Grand Canyon University

Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology: Performance Psychology (Qualitative Research)


3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology: Performance Psychology (Qualitative Research)

Format: Online

Program Description:

What Is Performance Psychology?

Performance psychology focuses on human psychology during professional performance, often psychomotor performance. Grand Canyon University’s qualitative Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance Psychology is designed for learners who want to apply research about emotion, cognition and motivation to the study of peak performance. Graduates of the performance psychology PhD program look to use psychology to improve and enhance all kinds of performance.

The College of Doctoral Studies designed this performance psychology graduate degree program around the following aspects of the field:

    Theoretical foundations of emotion, cognition and behavior in performance settings
    Constructs and theories of psychomotor skill and motor control to improve learning and performance
    Principles of behavior modification to enhance individual performance
    Psychological theories to promote effective leadership
    Applications of psychological theories and principles underlying performance

What Is a Qualitative Performance Psychology PhD?

Students pursuing their qualitative PhD in performance psychology will focus on expanding their skillset, developing a research study and gaining insight into how and why people think, believe and behave a certain way. This differs from GCU’s quantitative PhD in performance psychology, which focuses on developing expertise in the creation of a sampling plan and in the collection of data. This differs from GCU’s quantitative PhD in performance psychology, which focuses on developing expertise in the creation of a sampling plan and in the collection of data

The Benefits of a PhD in Performance Psychology Program

Those looking to advance their careers in sports, medicine, business, sales and marketing will benefit from this general performance psychology doctoral degree. The online PhD in psychology programs at GCU integrate the research and hands-on methodology needed to complete a dissertation.

In addition, this qualitative performance psychology PhD program includes two or three hands-on doctoral residencies. During this time, learners who complete their coursework online will have the opportunity to work with faculty and peers in an intimate setting.

This degree does not lead directly to licensure. Admission into this doctorate of philosophy performance program requires a graduate degree and related coursework.

Study the Psychology of Motivation and Human Performance

When performance psychology is applied outside of the realm of sports and physical performance, it is closely related to industrial and organizational psychology. Both practices intend to improve employee performance. The disciplines even use some similar strategies, such as goal setting, to enhance work output. However, performance psychology digs deeper into the principles of behavior modification to determine how to improve work and leadership. Additionally, it studies traits of high achieving leaders to learn how to motivate and change work habits from the top down.

GCU’s online qualitative performance psychology PhD prepares learners to conduct empirical, research and learn theories related to mental and thought processes. In addition, graduates examine:

    Factors affecting individual behavior
    Mass communication’s impact on social awareness and control
    The construction, analysis and interpretation of psychological tests
    Measurement of learning outcomes
    How to improve learning and performance conditions
    The dimensions that impact information processing, decision making and regulating emotions

Performance Psychology Careers

GCU’s online qualitative PhD performance psychology can lead learners into many different fields. Our graduates become those who are capable of consulting on or leading change in an organization. Graduates may find work in fields such as:

    Higher Education
    Fitness and Nutrition


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Perkins Loan, Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) State Grant, Arizona Post-Secondary Education Voucher Program State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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