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					                                                                 Research Methods Spring 2012
                                                                                            1
             RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
                                 SPRING 2012
                                MWF 8:45 – 9:35
                              Room: Soc/Psych 126
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Instructor:                            Teaching Assistant:
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Harris Cooper                          Alison Koenka
Office: 249 Soc/Psych Building         Office: 106 Soc/Psych Building
Email: cooperh@duke.edu                Email: alison.koenka@duke.edu
Phone: 660-5446                        Phone: 660-5740
Office Hours: MWF 9:40 - 10:30         Office Hours: Monday 10:30-12:30,
or by appointment                      Tuesday 9:30-10:30 or by appointment
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Course Objectives & Description:
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Conducting and interpreting research in psychology can be fun, challenging, and very rewarding.
Many psychology students go on to graduate school where they will conduct research of their
own. Other students will go into careers -- in business, law, medicine and social service, for
example -- that require them to understand and critically evaluate psychological research. This
course is meant to provide you with an understanding of the basics of psychological research so
that you (a) will have a solid foundation in many different research methods, (b) can begin to
explore in more depth the research methods used in the topic areas that interest you, and (c) are a
critical consumer of psychological research conducted by others.

In the course you will be introduced to:
     • The philosophical underpinnings of research in psychology
     • Ethical issues in conducting research in psychology
     • The many different types of research methods psychologists use and how they relate to
         the conclusions psychologists want to draw
     • How to measure psychological attributes
     • How to construct and conduct a survey
     • How to design and implement an experiment
     • How to conduct simple data analysis
     • How to write up a study for journal publication

