Biography

Dr. Bjornsen grew up in multicultural central New Jersey. His mother’s ethnic heritage was German from immigrants who settled in Wisconsin. His father’s parents immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s from Copenhagen, Denmark. He spent most of his youth playing sports and traveling from the Florida Keys and the Bahamas to Nova Scotia. All of the above strongly affected his interest in cultural differences in people’s attitudes and behaviors and how they live their lives. He graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia with a B.S. in psychology in 1982, and received his Ph.D. in General Psychology in 1992 from Virginia Commonwealth University. He taught for two years at a small college in Georgia before coming to Longwood University in 1995. Each year he teaches courses in Introduction to Psychology, Infant and Child Development, Adolescent and Adult Development, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Sex and Gender, and a new course for Fall 2017, Psychology of Social Media. Dating back to graduate school, he has conducted research on the emotional/personality maturation of late adolescence/emerging adulthood. More recently, he has developed two lines of research: (a) cell phone and social media use and addiction, and (c) the overdiagnosis and medication of psychological disorders. Dr. Bjornsen regularly presents the results of research conducted in collaboration with Longwood students at national and international conferences. Along with his recent publications in the journals Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology (STLP), and Personality Assessment, Dr. Bjornsen also serves as a reviewer for STLP and the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.

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