Psychology - Program Distinctions
Psychology can be considered a hybrid discipline in that it utilizes scientific analysis and methodologies similar to the physical and biological sciences, and incorporates rational-philosophical speculation common to the humanities. The Psychological Association notes that "psychologists study two critical relationships: one between brain function and behavior, and one between the environment and behavior." To investigate these relationships, the student will learn to think as a scientist by using carful observation, experimentation and analysis to uncover new information. Additionally, the student will develop the critical thinking skills used in applying scientific findings to individual and social situations. During the freshman and sophomore years, psychology majors complete most of their general-education courses and their foundation courses in psychology, which prepare them for the advanced requirements in the discipline. Typically, general psychology and the math requirement are completed during the first year. Psychology courses in the second year focus on the research tools and research methodology used in the discipline. In the final two years of the curriculum, psychology majors take a variety of courses, which emphasize the fundamental concepts and research findings in psychology.