Welcome to Research in PsychologyThis course reviews scientific method in Psychology. It is meant for Psychology majors or students with a clear interest in research. We will discuss how science "works", how scientific reasoning differs from other ways of thinking, and what we can and cannot learn from the different research strategies Psychologists use.
Students will understand the virtues - and problems - of measurement or correlational studies, "true" experiments, and the "quasi"-experiments (or field studies) often used in Psychology. Students will also be introduced to statistical reasoning in science, and to basic statistics.
This course is centered on the class web site. Get comfortable using this and other web sites.
The class is CRN 34006; it meets Monday & Wednesday, 2:00 to 2:50, Lecture Center C, room 4 .
Lecture attendance is mandatory: all course materials and the content of your exams will be provided in lecture.
Course content is given primarily in Power Point slide sets I will use for lecture, accompanied by readings I provide on this web site, and the text. Newspaper or other readings - many from the New York Times - or Pod Casts will illustrate many of the basic research principles we will discuss. You are expected to read those carefully. Others are "bonus" articles for further reading.
Your grade is determined by three exams (each worth 15% of your grade), discussion group attendance (15%), lecture attendance (10%), and a term paper worth 30% of your grade.
- Go to Schedule for key dates & assignments.
Ray, W.J. (1999/2008). Methods: Toward a Science of Behavior and Experience, 5th ed. or later, Belmont, CA. Wadsworth . Buy any recent edition of the Ray book; they are all the same. Look on Amazon.com, e-Bay (half.com takes you directly to eBay textbooks), or other used bookstores for cheap copies. UIC bookstore may have used copies. On Amazon or e-Bay use the advanced search and enter “Ray” as author and “Methods” as the title, or simply “Methods, toward a science of behavior” in the search window.
If you cannot find a used copy of the Ray book you can always get a new one (they are expensive!) or get any comprehensive-looking text covering research methods in Psychology. To use another text, see what chapters I have assigned from Ray (in your weekly web page), look up the topics they cover here, and read those chapters in whatever book you bought.
Clickers for lecture: we will be using the i>clicker system. These are hand-held classroom response devices available new or used in the bookstore, or used from Amazon. You cannot share clickers - each student must have his/her own. Bring these to every lecture. You are responsible for your lecture credit - if you do not bring your clicker to class I cannot give you credit.
Clicker number rubbed off? If you have registered on the clicker web site by entering your name and UIC ID and have "clicked" in class at least once, go here to find your clicker number. Instructions for your i>clicker are posted here.Lectures, Class Materials & Grading
Students are required to use the WEB and an e-mail account. Readings, lecture notes, and discussion group assignments are available in the "Weekly notes & assignments " link above. I post class updates on the web, so check this site regularly. All your grades will be posted on the course Blackboard site. The grading schedule is:
|CITI research ethics training||
There are three exams. The first two are worth 10% of your grade; the final exam is worth 20%. The first two exams cover the first and second thirds of the course. The final exam is cumulative, although most questions will address material covered since the second exam. Most exam items are short answer or "fill in the blank," not multiple choice. There are NO make up exams.
What will be on the exams? All exam material is covered in the lectures. I provide Power Point lecture notes each week that, combined with my actual lectures, present all the exam content. During each lecture I announce specific topics that will show up on the exam. To know how to study for exams attend lectures (and ask questions!), then use your annotated Power Point notes to study. I do not provide detailed study guides: all the information you need is in lecture. Examples of exam items are posted Here.
The term paper consists of a short research project, due in your discussion group during the 14th week of the term (April 26). All papers must be formatted in American Psychological Association style. The paper is worth 30% of your grade. Many discussion groups will be devoted to the development of this paper. Complete instructions for the paper are given in the paper assignment pages. Use these web pages to write your paper, and for links to other paper resources.
The paper must be submitted in both paper and electronic forms by April 26th. The electronic form should be submitted to Safe Assignment (on the course Blackboard site) in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx). Note: The electronic form should only contain the body of the text. Do not include references, informed consent documents, your calculations, or any other add-on (see paper assignment).
If you want comments on your paper please note that on the cover page of the hard copy of your paper; only students who request comments will get them. Late papers lose 20% of points per day.
Discussion Groups & Lecture Attendance:
Attendance and completion of discussion group assignments are mandatory. Your research paper will be developed in these groups, so attend and pay attention. Discussion group assignments and attendance are worth 15% of your grade. Discussion group assignments are given in links in the class schedule, for the week they are due. Part of your discussion points are awarded for attendance in the group, part based on the quality of your assignment. Do not submit homework assignments by e-mail: they must be handed in during discussion group itself. Attendance at discussion groups is mandatory.
You can earn extra credit by submitting really good assignments; you should particularly think about this for your research paper assignments. The comments about plagiarism below apply to your discussion group assignments as well as the research paper.
Day & Time
|34392||Friday, 9:00||319 BSB||Laurel Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|34393||Friday, 11:00||289 BSB||Laurel Wright|
|34394||Friday, 1:00||311 BSB||Caitlyn Yantis, email@example.com|
|34395||Friday, 2:00||219 BSB||Caitlyn Yantis|
|34396||Friday, 3:00||315 BSB||Jocelyn Shadforth, psch242TA@gmail.com|
|34397||Friday, 4:00||219 BSB||Jennifer Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org|
Lecture attendance will be assessed via your clicker. Be sure to bring them to class. Occasionally I will provide extra credit for correct answers on the clicker questions.
Office Hours & Communication
My office hours (1058b BSB) are Monday and Wednesday, from 9:00 to 1:30, or by appointment. Please e-mail me with questions, comments, or to make appointments. I am happy to hear from students on any & all issues related to the course. Names, e-mails, and office hours for Teaching Assistants are given below. Feel free to e-mail your TA for an appointment any time, or just show up during office hours. TAs for the course are:
The great majority of students are honest, and I rarely have to take action on cheating in this class. However, in fairness to other students I will not tolerate cheating. If you cheat on any test or assignment you will receive a '0' on that assignment / test, and may fail the entire class. If I feel it appropriate I will notify the Dean of Students, who will place a notice about the incident in your permanent record. There are no exceptions to this policy.