Psychology Department Mission Statement
The Psychology Department at Muhlenberg College aims to create a culture of informed engagement. Our students will interact differently with the world as a result of studying psychology and will understand psychology differently through engaging with the world. We cultivate an appreciation for a liberal arts education, including psychology’s contributions to other disciplines and the contributions of those disciplines to psychology. Students are encouraged to be intellectually curious and adventurous; wrestling with challenges leads to a better understanding of their own and others’ perspectives.
Goals for the Psychology Curriculum
Our engaged faculty members seek to prepare students for meaningful careers and to foster excitement for life-long learning. Our curricular goals are grounded in best practices articulated by the American Psychological Association. We expect psychology students to:
- Build a strong knowledge base in psychology through learning core scientific models, findings, and theories.
- Develop strong scientific and critical thinking skills through the use of diverse methods of inquiry.
- Understand the role of cultural and individual differences and commonalities in order to meet their ethical and social responsibilities in a diverse world.
- Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills including writing, speaking, and listening.
- Optimize their professional development by responsibly balancing independence and teamwork.
See how our curriculum is aligned with these goals here.
Skill Objectives for the Psychology Curriculum
- Critical thinking skills - including but not limited to the ability to:
- read texts closely, appropriately interpreting texts
- critique the validity of arguments or conclusions, including one's own
- critique the methodological and ethical components of research
- detect and evaluate underlying assumptions or biases
- identify emotional-reasoning and, when appropriate, set one's emotions aside
- avoid oversimplification of topics
- tolerate uncertainty
- make an argument supported by available evidence and reason
- theorize - generate and articulate views about the relationships among a set of concepts that are appropriately novel, creative, logically consistent, faithful to the data, hypothesis-generating, or some combination of the above
- using sources properly (e.g., avoiding inappropriate paraphrasing)
- mastering APA (American Psychological Association) writing style
- producing clear, grammatically correct, and articulate work
- learning the appropriate use of visual aids
- behaving professionally in communication and self-presentation (e.g., choosing appropriate attire, formality of language
- listen to others
- provide constructive criticism, and make use of such feedback when offered
- engage in respectful and civil dialogue, even when in disagreement
- seek out and seek to understand unfamiliar perspectives and/or views that differ from one's own
- role-play the perspective of others, thus potentially fostering empathy
- affirm the value of differences (when able to do so with integrity)
- ability to review, analyze, and synthesize an existing body of research
- ability to design and implement ethical empirical research using appropriate method.
- data analysis skills (quantitative and qualitative), including but not limited to:
- mastery of basic SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) skills
- ability to choose and conduct appropriate descriptive & inferential statistical tests
- ability to reason statistically/quantitatively (e.g., awareness of base rates)
- ability to locate appropriate sources from the library and/or electronic resources
- ability to distinguish scholarly from non-scholarly sources & primary from secondary
Adopted April, 2003; Modified May, 2011