Wright State University
2011-12
Graduate Catalog

Table of Concents
about wsu
Resources








 
 

Graduate Programs

Back to Program List | Program Website

Psychology

Introduction

The Department of Psychology offers programs of graduate study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) degrees and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in human factors and industrial/organizational psychology. Human factors, also called ergonomics or engineering psychology, deals with human-machine or human-computer interactions or with the design of specific tasks. It focuses on improving system performance and developing effective interfaces through the application of knowledge of the operator’s perceptual and cognitive processes. It emphasizes the technical aspects of a situation, looking for ways to modify the physical environment in order to improve performance. Aerospace-related applications are common at Wright State University because it is adjacent to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, a major center of human factors research and development. Applications in consumer products, training, computer systems, and command/control are also investigated. Industrial/organizational psychology is primarily concerned with individual, group, and organizational behavior in work settings. It deals with “interfaces” of people with people (either individuals or groups). It focuses on improving system performance and improving organizational design and staffing through the application of knowledge of human personality structure and social-motivational processes. It emphasizes the social side of an environment, looking for ways to modify the set of people who interact in and with a system by selecting people who fit an environment, by training, or by designing organizational structures to motivate performance.

Students may enter a terminal M.S. degree program, specializing in either human factors or industrial/organizational psychology.

Students may also enter the Ph.D. program, specializing in either human factors or industrial/organizational psychology, but the program will foster an understanding of both areas and the importance of considering both aspects in the design of industrial, aerospace, and other systems. The area of specialization will be considered the major focus area while the other area will serve as a minor focus area.

Admission

Students may be admitted into either the terminal M.S. program or the Ph.D. program. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program should have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a major in psychology or at least 24 quarter credit hours of psychology. Students should have completed courses in cognition or human learning, sensation and perception, social or organizational psychology, personality or test and measures, or abnormal, experimental design/statistics, and experimental methods. Ideally, students should also have completed a year of physical or biological science, courses in mathematics, and computer science. Students who are missing one or more prerequisite courses will be expected to complete appropriate remedial course work at the onset of the program, in addition to degree requirements. Students admitted to the terminal M.S. program should have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and must have completed most of the specified course work.

All prospective students must submit an official transcript from each institution attended. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative) also must be submitted. Three letters of recommendation must be received from previous university professors or relevant professionals. Applicants also must submit an essay describing their professional goals and current academic interests in human factors or industrial/organizational psychology.

All admissions are competitive. Applications will be evaluated to determine the likelihood of success in the program and potential for a career in human factors or industrial/organizational psychology. Evaluation criteria will include: cumulative grade point average, verbal and quantitative Graduate Record Examination scores, performance in relevant course work, letters of recommendation, previous research experience, relevant job experience, and other information about writing and quantitative skills. Applications are due by January 1 for fall consideration.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science

In order to qualify for a Master of Science degree, students must complete all of the following requirements, in addition to satisfying requirements of the Graduate School.

1. Complete a minimum of 55 quarter-hours of course work
2. Complete course work in the following areas:
Eight credit hours of core psychology courses
Eight credit hours of major focus courses
Four credit hours of minor focus courses
Three-course sequence in research design, methods, and statistics
3. Complete first-year research requirement
4. Complete an acceptable research-based thesis, including a written proposal and thesis, and oral defense of both

All course work and program options may be used to satisfy requirements only if officially approved on the Program of Study. Students must declare either human factors or industrial/organizational as their major focus. Additional information may be obtained from the Department of Psychology.


Doctor of Philosophy

In order to qualify for a Doctor of Philosophy degree, students must complete all of the following requirements, in addition to satisfying requirements of the Graduate School.

1. Complete a minimum of 136 quarter-hours of course work
2. Complete course work in the following areas:
At least three core science psychology courses
Twenty-four credit hours of major focus courses
Twelve hours of minor focus courses
Three-course sequence in research design, methods and statistics
One advanced course in research design, methods and statistics
Course in history and systems in psychology
3. Complete first-year research requirement
4. Complete an acceptable M.S. thesis, including a written proposal and thesis, and oral defense of both
5. Pass the qualifying exam
6. Meet residency requirements
7. Meet practical experience requirements
8. Complete a Ph.D. dissertation and successfully defend the dissertation in an oral exam conducted by a dissertation committee

All course work and program options may be used to satisfy requirements only if officially approved on the Program of Study. Students must declare either human factors or industrial/organizational as their major focus. Additional information may be obtained from the Department of Psychology.

