Psychology Program Goals

The Department of Psychology has adopted nine Program Goals -- significant and essential learning that students are expected to achieve and demonstrate by the end of the program. For each goal, learning outcomes are described by which the achievement of these goals can be measured.

Acquire a strong intellectual foundation in psychological science.

Learning Outcomes
1.1 Students will be able to identify, describe, and contrast the historical foundations, the major theoretical approaches, the range of questions addressed, the research methods used, and the key research findings in the discipline.

Understand and apply basic research methods and experimental design principles.

Learning Outcomes
2.1 Identify and describe different research methods used by psychologists.
2.2 Design and carry out a research study to test a hypothesis.

Use descriptive and inferential statistical methods to describe and evaluate empirical data.  Interpret and produce graphical representations of data.

Learning Outcomes
3.1 Use appropriate statistical analyses to facilitate interpretation of measurements.
3.2 Choose appropriate information to convey in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
3.3 Accurately interpret, and notice misuse of, quantitative visual aids.

Respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to evaluate problems related to behavior and mental processes.

Learning Outcomes
4.1 Analyze and evaluate arguments, findings, and claims about psychological phenomena in the popular media and in the psychological research literature. 
4.2 Distinguish among assumptions, emotional appeals, speculations, and defensible evidence.
4.3 Engage in creative thinking by pursuing an original or unusual approach to a problem.

Act ethically, value empirical evidence, and reflect other values that are underpinnings of psychology as a science.

Learning Outcomes
5.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of relevant ethical issues, and recognize the necessity of ethical behavior, in all aspects of the science and practice of psychology.
5.2 Follow the APA Code of Ethics (Standard 8: Research and Publication) in the treatment of human and nonhuman participants in the design, data collection, interpretation, and reporting of psychological research.
5.3 Seek and evaluate scientific evidence for psychological claims.

Understand and apply psychological principles to individual, social, and organizational issues.

Learning Outcomes
6.1 Apply psychological concepts, theories, and research findings to real world problems.

Demonstrate effective written communication skills.

Learning Outcomes
7.1 Write a scientific paper (research report, research proposal, literature review) that clearly communicates theories, hypotheses, research methods, and research findings.

Demonstrate effective oral communication skills.

Learning Outcomes
8.1 Give an effective oral presentation (research report, research proposal, article critique) that clearly communicates theories, hypotheses, research methods, and/or research findings.

Demonstrate information competency.

Learning Outcomes
9.1 Research a topic for an oral or written report, locating sources from appropriate media and evaluating them for quality and potential bias.
9.2 Use information and technology ethically, citing sources, avoiding plagiarism and distortion of findings.