Psychology 201W

Syllabus for Psy 201W:
Dr. John A. Johnson
Basic Research Methods in Psychology
Office 188 Smeal
Spring Semester, 2002
Hours MWF 10-10:50
MWF 2:30-3:20 151 Smeal Building

Required Books

Leary, M. R. (2001). Introduction to behavioral research methods (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Some assignments will require students to read articles in scientific journals. These reading assignments will be announced in class.

Course Description

This course is designed to impart, through lectures and laboratory exercises, a basic knowledge of psychological research methods. Lectures, reviews, and exams are scheduled for Monday and Wednesday classes, and laboratory exercises and special activities are scheduled for Friday classes. Some of the laboratory exercises can be completed within the class period, while others will require additional work outside of class.

Course Objectives

Students who successfully complete this course should be able to locate, read, and understand psychological journal articles. They also should understand the logic of research designs and statistical analyses used by psychologists. Finally, they should be able to generate scientific hypotheses, to design studies to test the hypotheses, and to write research reports following APA style guidelines.

Grading

Grades will be based on the total number of points earned on three exams, three papers, and ten laboratory exercises. The exams contain 50 multiple choice questions and are noncumulative. Handouts describing the papers and lab exercises will be distributed in class. The maximum point values of the assignments and the point distribution for grades are listed in the following table:


 
Assignment
Maximum Points
 
Point Total
Grade
First Test
100
 
930-1000
Second Test
100
 
900-929
A- 
Third Test
100
 
870-899 
B+ 
First Paper
100
 
830-869
Second Paper
150
 
800-829
B- 
Third Paper
200
 
770-799
C+ 
Lab Exercises
250 (10@ 20-35 points each)
 
700-769
 
 
 
600-699
TOTAL POSSIBLE
1000
 
0-599

Grades can be adjusted upward for students who demonstrate understanding of the course material through class participation.

General Policies

Students are responsible for all material covered in assigned readings, lectures, and lab exercises. Students are also responsible for announcements concerning assignments, changes in times or procedures, and so forth that are made in class, whether they are present or not.

Students are not graded on attendance per se, but attending classes is important, particularly on lab and testing days. Missing lab exercises or tests results in a zero score which may lower your final grade. Opportunities to make up lab activities or tests will be available only for students with valid medical excuses or other extenuating circumstances accepted by the instructor.

Late work is penalized 5 percent per day. For example, a student who earned 30 points on a lab exercise but turned it in four days late would be awarded only 80% or 24 points. Non-penalty extensions may be granted only in exceptional cases, but only if arrangements are made with the instructor prior to the due date. All lab exercise reports are due one week after the day on which they are assigned. Due dates for the three papers are shown on the course outline below.

I encourage you to seek me out whenever you need help with any aspect of the course. You may visit me without an appointment during any of my office hours. If you are unable to meet with me during my scheduled office hours, we can set up an appointment for another time. Outside of my office hours, feel free to knock on my door and I will try to help if I'm able. On days I am not on campus--including weekends--please email me and I'll probably email you back the same day (sometimes immediately if I'm logged on).

Course Outline
This outline is tentative; any changes will be announced in class. Reading assignments should be completed before the topic is discussed in class. Class lectures and discussions and the multiple choice tests will focus on the key terms that appear in boldface in the text. All key terms in each chapter and some review questions and exercises using the key terms appear at the end of the chapter. You can test your understanding of the reading assignments by seeing whether you can explain the key terms, answer the review questions, and complete the exercises.

 

WEEK

CLASS


MEETING

TOPIC
READING


ASSIGNMENT

PART I: VARIABILITY AND MEASUREMENT
1
1 M 1/7
Introduction to the course
 
2 W 1/9
Behavioral research
Chapter 1
3 F 1/11 
Scientific Communication
Ch 15, pp. 353-376
2
4 M 1/14
Behavioral variability
Ch 2, pp. 33-41
5 W 1/16
Co-variability


[Classroom demo for Lab 1]

Ch 2, pp. 42-52 
6 F 1/18 
Lab 1: Practice report-writing
Ch 15, pp. 376-398 
3
7 M 1/21
Measures used in behavioral research
Ch 3, pp. 53-57 
8 W 1/23
Measurement reliability and validity
Ch 3, pp. 57-76 
9 F 1/25 
Lab 2: Identifying key components in a research article
4
10 M 1/28
Observational & physiological methods
Ch 4, pp. 77-86
11 W 1/30
Self-report & archival methods
Ch 4, pp. 86-103 
12 F 2/1 
Lab 3: Naturalistic observation
 
