Department Learning Goals

Educational Objectives in the Psychology Major

The 21st Century world features themes of limited resources, rapid technological changes, and an increasingly cosmopolitan social environment.  Rather than attempting to assimilate encyclopedic knowledge, applicable at best to only a narrow range of circumstances, students need to cultivate habits of lifelong learning in response to the world’s changing demands and goals.  In psychology, these habits include the development of disciplinary competence as reflected in the acquisition, interpretation, expression, and application of scientific knowledge and skills. 

Our Community Values:

  • We value the richness and diversity of the human experience, recognizing the imperative to include individuals from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, identities, and heritages to create the most productive learning environment.
  • We value a scholarly environment that fosters collaboration among colleagues and between faculty and students.
  • We value investing time, energy, and resources to support students’ future career goals
  • We value actions to reduce systemic barriers that have historically limited access to education and psychology and careers for students from marginalized backgrounds.
  • We value both basic and applied forms of research.
  • We value deep appreciation for the ethical treatment of human participants and non-human subjects and recognize the history of unethical treatment of participants that is embedded in the foundations of our field.
  • We value making research data and resources more transparent, reproducible, and accessible, when appropriate and/or possible.
  • We value the continued pursuit of knowledge regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion principles.
  • We value the inclusion of contributions from scholars of marginalized identities.

Our Departmental Learning Goals:

Disciplinary Content

  • Acquire and use multiple perspectives to understand mental processes and human and non-human behavior at various levels of analysis
  • Examine our personal biases and biases inherent in social systems
  • Understand and interrogate how systemic biases within the discipline of psychology and the positionality of individual scholars affect our theories about psychological phenomena

Disciplinary Methods

  • Understand and utilize the scientific method to understand mental processes and behavior
    • Generate research questions, develop research designs, and formulate research hypotheses
    • Acquire and organize data
    • Analyze and interpret data numerically, graphically, and ethically
    • Recognize potential bias and appreciate the importance of inclusivity in research design, data analysis, and interpretation of results
    • Display adequate mastery of the American Psychological Association’s guidelines for scholarly research, writing, presentation, and inclusive language usage
  • Understand and apply the standards for the ethical treatment of human participants and non-human subjects in research, recognizing the historical, unfair treatment of people from marginalized identity groups, including but not limited to BIPOC individuals, people with disabilities, immigrants, and incarcerated people

Cognitive Skills

  • Demonstrate information literacy through the ability to deduce, synthesize, quantify, and evaluate content
  • Apply content to novel questions and settings
  • Develop original arguments based on information consumed

Communication Skills

  • Effectively listen to, process, and comprehend psychological content and arguments from others, such as researchers, lay persons, and research participants,
  • Acknowledge our positionality as consumers, producers, and communicators of information
  • Effectively communicate psychological content and arguments
    • Convey information to scientific and lay audiences
    • Employ digital media and other technologies as appropriate and useful
    • Express oneself through multiple modalities (e.g., visual, oral, written)
    • Display ethical compliance with copyright laws and academic honesty