PSY 220: RESEARCH METHODS & STATISTICS
Instructor: Connie Wolfe, Ph.D. Office phone: 866-7318
Office: 155 Goodrich Home phone: 265-6594 (9am – 9pm only please)
OFFICE HOURS: Check the sign up sheet on my door.
Please stop by during office hours, phone, or send me e-mail with any questions or concerns you have at any point. I also invite you to stop by just to chat about psychology or other topics. I look forward to getting to know each of you! J
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Course Schedule 4pm section
|Revised (4/1/02) Poster & Presentation Instruction Guide|
|General Writing Tips for Writing an Empirical Ψ Paper|
Prerequisites: ID 147 and Psychology 111
Stangor, C. (1998). Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin
with Stangor, C. (1998). Using SPSS for Windows. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.
Reserve & On-line Readings
There will also be required readings on the web or that you will photocopy.
Course Description and Overview: This is an intensive course that provides you with hands-on experience running studies, analyzing and interpreting data, and with preparation of APA style research presentations. There are many assignments and it is important to keep up with the class. REGULAR CLASS ATTENDANCE IS ESSENTIAL.
Why are we here? The goal of this course is to obtain firsthand knowledge about how information is acquired and communicated in psychology. By the end of the term you will have learned how to: design, run, analyze, and present psychological research. Learning about research methods will also help you think critically about research in psychology (and other fields). This class tends to be an interesting mix of really fun projects, less-than-fascinating textbook details of research methodology and (a mix of) assignments. Everything is important to the “big picture” so you need to make a commitment now to keep up with the readings, study hard, ask any questions you have, and be an active, engaged student.
Coursework: The course goals will be met using a combination of approaches. In your textbook, you will be reading about issues involved with various research methods. You’ll be completing many homework assignments and taking several quizzes and a final exam. To make learning more salient, you will collect and analyze data using several techniques you will learn about. In particular, we (as a class) will be conducting a campus survey and you (as an individual) will write up that study. Another major assignment for the course will be a group research project. In your small group, you will design, run, analyze and report on a study. At the end of the semester, your group will make an oral presentation to the class about your results, and there will be a poster session presenting everyone’s research to other psychology students and faculty.
Grading: Your final grade will be determined by the following:
30% Quizzes (6 @5% each)
5% Drafts of survey paper
15% Final Survey Paper (revised)
15% Grp. Project Poster
5% Grp. Project Presentation
15% Final cumulative exam
Homework Assignments & Drafts of campus survey paper: The homework assignments will be many and varied. They will include in-class assignments, worksheets and some statistical assignments. Both the homework assignments and the drafts for the campus survey paper will be graded using: Ö+, Ö, Ö-. I will be looking to see that you demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of the concepts involved, and that your writing is clear and organized. Assignments that are late or insufficiently complete will be given a grade of 0. A check plus will roughly translate into an “A”, a check into a “B” and a check minus into a “C.” Typically, homework should be typed, double-spaced, and proof-read. Missed in-class assignments cannot be made up.
Quizzes/Exam: There will be six quizzes covering textbook and in-class material. Each of these is worth 5% of your final grade. The final exam is worth 15% of your final grade and will be cumulative. The tests may be a mixture of multiple choice, fill-in, matching, and essay type questions – whatever suits the material. I will give you more information before each quiz.
Final Survey Paper (revised): After getting feedback on the draft write-ups of each section, you will submit a final revised version of the write-up about the campus survey we conduct. Grades will be based on the following abilities:
To draw clear and justified inferences linking previous theorizing to the hypotheses of the current study, and show that you understand the hypotheses and where they come from.
To present and to explain procedures and data clearly.
To go beyond the data and make inferences about what the results mean in the big picture.
To use APA style appropriately.
To write clear and organized papers that flow well from start to finish.
(Note: A grade of Ö+ on a draft does not mean that the paper is already an A paper. It merely means that you have met my expectations for your first attempt – my standards for a final revision are much stricter.)
Group Project: You all will be designing, conducting and reporting on a research project that you do with one or two other classmates. I would like to help you in any way I can, and I must be kept informed about the details of the project. Otherwise, however, this project is yours to conduct independently. Your results will be presented in an oral presentation and a poster. Grades for the poster will be based on the above survey paper criteria as well as your group’s design of a professionally attractive, engaging poster that is easy and interesting to read. Your oral presentation (all members of the group are required to speak) will be graded on the basis of its clarity and completeness, as well as skill at answering questions. In most instances, your entire group will receive the same grade for the poster. I do not know of any fair way to grade each of you individually, please let me know if you have ideas. Most of your group presentation grade will reflect the overall presentation, but a portion will reflect your unique contribution.
