Laboratory in Social - Personality Psychology

Psych 313

Spring 2001

Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 11:50, 2057 BSB



R. Chris Fraley, Ph.D.

Office: 1050 A BSB


Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-3


Teaching Assistant

Chris Borecky,


Class Webpage




There is no textbook required for this course. Occasional readings will be distributed in class.




Students should already have credit for PSCH 100 (Introduction to Psychology), PSCH 242 (Introduction to Research in Psychology), and PSCH 343 (Statistical Methods in Psychological Science). In addition, you should have credit for or be concurrently enrolled in Psychology 312 (Social Psychology).




Although the objective of many courses is to introduce you to what psychologists have learned and personality and social behavior, the objective of this course is to expose you to how psychologists learn about personality and social behavior. The assignments, projects, readings, lectures, and discussion topics are all aimed at deepening your understanding of the research process, and how this process can inform our understanding of human nature. By the end of the semester you will have learned how to go about conducting your own studies in social-personality psychology. In addition, you will be better equipped to critically evaluate the work of other researchers.

Class time will be devoted to (a) demonstrations, (b) discussions, (c) lectures, (d) planning projects, (e) data collection, (f) entering and analyzing data using SPSP software, and (g) brief MicroSoft PowerPoint presentations of research projects by students.






Because this is a laboratory course in psychology, emphasis will be placed on research projects. The first project will be an experiment (using classmates as research subjects) that you will run in the classroom. This project should be a replication (and/or extension) of a previously published experiment. You will run your experiment with a groups of 3 to4 people, but each person will independently write a separate APA style paper (5-10 pages of text) describing the experiment. Two drafts of this paper will be required: (1) an initial one, not graded, but edited and (2) a final version that will be graded. In addition, students will be required to give groups presentations describing their experiments. Each team will have about 15-20 minutes for these PowerPoint presentations. The presentation for the first project will not be graded.


The second research project will involve the analysis of archival data. This study will be designed and carried out by groups of 4 to 5 students. Group presentations, using PowerPoint, will be given again in class. These 15 to 20 minute presentations will be graded. Each member of the group will receive the same grade based on the presentation, so groups members should work together to ensure that the presentation is as professional as possible. You will not have to write a formal APA-style paper for this project, but you will be asked to produce a 1-2 page report summarizing the project and your role in it.


The final project will be designed by you and your group members. The topic under study can be chosen by you. You may choose to pursue (a) something you were curious about based on your other projects, (b) an extension of published research, or (c) a neat idea of your own creation. Although the data will be collected and analyzed by the group, each member of the group is expected to independently write and turn-in a final APA-style paper describing the study.


To a greater extent than most other classes, this course requires you to be an active participant. Therefore, to a greater extent that those other classes, regular attendance is crucial. In addition, given the number of studies and demonstrations we will run in class, it is crucial that you show up for class on time.




20% Attendance and participation

20% First project write-up (replication and extension study)

20% Second project presentation (archival study)

10% Final project presentation

20% Final project write-up

10% Misc. assignments
Tentative Schedule




Week 1 Jan 8, 10

Course intro; design and plan field study



Week 2 Jan 15, 17

No class on Jan 15; collect field data



Week 3 Jan 22, 24

Discussion of data, data entry, and analysis; choose replication and extension project



Week 4 Jan 29, 31

Plan and design replication study; collect data



Week 5 Feb 5, 7

Collect and enter data



Week 6 Feb 12, 14

Analyze data



Week 7 Feb 19, 21

Presentations | write-up due on Feb 28

Student PowerPoint Presentations:

Jeff & Jessica

Danniele, Chloe, & Jennifer

Anne, Michelle, & Jamie

Jennifer, Marcia, Joliva, & Anne

Heather, Sara, Amy, & Rose

Maria, Brenda, & Cherie

Naveen & Racquell



Week 8 Feb 26, 28

Discussion of archival methods



Week 9 Mar 5, 7

Archival research projects



Week 10 Mar 12, 14

Spring Break No class



Week 11 Mar 19, 21

Enter and analyze archival data



Week 12 Mar 26, 28

Enter and analyze archival data
Presentations of archival projects |
Write-up due on April 4



Week 13 April 2, 4

Presentations of archival projects



Week 14 April 9, 11

Design final research project
Collect data



Week 15 April 16, 18

Collect data, enter and analyze data



Week 16 April 23, 25

Presentations of final projects | write-up due on April 23