Learning Outcomes in Psychology

In 2007, the American Psychological Association (APA) promulgated guidelines for the undergraduate major in psychology. These guidelines included a recommended set of 10 learning goals and a more detailed set of specific learning outcomes. The Psychology Department voted to adopt the APA's recommended goals as its official learning outcomes statement on February 7, 2011.

I.   Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent with the Science and Application of Psychology.

Goal 1: Knowledge Base of Psychology – Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical finding, and historical trends in psychology.

Goal 2: Research Methods in Psychology – Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.

Goal 3: Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology – Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.

Goal 4: Application of Psychology – Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.

Goal 5: Values in Psychology – Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.

II.   Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent with Liberal Arts Education that are Further Developed in Psychology

Goal 6: Information and Technological Literacy – Students will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.

Goal 7: Communication Skills – Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.

Goal 8: Sociocultural and International Awareness – Students will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.

Goal 9: Personal Development – Students will develop insight into their own and others’ behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.

Goal 10: Career Planning and Development – Students will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

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