PSYC 310 Course goals

Course goals


Critical thinking goals include developing the ability to


- identify the basis for a claim of fact


- determine the validity of scientific and non-scientific claims and formulate additional explanations


- identify the limitations of science and other forms of inquiry


- clearly communicate to others the basis of claims of fact and the validity of claims of fact


Psychology related goals include


- enhancing professional development though discussion of careers, opportunities in the Department of Psychology for professional advancement, and steps for postgraduate academic progress


- developing an understanding that psychology is the application of the scientific method to issues of human behavior and cognition


plus developing the ability to


- identify problems with scientific studies


- properly formulate a question to which the scientific method can be applied


- design a scientific study to answer a properly formulated question


- interpret the results of a study to produce valid claims of fact



Course overview

Psychology is the science of human behavior. As a science, we have a variety of methodological tools for measuring and quantifying human behavior and cognition. This course is designed to provide you with a working knowledge of those tools. Though a substantial portion of this course is designed to cover methodology in psychology, one of the main goals is to teach you to apply scientific thinking to the myriad bits of information you are exposed to every day. In addition to "scientific" claims made on the behalf of products in the popular media, you will undoubtedly be called upon to evaluate claims based upon true scientific experiments for choices regarding, for example, your own health and safety. Successful completion of this course will provide you with skills to evaluate scientific data and determine what is science and what is pseudoscience.