PSYC 269 Syllabus Spring 2013

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Experimental Psychology

PSYC 269 Spring 2013

Instructor:      Dr. John Vessey

Meets:           TR, M229, 8:30-10:20; 11:15am-1:05pm

Office:            BGC M252

Office Hours: MWF 9:15-10:15am, W 1:00-2:30pm, T Th 10:30-11:15

Office Phone: 752-5761

Email:             John.Vessey@wheaton.edu

 

 

Texts

Larry Christensen, Experimental Methodology  10th Ed. Allyn &Bacon (Required)

Keith Stanovich, How to Think Straight About Psychology 9th Ed. Allyn & Bacon (Required)

 

Course Objectives

Psychology as a social science relies heavily on research findings to develop, test and evaluate theories about a variety of phenomena. We will go over a variety of commonly used methods, including non-experimental and quasi-experimental methods.   However, the experimental method will be focused on in this course. The experimental method has many advantages and disadvantages that we will examine in light of conducting psychological research. The research experience is a valuable aspect of undergraduate training in that it helps students understand the 'nuts and bolts' of the theories that we read about in textbooks for other classes. Additionally, the active participation of students in research helps them to learn first-hand how to think critically to develop research projects to answer significant questions, evaluate the literature, and critically examine what experimental results do (and do not) say. We will engage you in an experiment that will also give you insight as to whether or not research is a calling for you individually. Ultimately, our hope is that you will approach your research (and the research of others) with an informed mind to interpret it from a Christian perspective.

 

Course Requirements

  1. Individual Research Proposal (100 pts): Students will design and propose a research project that utilizes a recognized research method.  A digital copy should  be e-mailed to the professor in the form an MS Word attachment. A prototypical proposal is available on the website.
  2. Proposal Review (10pts): Each student will be required to review the research proposal selected for the research group to which they have been assigned (more on this in class). A review outlining comments and concerns about the study's design and ethical nature as well as suggestions for enhancing the proposed study are to be e-mailed to the professor in the form of an MS Word attachment.
  3. Group Proposal Revision (25 pts): After the reviews, each research group will submit a revised proposal along with a summary sheet detailing how review comments and concerns have influenced the revision The group should submit a digital copy (e-mailed to the professor.
  4. IRB Application and In-Class Review ( 15 pts) Each group will engage in an in-class review of another group’s protocol and a summary of the application will be completed in class.
  5. Exams (150pts): Three exams will be given during the semester. Questions will be taken from the readings as well as from lectures. Exams will be multiple-choice.
  6. Final Group Paper (25 pts): After the review process, each research group will revise their study and conduct the experiment. Data collection and statistical analysis will be conducted and a manuscript (hardcopy or digital copy) will be submitted that presents the findings of the study.
  7. Powerpoint Presentation (25pts): During the Final Examination period, each group will present the results of their study in powerpoiont form.
  8. Reaction Papers and Discussion(60 pts): Each student is to write a one-page reaction paper for each chapter in the Stanovich book.  These will be used in class to stimulate discussion.  Students will need to be present in class to receive credit for that days paper and discussion. Students should be prepared to read their papers to the class and have the class respond.

Grades

Grades will be assigned on a 90/80/70 % scale with the upper and lower 2% of each grade range assigned + and - grades accordingly. Scores falling between 60 and 70% will be assigned a grade of D (no + or - possible), and all scores falling below 60% will receive a failing grade.

 

Class attendance and participation

All students are expected to attend the lectures, and bring their assignments to class. Students are expected to have read the assigned text and any other readings relevant to the topic(s) to be covered prior to coming to the lecture. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of additional information covered in the lectures not found in the book as well as any changes in the syllabus announced in class.

 

Plagiarism

 

A definition of plagiarism may be found in the student’s handbook. Any student found to have committed plagiarism will receive a failing grade for the assignment.


Tentative Class Schedule:

Date

Subject

Text

Notes

1/15

Intro

 

 

1/17

Science

C1, S1&2

 

1/22

Science

C1, S3

 

1/24

Research Ideas

C4 

1/29

Research Ideas-Meet in Library

C4

3-5 Proposal topics due

1/31

Non-experimental approach

C2

 

2/7

 Experimental approach

C3

Topic Idea Due

2/12

Exam 1

 

 

2/14

Ethics

C5, C13

 

2/19

Reliability and Validity

C6&7

 

2/21

Validity in Research

C8

 

2/26

Control Techniques

C9

 Proposal Due

2/28

 

S4,S5

Groups Assigned

3/5

Exam 2

 

 

 3/7 Consultations
   Proposal Review Due, Instructions, Example

3/19

C6

3/21

Experimental Designs

C10

Revised Group Proposal Due

3/26

In-Class IRB

 

IRB applications Due

3/28

 

S7, S8

 

4/2

Consultations

 

 

Quasi-Experimental Designs

C11

 

4/9

Consultations

 

 

4/11

No Class-Work on Expt.

 

 

4/16

Consultations

 

 

4/18

Single-Case Designs

C12

 

4/23

S9,S10

4/25

Consultations

 

Preliminary Results Due

4/30

Psychology’s Image

S11,S12 

 

5/2

Exam 3

 

 

 *Scheduled Consultations: At times during a scheduled lecture hour, each lab group will be required to meet with me for a 15-20 minute session to discuss the progress that they are making and to deal with logistical matters. Sign up sheets for consultations will be available outside my office (BGC M252).

