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Department of Psychology

MA - Applied Behavior Analysis

Graduate Mission

The mission of the ABA Master of Arts in Psychology is to provide comprehensive education and training in Applied Behavior Analysis, as well as an appreciation for research, theory, and practice in Behavior Analysis, and Psychology more broadly. 

Goals and Learning Outcomes

Goal 1:  Theory and Content in Psychology

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of behavioral theory and research in the following areas: intellectual and developmental disabilities, organizations and systems, human operant research, animal research, verbal behavior, education and training, health and fitness.
  2. Students can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the underlying philosophical assumptions of Behavior Analysis and how these relate to Psychology as a whole.

Goal 2:  Scientific Methods

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students can apply and evaluate the appropriate use of various research designs for addressing different types of questions.
  2. Students can evaluate the appropriateness of conclusions presented in disseminated research relevant to psychology.
  3. Students can explain APA and BACB guidelines for the ethical treatment of human and nonhuman research participants.
  4. Students can use the library, databases, and the Internet to locate relevant research and information necessary to plan, conduct, and interpret the results of research studies.
  5. Students can formulate a testable research question and design basic studies to address this using different research methodologies.
  6. Students can collect data under supervised direction.
  7. Students can graph and analyze data in a variety of ways, using additional analyses as needed, and interpret these in the context of the experimental question.
  8. Students can apply the scientific method in research (e.g., thesis).
  9. Students can apply APA and BACB ethical guidelines in the design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of psychological research.

Goal 3:  Critical Thinking, Logic, and Problem Solving

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students can evaluate the logic and data of research.
  2. Students can defend arguments, compare perspectives and theories, differentiate assumptions and facts, and develop experimental questions based on research literature.
  3. Students can use research literature to guide research and intervention decisions.

Goal 4:  Communication Skills

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students can produce well-organized papers and essays without grammatical errors.
  2. Students can utilize APA format correctly in papers.
  3. Students can compose and deliver an oral presentation on a psychology topic.
  4. Students can explain scientific findings, ideas, and opinions in a group setting.
  5. Students can develop a presentation appropriate for submission to a scientific conference.

Goal 5:  Diversity and Awareness

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students can show an understanding of, respect for, and responsiveness to cultural and individual differences by describing the perspectives of those of other ages, abilities, gender, or ethnicities.
  2. Students can listen to and discuss perspectives on psychology with others regardless of similarity or diversity of personal characteristics or professional experience and orientation.