Facilities

The programs in human factors and industrial/organizational psychology are a major focus of departmental activity; two-thirds of the faculty in the department specialize in one of the two program areas. Students enter a program with a critical mass of faculty and students and a wide variety of research opportunities.

The Department of Psychology maintains general laboratories to support teaching and research. There are two PC laboratories. Each one contains 17 computers with flat screen LCD color monitors and two printers.

The Department also maintains a Macintosh laboratory. It contains 16 Apple intel-based computers with high-resolution 17-inch color monitors and two Xerox laser printers. The individual microprocessors are interconnected via a 3COM local area network. Special purpose equipment, such as a Prichard Photometer, Kay Sound Spectrum Analyser, and Hewlett-Packard Color Scanner are available. The Department has a variety of other general-purpose facilities for individual and small group testing. These include audio-visual equipment for taping or presenting information to group, observation rooms with one-way windows, and laptop computers for field research.

The Department of Psychology has research space, faculty and graduate student offices, and general classroom space all located in Fawcett Hall. The space has been completely remodeled for psychological research. The Department occupies the third, fourth, and fifth floors of Fawcett Hall. The fourth and fifth floors consist of 20,000 square feet of space exclusively for psychology research. Each Psychology faculty member currently maintains a laboratory to support his or her research activities. Specialized equipment in these research laboratories supports research on sensory process, motor control, spatial orientation, human-computer interaction, display design, flight simulation, memory aging, expertise, teamwork, assessment, training, and stress in the workplace. Computer facilities include UNIX workstations, PC’s, and Mac’s. Descriptions of faculty laboratories are given under the appropriate faculty’s individual Web page. These laboratories are well –equipped for behavioral research.

Students and faculty also have access to specialized laboratories and equipment which are unique to the Dayton metropolitan area. The Department of Psychology at Wright State University and the Armstrong Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have an official Memorandum of Agreement which facilitates the sharing of equipment, facilities, and personnel. Specialized high fidelity simulators and other test facilities are available and have been used by Department of Psychology faculty and students. In addition, the Department has excellent working relationships with other laboratories and facilities. Several faculty and students have conducted research at the Crew Station Evaluation Facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Department of Psychology faculty also has excellent working relationships with area corporations and industries.

The department of Psychology maintains a Psychology Computer Services (PCS) facility to support research and teaching. The PCS has two computer engineers. The PCS provides software, hardware, and network support.

Research is also conducted in off-campus facilities. Dayton is a major center for human factors research. The Department of Psychology has a Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Air Force Armstrong Laboratory, which facilitates use of its sophisticated behavioral laboratories such as flight simulators and the Auditory Localization Facility for free field binaural research. Dayton is also an area of considerable industrial and corporate strength. Industrial/organizational research is conducted in conjunction with local firms. Faculty and students interact with many colleagues in government and the private sector.

Faculty

Professors
Kevin Bennett, human-computer interaction, training, graphic display design
Herbert Colle, mental workload, keyboard interfaces, working memory
John Flach (chair), perceptual-motor skill, ecological psychology, human-machine systems
Helen Altman Klein, developmental, applied psychology, home design for aged
Allen Nagy, color displays, visual science
Wayne Shebilske training complex skills, spatial orientation
Pamela Tsang, time sharing performance, aviation, aging

Associate Professors
Nathan Bowling, job attitude, occupational stress, workplace aggression
Jean Edwards, personality assessment, stress
Robert Gilkey, binaural displays, masking, psychoacoustics, virtual environments
Debra Steele-Johnson, training systems and feedback, intelligent tutoring
David LaHuis, personnel/organizational psychology
Corey Miller, personnel psychology, legal issues, diversity management
Tamera Schneider, stress and physiology, persuading healthy behaviors
Valerie Shalin, workplace expertise and learning, aiding and training technology
Scott Watamaniuk, visual motion, eye movements

Assistant Professors
Gary Burns, personality assessment, judgment and decision making, selection

Financial Assistance

The department awards both graduate teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships. These appointments carry a waiver of tuition and instructional fees for both residents and nonresidents. Incoming students should express their interest as a part of the application process. Appointments are made for one academic year and may be renewed. Teaching assistants will have instructional responsibilities, and research assistants will be responsible for supporting research under the supervision of a faculty member. For additional information on financial aid, see the “Financial Assistance, Fees, and Tuition” section.

Graduate School
E344 Student Union
Voice: (937) 775-2976
Fax: (937) 775-2453
E-mail: wsugrad@wright.edu
Page Divider
[ Graduate Catalog Home | Graduate School Home | WSU Home ]
Page Divider