Research Methods (PSYC 30800)
Spring 2014

Barney Beins


Contacting me

Schedule for the Course

Office Hours

Teaching Assistant

Purpose of the Course

Goals of the Course

Nature of the Course

Textbook

Tests and Evaluation Policies

Extra Credit

Links to Psychology Resources

Important Dates

Announcements

 

Remember to look at the Student Psychological Association's bulletin board near Room 119 in Williams Hall for upcoming events.

Extra Credit: If you want to earn extra credit for participating in research, make sure you read the guidelines. All extra credit assignments must be to me by the end of the final day of classes.

POWERPOINT FILES: You have access to PowerPoint files for each chapter via Sakai. They provide chapter outlines of the major points.

Homework: When you hand in your homework and reaction papers, your name must appear with your answer. If you fail to put your name in the file, you will lose one point.

The third test (chapters 7-9) will be on Tuesday, April 22 rather than on Thursday, April 24. In addition, there will be no class on Thursday, April 24.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


"Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten." --B. F. Skinner

Contact Information

Barney Beins
Email: Beins@ithaca.edu
Office: 119-N Williams
Phone: 607-274-3512 or 607-274-3304 (Psych Dept.)

OFFICE HOURS:

Exceptions:


Schedule

January/February   March/April   April/May
January 21-24   March 3-7   April 7-11
January 27-31   March 10-14   April 14-18
February 3-7   March 17-21   April 21-25
February 10-14   March 24-28   April 28-May 2
February 17-21   March 31-April 4   May 5
February 24-28       May 6-12

 


Purpose of this course

(Go to the top of the syllabus)

In this course, you will learn how to understand, evaluate, and carry out research. This means being able to determine the adequacy of research you encounter as a consumer, setting up the rationale for a research project, creating a competent methodology, collecting data, analyzing the data, interpreting the results, and then communicating the results.

There are many ways to do good research. Some of them are experimental, like much of the work done on our research teams, but there are other ways of collecting data that are useful or even preferred in some situations. Any methodology has its strong and weak points; you are going to learn about them in this class.

Whether or not you continue in psychology after you graduate, you will probably need to organize and explain data that either you or someone else gathered. Consequently, you are going to need the ability to take a set of raw data and to make some sense of it. You will learn about this skill, including computerized data analysis. (For this component of the course, you may want to refer back to your statistics text or to borrow one.)

Finally, you will be writing reports during the semester. (For some of these, you will need the APA Guide to Report Writing that you purchased for General Psychology Lab.) Part of communicating new findings involves telling how it relates to what we already know. Thus, you will get to do library research, including using PsycInfo, the computerized database for psychological literature.

The American Psychological Association has developed a set of desirable specific outcomes for psychology students. Some of these goals are relevant to this class. At the end of the semester, I hope you will have achieved these goals.


(Go to the top of the syllabus)

After you complete this course

When you finish this methods course, you should have several valuable skills that you have not yet attained. You should remember to include them on your resume when you apply for jobs or for graduate school. These skills include

Remember: these are all marketable skills that will separate you from the rest of the crowd applying for that job or that graduate school spot that you really want.

(Go to the top of the syllabus)

The nature of this course

This course requires consistent work throughout the semester. This is a skills course, which means that you will be exposed to topics that you will need to employ in other courses. The focus is on applying research techniques, so the stress will be twofold: learning about the techniques that psychologists use and actually applying them. You will learn about a wide variety of topics. As such, if you fall behind in the work, you will experience difficulty catching up. The material is not difficult per se, but it is extensive; if you have problems, make sure you see me about them.

You will be developing research and problem-solving skills in this class. As such, it is important for you to abide by the ethical guidelines that researchers have adopted. In particular, all the work you do for this class must be your own. I encourage you to collaborate with others in developing your ideas, but the work you complete for the course must be your own. Passing somebody else's work off as your own is in violation with Ithaca College policies and any infractions will be subject to College regulations.

If you require some type of assistance because of a disability, please contact the Office of Academi Support Services (607-274-l005; TDD: 607-274-1767. You should let me know in advance if you need special accommodations.

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities on a case by case basis. Students must register with the Office of Academic Support Services and provide appropriate documentation to the college before any academic adjustment will be provided.


Take Care of Yourself

Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance. The source of symptoms might be related to your course work; if so, please speak with me. However, problems with relationships, family worries, loss, or a personal struggle or crisis can also contribute to decreased academic performance.

Ithaca College provides cost-free mental health services through the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to help you manage personal challenges that threaten your personal or academic well-being.

In the event I suspect you need additional support, expect that I will express to you my concerns and the reasons for them. It is not my intent to know the details of what might be troubling you, but simply to let you know I am concerned and that help (e.g., CAPS, Health Center, Chaplains, etc.), if needed, is available.

Remember, getting help is a smart and healthy thing to do -- for yourself and for your loved ones.


Text

Beins, B. C. (2013). Research Methods: A Tool for Life, 3rd ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.


(Go to the top of the syllabus)

January 21-25
Reading and Topics:Chapter 1: Psychology, Science, and Life

We will begin to deal with the ways that psychologists ask questions and decide what to believe about human behavior. The answers are not always easy or straightforward, so we have to be careful in the way we approach our decision-making.

Discussion: Ways of knowing: how do you know what you know?

Activity: What do you know?

What has the obesity trend been in the US?

Your Body Mass Index predicts your relative risk for disease.

What is your Body Mass Index.? (When you go to this page, follow these links to get to the information on the Body Mass Index: Adults --> Adult Obesity Assessment--> Adult BMI Calculator. (You can also use the BMI chart on the website if you don't want to use the calculator.)

Provide data on BMI


Study Material: Characteristics of pseudoscience

Ways of knowing


Science, Nonscience, and Pseudoscience

READ THE MATERIAL AT THE LINK (HEAVEN IS HOTTER THAN HELL) AND TYPE UP A RESPONSE TO THE QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE THAT IS LINKED. BRING IT TO CLASS FOR DISCUSSION AND TO HAND IN. IT IS WORTH THREE BONUS HOMEWORK POINTS. IT MUST BE TYPED, NOT HANDWRITTEN, AND YOU MUST HAND IT IN DURING THE CLASS IN WHICH WE DISCUSS THE ISSUE.

Can you tell the difference between a scientific approach and one that is nonscientific? Some questions can be dealt with scientifically, but some cannot (and are not meant to be): Heaven is hotter than hell

Can you believe the media when it comes to scientific matters? A controversy in the 2000 presidential election.What do you actually know about subliminal perception? What about Stairway to Heaven?


Reaction Paper (3 pts): Binge drinking is a problem in this country. Researchers have documented this fact with extensive studies. As such, it would be useful to develop strategies to deal with the problem, but it is difficult. For instance, research has shown that, in rats, “problem” drinking that is suppressed by punishment tends to return when the punishment is removed. At the same time, there is some hope. Investigators have Researchers have recently discovered that a chemical that comes from an ancient herbal remedy appears to reduce the effects of alcohol in rodents.

