Joan Wertz, Associate Dean of Student Success, Professor and Chair of Psychology

Joan Wertz

Associate Dean of Student Success, Professor and Chair of Psychology

Rm 130 Center for Science & Business 309-457-2384


By the time I was a sophomore in college, I knew I wanted to be a psychology professor at a small liberal arts college. I had considered medicine and biomedical engineering as careers, but I found that I loved my elective psychology courses, and I just kept taking more of them. I’ve always been drawn to the biological side of psychology, largely because of my undergraduate adviser and mentor and his passion for understanding how the brain works and influences our behavior.

At Monmouth since 2001 and has received:

Alumni Impact Award: Distinguished Service (2022)

Hatch Faculty Award for Distinguished Teaching (2010)

Hatch Faculty Award for Distinguished Service to the Institution (2005)


My primary research interest has always been drug use and abuse. In graduate school, I studied emotional and cognitive changes during craving experiences in smokers and drinkers, and I still like to do research in this area. I’m interested in trying to understand how anticipation of future drug use opportunity contributes to craving, and how it actually changes how we process information. Other research interests include risk factors for drug use, and more general issues related to physical and psychological health.


B.S. – Allegheny (Pa.) College, 1991

Ph.D. – University of Pittsburgh, 2002

Courses Taught

PSYC101: Introduction to Psychology

PSYC201: Research Methods I: Statistics

PSYC202: Research Methods II: Design and Synthesis

PSYC239: Health Psychology

PSYC318: Biopsychology

PSYC415: Readings in Psychology

PSYC420: Research Seminar

PSYC290: Cross-cultural Psychology Practicum

FYII101: Inquiry & Identity

Selected Work

Wertz, J.M., & Sayette, M.A. (2001). A review of the effects of perceived drug use opportunity on self-reported urge. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 9, 3-13.

Wertz, J.M. & Sayette, M.A. (2001). Effects of smoking opportunity on attentional bias in smokers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 15, 268-271.

Sayette, M.A., Martin, C.S., Perrott, M.A., & Wertz, J.M. (2001). Parental alcoholism and the effects of alcohol on semantic priming. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 9, 409-417.

Sayette, M.A., Martin, C.S., Wertz, J.M., Shiffman, S., & Perrott, M.A. (2001). A multidimensional analysis of cue-elicited craving in heavy smokers and tobacco chippers. Addiction, 96, 1419-1432.

Sayette, M.A., Martin, C.S., Hull, J.G., Wertz, J.M., & Perrott, M.A. (2003). Effects of nicotine deprivation on craving response covariation in smokers. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 110-118.

Sayette, M.A., Martin, C.S , Wertz, J.M., Perrott, M.A. & Peters, A.R. (2005). The effects of alcohol on cigarette craving in heavy smokers and tobacco chippers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 19, 263-270.

Waters, A.J., Parrott, W.G., Mogg, K., Bradley, B.P., Fuller, M.C., & Wertz, J.M. (2007). Processing bias for terror-related stimuli and September 11th-related distress in college students. Psychological Reports, 101, 787-795.