Final Course Grades will be assigned as follows:
F below 60%
I try to treat students fairly and provide as much information as I can regarding grading criteria, expectations and deadlines. However, I am also very strict regarding these issues. Generally, I will do my best to meet you half-way if you are having problems meeting deadlines or understanding the material. However, you must also meet me half-way, by alerting me to potential problems early on and by sticking to any alternate plans we make. Please feel free to come see me anytime you feel you need extra help or guidance, I’d like this class to be a positive experience for each of you!
If you have any specific needs (e.g. related to vision, hearing, learning, or medical conditions, etc.) or any religious or cultural practices that I can help accommodate, please let me know by the second week of class or as the situations arise so I can make the appropriate arrangements.
**Note - the 5th Edition of the APA Manual is now available and multiple copies are on reserve at Duggan Library**
In addition to the assigned readings from the 4th Edition of the Publication Manual, you will be held responsible for following the rules and guidelines described in the following portions of the manual:
Basic Grammar, pp. 31-45
The Very Nitty Gritty:
Punctuation, capitalization, abbreviation, pp. 62-89
Use of Headings, 90-93
Quotes & Citations in the text, pp. 95-98
Numbers, pp. 99-105
Writing up your Statistical Results, pp. 111-119
When & How to Make Tables (pp. 120-141) and Figures (pp. 141-162)
Using Appendixes, pp. 166-167
Citing references in the text (pp. 168-174) and on your Reference list (pp. 174-222)
Typing your manuscript (spacing, margins, order of parts of manuscript, etc.):
pp. 239 – 242 and pp. 248 - 255
You may have been instructed in previous psychology classes to conform to some subset of the APA guidelines for writing your papers. Welcome to what is probably your first exposure to APA style in all its glory! This will probably seem very tedious (okay, it IS very tedious), but it is important. One goal of this course is to teach you how to write a clear, organized, APA-style research paper. APA style will haunt you if you continue on to graduate school in psychology. Even if you don’t, however, you will have to follow some sort of guidelines no matter where you go or what you write in the future. At the very least, you will certainly always need to be clear, organized and grammatically accurate in your writing. Consider learning APA style to be a vigorous exercise in writing well.
I strongly encourage you to begin acquainting yourself with the Publication Manual and the rules in it NOW. (Lesson one: forget EVERYTHING you learned about “MLA” style.) Trying to make your paper conform to APA guidelines the night before it is due will make you crazy and result, probably, in a not-so-good paper. I suggest you tackle some subset of these rules in each homework assignment and paper draft you turn in to me so that when it really counts (the final versions of your research papers), you will be able to write in APA style with ease.
I am ALWAYS happy to review drafts with you, discuss any rules that are unclear to you, help you figure out which rule applies, and help you understand HOW to use this manual (it can be confusing initially). Please come to me with ANY questions or problems. Unless you come to me, however, I will assume that the manual is relatively clear to you. Generally, we will not explicitly address APA style in class lectures or discussions.
Never hesitate to come to me with any questions or comments you have. However, the web sites below might also be useful in answering questions, presenting topics from a different perspective, etc. If any page won’t load, you might try cutting off the last “phrase” of the address (after a “/”) and surfing from the parent site.
WRITING YOUR PAPER (APA STYLE HELP):
ADVICE ON READING JOURNAL ARTICLES:
CHOOSING, READING AND WRITING ABOUT JOURNAL ARTICLES (this page is written as advice for a specific assignment, but contains many generally useful tips):
On-line stats text with interactive demonstrations: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lane/rvls.html
Statistics Glossary: http://www.cas.lancs.ac.uk/glossary_v1.1/main.html
Statistical Calculator (does a few stats we use): http://www.stat.ucla.edu/calculators/
On-line Methodology textbook: http://trochim.human.cornell.edu/kb/index.htm
Internal Validity Work Problems: http://trochim.human.cornell.edu/tutorial/Martin/example.htm
INTERESTING SITES TO SURF:
A short paper on reasoning with statistics: http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~taflinge/evistats.html
¨Interesting Newsclips (from the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS), a nonpartisan, non-profit research organization devoted to the accurate use of scientific and quantitative information in public policy debate): http://www.stats.org/statswork/index.html
¨Dubious Data (a.k.a. Fishiest Facts) Awards: http://www.stats.org/awards/index.html