  • Based on the general information on the link to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are college students likely to be at risk for this? What types of impairment or harm could binge drinking lead to in college students? (1 pt.)
  • Is this research with rats likely to be relevant to human behavior with respect to problems with alcohol? Explain your thinking, referring to the research. (2 pts)

 

January 27-31
Reading and Topics: We will continue to talk about asking and answering psychological questions (Chapter 1).

Discussion: Critical thinking: "The worst social statistic ever"

Activity: Testing for ESP

Using SPSS

Study Material: Characteristics of pseudoscience

Homework #1: (10 pts.)

In this assignment, we will assess whether the Body Mass Index relates to our perceptions of the healthfulness of our lifestyle? In this exercise, we will look at the relationship between a couple of different health-related measures. For this exercise, we will collect data in class; I will add the data you provide to an existing set of data called bmi based on students in previous Research Methods classes.

Specifically, we will use the notion of the Body Mass Index developed, in part, by Dr. C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States. Although the measure is not perfect, the CDC notes that for most adults it is a generally accurate predictor of susceptibility to death and disease.

( A useful background article is Calle, E. E., Thun M. J., Petrelli, J. M., Rodriguez, C., Heath, & C. W. (1999). Body-mass index and mortality in a prospective cohort of U.S. adults. The New England Journal of Medicine, 341, 1097-1105. The figures below come from that research.)

What do the data say?

Issues of weight gain and obesity are important in the U.S. because of the trend toward greater incidence of weight issues. In fact, the percentage of the population that is overweight has grown dramatically since the 1980s.

A useful background article is Calle, E. E., Thun M. J., Petrelli, J. M., Rodriguez, C., Heath, & C. W. (1999). Body-mass index and mortality in a prospective cohort of U.S. adults. The New England Journal of Medicine, 341, 1097-1105. The figures below show the relative risk of disease or death for women and men according to BMI.


People who believe that physical activity is more important to weight control than diet is have higher BMIs, which means that people who think diet is more important than exercise have lower BMIs. (Please note that the blue links in the online article are ads and other irrelevant stuff. You can ignore it.)

The question you will address is whether there is a relationship between the lifestyle ratings that students provided and their BMI measurements.

Purpose of the Homework: This assignment will provide you with additional practice using SPSS and writing descriptions and explanations based on data.

Objectives for the BMI homework:

  • Learning to open and work with data files in SPSS
  • Completing simple data analyses
  • Drawing conclusions based on data
  • Recognizing the limitations of research methodology and data

What you need to do to complete the BMI homework successfully:

  • Use SPSS to conduct simple data analyses
  • Interpret the data
  • Draw a conclusion
  • Recognize the limitations in our methodology

THE DATA ANALYSIS

  • Is BMI related to a person's self-report of the healthfulness of the lifestyle? (1 pt)
  • Do BMIs of women and men differ reliably? (1 pt)
  • Do ratings of the healthfulness of lifestyle differ for men and women? (1 pt)

Describe the results of our study:

Describe the results for the three questions above in normal, everyday English. Do NOT use statistics terminology here; just say what happened in words that a normal person could understand. Do not assume that the reader is familiar with what you are talking about; write so that a naive person could understand what you are talking about. In your description, do not come up with an explanation of why you think the data occurred as they did. Just tell what happened. (3 pts)

Say what you think the data mean:

Why is relationship between BMI and ratings of lifestyle significant (if it is) or nonsignificant (if it isn't)? Explain why the relation between BMI scores and ratings, is or isn't significant. The research on the BMI shows that it predicts health and mortality. If the correlation is not significant, why wouldn't student ratings of healthfulness of lifestyle relate to BMI, which is related to healthfulness? (1 pt)

If women and men have different BMI scores, on average, explain why this might be so? (1 pt)

What are the problems with our methodology? That is, what about our methodology limits the confidence you have in your conclusion? How could you improve the methodology to eliminate the problems you spotted? (2 pts)

**********************************

Homework #2: (10 pts.)

Purpose of the Homework: This assignment will help you learn to distinguish the characteristics of science and pseudoscience. Over a century ago, a British scientist, Francis Galton, conducted a study to see if prayer had an effect in the natural world (contrasted with the religious, or supernatural, domain). That is, does prayer work to give us what we ask for in this world? You will respond to Galton's study on the efficacy of prayer. Based on the information here and on what we discuss in class, tell whether Galton's research should be considered as having a scientific approach. Remember that a study can be useful even if its methodology has problems; in your homework, make sure you do not confuse methodological weaknesses with problems with the characteristics of science.

Also, you need to remember that a replication does not need to be identical in every way to the original research. A replication can address the same issue with a slightly (or maybe dramatically) different methodology.

The Study: Galton defined the Royal Family has being prayed for because, every Sunday, the clergy took a moment to pray for the health and well being of the Royals. He defined the other groups (lawyers, doctors, and clergy) as not being prayed for because large numbers of people were never called on to pray for them. He went to official records that were quite accurate to see how long the people in each group lived, on average.

He reasoned that because members of the Church of England prayed for the health and well-being of the royal family every Sunday, if prayer is effective, it would mean that the Royals would live longer than other people. He discovered that, of 94 male members of the royal family, the mean age at death for males was 64.04. He compared it with other men: the clergy, whose mean age at death was 69.49 years; with lawyers, 68.14 years; and with doctors, 68.14 years. His research was published in a popular magazine that regularly published the results of research, Fortnightly Review, in 1872. He concluded that prayer is not effective in the natural world because the Royals lived shorter lives than the members of the other groups.

Objectives for the Efficacy of Prayer Homework:

  • Identify the four characteristics of science (NOT the four goals of science)
  • Apply your knowledge of the characteristics of science to Galton's research to draw a conclusion about whether Galton's research can be considered scientific based on the extent to which his study met the criteria of scientific research.
  • Identify weaknesses in Galton's research methodology and possible remedies for them

What you need to do to complete the Efficacy of Prayer homework successfully: You will identify and describe the four characteristics of scientific research as provided in the textbook and in class, then you will assess Galton's research to see how well the research meets the criteria for scientific research.