Experimental Psychology

PSYC 269 Spring 2013

Instructor:      Dr. John Vessey

Meets:           TR, M229, 8:30-10:20; 11:15am-1:05pm

Office:            BGC M252

Office Hours: MWF 9:15-10:15am, W 1:00-2:30pm, T Th 10:30-11:15

Office Phone: 752-5761

Email:             John.Vessey@wheaton.edu

 

 

Texts

Larry Christensen, Experimental Methodology  10th Ed. Allyn &Bacon (Required)

Keith Stanovich, How to Think Straight About Psychology 9th Ed. Allyn & Bacon (Required)

 

Course Objectives

Psychology as a social science relies heavily on research findings to develop, test and evaluate theories about a variety of phenomena. We will go over a variety of commonly used methods, including non-experimental and quasi-experimental methods.   However, the experimental method will be focused on in this course. The experimental method has many advantages and disadvantages that we will examine in light of conducting psychological research. The research experience is a valuable aspect of undergraduate training in that it helps students understand the 'nuts and bolts' of the theories that we read about in textbooks for other classes. Additionally, the active participation of students in research helps them to learn first-hand how to think critically to develop research projects to answer significant questions, evaluate the literature, and critically examine what experimental results do (and do not) say. We will engage you in an experiment that will also give you insight as to whether or not research is a calling for you individually. Ultimately, our hope is that you will approach your research (and the research of others) with an informed mind to interpret it from a Christian perspective.

 

Course Requirements

  1. Individual Research Proposal (100 pts): Students will design and propose a research project that utilizes a recognized research method.  A digital copy should  be e-mailed to the professor in the form an MS Word attachment. A prototypical proposal is available on the website.
  2. Proposal Review (10pts): Each student will be required to review the research proposal selected for the research group to which they have been assigned (more on this in class). A review outlining comments and concerns about the study's design and ethical nature as well as suggestions for enhancing the proposed study are to be e-mailed to the professor in the form of an MS Word attachment.
  3. Group Proposal Revision (25 pts): After the reviews, each research group will submit a revised proposal along with a summary sheet detailing how review comments and concerns have influenced the revision The group should submit a digital copy (e-mailed to the professor.
  4. IRB Application and In-Class Review ( 15 pts) Each group will engage in an in-class review of another group’s protocol and a summary of the application will be completed in class.
  5. Exams (150pts): Three exams will be given during the semester. Questions will be taken from the readings as well as from lectures. Exams will be multiple-choice.
  6. Final Group Paper (25 pts): After the review process, each research group will revise their study and conduct the experiment. Data collection and statistical analysis will be conducted and a manuscript (hardcopy or digital copy) will be submitted that presents the findings of the study.
  7. Powerpoint Presentation (25pts): During the Final Examination period, each group will present the results of their study in powerpoiont form.
  8. Reaction Papers and Discussion(60 pts): Each student is to write a one-page reaction paper for each chapter in the Stanovich book.  These will be used in class to stimulate discussion.  Students will need to be present in class to receive credit for that days paper and discussion. Students should be prepared to read their papers to the class and have the class respond.

Grades

Grades will be assigned on a 90/80/70 % scale with the upper and lower 2% of each grade range assigned + and - grades accordingly. Scores falling between 60 and 70% will be assigned a grade of D (no + or - possible), and all scores falling below 60% will receive a failing grade.

 

Class attendance and participation

All students are expected to attend the lectures, and bring their assignments to class. Students are expected to have read the assigned text and any other readings relevant to the topic(s) to be covered prior to coming to the lecture. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of additional information covered in the lectures not found in the book as well as any changes in the syllabus announced in class.

 

Plagiarism

 

A definition of plagiarism may be found in the student’s handbook. Any student found to have committed plagiarism will receive a failing grade for the assignment.


Tentative Class Schedule:

Date

Subject

Text

Notes

1/15

Intro

 

 

1/17

Science

C1, S1&2

 

1/22

Science

C1, S3

 

1/24

Research Ideas

C4 

1/29

Research Ideas-Meet in Library

C4

3-5 Proposal topics due

1/31

Non-experimental approach

C2

 

2/7

 Experimental approach

C3

Topic Idea Due

2/12

Exam 1

 

 

2/14

Ethics

C5, C13

 

2/19

Reliability and Validity

C6&7

 

2/21

Validity in Research

C8

 

2/26

Control Techniques

C9

 Proposal Due

2/28

 

S4,S5

Groups Assigned

3/5

Exam 2

 

 

 3/7 Consultations
   Proposal Review Due, Instructions, Example

3/19

C6

3/21

Experimental Designs

C10

Revised Group Proposal Due

3/26

In-Class IRB

 

IRB applications Due

3/28

 

S7, S8

 

4/2

Consultations

 

 

Quasi-Experimental Designs

C11

 

4/9

Consultations

 

 

4/11

No Class-Work on Expt.

 

 

4/16

Consultations

 

 

4/18

Single-Case Designs

C12

 

4/23

S9,S10

4/25

Consultations

 

Preliminary Results Due

4/30

Psychology’s Image

S11,S12 

 

5/2

Exam 3

 

 

 *Scheduled Consultations: At times during a scheduled lecture hour, each lab group will be required to meet with me for a 15-20 minute session to discuss the progress that they are making and to deal with logistical matters. Sign up sheets for consultations will be available outside my office (BGC M252).