Program Learning Outcomes


I.  Knowledge about the Science and Application of Psychology

  • A. Characterize the nature of psychology as a discipline
  • Understand why psychology is a science
    Understand the primary objectives, assumptions, and methods of psychology
    Understand the history of psychology (e.g., the recognition of historical figures, important theoretical foundations and conflicts)   
  • B. Demonstrate Knowledge in Selected Content Areas
  • Biological bases of behavior and mental processes (e.g., physiology, comparative psychology, motivation, emotion, and evolution)
    Developmental changes in behavior and mental processes
    Learning and cognition
    Personality and social psychology, including sociocultural issues
    Abnormal behavior (e.g., mental illness, substance abuse, neurodevelopmental disorders, brain disease and trauma)  

II. Research Methods in Psychology

  • A. Understand the variety of research methods used in psychology:
  • How different research designs address different kinds of research questions.
    The strengths and limitations of different research methods
    Issues in cross-cultural research (e.g., translation of measures, experimenter bias)
    Distinguish the features of designs that permit causal inferences from features of those that do not permit these inferences
    Understand internal and external validity  
  • B. Evaluate the conclusions drawn from psychological research
  • Interpret statistical results 
    Distinguish between statistical significance and practical significance 
    Understand the APA ethics code regarding the treatment of human and nonhuman animals 

III. Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology

  • Evaluate the quality of information 
  • Distinguish between empirical evidence and speculation
    Evaluate the credibility of claims about behavioral claims
    Identify claims that arise from myths, stereotypes, or untested assumptions
    Evaluate popular media reports of psychological research