College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Psychology Learning Outcomes

Please click here for "Curriculum Map: for PSYCHOLOGY B.A. and SOCIOLOGY B.A." (PDF)

The Psychology major educates students by enhancing their understanding of behavior and its biological, emotional, social, and cognitive roots and effects.

The Psychology (P) major's specific instructional goals and objectives are the following:

P1. Understand science. Students will understand and participate in the generation of knowledge through the scientific process. Specifically, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the basic facts and concepts related to research design in psychology.
  2. Independently design and conduct a simple theoretically based or practical psychological research study, including generating their own research questions.
  3. Accurately analyze and interpret data generated through their own studies or those of others, in order to come to an appropriate conclusion.
  4. Respect and appreciate the need for scientific data to inform the practices of psychologists.

P2. Knowledge.Students will understand traditional and contemporary discipline-based knowledge, and will be able to access future knowledge. Specifically, students will be able to:

  1. Identify, describe, and classify the major theoretical perspectives and key concepts used in psychology (e.g., those included in most introductory psychology texts).
  2. Understand basic anatomy and functions of the brain and nervous system.
  3. Identify and describe the major specialties in psychology.
  4. Identify and describe the major historical trends in psychology.

P3. Communication. Students will be able to communicate empirical and theoretical information effectively when generating knowledge or when using knowledge in applied settings. Specifically, students will be able to:

  1. Conduct and write a review that summarizes part of the psychological literature. Such a review will be understandable by those with a B.A. in psychology.
  2. Explain the rationale, procedures, results, and conclusions of a research project by writing a paper in APA format.

P4. Application. Students will be able to use the knowledge base provided by the discipline to foster their own well-being and life-long intellectual pursuits. Specifically, students will be able to:

  1. Draw upon current theories to explain the nature of behavior, emotion, and mental processes.
  2. Use the elements of effective communication and interpersonal skills in classroom exercises.
  3. Apply psychological theories, concepts, and methods to real-life situations and practical problems (for example, using mnemonics to improve memory).
  4. Understand the influence that variables such as race, class, sexuality, and gender may have on mental constructs and behaviors.