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Paul A. Nelson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor-in-Residence

CHB-B 319
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Paul Nelson joined the faculty of the UNLV Psychology Department in 2015 and is an assistant faculty-in-residence. Dr. Nelson earned his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2015. He has received specialized training in the analysis of narratives and conversations to examine how people dynamically use friends and family to cope with daily hassles. Dr. Nelson’s prior professional experiences include program evaluation of education-focused grants and management of children’s transitions from state custody back home with their families. In addition, he taught extensively as a graduate student and received multiple UCSC Excellence in Teaching awards. Currently, Dr. Nelson teaches undergraduate courses in personality and psychopathology. 

Teaching Philosophy

Dr. Nelson expresses a humanistic orientation in his teaching that aims to integrate two poles of human experience: the thinking mind and the phenomenology of living in a body. In addition to more traditional forms of assessment, such as tests and quizzes, Dr. Nelson shows students how to systematically collect and analyze their own experiences with other people to better understand the tangible significance of course content. Dr. Nelson also helps students think critically about how cultural forces and differences, including power dynamics, influence what is known about human psychology.