Student Learning Outcomes: Psychology

Introduction to Pyschology

Note: The American Psychological Association (2013) provides guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major and, in those guidelines, outlines 5 learning goals for the major. Introduction to Psychology is a foundational course within the major and, as such, upon completion of the course students will be able to exhibit basic competencies within each of the five areas.

APA Goal 1: Knowledge Base in Psychology

  1. Demonstrate basic knowledge and comprehension of the major psychological concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings.
  2. Discuss how psychological principles apply to psychological problems.

APA Goal 2: Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

  1. Explain why psychology is a science in which ideas are tested and critically evaluated.
  2. Demonstrate awareness of the ethical principles that govern psychological research and practice.

APA Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

  1. Describe the impact of culture on individuals.

APA Goal 4: Communication

  1. Communicate ideas used in psychology through oral or written work.
  2. Demonstrate basic psychology information literacy, such as through the ability to identify when specific information is needed, a knowledge of where to find information and the ability to evaluate the information that is identified.

APA Goal 5: Professional Development

  1. Recognize different psychological specialties, career options and applications to other fields of study..

Developed: 2016-2017

Research Methods

Note: These student learning outcomes are largely based on the American Psychological Association (2013) guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major Goal 2: Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking, and to a lesser extent, Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Communicate the value of the scientific method and evidence‐based inquiry, as compared to other forms of inquiry.
  2. Use scientific reasoning to interpret, design, conduct and/or critique basic psychological research, using concepts such as: research design; reliability; validity; sampling; and appropriate statistics and their graphical representation, e.g., descriptive statistics and inferential statistics that compare groups or establish correlation.
  3. Apply the ethical principles that psychology researchers in the field abide by.
  4. Demonstrate psychology information literacy, including how to find psychology sources, how to evaluate the quality of the source and effectively summarize the information that is accessed.
  5. Demonstrate competence in writing using APA style, including ability to write a persuasive scientific argument and present information using a scientific approach.

Developed: 2016-2017

Cognitive Psychology

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the major theories and approaches to cognition.
  2. Explain basic principles of cognition, such as memory, attention, language, and decision-making.
  3. Describe and critique some of the major research designs used in cognitive psychology, including ways in which cognitive processes are operationalized.
  4. Identify how internal cognitive mechanisms are affected by external environmental contexts.
  5. Articulate some of the cognitive mechanisms that occur in day-to-day life and how they affect behavior.
  6. Explain how cognitive psychology can be applied and integrated with other fields of psychology, such as clinical, physiological, or developmental psychology.

Developed: 2017-2018

Abnormal Psychology

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify mental illness as a social construct that has changed over time.
  2. Provide examples across several types of disorders of the current Diagnostic Manual criteria that classify disorders: a) disturbance b) distress, c) dysfunction and d) danger that they may cause an individual.
  3. Identify the ways in which a range of theoretical perspectives (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, sociocultural etc. might explain the etiology and treatment of the same disorder.
  4. Discuss the methods that psychologists use to both investigate the etiology of mental illness and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment options.
  5. Identify examples of the intersections that exist between stress (introduced by either temporary or chronic situations) and physical and mental health and illness.

Developed: 2017-2018

Child Development

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate and apply an understanding of the major developmental theories, with an emphasis on conception through middle childhood.
  2. Critique the various methods of investigation used in developmental psychology research studies.
  3. Explain basic principles of physical, cognitive, social and emotional development from conception through middle childhood, including differentiation of typical and atypical developmental pathways.
  4. Explain, from a global perspective how cultural, economic, political, and historical contexts affect children’s development.
  5. Describe some of the major social issues, changes, and transitions that affect children, families, schools and communities.

Developed: 2017-2018

Adolescent Development

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the major theories related to the study of adolescent development with an emphasis on preteen to early adulthood.
  2. Demonstrate comprehension of the biological, cognitive, social and emotional changes that occur during adolescence including how the interactions among those domains contribute to outcomes during adolescence.
  3. Identify individual and contextual influences on adolescent development, including issues related to culture, gender, sexuality, race, social status, and social context.
  4. Demonstrate comprehension of how adolescents are influenced by, and have changing roles within, their families, peer groups, schools, and communities.
  5. Identify how cultural, economic, political, and historical contexts affect development during adolescence, and explain the importance of a global perspective.
  6. Critically apply research and theory related to contemporary issues facing adolescents.

Developed: 2017-2018

Statistics for Psychology

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Use descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) and frequency distributions.
  2. Discuss the meaning of both a statistically significant outcome and a nonsignificant outcome.
  3. Interpret basic inferential statistics of Z scores and comparisons of data to a normal distribution.
  4. Interpret the outcome of statistical tests that compare multiple groups (t tests, ANOVA’s) as well as situations in which the influence of more than one variable is evaluated.
  5. Explain what correlational data can and cannot indicate about the relationships that may exist between two or more variables.

Developed: 2017-2018

Psychology of Personality

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the key concepts associated with the major personality theories (such as, Freud and Neo-Freudian Theories, Feminist Theories, Behaviorism, Humanism, Cognitive Theories, Trait Theories, Sociocultural and Non-Western Theories).
  2. Explain the research methodologies used in the science of personality psychology. Identify the characteristics of some common personality tests.
  3. Analyze case studies using a number of personality theories.
  4. Explain the impact of cultural differences and diversity (such as, ethnicity, gender, social attitudes, and customs) in personality constructs.

Developed: 2017-2018

Brain and Behavior

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the major anatomical landmarks of the human brain and the basic functions of each of the landmark areas.
  2. Identify the ways in which neurons interact with each other, including both the electrical activity and neurotransmission.
  3. Identify across both subcortical and cortical levels the ways in which areas of the brain influence behavior and the ways in which the brain interprets input from the external world.
  4. Discuss the methods used to investigate the brain’s anatomy and physiology acknowledging the ethical concerns that face neuroscientists who use human participants or animal models.
  5. Discuss examples of dysfunction of the nervous system related to anatomical or physiological changes.

Developed: 2017-2018

Social Psychology

Note: These student learning outcomes are organized in relation to the American Psychological Association (2013) guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major, in particular, Goal 3, Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain key concepts in social psychology, such as: social cognition; social perception; the self; attitudes; stereotyping; prejudice and discrimination; interpersonal relationships; group dynamics; social influence; prosocial behavior and aggression; conformity; the self-serving bias; the fundamental attribution error; and cognitive dissonance.
  2. Discuss the significance of historic and contemporary scientific research and methods used in this field, including ethical concerns and legal issues.
  3. Explain the relationship between culture, social behavior, and social thinking that can directly and indirectly result in different behaviors and attributions about behavior.
  4. Demonstrate comprehension of how various key social psychology themes, theories, and concepts apply to everyday living and current world problems

Developed: 2017-2018

Meetings & Events

Oct 15

Academic Affairs Committee Meeting

Oct 15

Strategic Planning Committee Meeting

Oct 15

Fiscal and Administrative Policy Committee Meeting

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