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About the Undergraduate Program

Mission Objectives for Psychology's Undergraduate Curriculum

Upon completion of the B.A. in Psychology at USF, the student should show competence in three main areas: methods, contents, and skills.

Methods

The graduate can

  • Identify hypotheses and distinguish hypotheses from facts and opinions.
  • Formulate hypotheses.
  • Collect, analyze and interpret data relevant to such hypotheses.
  • Describe and interpret both descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • Match simple experimental designs with the appropriate analyses.
  • Identify problems with the internal and external validity of the study findings.
  • Use information about the reliability and validity of a test to make judgments about the test's quality.
  • Distinguish between an operational definition and a hypothetical construct.
  • Identify ethical problems in the conduct of research.

Contents

The graduate can

  • Describe several of the major theoretical positions in psychology.
  • Describe how psychological theories can be used to practical ends.
  • Take a position on several major psychological controversies (e.g., the influence of nature vs. nurture, serial vs. parallel human information processing, the degree to which we can increase intelligence) and marshal empirical research results that support the position taken.
  • Describe psychology's place in a larger, societal context (e.g., the professional roles of psychologists).
  • Articulate degrees of interest in various sub-disciplines of psychology.

Skills

The graduate can

  • Conduct a computer search for prior research in an area of interest to psychologists (e.g., can gather information on the use of psychological tests in college admissions).
  • Write clearly about the implications of empirical data for questions of psychological importance (e.g., what do the data say about the association of job satisfaction and physical health).
  • Identify flaws in the conclusions of studies presented in the popular media (e.g., shows about ESP, advertising claims about sexually enhancing drugs, etc.) and can identify problems with psychology in the popular press (e.g., a report implied causal relations but a correlational design was used).