5
13 M 2/4


* * * FIRST TEST - VARIABILITY AND MEASUREMENT * * * 
PART II: CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH 
14 W 2/6


Generating research ideas


* * * FIRST PAPER (LIBRARY PROJECT) DUE * * *

15 F 2/8 
Lab 4: Research project initial proposal
 
6
16 M 2/11
Presenting frequency distributions
Ch 5, p. 104; pp. 119-125
17 W 2/13
Computing central tendency,


variance, and z-scores

Ch 5, pp. 125-135
18 F 2/15 
Lab 5: Descriptive statistics
 
7
19 M 2/18
Probability sampling
Ch 6, pp. 105-116
20 W 2/20
Nonprobability sampling
Ch 6, pp. 116-119
21 F 2/22 
Lab 6: Survey project
 
8
22 M 2/25
Pearson correlation coefficient
Ch 6 pp. 136-146
23 W 2/27
Interpreting correlation coefficient
Ch 7, pp. 146-161
24 F 3/1 
Lab 7: Computing a correlation

March 4-8 * * * SPRING HOLIDAY - NO CLASSES * * *

9
25 M 3/11
Partial and multiple correlation
Ch 7, pp. 162-170
26 W 3/13
Path and factor analysis
Ch 8, pp. 171-183
27 F 3/15
Review
 
10
28 M 3/18


* * * SECOND TEST - CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH * * *
 
29 W 3/20
Work on second paper: Research Study Writeup
 
30 F 3/22
Work on second paper: Research Study Writeup
 
PART III: EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH
11
31 M 3/25
Experiments: basic concepts
Ch 8, pp. 184-200
* * * SECOND PAPER (RESEARCH STUDY WRITE-UP) DUE * * * 
 
32 W 3/27
Experiments: difficulties
Ch 8, pp. 200-217
33 F 3/29 
Lab 8: Identifying variables and levels
 
12
34 M 4/1
One-way experimental designs
Ch 9, pp. 218-224
35 W 4/3
Factorial experimental designs
Ch 9, pp. 224-242
36 F 4/5
Lab 9: Graphing factorial designs
13
37 M 4/8
Inferential statistics and hypothesis testing
Ch 10, pp. 243-250 
38 W 4/10
The t-test
Ch 10, pp. 250-261
39 F 4/12
Lab 10: Computing a t-test
 
14
40 M 4/15
Analysis of variance
Ch 11, pp. 262-274
41 W 4/17
Multivariate analysis of variance
Ch 12, pp. 274-281
42 F 4/19
Review
 
15
43 M 4/22


* * * THIRD TEST - EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH * * * 
 
44 W 4/24
Work on final paper: Research Proposal
 
45 F 4/26
Work on final paper: Research Proposal
 
Monday, April 29th * * * FINAL PAPER (RESEARCH PROPOSAL) DUE * * *
 





Statement of Academic Integrity

All students are expected to act with civility, personal integrity; respect other students' dignity, rights and property; and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their own efforts. An environment of academic integrity is requisite to respect for self and others and a civil community. 

Academic integrity includes a commitment to not engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty include cheating or copying, plagiarizing, submitting another persons' work as one's own, using Internet sources without citation, fabricating field data or citations, "ghosting" (taking or having another student take an exam), stealing examinations, tampering with the academic work of another student, facilitating other students' acts of academic dishonesty, etc.

Because scientific research often involves collaborating with other people and summarizing previous research, you must take careful to acknowledge their contributions or you will be guilty of plagiarism: stealing another's ideas. Most students know that when you use someone's exact words you must place the words in quotation marks. But you must also acknowledge others' ideas even when you rephrase them or put them in your own words. The proper style for acknowledging others' ideas can be found on pages 117-122 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The Manual describes how to acknowledge those who contributed to the study on pages 203-204 and contains a discussion of plagiarism on pages 349-350.

Violating academic integrity is considered a serious offense by the University and is treated accordingly. Students violating academic integrity will receive an F for the course. In the case of more serious offenses (multiple violations; organized, widespread distribution of plagiarized materials, etc.), expulsion from the University will be recommended to the Director of Academic Affairs. Further information, including appeals processes, can be found in Policy 49-20 of the current Policies and Rules for Students handbook.