Experimental Methods in Psychology Syllabus

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Experimental Methods in Psychology Syllabus Powered By Docstoc
					Psychology 200                                                                       Fall 2001

                           Experimental Methods in Psychology
                       Monday and Wednesday 11:00 - 12:15; Reese 302

Instructor:                                          Lab Director:
Mija Van Der Wege                                    Lisa Blouin
Office: 123 Psych-Ed Bldg.                           Office: 143 Psych-Ed Bldg.
Phone: 538-2086                                      Phone: 538-2202
Email:                            E-mail:
Office Hours: Monday1-3, or by appt.                 Office Hours: Wednesday 9:30-11, or by appt.

Lab Instructors:          Melynda Casement           Kathryn Marszalek         Nicole Gilbert
Office Hours:             tba                        Tu 3-4                    tba
Office:                   140                        140                       142
E-mail:                   mdcaseme                   khmarsza                  nlgilber

Course description:
        This course is an introduction to experimental methods. The goals of the course are for the
student to learn how research is planned, carried out, communicated and critiqued. This course will
focus on developing general research skills that can be applied within any area of psychology.
These skills include knowledge of experimental design, statistics, report writing, and ethical
standards of research.
        Although only a few of you may pursue a career as a research psychologist, all of you are
consumers of research from psychology and other scientific disciplines. As such, a major goal of
this course is to develop your capacity for critically evaluating "scientific evidence" that is
communicated in journals, magazines, newspapers, and news programs. Mastery of the material
covered should enable students to evaluate the adequacy of research findings reported by others,
design research studies of their own, collect and analyze data, and write up APA style research

Required Textbooks:
       Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B. & Zechmeister, J. J. (2000). Research Methods in
Psychology, 5th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.
       American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American
Psychological Association, 5th ed. Washington, DC: Author.

Textbook Website:
        The publishers and author of the textbook have created a supplemental website with useful
information on it. It will help you review your statistics if it’s been a while since you last thought
about it, as well as supplying additional thought questions and practice review questions. You can
find the site at
Your grade in this course will be based on:
       Research project               100 pts.
       Exams (2)                      200 pts.
       Lab Exercises                  275 pts.
       Article Presentation             25 pts. (Articles by the MHC Psych-Ed faculty)
       Experimental Participation       25 pts. (3 hours of experiments approved by the
                                                Psych-Ed Dept)

Article Presentation:
         The presentation will be a group project (groups consisting of approximately 4-6 people).
You will choose one of the assigned articles and prepare a class presentation of that article
(approximately 30 minutes in length). In that presentation, you will discuss the background
literature that the study was based upon, the design and methods (including IVs, DVs, hypotheses,
operational definitions, and procedure), results, and discussion. In addition, you will prepare a
critique of the study which will include why you liked or disliked the article, criticisms of the paper,
and a proposed follow-up study which either addresses the problems you posed or presents an
interesting continuation of the study. Your group must meet with Prof. Van Der Wege before your
presentation to the class.

Articles (available on WebCT):
        Cohen, J. (1976). Is there a greater incidence of color-vision deficiencies in learning
disabled children? Clinical Pediatrics, 15, 518-522.
        Deutsch, F. & Saxon, S. (1998). Traditional ideologies, nontraditional lives. Sex Roles,
38, 331-362.
        Hollis, K., Pharr, V., Dumas, M., Britton, G., & Field, J. (1997). Classical conditioning
provides paternity advantage for territorial male blue gouramis (Trichogaster trichopterus).
Journal of Comparative Psychology, 111, 219-225.
        Hornstein, G. & Truesdell, S. (1988). Development of intimate conversation in close
relationships. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 7, 49-64.
        Lawrence, S. & Tatum, B. (1997). Teachers in transition: The impact of antiracist
professional development on classroom practice. Teachers College Board, 99, 162-178.
        Packard, B. (2001). When your mothers asks for another book to read: Fostering an
intergenerational exchange through shared reading of culturally-relevant books. Journal of
Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 44, 626-633.
        Ramsey, P. & Lasquade, C. (1996). Preschool children’s entry attempts. Journal of
Applied Developmental Psychology, 17, 135-150.
        Simone, R. & Shilkret, R. (2001). Attachment, guilt, and symptomatology among
incarcerated women. Poster presented at Biennial Meeting of Society for Research in Child
Development, (SRCD), Minneapolis, MN, April, 2001.
        Van Der Wege, M. & Clark, H. (2001). Taking turns in face-to-face, telephone, and
keyboard conversations. Manuscript submitted to Discourse Processes.
Final Research Project:
Your final research project is due in Lisa Blouin or Prof. Van Der Wege’s office by 3:00pm,
December 18, 2001. See the lab schedule for more information on the term research project.