  • List the four characteristics of scientific research (NOT the four goals of science) and describe what each one means. (2 pts)
  • Apply each of the four characteristics to Galton's research and say specifically whether his research satisfies each criterion. You need to make a statement for each of the four separately as each one relates to Galton's study. (2 pts.)
  • Identify the weaknesses of Galton's methodology. That is, say what it is about his methodology that limits your confidence in his results. (2 pts.)
  • Tell how you would remedy the weaknesses in his methodology. Your remedies need to be realistic; that is, they have to be practical. You should not develop a methodology that would be exceedingly difficult or impossible. (2 pts.)
  • What is your conclusion regarding how scientific Galton’s study was? Your response should be based on the extent to Galton’s study met the four criteria for determining scientific research. (2 pts)

Reaction Paper (3 pts.): Do you believe in any of the various forms of ESP (e.g., clairvoyance, mental telepathy, telekinesis, etc.) or other controversial phenomena, like astrology? What does the research suggest? The early research was pretty naive and methodologically suspect; it was easily debunked. More recent research by psychologist Darryl Bem of Cornell University raised the hopes of ESP adherents, although subsequent scrutiny of the research called Bem's research into question. Quite recently, some psychologists have used brain scanning to see what the brain does in situations calling for ESP.

  • Who do you think has the strongest evidence in support of their beliefs, those who think ESP is real or those who don't? Do you think that believers in ESP are likely to change their minds and to reject their beliefs in ESP? (1 pt.)
  • What do you think it would take to change people's minds? (1 pt.)
  • Why do you think that research results don't persuade people to reject the idea of ESP? (1 pt.)

 

February 3-7

Reading: Chapter 2: Ethics in Research

In the past, researchers have engaged in egregious conduct, sometimes harming the people they are studying. In response, guidelines have been developed to protect the people and animals we study and to insure the integrity of the research process. The American Psychological Association was in the forefront of developing ethical guidelines; state and federal laws often rely on proposals first made by APA. The ethical principles espoused by the APA appear in your text in Chapter 2 on pages 34-36 (Tables 2.1 and 2.2)

There are federal and state laws regarding ethics in research; in addition, the American Psychological Association has developed ethical guidelines. We also have the Nuremburg Code, which is an international standard for ethics in research.

Discussion: Can participation in survey research be harmful? (Reference: Lang, E. L. (2003). The repercussions of research participation. Exploring reactive insight effects. The Behavioral Measurement Newsletter, 8(1), 2-8.

Should mentally ill prisoners participate in research?

Information on the research review guidelines from the federal government.

A picture of me and the Milgram Shock Generator

Homework (12 pts): Assessing the ethics of a research project.

Objectives for the Ethics Homework:

  • Identifying ethical issues in research with people
  • Understanding the context in which claims about ethics are reported
  • Describing different aspects of ethically controversial research

Ethics: Assessing the Tudor Study

Research that seems ethically troublesome now may not have been seen as such in the past. (Similarly, some current research that we think is ethically unremarkable might, in the future, receive scrutiny.) About three-quarters of a century ago, a woman named Mary Tudor conducted some interesting research on stuttering. It received considerable press coverage about a decade ago, and the issue was dealt with in the legal system. Because of the researcher's name, it is referred to in the scientific literature as The Tudor Study. In the popular press, it has been named The Monster Study.

Although we see the research as being ethically very troubling now, the situation is not as straightforward as reported in the media. According to Ambrose and Yairi (2002), there are aspects of the case that we should know about in order to understand the situation fully. Here are some of the main points that they raised.

Source: Ambrose, N. G., & Yairi, E. (2002). The Tudor study: Data and ethics. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11, 190-203. doi:10.1044/1058-0360 (2002/018

The methodological problems:

  • Participants weren’t representative of general population in that they were being raised apart from parents and had lower than average IQ scores; low IQ scores are associated with greater incidence of stuttering in general.
  • Assignment of children to categories was problematic (e.g., some so-called stutterers were more fluent in their speech than so-called non-stutterers)
  • No mention of explicit attempts to induce stuttering; the manipulation was a labeling of the children
  • Measurement of dysfluencies was not systematic and reliable
  • There were no baseline measurements of emotional responses of children, so it is impossible to say if there was a change in emotionality across the study

The actual data:

  • The groups show no appreciable differences at the start of the study.
  • For each group, there is no meaningful difference between pre- and post-experimental measures.
  • The differences between groups is trivially small at the end of the study.
  • In post-treatment assessment, not a single child was described as stuttering.
  • The data were (and are) available in the University of Iowa library for readers to check out; they weren’t suppressed.

Ethics and the context of the times:

  • Studies with orphans were not unusual.
  • Guidelines about human subjects did not exist.
  • Tudor and her adviser (Wendell Johnson) did not intend to induce stuttering.
  • Any changes in speech would have been short-term in Tudor and Johnson’s estimation.

 

Homework Questions

  • Identify four ethical issues that are problematic in this research and say why they are problematic. (4 pts)
  • Identify four claims that the author makes about the research and its results in the PSYBLOG article.(4 pts)
  • Identify two elements that Ambrose and Yairi (2002) raise that are important in understanding this episode. Why are those two points important? (1 pt)
  • Why does the analysis of Tudor’s research by Ambrose and Yairi (2002) reflect the need to be skeptical about stories in the popular press about research? (1 pt)
  • Why is it important to understand the context of the times in order to assess ethics? (1 pt)
  • Do you think that the legal conclusion to this episode was appropriate? (1 pt)

Discussion: Francis Galton studied the efficacy of prayer in 1872. Does anybody study the efficacy of prayer now?

Should prisoners participate in research?

Are prisoners mentally competent to provide informed consent?

Reaction Paper (3 pts): Reporting Ethical Violations

Researchers can act ethically by conducting their studies with integrity. But they can also show ethical behavior after they complete their research and publish it. They can also show a lack of integrity both in the conduct of their studies and in how they present and publish them.

Sometimes people inform journal editors of ethical problems in research that has appeared in scientific journals. In at least one well known situation, an anonymous person who goes by the name “Clare Francis” has contacted quite a few editors about problems in the published literature. She (although her gender is actually unknown, as is her real identity) has made several claims in recent years.

  • Based on information in the linked article, give an argument in favor of making a person reveal his or her identity when accusing somebody of ethical breaches and an argument against making the person reveal his or her identity. (2 pts)

A Yale researcher, Laurie Santos, published work on ingroup bias in monkeys in the journal Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and were trying to replicate the research with a larger sample of monkeys. During the course of the research, she discovered some coding errors in the data that made the original research seem significant but that, when corrected, led to a failure to document the ingroup bias they had reported in the journal article. So the authors and researchers contacted the journal editor and requested that the article be retracted. As a result, it is no longer part of the research literature; it has literally vanished.

  • Why do you think that it is likely that most people who are highly ethical don’t retract errors in the research they have conducted? (1 pt)

In contrast, former Harvard psychologist Marc Hauser received sanctions from the U.S. government’s Office of Research Integrity for misrepresenting his research and for fabricating data. It appears that he has neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing.

  • What penalty do you think would be appropriate in this situation and why? (1 pt)

 

February 10-14

Reading: Chapter 3--Planning Research: Generating a Question

Researchers ask questions that come from a diversity of sources. Sometimes an investigator will observe some behavior and wonder why it happens. Sometimes an investigator has a specific problem to solve and wants to figure out the best solution. sometimes, researchers have theories they want to test. Regardless of the origin of the question, it is important for researchers to know what others have done before them so they don't simply do studies that others have already carried out. In this chapter, you will see how ideas develop.

