What is Consumer Psychology?
Consumer psychology is the scientific study of how people think and behave toward the products and services they see and use in their daily lives. Consumer psychology, sometimes referred to as consumer behavior, can be seen as an interdisciplinary approach, as it is influenced and influences many related fields such as marketing, social and cognitive psychology, advertising and economics. Consumer psychologists enjoy a wide range of job responsibilities with many choosing jobs in advertising, government and private consulting, marketing and academia.
What is Industrial/Organizational Psychology?
Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology is the scientific study of how individuals function and interact with others in the workplace. I/O psychologists study a variety of factors that can help to increase the overall effectiveness of organizations and individuals within public and private enterprises. Some of these factors include the study of leadership, motivation, behavior during group based tasks, retention of employees, recruitment of employees, creating and assessing the effectiveness of training programs, employee attitude, performance management etc.
The graduate specialization in Consumer-Industrial Research (CIRP), which leads to the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology, prepares students to apply psychological concepts and research techniques in business and institutional settings. It combines advanced quantitative research with hands-on experience involving problems and issues encountered in industrial and service organizations.
The program is designed to be completed in two years, culminating with a Master's thesis. To ensure that the program is geared to one's strengths and interests, a close working relationship is encouraged between each student and a specific faculty member. Additionally, it is expected that all students will have the opportunity to participate in actual research projects, often in conjunction with faculty. This practical experience, whatever the form, occurs primarily after completion of the first year.
The first year of the program consists of a heavy measure of the program core: quantitative methods, research design, field research methods, substantive courses in consumer behavior, organizational behavior, personnel selections - with possibly a few electives. The second year allows the student to complete coursework primarily with electives, while working on the thesis and gaining some additional experience in the field.
As part of the program, students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of practical as well as academic research. The practical research may be in conjunction with an internship or short tem job. The academic research may be done in collaboration with a faculty member as independent research as well as a thesis project.