Extension and Lab Absence Policy:
Because (1) the information that you learn in this course is cumulative, and (2) you collaborate
often and your collaborators rely on your input and participation, completion of assignments and
attendance of lab sessions is crucial. For these reasons, there are two situations that can acceptably
result in an extension of the date for assigned work or a missed lab: (1) personal illness, and (2)
personal or family crisis. You are entitled to an excused extension or lab absence if either of these
situations arise. You are not entitled to an excused extension or lab absence if the illness or crisis
allows you to complete work for another course. If an extension of lab absence is needed, take the
following steps: (1) If at all possible, notify me prior to the class in which the assignment is due or
the lab period that will be missed. (2) If you are eligible for and wish to take an excused extension
or lab absence according to the guidelines above, submit to me a written statement indicating that
you are acting in accord with Mount Holyoke’s Honor Code, and that your reason for the late
assignment or the missed lab is consistent with the criteria established above. You do not have to
specify the reason, only that you meet the guidelines. Late work or missed lab periods without a
written statement are unexcused. The assignment date for an excused extension is one week later
than the original due date unless other arrangements are made. Arrangements must be made for
excused lab periods.

Grading of unexcused late assignments:
Work that is late without a valid excuse (see above) will be treated in the following way: I (or the lab
instructors) will read the work and assign it a grade as if it were on time. I (or they) will then
deduct one grade for each day late. For example, an assignment due in class on Oct. 15th that is
turned in after class on Oct. 15th or on Oct. 16th given a grade of A would receive a B. Unexcused
work later than 1 week will not be accepted and will automatically receive a failing grade.

Semester Schedule:

 Sept. 10        READING: SZZ, Chapter 1
                 CLASS: Introduction to Course
                      Is Psychology a Science?
 Sept. 12        READING: SZZ, Chapter 2
                 CLASS: Ethical Issues in Research
                      Class exercise in ethical experimentation

 Sept. 17        READING: SZZ, Appendix C
                 CLASS: Scholarly communication of information
                      Ethical Issues in Research (cont.)
                 GUEST LECTURE: Julie Boisselle
 Sept. 19        READING: SZZ, Chapter 1
                 CLASS: Introduction to Experimental Design
                      Sampling and Confounds
Sept. 24   READING: SZZ, Chapter 6
           CLASS: Independent Groups Design
Sept. 26   READING: SZZ, Chapter 6, Appendix A
           CLASS: Independent Groups Design (cont.)

Oct. 1     READING: Hornstein & Truesdell (1988)
                Van Der Wege & Clark (2001)
           CLASS: Independent Groups Design (cont.)
                Article presentation and discussion
Oct. 3     READING: SZZ, Chapter 7
           CLASS: Repeated Measures Design

Oct. 8     Fall Break - No class
Oct. 10    READING: SZZ, Chapter 7, Appendix A
                Cohen (1976)
           CLASS: Repeated Measures Design (cont.)
                Article presentation and discussion

Oct. 15    READING: None
           CLASS: Data Collection in class
Oct. 17    READING: SZZ, Chapter 10
                Deutsch & Saxon (1998)
           CLASS: Quasi-Experimental Designs
                Article presentation and discussion

Oct. 22    Exam 1
Oct. 24    Group Presentations

Oct. 29    Group Presentations
Oct. 31    Group Presentations

Nov. 5     READING: SZZ, Chapter 8
           CLASS: Complex Designs
Nov. 7     READING: SZZ, Chapter 8
           CLASS: Complex Designs (cont.)

Nov. 12    READING: SZZ, Chapter 8, Appendix A
                Hollis, Pharr, Dumas, Britton, & Field (1997)
           CLASS: Complex Designs (cont.)
                Article presentation and discussion
Nov. 14   READING: SZZ, Chapter 3
          CLASS: Observational Research

Nov. 19   READING: SZZ, Chapter 3
                Ramsey & Lasquade (1996)
          CLASS: Observational Research
               Article presentation and discussion
Nov. 21   Thanksgiving Break – no class

Nov. 26   READING: SZZ, Chapter 5
               Lawrence & Tatum (1997)
          CLASS: Unobtrusive Measures
               Article presentation and discussion
Nov. 28   READING: SZZ, Chapter 4
          CLASS: Correlational Research

Dec. 3    READING: SZZ, Chapter 4
               Simone & Shilkret (2001)
          CLASS: Correlational Research (cont.)
               Article presentation and discussion
Dec. 5    READING: SZZ, Chapter 9
               Packard (2001)
          CLASS: Single Case Research Designs
               Article presentation and discussion

Dec. 10   Exam 2
Dec. 12   Poster Presentations

Dec. 18   Final Research Projects DUE
          3:00pm in Lisa Blouin or Prof. Van Der Wege’s office

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