Activity:

February 17-21

TEST #1 (Chapters 1-3) is on Tuesday, February 19.

Reading and Topics: Chapter 4--Practical Issues in Planning your Research

Research involves making a lot of practical decisions in creating a sound study. You have to make decisions about your participants and subjects, how you will sample, making measurements that are meaningful, and deciding on an overall approach.

Reaction paper (4 pts): Psychologists have posed a number of questions about sexual attraction on the part of men and women. What causes men and women to approach mate selection as they do? Do men really want more sexual partners than women do? Do women select men using different criteria when they are fertile? One approach to answering these questions involves hypotheses about evolutionary psychology; that is, we act as we do because we have evolved to act this way. Another approach involves more social explanations. The “final” answer will undoubtedly be complex, but here are some research findings.

  • Research has shown that fertile women find "macho" men attractive and that women are more likely to wear red when they are fertile (i.e., when they are ovulating) than when not fertile. In addition, research has suggested that men are more likely to see other men as rivals when their female partners are near ovulation, hence fertile. Based on the readings, do you think that the research studies described seem to support the hypothesis that factors (potentially of evolutionary origin) of which we are not aware affect potential mating behavior? Can you think of any explanations for the results than those the researchers offered? (1 pt)

David Schmitt and a 118 other researchers from around the world surveyed over 16,000 people about their desires regarding sexual partners. Here is the abstract from the journal article with some important aspects in bold:

Evolutionary psychologists have hypothesized that men and women possess both long-term and short-term mating strategies, with men's short-term strategy differentially rooted in the desire for sexual variety. In this article, findings from a cross-cultural survey of 16,288 people across 10 major world regions (including North America, South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Oceania, South/Southeast Asia, and East Asia) demonstrate that sex differences in the desire for sexual variety are culturally universal throughout these world regions. Sex differences were evident regardless of whether mean, median, distributional, or categorical indexes of sexual differentiation were evaluated. Sex differences were evident regardless of the measures used to evaluate them. Among contemporary theories of human mating, pluralistic approaches that hypothesize sex differences in the evolved design of short-term mating provide the most compelling account of these robust empirical findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

  • Men claimed to desire more partners than women did overall, as indicated in the figure below. The research appeared in a respected psychology journal; the citation is below. Do the results appear to support an evolutionary hypothesis? Explain your response. How persuasive are the comments by one non-scientist writer about the research? Explain your thoughts. (1 pt)
  • Do you think that the sample used in this study is adequate with respect to diversity and sample size for the claims that the authors are making? (1 pt)
  • Do you think the data that people choose sexual partners based on our evolutionary heritage are believable? That is, do people choose sexual partners based, in part, on noncultural or nonsocial factors that may not be conscious? Explain your response based on the reading cited above and any other knowledge you have. (1 pt)

Source of the table: Schmitt, D. P. (2003). Universal sex differences in the desire for sexual variety: Tests from 52 nations, 6 continents, and 13 islands. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 85-104. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.85.1.85 [Copyright (2003) American Psychological Association. Used with permission.]


Discussion:

Are some people more attractive than others?

What does attractiveness mean?

Homework (5 pts): Francis Galton measured just about everything you could think of. At one point, he decided to measure people's attraction to another person. So he created a device that went on the bottom of a chair that indicated the degree to which a person leaned toward or away from another individual; the more a person leaned, the greater the force exerted on the measurement devices. Galton reasoned that if you were attracted to a person, you would lean your body toward that person, even if only slightly.

Purpose: This assignment will give you practice in understanding the nature of scientific measurement and in assessing the strength and weakness of a particular measurement approach.

Goals of this assignment:

  • Understanding of operational definitions
  • Being able to assess characteristics of science
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses of approaches to research

Questions:

  • What is the operational definition of "attraction" in Galton's research? (Refer to Chapter 5 for the definition and explanation of operational definitions.) (1 pt)
  • Explain why the characteristics of science, objectivity and verifiability, are fulfilled in this approach. (2 pts)
  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to studying attraction and indicate whether you think that this is a good way to measure attraction. (2 pts)

 

 

February 24-28

Reading and Topics: Chapter 5--Measurement and Sampling

When you conduct any research, you have to figure out what you are going to measure and how you will be measuring it. In psychology, we regularly make use of operational definitions, which stand in for variables that we aren't able to measure directly. The issues that we have to deal with include exactly what we intend to measure (and how), along with the question of validity of our measurements.

Homework: (10 pts) There are many ways to approach sampling in research. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages; none is perfect. In this assignment, you will identify how you would create different types of samples. Then you will describe their advantages and disadvantages.

Purpose: This exercise will give you exposure to the different sampling techniques that you might employ in research you conduct. There are always tradeoffs when you make decisions In these examples, you will see that you have to make compromises when you decide on your methodology.

Objectives of the sampling homework:

  • Identifying and describing different sampling strategies
  • Applying your knowledge about sampling to a specific research project
  • Generating realistic ways to generate samples using different sampling strategies
  • Describing the strengths and limitations of sampling strategies in a research project
  • Generating advantages and disadvantages associated with different sampling strategies

Directions: Address the three questions on sampling in relation to the proposed research project. Provide a concise but accurate answer.

Research Project:

Suppose you wanted to determine whether you could affect weight loss in a sample of students who are interested in losing weight in a study that replicates one that Anne-Kathrin Klesse and her colleagues conducted. So you create two groups that keep track in a notebook of how much they eat each day (i.e., a food diary). For one group, the cover of the food diary has a picture of an attractive but skinny model on it; for the second group, it has a neutral image. You are interested in assessing weight change (if there is any) among the participants in the two groups during a one-week study.

So you study 50 female undergraduate students; 25 of them see the skinny model and 25 see the neutral image. For each type of sampling, give a realistic means of using that approach. Realistic means that you, as a student at Ithaca College, could actually do it. If there is no realistic way of generating the particular type of sample, say so (and say why).

1. Create a different sampling strategy for getting student participation that involve the following sampling types below. You need to specify exactly how you would execute the sampling strategy. You cannot simply say "I would contact X for the information". You need to let me know specifically what you would be doing. If it would not be feasible to conduct a certain type of sampling, you can say that (and say why).

• Simple Random Sampling (1 pt)
• Convenience Sampling (1 pt)
• Purposive Sampling (1 pt)
• Chain-Referral Sampling (1 pt)

2. If you used convenience sampling to select the students on campus who participated in your study, to which of the populations mentioned below would you feel comfortable generalizing your results? Explain your response.

