Professors Rutledge (Chair), Chowdhury, Clark, Conklin, Connell Pensky, Eckstein, Hancock, Heuchert, J.R. Hollerman, Knupsky, Ozorak, Paulson, and Pickering
Psychology is a field of inquiry devoted to understanding human thought and behavior. Although largely concerned with the study of humans, other animals are studied as well, often with specific interest in comparing their behavior to that of humans. Psychology is a blend of paradigms or ways of understanding. Some approaches view psychology as a science, while others emphasize the applied, eclectic nature of the discipline. Psychology has its roots and shares its goals with many neighboring fields such as philosophy, physiology and sociology. The Psychology Department faculty reflects the diverse nature of the discipline by representing a wide range of conceptions and interests in psychology.
Courses in the department address issues such as how our biological nature prepares us for the ways in which we behave; the impact of developmental tasks on our conceptions of who we are; the ways in which we learn, perceive, and remember; how individual differences develop and shape our lives; and the extent to which we are susceptible to social influences. The major program is designed to provide both breadth and depth in the field. Students take coursework in the basic principles and methods of psychology and from the major subfields. In addition, advanced courses provide in-depth work in areas of particular interest. The major in Psychology is designed to support students who wish to pursue the major as a liberal arts focus as well as those who plan to enter graduate school.
Psychology Learning Outcomes
Our discussion of the goals and objectives for the psychology major begins with a list of the skills and abilities that we view as being particular to students of this discipline. This list of skills and abilities is followed by a description of the particular content areas that we see as being essential to those who graduate from our program.
1. Skills and Abilities. Students who successfully complete a major in Psychology should be able to:
- Evaluate and use current theoretical and research trends in psychology;
- Design and implement a research study including the development of hypotheses that are testable within the context of acceptable research strategies;
- Recognize the ethical aspects and implications of psychological research and practice;
- Synthesize information arising from different sub-areas of psychology;
- Understand the application of psychology to personal and social issues;
- Recognize and understand the complexity of sociocultural diversity.
2. Content. It should be recognized that skills and content are inseparable. The skills mentioned above must be taught within the context of some content. Nevertheless, it is possible to distinguish between the material that is learned (content) and the processes used to learn and apply the material (skills). Students who successfully complete a major in Psychology should demonstrate:
- An understanding of the various models of behavior (e.g., psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, biological, etc.);
- Knowledge of the sub-areas of psychology;
- Knowledge of various strategies for developing knowledge in psychology;
- Knowledge of recent trends in psychology;
- Knowledge of theory in at least one sub-area of psychology