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Psychology Major Learning Outcomes

The department considered and adopted the APA Learning Goals and Outcomes for the Undergraduate Psychology major (Version 2.0). Therefore, our program has the following student learning goals and outcome measures, retrieved from

Goal 1: Knowledge Base in Psychology

Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, students will be able to:

  • 1.1A. Use and evaluate theories to explain and predict behavior, including advantages and limitations in the selected frameworks

    1.1B. Describe the complexity of the persistent questions that occupy psychologists’ attention

    1.1C. Analyze the validity and continuity of behavior and mental processes within and across animal species.

    1.1D. Examine the sociocultural and international contexts that influence individual differences (e.g., personality traits, abilities) and address applicability of research findings across societal and cultural groups.

    1.1E. Compare and contrast the nature of psychology with other disciplines (e.g., biologic, economics, political science), including identifying the potential contributions of psychology to interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • 1.2A. Compare and contrast psychology’s major subdisciplines.

    1.2B. Speculate about why content domains differ in the kinds of questions asked and the methods used to explore then.

    1.2C. Summarize important aspects of history of psychology, including key figures, central concerns, methods used, and theoretical conflicts

    1.2D. Explain complex behavior by integrating concepts developed from different content domains

    1.2E. Predict how sociocultural and international factors influence how scientists think about behavioral and mental processes
  • 1.3A. Articulate how psychological principles can be used to explain social issues, addressing pressing societal needs, and inform policy.

    1.3B. Evaluate how the mind and body interact to influence psychological and physical health

    1.3C. Propose and justify appropriate psychology based interventions in applied settings (e.g., clinical, school, community, or industrial settings)

    1.3D. Explain how psychological constructs can be used to understand and resolve interpersonal and intercultural conflicts

Goal 2: Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, students will be able to:

  • 2.1A. Describe the value and limitations of using theories to explain behavioral phenomena.

    2.1B. Develop plausible behavioral explanations that rely on scientific reasoning and evidence rather than anecdotes or pseudoscience

    2.1C. Incorporate several appropriate levels of complexity (e.g., cellular, individual, group/system, societal/cultural) to explain behavior

    2.1D. Generate alternative explanations based on perceived flaws in behavioral claims

    2.1E. Use strategies to minimize committing common fallacies in thinking that impair accurate conclusions and predictions
  • 2.2A. Read and summarize complex ideas accurately, including future directions, from psychological sources and research  

    2.2B. Describe the characteristics and relative value of different information sources (e.g., primary vs. secondary, peer reviewed vs. nonreviewed, empirical vs. nonempirical)

    2.2C. Develop a comprehensive strategy for locating and using relevant scholarship (e.g., databases, credible journals) to address psychological questions

    2.2D. Evaluate psychology information based on the reliability, validity, and generalizability of sources

    2.2E. Interpret complex statistical findings and graphs in the context of their level of statistical significance, including the influence of effect size, and explain these findings using common language
  • 2.3A. Describe problems operationally to study them empirically

    2.3B. Select and apply the optimal problem-solving strategy from multiple alternatives

    2.3C. Evaluate the effectiveness of selected problem-solving strategies
  • 2.4A. Evaluate the effectiveness of quantitative and qualitative research methods in addressing a research question.

    2.4B. Limit cause–effect claims to research strategies that appropriately rule out alternative explanations

    2.4C. Accurately identify key research concepts in existing and proposed research projects

    2.4D. Design and conduct complex studies to confirm a hypothesis based on operational definitions

    2.4E. design and adopt high-quality measurement strategies that enhance reliability and validity

    2.4F. Use quantitative and/or qualitative analyses to argue for or against a particular hypothesis

    2.4G. Apply knowledge of research skills necessary to be an informed consumer of research or critic regarding unsupported claims about behavior.
  • 2.5A. Recognize the systemic influences of sociocultural, theoretical, and personal biases on the research enterprise and evaluate the effectiveness with which researchers address those influences in psychological research

    2.5B. design studies that effectively address the effects of sociocultural fac

    2.5C. valuate and design research with respect to controls for variations in behavior related to individual and sociocultural differences that can influence research outcomes

    2.5D. Evaluate the generalizability of specific findings based on parameters of the research design, including caution in extending western constructs inappropriately

Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, students will be able to:

  • 3.1A. Evaluate psychological research from the standpoint of adherence to the APA Ethics Code in psychological research involving human or nonhuman research participants

    3.1B. Justify recommendations for consequences for ethical violations based on APA Ethics Code requirements

    3.1C. Explain how the APA Ethics Code can be used to guide decisions in ethically complex situations

