causes of different types of prejudices.
His wife Audrey is an artist and they have three sons, David, Marc and Steven.
Areas of Expertise
Self-consciousness, paranoia, evolution of human sexuality, prejudice and genocide.
1974 — Doctor of Philosophy from Univ Texas Austin
1969 — Bachelor of Arts from Brooklyn College
Courses Recently Taught
Introduction to Psychology
Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes. In this introductory course, we will explore a variety of areas in which psychologists conduct research: the biological foundations of behavior, sensory and perceptual processes, cognition, learning and memory, developmental psychology, personality and social psychology, psychological disorders, and variability in behavior related to culture. This course is only open to first-year and sophomore students. This counts toward the foundations requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Offered every semester.
Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes. In this foundation course we will explore a variety of areas in which psychologists conduct research: the biological foundations of behavior, sensory and perceptual processes, cognition, learning and memory, developmental psychology, personality and social psychology, psychological disorders and variability in behavior related to culture. Students who have completed PSYC 100 cannot take this course. This counts toward the foundations requirement for the major. Prerequisite: junior standing. Generally offered every spring.
Human Sexual Behavior
This course examines the biological, psychological and social bases of human sexuality. Topics include the physiology of sex functions, variations of sexual behavior, nature and treatment of sexual malfunctions, sexual identity and attitudes, differences in sexual behavior and the social dynamics of sexual interaction. This counts toward the sociocultural perspectives requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5. Generally offered every year.
Advanced Research Methods in Social Psychology
Social psychology attempts to understand the ways in which our thoughts and behavior are affected by others. This course will examine the principles, methods and problems of research in social psychology. Using a variety of formats ranging from lectures to discussion of research to class and field demonstrations, students will explore how research ideas are generated, critical evaluation of relevant research literatures, research design and methodology, data collection procedures using both laboratory and naturalistic settings, statistical analyses and ways of presenting research consistent with journal publication. This counts toward the advanced research requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 250 and completion of or current enrollment in PSYC 325. Offered occasionally.
Psychology Senior Seminar
This is a required course for senior psychology majors. Each section will have a different topic, but in every seminar students will read and discuss psychological literature, write and discuss critiques of research articles, develop a review paper on a topic in psychology develop a research proposal on a topic in psychology and make a formal oral presentation to the class. This counts toward the senior capstone requirement for the major. Prerequisite: senior standing and psychology major. Offered every fall.