  • Other Undergraduate Students on Your Campus (1 pt)
  • Nonstudents of the Same Age as the Students Who Participated in Your Research (1 pt)
  • Adults Between the ages of 30 and 50. (1 pt)

3. Do you think that the results of this study would replicate if you used male subjects and a picture of an attractive, but thin and muscular, male model? Explain your response. (1 pt)

4. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of simple random sampling versus convenience sampling? (2 pts)

Activity: What issues in sampling might have affected the claim that over half of men tested were not the father of children the thought were his biological children?

Reaction Paper (5 pts): Researchers over the years have claimed sex differences in a number of areas. One of these domains concerns spatial abilities; men are more proficient in visuospatial tasks. In addition, women and men rely on different features in the environment to navigate through it.

In apparently unrelated research, some psychologists have suggested that homosexuality is, in part, mediated by biological factors and that brain structures in gay and straight men may differ. Research has resulted in findings that gay men navigate through the environment similarly to straight women. Also, gay men show patterns of facial recognition that are similar to those of women.

In addition, other researchers have demonstrated that differences in spatial ability are associated with differences in prenatal levels of testosterone. Specifically, the ratio of the length of the index finger to the length of the ring finger is typically smaller in men than in women; this difference in ratio is associated with testosterone level. Thus, there is a reliable correlation between presumed testosterone level and spatial ability. Go to PsycINFO and read the abstract of the 2005 article by Kempel, Gohlke, Klempau, Zinsberger, Reuter, & Hennig to find out a little more about this study. (You don't need to read the entire article, although you certainly can. The abstract should provide enough information to respond to this reaction paper.)

Here is the issue to which I would like your reaction:

  • Does this kind of research provide any clues about whether homosexuality is, at least in part, mediated by biology? Regardless of whether you think the answer is yes or no, you need to refer to the research in drawing your conclusion. You need to mention all of the sources linked above in addressing the question. (2 pts)
  • Also, I would like you to indicate the limitations of the research in terms of drawing a firm conclusion one way or the other. (1 pt)
  • Finally, at the end of your reaction paper, include the reference citation in APA style for the article by Kempel et al. (2005). To get the point, you must be completely accurate. (1 pt)
  • What do you think of this issue? (1 pt)

If you want to pursue the issue of testosterone and spatial ability further, you can do a search in PsycINFO using the keywords Spatial ability and testosterone. This is not required for the reaction paper.

 

March 3-7

Reading and Topics: Chapter 6--Conducting an Experiment: General Principles

Experimental approaches in research dominate psychology. We use experiments because they let us investigate and understand the causes of behavior. in order to have confidence in our assessment of causation, we have to consider a lot of detail in setting up our research so that we can draw unambiguous conclusions.

Homework: (6 pts) Deciding about internal validity

Purpose: In this assignment, you will learn to spot design flaws in research projects. These studies are variations on actual research. Changes were made to build in flaws for you to identify. Most of the time, the problems with research are hard to spot. No study is perfect. The best you can do is to maximize the likelihood that your results and conclusions will be valid by eliminating, as much as possible, the sources of the flaws.

For the following research scenarios, determine the threats to internal validity. No research design is ever perfect. For the examples below, there are some issues that the investigators would have to deal with in order to have confidence in drawing conclusions about the research. Then describe how you might realistically overcome these threats to internal validity.

Humor (3 pts)

Researchers wanted to know whether people find jokes funnier when somebody of their own sex told the jokes. They created a tape with a female joke teller presenting 16 jokes, followed by a male narrator telling 16 different jokes. Some of the jokes featured female victims, some featured male victims; the male and the female joke tellers told the same number of jokes with each kind of victim. Subjects listened to the jokes and rated them on the funniness. The results indicated that, in general, both women and men enjoyed jokes with female victims when the joke teller was a female and did not like them when the joke teller was a male.

Politics (3 pts)

A group of researchers wanted to know whether ignoring political issues and attacking a candidate personally helps or hurts a political candidate's chances of winning an election. They brought a group of students into a laboratory. Some students listened to an incumbent candidate laying out a specific plan to deal with political issues and problems should he be elected. The other participants were exposed to a challenger who spent her time talking about the personal problems of the incumbent and why the challenger would bring greater morality to political office. The participants rated the candidate regarding the likelihood that they would vote for the person whose message they had just been exposed to.

Activity: Understanding how researchers use research variables to help them answer questions: Fear of Success

Reaction Paper (3 pts): he popular media often report on factors that relate to intelligence and creativity. For instance, one such report asserted that “People who exercise regularly are better at creative thinking.” The research in question involved athletes and non-athletes who either simply sat on a stationary bike, rode the bike at a moderate pace, or rode the bike at an intense pace. Before and after they engaged in the exercise (or the control task), participants engaged in tests of convergent and divergent thinking. [Colzato, L. S., Szapora, A., Pannekoek, J. N., & Hommel, B. (2013). The impact of physical exercise on convergent and divergent thinking. Frontiers In Human Neuroscience, 7824. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00824]

Compare the message given at the link above with the results of the study depicted below. Do the results match the message presented in the linked article? Explain your response. (1 pt)

 

 

Australian Iron Man Bodybuilding and Fitness Magazine reported on research that revealed that young adults who regularly exercise have higher IQ scores and are more likely to go on to university than are those who don’t regularly exercise. The author of the Iron Man article suggests that exercise is a causal factor, but why should you be skeptical about that claim, based on the research methodology? (1 pt)

How could you design a research project that would allow you to claim with confidence that exercise is a causal factor in enhancing creativity and intelligence? (1 pt)

 

March 10-14--SPRING BREAK

 

March 17-21

Reading and Topics: Chapter 7--Experiments with One Independent Variable

Behavior is complex. As a result, the studies we plan need to be complex. However, it sometimes makes sense to start with simple designs. In this chapter, you will learn about experimental designs that involve one independent variable. The simplest experiment involves two groups, but we seldom use such a simple design. More often, we investigate multiple groups and/or multiple independent and dependent variables.

Activity: Identifying IVs and DVs


Homework (12 pts): Identifying variables in research projects.

Purpose of the Homework: This exercise gives you practice in understanding what research projects are all about by reading brief abstracts so you don't have to read the entire article if it isn't germane to your project.

Objectives for this homework assignment:

  • Identifying independent and dependent variables
  • Specifying how the dependent variable is measured
  • Recognizing the difference between manipulated and measured (i.e., participant/subject) independent varibles

Directions: For the following research projects, (a) identify the independent and dependent variables. For the independent variables, (b) identify whether they are manipulated or measured variables (i.e., subject variables). Finally, (c) tell how the dependent variable is actually measured. In order to get maximum credit, you need to describe how the variable is measured.

1.A research team investigated the effect of music and of trying to be happy on subsequent levels of happiness. The researchers brought participants into a lab five times over a two-week period to listen to music that was deemed to be either positive or not positive in nature. Half of the participants received instructions to try to be happier; half received no instructions regarding being happy. At the end of the study, participants who had listened to happy music and who actively tried to be happier showed the highest subjecting ratings on their happiness levels.

