Psychology Majors receive extensive training in data analysis and interpretation. They have experience interpreting data summaries in both numerical and graphical forms. In addition, they learn how to apply quantitative and analytic skills in a variety of practical contexts. This training extends to computer-based skills including the use of statistical and graphics software in senior methods courses. Students may also use spreadsheets, databases, and specialized programming for experimental work (e.g., during volunteer or paid research positions in the Psychology Department or when doing an Honours Thesis).
Training in the analytic skills of experimental design is a major component of the Honours Psychology and, to a less degree, General Psychology curriculum. Students are trained to address problems of human motivation, memory, social relations, communication, and many other human capacities and dispositions by translating them into empirically testable hypotheses. This also entails training in critically evaluating claims about human abilities and inclinations.
Fieldwork and observation
Several areas of psychology require special methods for observing and recording human activity in both naturalistic and experimental settings.
Many areas of psychology often require the application of interviewing skills for very targeted purposes such as collecting data to address specific research questions. Skilled interviewing is directly relevant to such critical activities as making clinical diagnoses and hiring decisions.
Test construction, interpretation, and evaluation
This is a highly technical sub-discipline within psychology. Testing is a major component of much psychological research and practice and may often be combined with experimental procedures, fieldwork and naturalistic observation, as well as interviews.
Last updated July 7, 2015