The applied cognitive psychology option is designed to teach our graduate students how to address real-world issues. Students will be trained to develop evidence-based reforms rooted in a rigorous study of cognitive processes. Such reforms can be applied to confront problems in the domains of education, law, health and business. Ongoing research in the department explores how to improve the accuracy of both memory performance and meta-cognitive judgments to help students choose optimal study strategies and help legal actors assess eyewitness reliability. Other faculty study health campaign design, the relationship between language and cognition, memory for trauma and/or issues that face individuals making decisions within the criminal justice system.
The community and applied social psychology option is designed to train students to research and analyze the complex relationships between individual, family, and community well-being and the broader socioeconomic, physical, cultural, and geographic environment. This option will produce graduates with the analytic, creative, and practical skills needed to design and implement programs and services that will facilitate positive changes within and across communities. A number of members of our department specialize in issues facing immigrants, psychology and the law, peace and conflict issues both nationally and internationally, positive aging, intersectionality of race/ethnicity, diversity issues in the workplace, participatory action research and gender-based violence.
The applied developmental psychology option will train our graduates to conduct research on typical and atypical challenges across the lifespan. Faculty areas of research include neuropsychology, psychophysiology and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), child maltreatment, and the development of language, especially the ability to tell narratives of personal experiences. Other faculty address issues of family and parent-child relationships, child eyewitness testimony, and aging and social gerontology.