Department of Psychology

Dr. Paul F. Cunningham

Professor Emeritus of Psychology

  • Ph.D., General/Experimental Psychology, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • M.S., Educational Psychology, Purdue University (W. Lafayette, IN)
  • B.A., Philosophy, Our Lady of Providence Seminary (Warwick, RI)


  • Transpersonal Psychology
  • Hypnosis
  • Animal Rights and Animal Welfare
  • Assessment in Higher Education


Dr. Cunningham has been a full-time, tenured faculty member at Rivier since 1986. Having served as treasurer of Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals from 1994-1996, and member of the American Psychological Association since 1986, Professor Cunningham was elected 44th President of the New England Psychological Association in 2003. He has published mainly on the use of animals in psychology experiments and on student choice policies in the psychology and biology classroom. He has also conducted numerous faculty development workshops throughout the New England area on the assessment of educational (student) outcomes in higher education. He is currently writing an introductory textbook about transpersonal psychology for use in the college classroom.

Read Dr. Cunningham’s article, Empirical Rationalism and Transpersonal Empiricism: Bridging the Two Epistemic Cultures of Transpersonal Psychology, in The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 2015, Vol. 47, No. 1.

Recent Publications and Proceedings

  • Cunningham, P. F. (1992). A sacred story, Insight, 1 (1), 75-80.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (1995). Topics awaiting study: Investigable questions on animal issues, Society and Animals, 3(1), 89-106.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (1996). Revealing animal experiments in general psychology texts: Opening Pandora’s box, American Psychologist, 51 (7), 734-735.
  • Cunningham, P. F., & Randour, M. L. (1998). Alternatives to the use of animals in education, Psychology Teacher Network, 8(4), 8,11.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2000). Animals in psychology education and student choice, Society and Animals, 8 (2), 191-212.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2002). Using individual student and program assessment data to improve learning. In Alverno College Institute (Ed.), Student learning: A central focus for institutions of higher education (pp. 157-160). Milwaukee, WI: Alverno College Institute.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2003). Animal use, Student choice, and nonanimal alternatives at 'America's best' colleges, Teaching of Psychology, 30 (3), 288-296.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2005). Standardized assessment tests. In J. O. Nichols and K.W. Nichols (eds.), A road map for improvement of student learning and support services through assessment (pp. 244-256). New York: Agathon Press.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (Summer, 2005). Animal addiction experiments in psychology. AV – Magazine of the American Anti-Vivisection Society, pp. 24-26.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2006). Transpersonal education: Problems, prospects, and challenges. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 25, 62-68.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (Spring, 2007). The inner life of a teacher. Rivier College Academic Journal, 3(1). Online journal.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2007). The challenge, prospects, and promise of transpersonal psychology. International Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 26, 41-55.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (October, 2009). The problem with a Darwinian view of humanity. American Psychologist, 64(7), 623-624.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (in press). Marian apparitions at Medjugorje: A transpersonal interpretation. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2011). The Apparition at Medjugorje: A Transpersonal Perspective -- Part 1. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 43(1), 50-76.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2011). The Apparition at Medjugorje: A Transpersonal Perspective -- Part 2. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 43(1), 77-103.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2011). Are Religious Experiences Really Localized Within the Brain? The Promise, Challenges, and Prospects of Neurotheology. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 32(3), 223-249.
  • Cunningham, P. F., and Ramos, P. (2012). Involuntary Experiencing and the Performance of Test Suggestions. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 60(4), 416-431.
  • Cunningham, P.F. (2012). The Content-Source Problem in Modern Mediumship Research. Journal of Parapsychology, 76(2), 295-319.
  • Cunningham, P.F. (2013). Explaining Consciousness: A (Very) Different Approach to the "Hard Problem". Journal of Mind and Behavior, 34(1), 41-62.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2014). "Transforming Hearts and Minds to Serve the World:" What Does It Mean? InSight: Rivier Academic Journal, 10(1), 1-4.
  • Cunningham, P. F. (2015). Empirical Rationalism and Transpersonal Empiricism: Bridging the Two Epistemic Cultures of Transpersonal Psychology. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 47(1), 83-120.