Ferguson, Y. L., & Sheldon, K. M. (2013). Trying to be happier really can work: Two experimental studies. Journal of Positive Psychology, 8, 23-33. doi:10.1080/17439760.2012.747000


2. Researchers tested 284 high school students regarding their attitudes toward the so-called Mediterranean diet that is high in consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cereals, with olive oil being the primary source of fat. The participants were randomly assigned to a condition in which the individual wrote down either positive or negative aspects of this diet. After the participants had written down their positive or negative thoughts, the investigators randomly assigned the participants in the positive and the negative conditions either to (a) throw away the paper on which they had written their positive or negative statements, (b) simply to fold the paper on which they had written [the control condition], or (c) to protect the paper containing their thoughts by putting it safely in their pocket, purse, or wallet. Then the participants rated the Mediterranean diet. The results showed that participants in the positive thought condition rated the diet more positively. In addition, when the participants had protected their thoughts by putting them in their pocket, purse, or wallet, they were more influenced by the negative or positive thoughts they had generated.


Briñol, P., Gascó, M., Petty, R. E., & Horcajo, J. (2013). Treating thoughts as material objects can increase or decrease their impact on evaluation. Psychological Science, 24, 41-47. doi:10.1177/0956797612449176


3. A psychologist wondered how people would respond to people with tattoos, so he studied how long people helped a tattooed stranger who was dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt or in a shirt, tie, and dress slacks. In each dress condition, half of the time the tattoo was not visible, and half of the time the tattoo was visible. The confederate asked for help in reading a map, claiming that he had forgotten his glasses. The results showed that people spent the same amount of time with the person when the tattoo was not visible, regardless of attire. When the tattoo was visible, however, people spent more time with the person in sweatshirt and jeans than with the person with shirt, tie, and dress slacks.

Strohmetz, D. B., & Moore, M. P. (2003, March). Impact of a tattoo on a helping request. Poster presented at the annual convention of the Eastern Psychological Association, Baltimore, MD.


4. A group of psychologists wanted to know if music affected hostility and if there were any sex differences. Twenty-nine female and 30 male students listed to listened either to a song with violent lyrics or to a song without violent content. The participants then completed the State Hostility Scale (SHS), which indicates the degree of hostility of a person. Higher scores on the scale reflect higher levels of hostility. The researchers discovered that participants who listened to violent lyrics showed a higher level of hostility than participants who listened to nonviolent lyrics.

Anderson, C. A., Carnage, N. L., & Eubanks, J. (2003). Exposure to violent media: The effects of songs with violent lyrics on aggressive thoughts and feelings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 960-971.

Activity:

Reaction Paper (5 pts): Does calling Mom when you are stressed out help? Is it any better than texting her? Researchers have found out that talking is better than texting.

  • Based on the article that is linked, do you agree with the author's conclusions? Say why you do or you don't using your knowledge of research methods. (1 pt)
  • What are the limitations to the study? That is, what about the study might make you wonder about the generalizability of the results? What aspects of the results might be valid and what might not be? (2 pts)
  • Briefly describe a study that would address potential flaws that readers brought up in their comments. What is the flaw and what would your independent and dependent variables be? (2 pts)

 

March 24-28

Reading and Topics: Chapter 8--Experiments with Multiple Independent Variables

Because behavior is complex, our research designs end up being complex, too. There are many different ways to design studies so that we can assess the effects of more than one variable on behavior. This approach is important because, in life, more than one variable is going to influence what we do and how we think.

Homework: (8 pts) In this homework assignment, you will work on understanding interactions and what they mean. Interactions occur in factorial experiments (i.e., those with more than one IV) when behaviors change differently in the presence of more than one IV in ways that would not be predictable from using only one IV.

Purpose of the Homework: This homework gives you practice in interpreting and understanding the results of more complex research designs.

Objectives of this homework assignment:

  • Recognizing if an interaction is present in research results
  • Identifying independent and dependent variables and their levels
  • Learning to separate the effects of different independent variables

The Research:

A researcher randomly assigned 129 participants to complete a relatively easy task or a difficult to impossible task. In the easy task, they solved easy anagrams (e.g., LRGAE--LARGE); in the difficult condition, they worked on hard or impossible anagrams (e.g., HAENY--HYENA or unsolvable, ACELO).

They then described their experience with the task using one of two grammatical constructions. One construction involved perfect forms of verbs (e.g., I solved the anagrams, I figured out the answer); the other construction involved imperfect forms (e.g., I was solving the anagrams, I was figuring out the answer). In perfect forms of the verb, the action is completed; in imperfect forms, the action is continuing.

The investigators then used the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) to measure participants’ moods. The results appear in the figure. The exact numerical results appear in the table below.

 
Task
Difficulty
Verb Type
Easy
Difficult
Imperfect (Action is ongoing)
17.17
2.33
Perfect (Action is completed)
11.36
7.88

Questions:

  1. Identify the design (e.g., 3x4 factorial or 2 x 5 factorial, or whatever it is). (1 pt)
  2. Identify the independent and dependent variables. (3 pts)
  3. For each IV separately, give the value of the group means for the IV. Do this for each IV. (2 pts)
  4. Does the interaction appear to be significant? What do the results tell you? (2 pts)

 

Activity: Identifying research designs

Data analysis--Enjoyment of research participation. This analysis is based on the file saved as cogdis.sav on the Nova (Q:) drive.

Multigroup experiment

 

March 31-April 4

TEST #2 (Chapters 4-6) is on Tuesday, April 2

Reading and Topics: Chapter 9--Expanding on Experimental Designs: Repeated Measures and Quasi-experiments

Sometimes it makes sense to get information from the same person in multiple conditions or across time. Such an approach can reduce noticeably the amount of time it takes to collect data from a limited number of people. This approach involves repeated measures designs. In other situations, we can't manipulate our independent variable directly, so we assign participants to conditions according to some characteristic of the participant (e.g., gender, age, political affiliation, etc.). In these instances, we do not have a true experimental study because there is no random assignment to conditions. This approach is called quasi-experimental because it looks like an experimental design, but it really isn't. Quasi-experiments are really correlational in nature, so determining causal relations among variables is questionable.

Homework: NONE

Sources of threats to internal validity

Does antisocial behavior in the media lead to antisocial behavior among people?

Activity: Identifying threats to internal validity.

Repeated measures designs: The Stroop Effect

Blaming the Victim: Explanation of a Factorial Design

Reaction Paper (3 pts)

Recent research has shown that people react very differently when they receive attention from somebody who cares versus somebody who is indifferent to them.

