Instructor: Dr. David E. Hogan
Office: BEP 365
Office hours: Monday through Thursday @ 2:00-3:30 pm or by appointment.
(For materials related specifically to this course follow links to the Research Methods web site from HoganŐs Home-page, or go directly to http://www.nku.edu/~hogan/psy210.htmlx)
Required text: Myers, A., and Hansen, C. (2006). Experimental Psychology (6h ed). Brooks/Cole. isbn 0534634419
The publishers support an on-line study guide for this text at http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M20bI&flag=instructor&product_isbn_issn=9780534634414&disciplinenumber=24
Course objectives. This course is an introduction to research methods that behavioral scientists use to identify and describe relationships among the environment, psychological processes, and behavior. The strengths and limitations of commonly employed experimental and non-experimental methods will be conveyed through lectures, demonstrations, and written sources (your textbook and journal articles). The course will also give you a first-hand experience in conducting an empirical research study of your own design, writing a report , and presenting the findings orally to your classmates. The project has been required of Psychology majors since 1994 and has been retained over the years because itŐs an excellent tool for helping students integrate and refine a host of scientifically useful skills such as creative problem solving, critical analysis, statistical reasoning, library research, technical writing, public speaking and time management.
Upon completion of the course, knowledgeable students will be able to
Grading policy. Your letter grade for the course will be based on the percentage of points earned in the course relative to the total course points. Total course points will be based on written exams (probably three valued at roughly 40 points each), quizzes and assignments worth an unspecified number of course points at the present time, and an independent research project consisting of an oral presentation (valued at 10 points) and a written report (65 points).You must accumulate between 90-100% of the total number of points for an "A", and somewhere between 80-89% for a "B", etc. (see grade scale below).
Grade Scale (3 exams + IRP)
90-100% = A; 80-89% = B; 70-79% = C; 60-69% = D; 59% & bellow = F
Course assignments will be used to illustrate a research method or a technique for organizing and analyzing data. Some assignments will be graded and some will not be graded; however, all assignments must be completed on time. Course points may be deducted from assignments that are not turned in on time.
All students are required take all of the exams, turn in all of the assignments, turn in the written paper and do the oral presentation. Failure to complete one or more of the aforementioned requirements will result in a failing grade for the course.
Exams. The exams will draw questions from lecture notes, the textbook and journal articles. Each exam will consist of multiple choice questions and short answer essay questions. Exams will be held during the week specified on the Class Schedule (see below). The exact day of an exam will be specified approximately one week before the test day. It is the studentŐs responsibility to be aware of changes regarding exam dates or chapters covered on exams. If an exam is missed without informing the instructor before the test date, the student may receive a score of zero on that exam. Make-up exams are given at the discretion of the instructor: students requesting a make-up exam must document any extraordinary circumstances which caused them to miss the exam, or turn an assignment in late. Course points may be deducted from make-up exam performance at the discretion of the instructor.
An independent research project (so-called IRP, go to http://www.nku.edu/~hogan/irp.htmlx) is required of everyone enrolled in the course. The project requires integration of several academic skills which students have been developing throughout their college tenure - framing an empirically testable hypothesis, reading, summarizing and critically evaluating relevant literature, analyzing and interpreting data, and communicating the findings in written and oral formats. The written component of the project should be approximately 8-10 pages of text (composed on a word processor) and drafted in a style developed by the American Psychological Association (so-called APA journal style).
The oral component of the project consists of a 10-12 minute presentation of the research to the class. The oral presentation should include a succinct summary of the main hypothesis, relevant literature, the procedure employed to test the hypothesis, the results (if available) and any conclusions/implications of the research. Details of the written proposal and the oral presentation, including due dates and other particulars, are posted on the web at http://www.nku.edu/~hogan/irp.htmlx.The site can be accessed through HoganŐs Home page, too.
Honor Code and Attendance. Students should become familiar with their rights and obligations set forth in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Instances of dishonest behavior, such as plagiarism or cheating on exams and assignments, as well as instances of disruptive behavior in the classroom are subject to disciplinary action as set forth in the Code. Regular attendance in this course is expected; absences due to a serious illness or a personal emergency or the like are certainly excusable, but students are expected to attend at least 95% of the meetings.
Seating and testing accommodations. Students needing special accommodations for note-taking or testing should contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester, or whenever the need arises.
Psy 210 Schedule of Topics
Topic Chapter Probable Week of Exam
Assumptions & Goals
Correlation Designs 5
Hypothesis Due (4th week) Sept. 14
Probable week of Exam 1 (6th week) Sept. 24-28
Quasi Designs 5
Experimental Designs 7
Between group designs:
Control techniques & analysis 8, 9, 14
Probable week of Exam 2 (12th week) Nov. 5-9
Factorial designs and analysis 10, 14
Repeated measures designs:
Control techniques & analysis 11
Small sample designs 12
IRP (written report) due (Last class day) Dec. 7
Probable date of Exam 3 Dec. 10 (Mon.) @ 10:10
IRP Presentation Dec. 12 (Wed.) @ 10:10