The MA Program in Applied Cognitive Psychology: User Experience offers you training in cognitive psychology research and theory, with a focus on how human information processing informs the design of products and services.

User Experience (UX) is an empirical approach that puts human needs, cognitive capabilities, and behavior first, and then designs to accommodate them. Good design starts with an understanding of psychology and technology, and requires successful communication, especially from machine to person, about what is happening, what is about to happen, and what actions are possible. In this program, you will study the cognitive principles most relevant to determining human capabilities and design needs, and develop empirical methods for assessing the effectiveness of implemented designs and the overall user experience.

Program Highlights
  • This 48-unit terminal MA program will train you in three critical domains: cognitive psychology, user experience, and research methods and statistics.
  • A unique feature of this program is the practice component: you will be required to do either a field internship or a practicum project in human-centered design, to be completed as an independent study project with a core faculty member in the program.
  • UX researchers are highly employable, and land jobs at companies across a broad range of industries, from tech to healthcare. Read the Nielsen Norman Group report on UX careers.

Program At a Glance

UNITS
48 units

COMPLETION TIME
2 years

COURSES BEGIN
Fall preferred

DIVISION
Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

DEGREE AWARDED
MA in Psychology

Featured Courses

Foundations of Human-Centered Design Research

Examines the theoretical foundations of Human-Centered Design, the basic tenets of the field, and the strategies and methods used by UX practitioners from the discovery phase to implementation to post-implementation.

PSYCH 350u
Applied Cognitive Psychology

Explores the most productive avenues for applying cognitive psychology in the real world.

PSYCH 260po
Perception & Cognition

Explores the information processing approach to sensation and perception, including topics on attention and working memory.

PSYCH 325
Psychology of Thinking

Explores aspects of cognitive psychology including problem solving, creativity, intelligence, mental representation, expertise, decision processes, and more.

IST 340
Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining

Studies the data mining process goal of discovering nontrivial, interesting, and actionable knowledge from data in databases.

PSYCH 302a
Research Methods

Surveys contemporary research methods in psychology, focusing on research conceptualization, design, and measurement and the logic of minimizing the number of viable alternative explanations for a set of findings.

Curriculum

 

Cognitive Psychology (12 units)

  • Applied Cognitive Psychology (4 units)

Plus at least 2 of the following:

  • Perception & Cognition (4 units)
  • Psychology of Thinking (4 units)
  • Memory (4 units)

User Experience (12 units)

  • Foundations of Human-Centered Design Research (4 units)
  • Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (4 units)
  • Independent Study: Field Internship or Practicum Project (4 units)

Statistics & Research Methods (12 units)

  • Research Methods (4 units)
  • Intermediate Statistics (2 units)
  • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) (2 units)
  • Applied Multiple Regression (2 units)
  • Categorical Data Analysis (2 units)

Electives in Cognitive Psychology, Methods, and Related Fields (12 units)
Students are encouraged to take elective courses in advanced statistics as well as cognitive psychology. Related courses offered by the Center for Information Systems & Technology are also encouraged, as are programming courses. Electives are to be selected with the approval of student’s academic advisor.

Faculty & Research
  • Andrew Conway profile image

    Andrew Conway

    Associate Provost for Research
    Professor of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Intelligence, Working memory, Statistics

  • Kathy Pezdek profile image

    Kathy Pezdek

    Professor of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Memory and comprehension, Visual memory, Eyewitness memory, Suggestibility of memory, Autobiographical memory

  • Yan Li profile image

    Yan Li

    Assistant Professor of Information Systems & Technology

    Research Interests

    Data science, Data mining, Analytics, Semantic technologies, Databases, Data warehousing, Business intelligence, ICT4D

Extended Faculty

Lise Abrams

Pomona College

Research Interests

Language and memory, speech production, tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states, cognitive aging, bilingualism


Deborah Burke

Pomona College

Research Interests

Cognitive and neural language processes, and the effects of aging; failures of language production; emotions’ effects on language and memory


Gabriel Cook

Claremont McKenna College

Research Interests

Cognition, memory


Alison Harris

Claremont McKenna College

Research Interests

Cognitive neuroscience, decision neuroscience, neuroeconomics


Leah Light

Pitzer College

Research Interests

Human memory and cognition; memory and aging


Catherine Reed

Claremont McKenna College

Research Interests

Cognitive neuroscience, electroencephalography, human behavior and human factors, multisensory perception


Shlomi Sher

Pomona College

Research Interests

Rational and psychological levels of analysis; scientific approaches to the mind-body problem


Patricia Smiley

Pomona College

Research Interests

Language development, self-development, achievement motivation


Sharda Umanath

Claremont McKenna College

Research Interests

Cognition, education, experimental psychology, memory

Request information about the Applied Cognitive Psychology: User Experience program

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Matthew Gold

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-7498 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)
E: matthew.gold@cgu.edu

Kathy Pezdek

Professor of Psychology
E: kathy.pezdek@cgu.edu