Psychology as a Science
Psychology as a science
Dr. Alana Siegel
Mondays: October 15, 2018 – January 7, 2019
12:00-14:00, Room TBC
Office Hours: By appointment
To sharpen students’ skills to find, read, evaluate and understand existing research literature, as found in academic journals, governmental reports, media, and non-profit publications.
For students to learn how to conduct their own research. Students will learn about how to design a research study, to write a basic proposal, formulate hypotheses, and complete IRB submissions. Students will have the opportunity to work on their academic writing skills.
Class participation and attendance (10% of final course grade): It is expected that all students will complete assigned readings and be active participants in class discussions. All class readings can be found on the course Moodle.
Assignment #1: Literature search (10% of final course grade): Dr. Siegel will provide a variety of research questions, and students will have to select one question, perform a literature search, and then submit a bibliography list of 20 citations.
Assignment #2: Literature Summary (30% of final course grade): Please select one topic of your choice and write a 2 page literature review.
Midterm multiple-choice exam (19% of final course grade): Students will be asked to complete a multiple choice and short answer exam.
Final Research Project Outline (31% of final course grade): Please submit a suggested research study (may be on humans or animals) with 2 research hypotheses, an abstract, a literature review, an outline of the research design, and a bibliography. 8 pages, bibliography not included.
All citations must be in APA format. See here for examples of how to cite: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
*** All assignments must be in Times New Roman, 12-point font, 1” margins, and double-spaced. ***
Attendance is mandatory. Students are permitted a maximum of three unexcused absences without penalty. Any additional absences will affect the final grade and may result in failure of the course.
Plagiarism is taken extremely seriously. Any instance of academic misconduct which includes: submitting someone else’s work as your own; failure to accurately cite sources; taking words from another source without using quotation marks; submission of work for which you have previously received credit; working in a group for individual assignments; using unauthorized materials in an exam and sharing your work with other students, will result in failure of the assignment and will likely lead to further disciplinary measures.
Should students be found to be text messaging, using their cell phone, or Internet surfing will be asked to leave class.
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Cozby, P. & Bates, S. (2015). Methods in behavioral research: Twelfth edition. New York: McGraw Hill Education.
Morling, B. (2015). Research methods in psychology: Evaluating a world of information (2nd ed.). New York: Norton & Company. https://www.amazon.com/Research-Methods-Psychology-Evaluating-Information/dp/0393935469
Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (2000). The elements of style (4th ed.). New York: Longman. https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Style-Fourth-William-Strunk/dp/0881030686
Willig, C. (2008). Introducing qualitative research in psychology: Adventures in theory and method (second edition). New York: Open University Press.
Week Date Reading
1 October 15 An overview and history of the scientific method
Reading: Morling, Chapter 1
2 October 22 How to generate a research hypothesis and how to conduct a literature search.
How to conduct a literature review: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3df9/4cd7b50d5738f93ab596b16e9991459aae55.pdf
Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: The Literature Review: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/literaturereview
3 October 29 Ethics in research and writing; informed consent; working with human subjects; and submitting an IRB
Assignment #1 is due.
Readings: Morling, pages 90-111
APA. Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Section 8 “Research and Publication” https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/principles.pdf
4 November 5 How to read a research article, an introduction to writing a research proposal.
Explanation of assignment #2.
Bem, D. (2002). Writing the empirical journal article. In Darley, J. M., Zanna, M. P., & Roediger III, H. L. (Eds). The Compleat Academic: A Career Guide. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Chapter 2: Manuscript Structure and Content
- Chapter 3: Writing Clearly and Concisely
5 November 12 **Dr. Siegel will be away at a conference on this day. There will be a guest lecturer.**
How to write a descriptive statistics section and how to read graphs
Readings: APA Manual, Chapter 5: Displaying results
6 November 19 Surveys, observations, and samplings
Assignment #2 is due
Readings: Morling, Chapters 6 and 7
Cozby & Bates, Chapter 7 (optional)
7 November 26 Mid-term exam
8 December 3 Measurement Concepts
Readings: Cozby & Bates, Chapter 5
9 December 10 Conducting Experiments
Readings: Cozby & Bates, Chapter 9
10 December 17 Qualitative vs. quantitative research
Readings: Willig, Chapter 2
Cozby & Bates, Chapter 6
Optional: Willig Chapters 3 and 4
11 December 24 Reliability and validity, and threats to internal validity, replicability
Readings: Morling, Chapter 5 and Chapter 14
12 December 31 Independent and dependent variables, within-group and independent-group designs
Reading: Morling, Chapter 10
13 January 7 Quasi-experimental designs; longitudinal vs. cross-sectional designs
Readings: Cozby & Bates, Chapter 11