Provide an example from your life that would relate to your life and your relationships in the context of

  • Pain (1 pt)
  • Taste (1 pt)

This is a laboratory-based study in which participants gave ratings of pain, pleasure, and taste on a scale. Do you think that the study has relevance for real life situations? Justify your response. (1 pt)


Gray, K. (2012). The power of good intentions: Perceived benevolence soothes pain, increases pleasure, and improves taste. Social Psychological and Personality Science. Advance online publication, January 17, 2012. doi:1948550611433470

 

April 7-11

Reading and Topics: Chapter 10--Principles of Survey Research

One of the most ubiquitous forms of research is the survey. Although it is common and we tend to take them for granted, survey research is very difficult to carry out well. Identifying your population, then your sample, can be hard. Developing well worded questions is always problematic. In addition, respondents bring their own idiosyncrasies to the situation. Surveys can be very useful, but they must be done well if they are to provide good information.

The wording of the questions is important and poses the greatest challenge in creating a survey. How you word your questions shapes the answers you get. If you want to get the most useful information, you need to pay attention to how your construct your questions. Researchers have identified important issues in creating survey questions. Another critical aspect of conducting survey research involves the question of how you will administer the survey. There are advantages and disadvantages to any approach you take.

Homework: Assessing Survey Questions

Directions: The following list of problems can plague survey researchers when they create questions. Identify which of these problems is at work in the survey questions below and explain why you think the problems exist. You need to make a solid justification for the problems you identify. (9 pts)

Ambiguity
Double barreled questions
Biased wording
Insufficient response choices
Emotional wording
Negative wording
Complex wording
Unwarranted assumptions


In your opinion, should students be forced to perform free community service jobs such as working with suicide prevention hot lines and drug rehabilitation centers as a requirement for high school graduation?

A. Yes
B. No
C. Undecided


In your opinion, should schools have the right to expel students who have compiled long records of discipline problems, and who pose a threat to student and teacher safety, and show no interest in taking part in the educational process?

A. Yes
B. No
C. Undecided


Many corporate leaders claim environmental regulations hamper their ability to make profits. Even huge multi-national corporations with millions of dollars in income say clean water and air is “too expensive.” Do you think current anti-pollution laws are:

Too tough
About right
Not strong enough

Activity: Assessing the goals of education.

 

April 14-18

Reading and Topics: Survey Research (continued)

Homework: See above

Activity: Personality Research

 

April 21-25

TEST #3 (Chapters 7-9) is on Tuesday, April 22.

Reading and Topics: Chapter 11--Correlational Research

Sometimes research questions are too complex to be handled easily by experimental research. At other times, it may not be feasible or ethical to do experimental research to address a question. In these instances, correlational research can be very useful. Correlations don't let us assess causation, but they let us see patterns of behavior and predict them, even if we don't know the causes of the behavior.

Homework: TBA

Purpose of the homework:

Activity 1: The Modified Jenkins Activity Survey provides a guide to the degree to which people exhibit Type A and Type B personality characteristics. Take the survey; we will be working with the data from the class. Please note that when you complete the test, your results will be completely confidential. Nobody (not even me) will know how you responded.

In this exercise, you will use SPSS to calculate a correlation coefficient to see if there is a relationship between the so-called Type A behavior tendencies and performance in school. In addition, perform a linear regression analysis to see if GPA is predictable from Type A score and from Gender. The file with these data is on the Nova Drive (Q:). The file is named type_a.sav.

Note: To get the total Type A score, you will have to compute a new variable that will be the sum of the items on the Modified Jenkins Activity Survey.

The question: Is school performance related to a person's tendency toward the so-called Type A behaviors? Also, given the two predictor variables of Type A score and Gender, identify the regression equation you would use to make a prediction of the criterion variable, GPA. Finally, explain why you think you obtained the results you got in your analysis.

Activity 2: How would you explain these data?

Factor Analysis: How we transform a complex data set involving many variables into a more easily understood set of data.

Discussion: A high Body Mass Index is associated with risk for disease. It may also be associated with lower cognitive functioning.

Reaction Paper ( 3 pts): Good Penmanship

Students in elementary school no longer spend a lot of time practicing their handwriting. But researcher Laura Dinehart has found that students who showed good fine motor coordination in pre-kindergarten had higher grades in in math and reading when in the second grade.

Use good critical thinking and your knowledge of research methods to discuss whether it would make sense, based on the research, to implement writing programs in kindergarten and the early elementary school years in order to raise student achievement levels.

  • What are the strengths of the research? (1 pt)
  • What are the limitations of the research? (1 pt)
  • Does this study give evidence that implementation of writing skills practice would bolster student achievement? (1 pt)

 

April 28-May 2

Reading and Topics: Chapter 11--Correlational Research

Sometimes research questions are too complex to be handled easily by experimental research. At other times, it may not be feasible or ethical to do experimental research to address a question. In these instances, correlational research can be very useful. Correlations don't let us assess causation, but they let us see patterns of behavior and predict them, even if we don't know the causes of the behavior.

Homework: TBA

Date Due: TBA

Purpose of the homework:

Activity 1: The Modified Jenkins Activity Survey provides a guide to the degree to which people exhibit Type A and Type B personality characteristics. Take the survey; we will be working with the data from the class. Please note that when you complete the test, your results will be completely confidential. Nobody (not even me) will know how you responded.

In this exercise, you will use SPSS to calculate a correlation coefficient to see if there is a relationship between the so-called Type A behavior tendencies and performance in school. In addition, perform a linear regression analysis to see if GPA is predictable from Type A score and from Gender. The file with these data is on the Nova Drive (G:). The file is named type_a--2011.sav.

Note: To get the total Type A score, you will have to compute a new variable that will be the sum of the items on the Modified Jenkins Activity Survey.

The question: Is school performance related to a person's tendency toward the so-called Type A behaviors? Also, given the two predictor variables of Type A score and Gender, identify the regression equation you would use to make a prediction of the criterion variable, GPA. Finally, explain why you think you obtained the results you got in your analysis.

Activity 2: How would you explain these data?

Factor Analysis: How we transform a complex data set involving many variables into a more easily understood set of data.

Activity 3: Predicting attendance

Reaction Paper (3 pts): A high Body Mass Index is correlated with risk for disease. It may also be associated with lower cognitive functioning. In addition, pregnant women who gain a lot of weight end up having children who are more likely to be obese at age 3. In addition, although obesity rates in the U.S. have stabilized recently, the rate among children, particularly boys 6-9 years of age is rising. There is a pattern of increase in obesity among two-year-olds, too. Finally, should Michelle Obama, as first lady, be involved in these issues?

If you wanted to make a public policy statement about obesity, you might use some recent research as the basis for your recommendation. Based on these articles (and any others you might want to include in addition to these two), what would you say? What recommendations would you make about public policy; or you might not think that it would be a good idea to implement public policy. In either case, say why? Cite the research as well as any societal or social factors that are relevant.