    3.1D. Evaluate critically or complete an IRB application that adheres to ethical standards
  • 3.2A. Exhibit high standards of positive personal values in interpersonal and work-related relationships

    3.2B. Promote civility in self and others

    3.2C. Predict and explore how interaction across racial, ethnic, gender, and class divides can challenge conventional understanding of psychological processes and behavior

    3.2D. Describe, explain, and uphold academic integrity within the context of psychology as a discipline and an academic profession
  • 3.3A. Exhibit respect for members of diverse groups with sensitivity to issues of power, privilege, and discrimination

    3.3B. Develop psychology-based strategies to facilitate social change to diminish discriminatory practices

    3.3C. Pursue personal opportunities to promote civic, social, and global outcomes that benefit the community

    3.3D. Consider the potential effects of psychology-based interventions on issues of global concern

    3.3E. Apply psychological principles to a public policy issue and describe the anticipated institutional benefit or societal change

    3.3F. Seek opportunity to serve others through volunteer service, practica, and apprenticeship experiences

Goal 4: Communication

Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, students will be able to:

  • 4.1A. Construct arguments clearly and concisely using evidence-based psychological concepts and theories

    4.1B. Craft clear and concise written communications to address specific audiences (e.g., lay, peer, professional)

    4.1C. Use grammar appropriate to professional standards and conventions (e.g., APA writing style)

    4.1D. Employ APA writing style to make precise and persuasive arguments

    4.1E. Tailor length and development of ideas in formats that fit the purpose

    4.1F. Communicate quantitative data in statistics, graphs, and tables

    4.1G. Seek feedback to improve writing quality resulting in multiple drafts
  • 4.2A. Create coherent and integrated oral argument based on a review of the pertinent psychological literature

    4.2B. Deliver complex presentations within appropriate constraints (e.g., time limit, appropriate to audience)

    4.2C. Achieve effective delivery standards in professional oral performance

    4.2D. Integrate visual and oral elements

    4.2E. Anticipate answers to questions about psychological content
  • 4.3A. Show capacity for listening and decoding both overt and covert messages

    4.3B. Deploy psychological concepts to facilitate effective interactions with people of diverse backgrounds

    4.3C. Interact sensitively with people of diverse abilities, backgrounds, and cultural perspectives

    4.3D. Generate questions to reduce ambiguous communications

    4.3E. Use social media responsibly

Goal 5: Professional Development

Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, students will be able to:

  • 5.1A. Describe and execute problem-solving and research methods to facilitate effective workplace solutions

    5.1B. Disregard or challenge flawed sources of information

    5.1C. Expect and adapt to interaction complexity, including factors related to diversity of backgrounds, in work organizations

    5.1D. Apply relevant psychology content knowledge to facilitate a more effective workplace in internships, jobs, or organizational leadership opportunities

    5.1E. Adapt information literacy skills obtained in the psychology major to investigating solutions to a variety of problem solutions

    5.1F. Apply the ethical principles of psychology to non-psychology professional settings
  • 5.2A. Design deliberate efforts to produce desired self-management outcomes (e.g., self-regulation, hardiness, resilience)

    5.2B. Accurately self-assess performance quality by melding external standards and expectations with their own performance criteria

    5.2C. Pursue and respond appropriately to feedback from educators, mentors, supervisors, and experts to improve performance

    5.2D. Attend to and monitor the quality of their own thinking (i.e., make adaptations using metacognitive strategies)
  • 5.3A. Develop and execute strategies for exceeding project criteria or, in the absence of such criteria, to meet their own project performance criteria

    5.3B. Effectively challenge constraints and expand resources to improve project completion

    5.3C. Actively develop alternative strategies, including conflict management, to contend with potential problems

    5.3D. Evaluate how well the processes and strategies used help a project fulfill its intended purposes
  • 5.4A. Collaborate successfully on complex group projects

    5.4B. Describe problems from another’s point of view

    5.4C. Generate, apply, and evaluate potential solutions to problems that develop when working with teams

    5.4D. Assess the basic strengths and weaknesses of team performance on a complex project

    5.4E. Demonstrate leadership skills by effectively organizing personnel and other resources to complete a complex project

    5.4F. Work effectively with diverse populations
  • 5.5A. Formulate career plan contingencies based on accurate self-assessment of abilities, achievement, motivation, and work habits

    5.5B. Develop evidence of attaining skill sets desired by psychology-related employers

    5.5C. Evaluate the characteristics of potential work settings or graduate school programs to optimize career direction and satisfaction

    5.5D. Actively seek and collaborate with a mentor

    5.5E. Create and continuously update a curriculum vitae or résumé

    5.5F. Develop strategies to enhance resilience and maintain skills in response to rapid social change and related changes in the job market