Skip to main content Skip to navigation
College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology

Goals of the Experimental Program

The doctoral program in experimental psychology at Washington State University is designed to produce highly skilled, innovative, and productive experimental psychologists in terms of research and teaching. Each student will build his/her program of study around one or more specialty areas in Cognition, Biological, Social, Industrial/Organizational, Health, and Applied Quantitative Methods. Degree recipients are expected to be highly knowledgeable about their specialty areas, to have a strong background in general experimental psychology, to be able to identify significant research problems, to be conversant with a wide variety of strategies for generating and testing hypotheses that emerge from these problems, and to be able to effectively communicate these ideas. It is expected that graduates will leave Washington State University well equipped to become successful professionals in competitive research and teaching positions in academia, as well as competitive research or applied positions in government and industry.

Objectives of the program

  1. To produce highly skilled, ethical, creative and productive research psychologists in one or more specialty areas, the program aims to provide a variety of experiences that will help students to:
    • Become independent, self-motivated, ethical researchers with the ability to recognize problems in their field of expertise and formulate solutions to the problems.
    • Develop a comprehensive knowledge of previous and current research in their field of expertise.
    • Generate viable questions and identify significant research problems within their field of expertise, and be conversant with a wide variety of strategies for generating and testing hypotheses that emerge from these questions/problems.
    • Apply sound methods to research problems in their field of expertise and describe the methods effectively.
    • Perform statistical analyses of research data and present the results in a way that makes clear sense of the data and conclusions to be drawn.
    • Discuss the solution to the research problem and the support or lack of support for the hypothesis in a way that effectively describes the contribution of the research to the area of study.
    • Communicate information clearly and effectively in written and oral form according to professional standards.
    • Achieve a mastery of knowledge in the general field of experimental psychology and the highest level of expertise in a specific, defined area of this field.
    • Develop a general knowledge of different psychological research methods, analyses, and data presentation tools to best answer a research question and convey this information clearly.

 

  1. To produce highly skilled, ethical, creative and effective instructors capable of teaching general psychology and/or teaching in one or more specialty areas of psychology, the program aims to provide a variety of experiences that will help students to:
    • Become independent, self-motivated, ethical teachers with the ability to utilize appropriate teaching techniques and technologies in order to develop effective and engaging lecture material, class activities, and assignments relevant to the class being offered.
    • Communicate information clearly and effectively in oral and written form and create a positive learning environment that encourages student understanding and utilization of the information presented.
    • Develop effective quizzes and examinations to successfully evaluate learning in a manner that is fair to all students enrolled in the class.

 

  1. To enable students to become successful professionals in preparation for competitive research and teaching positions in academia, as well as research or applied positions in government and industry, the program aims to provide a variety of experiences that will help students to:
    • Achieve professional competency.
    • Present research to local, regional, national and international audiences through publications in professional (peer-reviewed) journals and conference posters/papers.
    • Participate in professional organizations, becoming members, attending meetings, and taking leadership roles where appropriate.
    • Broaden their professional foundations through activities such as teaching, and submitting fellowship and grant applications.
    • Secure employment
Washington State University