Tuesday, May 6- Monday, May 12--FINAL EXAM WEEK

 

(Go to the top of the syllabus)

Tests and Evaluation of Your Performance

There will be different components to my evaluation of your performance. First, we will have quizzes every three chapters; they will not be surprise tests--I will give you at least one class notice. They will be short answer and multiple choice in format. (40% of your grade)

Note: There will be no makeup tests. On the final exam, you will be able to substitute your score on final exam questions relating to one test. If you have missed a test, you will have to substitute the score on those final exam questions for that test. If you have taken all of the tests, you have the option of replacing any single test score you want to. It is optional; you do not need to make such a substitution.

The final exam will be an applied test. You will integrate the information you learned during the semester by using the concepts that you learned. Any extra credit you have earned will be added to your final exam. (25% of your grade)

You will also have writing assignments and some statistics homework. Some of it will involve taking data sets and writing verbal interpretations of them. Some of this work will be computerized. (35% of your grade)

Note: Late homework is subject to a penalty of 10% deduction per day. (This means that if you hand in your paper one day late, your grade will be your earned score x .90; two days later means your grade will be your earned score x .80, etc.) If an assignment is due on Tuesday but you do not have it to hand in, you need to give it to me by Tuesday morning of the next week. If the assignment is due on Thursday, you have until the following Tuesday morning. After those times, you will receive a grade of zero for that homework assignment unless you have made other arrangements with me.

In addition, if you turn in handwritten homework assignments, there will be a 20% penalty in your maximum grade.

PLEASE KEEP YOUR SCORED HOMEWORK THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER. IF THERE ARE ANY DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN MY RECORDED SCORES AND YOUR SCORE, IT WILL BE EASIER TO RECONCILE.


(Go to the top of the syllabus)

EXTRA CREDIT

You can get extra credit for this class in four different ways.

1. You can participate in an approved experiment within the Psychology Department. After participating, you need to write a summary of what you did in the study, what methodology they used, and what statistical analysis they will perform after collecting the data. You also need to indicate what, if anything, you got out of this research participation. (Please note: You do not have to say that you learned a lot, or even a little, from participating in a study. I seriously want to know what you got out of the experience.) If you do not hand in your responses to the points below, you will get one point for participation in the study and will not earn the maximum of three points.

These are the elements you must include in your summary of the study.

(a) You need to describe the research question for the study in which you participated

(b) You must outline of the methodology; that is, what you did during the study

(c) You need to identify what statistical analysis they will be perform during data analysis

You also need to describe your reaction to the study:

(d) Why did you think about the way the study was conducted? Did you learn anything? What was it like to participate?

When you are ready to submit your information, go to the FORM FOR RESEARCH PARTICIPATION.

2. You can read and summarizing an approved journal article from a psychological journal. There are a few elements you must present. (a) You need to explain why the researchers did their work, (b) how they did it, (b) what statistical analysis they performed, and (d) what they concluded. You also need to indicate (e) how easy or difficult it was to understand the article and explain yourself.

3. You can bring a summary of a report in the popular media (e.g., magazine or newspaper article) that relates to the kind of research we deal with in class. Your written report should include what the research was about, what methodology they seem to have used, what the researchers concluded, and what additional information you would like to have seen in their report.

4. If you write an exceptionally astute answer to a quiz question, I may award an extra point. This is a rare event, but each semester a few students write answers that are so remarkable and go so far beyond a minimal answer that I feel it deserves extra credit. In those cases, I will award such credit. The extra point(s) will be added to the test, not to the final exam like the first three extra credit options.

Each activity (#1-3) will be worth a maximum of two percent on your final exam grade, with a maximum of ten points allowed. This means that you can participate in five studies for extra credit. Before doing any extra credit work, you must check with me in advance so that I can assess its suitability. The credit you earn for each one will depend on the quality of your write-up. Please note that you are not guaranteed two points per attempt; part of your score depends on the quality of your answers. If you do not write up a description of your participation, you will receive one point for participating.

You may earn these points in addition to the extra points from reaction papers.


(Go to the top of the syllabus)

Spring 2014 Academic Calendar

Monday January 20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Campus Celebration; no classes
Tuesday January 21 Classes Begin 8:00 a.m.
Monday January 27 Last Day ADD/DROP Block I Courses
Monday January 27 Last Day ADD/DROP Semester Courses
Monday January 27 Last Day to Audit Courses
Thursday January 30 Last Day S/D/F Option in Block I Courses
Monday February 10 Last Day S/D/F Option in Semester Courses
Monday February 24 Last Day to Withdraw with "W" in Block I Courses
Monday February 24 Last Day to Revoke S/D/F Option in Block I Courses
Friday March 7 Block I Ends 4:00 p.m.; Spring Break Begins
Sat-Sun March 8-16 Spring Break
Monday March 17 Classes Resume 8:00 a.m.; Block II Begins
Wednesday March 19 Mid-Term Grades Due (Online) 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday March 19 Block I Final Grades Due (Online) 10:00 p.m.
Friday March 21 Last Day ADD/DROP Block II Courses
Wednesday March 26 Last Day for S/D/F Option in Block II Courses
Wednesday March 26 Summer 2014 Application for Graduation (Online) Due
Friday March 28 Last Day to Revoke S/D/F Option in Semester Courses
Friday March 28 Last Day to Withdraw with "W" Semester Courses
Tuesday April 15 Passover
Friday April 18 Good Friday
Friday April 18 Last Day to Revoke S/D/F Option in Block II Courses
Friday April 18 Last Day to Withdraw with "W" in Block II Courses
Friday April 18 Last Day to Withdraw with "W" in Graduate Courses
Sunday April 20 Easter
Mon - Fri April 21 - 25 Online Registration for Fall 2014
Monday May 5 Last Day of Classes; Classes End 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday May 6 Final Examinations Begin 7:30 a.m.
Monday May 12 Final Examinations End 10:00 p.m.
Thursday May 15 All Final Grades Due (Online) by 10:00 p.m.
Sunday May 18 Commencement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exam Slots and Corresponding Class Exams

Final Examination Schedule - Spring 2014

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Monday

May 6

May 7

May 8

May 9

May 10

7:30 am - 10 am

1:00 pm MWF

2:35 pm TR

10:00 am MWF

2:00 MWF

Special

10:30 am - 1 pm

Special

11:00 am MWF

9:25 am TR

4:00 pm TR

1:10 pm TR

1:30 pm - 4 pm

10:50 TR

Special

8:00 pm TR

3:00 pm MWF

9:00 am MWF

4:30 pm - 7 pm

4:00 pm MW

12 noon MWF

Special

Special

8:00 am MWF

7:30 pm - 10 pm

8:15 pm TR

5:25 pm MW

6:50 pm MW
6:50 pm
TR

5:25 pm TR

8:15 pm MW

(Go to the top of the syllabus)

American Psychological Association
Association for Psychological Science

 


This page is maintained by Barney Beins, Ithaca College Department of Psychology
Last modified: January 8, 2014

Copyright: Barney Beins 2002-2014