The running examples that will be used in lectures and that will be the topics for your class
projects and writing assignments involve the question of whether or not extrasensory perception
(ESP) and psychokinesis (PK) exist. We will (a) conduct a survey about your beliefs regarding
ESP and PK and compare it to national norms and (b) conduct simple experiments on ourselves to
tests for their existence. In addition, you will read research (both good and bad) conducted by
others to explore these phenomena.
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                                                               Research Methods Spring 2012
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Course Requirements:
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   • Class attendance, reading, and participation
   • Successful completion of five exams
   • Successful completion of writing exercises
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Exam Structure:
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   • There will be five exams. The first three exams will be worth 40 points and the last two
       exams will be worth 30 points. Each exam will be comprised of multiple choice
       questions.
   • Approximately one-quarter of the points on each exam will be based on lecture material
       and three-quarters on reading.
   • All exams will be given during class time. The final exam will be given on the final day
       of class. Exams will be gone over in class on the day they are given. Individual student
       scores and the class distribution will be posted on Sakai.
   • Exams will be worth about 60% of your final grade. About 25% of your final grade will
       be based on your writing and 15% on class attendance.
   • Exams cannot be made-up, but can be taken in advance with satisfactory justification.
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Class Attendance
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   • Attendance will be worth 40 points toward the final grade. Attending each class is worth
       one point for each lecture, with 4 additional points awarded to students who attend all 36
       lectures. Students with prior notification of illness will be awarded the point.
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Research & Writing Components:
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   • You will be responsible for submitting in APA style write-up of an experiment you will
       serve as a subject in. You will be provided with the raw data from the study but will have
       to conduct the statistical analyses on your own, using the skills you acquired in your
       statistics course. Dr. Cooper and Alison are available for consultation.
   • The write-up will be divided into two assignments, one covering the introduction and
       method sections (8 pages), and the other covering the results (including one table) and
       discussion sections of a psychology manuscript (8 pages).
   • The write-up of the introduction and method sections will be worth 20 points and the
       write-up of the results and discussion sections will be worth 30 points toward your final
       grade. However, you will receive feedback on your write-ups and will be required to
       submit revisions until the write-up meets the standard to receive all points.
   • You will also be responsible to serve as a peer reviewer for the experiment write-ups of
       two of your classmates (2 pages each).
   • The peer reviews will be worth 10 points each.
   • In addition, each write-up that is superior on first submission will receive 5 additional
       points. Students with two superior write-ups and two superior peer reviews get an
       additional 10 points. Superior write-ups will be those that exhibit clear expression,
       unbiased perspective, and follow the rules of APA style presented in Szuchman (2008).
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                                                                     Research Methods Spring 2012
                                                                                                3
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Lunch
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Over the course of the semester, you will be invited in groups to have lunch with Dr. Cooper and Alison.
This will provide an opportunity to get to know you better, to learn about your interest in psychology, to
monitor the class through your experience and to receive your recommendations about how the course can
be improved.
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Texts to Purchase:
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Christensen, L.B., Johnson, R.B. & Turner, L.A. (2011). Research Methods, Design, and Analysis (11th
Ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Huff, D. (1993). How to Lie with Statistics. New York: Norton.
Stern, L. (2007). What Every Student Should Know about Avoiding Plagiarism. New York: Pearson.
Szuchman, L.T. (2011). Writing with Style: APA Style Made Easy. Belmont CA: Wadsworth.
All additional readings will be posted on Sakai.
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Reading, Lecture & Test Schedule:
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                                                   Week 1
Reading Assignment: Chapter 1 Introduction to Scientific Research
                           Introduction to Parapsychology (Ch 15, Pgs 222-236)
                           Psychic Powers (Ch 2, Pgs 48-74)
Lecture:
W         1/11             Introductions & Data Collection
F         1/13             1. Methods of Knowing
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                                                   Week 2
Reading Assignment:        Chapter 2 Research Approaches and Methods of Data Collection
                           Szuchman Chapters 1-4, Pp. 1-67
Lecture:
M         1/16             No class
W         1/18             2. Levels of Scientific Analysis (Writing Studio Visitor)
F         1/20             3. Determinism
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                                                   Week 3
Reading Assignment:        Chapter 3 Problem Identification and Hypothesis Formulation
                           Stern Entire pamphlet
Lecture:
M         1/23             4. The Nature of Causality
W         1/25             5. Parapsychology at Duke: Sy Mauskopf
F         1/27             6. Qualitative Research Designs
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                                                   Week 4
Reading Assignment:        Chapter 13 Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research
                           The Gold Leaf Lady Ch 3& 4, Pgs 55-96
Lecture:
M         1/30             7. The Case Study
W         2/1              8. Quantitative Research Designs
F         2/3              First Exam
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                                                        Research Methods Spring 2012
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                                              Week 5
Reading Assignment:   Chapter 4 Ethical Issues
                      Szuchman Ch 5-10, Pp. 67-137
                      APA Publication Manual manuscript example
Lecture:
M       2/6           9. Institutional Review Board: Holly Williams-Stafford
W       2/8           10. Data Fabrication & Errors
F       2/10          11. Concepts to Operations to Numbers (ID Measures)
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                                              Week 6
Reading Assignment:   Chapter 5, Measuring Variables, pp. 139-149
                      Chapter 6 Research Validity
                      Introduction section of paper due 2/17 before class
Lecture:
M       2/13          12. Questions & Questionnaires
W       2/15          13. Sources of Variation in Measurements
F       2/17          14. Measurement Validity: Criterion & Content
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                                              Week 7
Reading Assignment:   Chapter 7 Control Techniques in Experimental Research
                      Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (Ch 4, Pgs 113-125, 136-150)
Lecture:
M       2/20          15. Measurement Validity: Construct
W       2/22          16. Measurement Reliability
F       2/24          Second Exam
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                                              Week 8
Reading Assignment:   Chapter 5, Sampling Methods, pp. 149-166
                      Chapter 12 Survey Research
                      American Piety in the 21st Century (pgs 45-51)
                      Parapsychology and the Skeptics (Ch 4-6, Pgs 35-51)
Lecture:
M       2/27          17. External Validity: Populations & Samples
W       2/29          18. External Validity: Settings
F       3/2           19. Causal Modeling
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                                     Spring Break March 3-11
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                                              Week 9
Reading Assignment:   Chapter 8 Experimental Research Design
                      Chapter 9 Procedures for Conducting an Experiment
                      Parapsychology and the Skeptics (Ch 7-8, Pp. 53-86)
Lecture:
M       3/12          20. The Nature of Experiments
W       3/14          21. Threats to Internal Validity
F       3/16          22. Quasi-Experimental Designs
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                                             Week 10
Reading Assignment:   Chapter 10 Quasi-Experimental Designs
                      Chapter 11 Single Case Research Designs
Lecture:
M       3/19          23. Time Series
W       3/21          24. Peer Review
F       3/23          Third Exam
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                                                                  Research Methods Spring 2012
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                                                 Week 11
Reading Assignment:       Chapter 14 Descriptive Statistics
                          How to Lie with Statistics (Pgs 1-73)
                          Method, Results and Discussion sections due before class 3/30
Lecture:
M        3/26             25. Descriptive & Non-Parametric Statistics: Chi-Square Analyses
W        3/28             26. Correlational Analyses
F        3/30             27. t-test and One-Way ANOVA
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                                                 Week 12
Reading Assignment:       Chapter 15 Inferential Statistics
                          How to Lie with Statistics (Pgs 74-142)
Lecture:
M        4/2              28. Two-way ANOVA and Interactions
W        4/4              29. Effect Size Estimation & Research Synthesis
F        4/6              Fourth Exam
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                                                 Week 13
Reading Assignment:       How to Think Straight about Psychology (Ch 10, Pgs 149-163)
                          Bem, D.J. (2011). Feeling the future: Experimental evidence for
                          anomalous retroactive influences on cognition and affect. Journal of
                          Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 407-425. (with comments)
Peer reviews due before class 4/13
Lecture:
M        4/9              30. Research with Animals
W        4/11             31. Research in Applied Settings
F        4/13             32. Observational Methods
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                                                 Week 14
Reading Assignment:       Cooper, H. & Dorr, N. (1996). Conducting a meta-analysis. In F.T.L. Leong &
                          J.T. Austin (Eds.). Psychology research handbook: A primer for graduate
                          students and research assistants. Newbury Park: Sage.
                          Bosch, H., Steinkamp, F. & Boller, E. (2006). Examining
                          psychokinesis: The interaction of human intention and random
                          numbers generators – A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin,
                          132, 497-523. (with comments)
Lecture:
M        4/16             33. Nonreactive Measures
W        4/18             34. The Bem Studies and Comments
F        4/20             35. The Bosch et al. Meta-Analysis
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                                                 Week 15
Reading Assignment:       Chapter 16 The Research Report
                          Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal 245-267.
Lecture:
M        4/23             36. Publishing Ethics
 W       4/25             Fifth Exam
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Final papers due May 2
                                                                                                1/3/12

				
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