Research Methods (Psyc. 394)
Term 7, 2005
Bill Dragon
Office: 106C Law Hall
Office Hours: 11:15 - 12:15 PM Monday-Friday; or by appointment
Phone: 895-4281 or wdragon@cornellcollege.edu

Lecture/Discussion/Lab:
Monday - Friday 9:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Monday-Friday: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Textbooks:
Elmes, D. G., Kantowitz, B. H., & Roediger, H. L. (2003). Research methods in psychology (7th ed.). St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co.
American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.


Date

 DiscussionTopic

 Lab Assignment

March. 03

Beginning Psychological Research (1)
Read articles

March. 04

Explanation in Scientific Psychology (2)
Intro. 1st lab

March. 05

Conducting Ethical Research (3)
Code Data

March. 06

Exploring the Literature of Psychology (4)
Code Data

March. 07

Measurement in Psychological Research (5) Statistical Appendix A & B
Analyze Data

March. 10

Exam 1 (Chapters: 1,2,3,4,5, Apdx. A & B)
Discuss Results

March. 11

Presenting Research Results (13)
Writing Day

March. 12

Observation in Psychological Research (6)
1st Paper Due, Intro. 2nd lab

March. 13

Relational Research (7)
Code Data

March. 14

Basics of Experimentation (8)
Analyze Data

 March. 17

Exam 2 (Chapters: 6,7,8,13, Apdx. B)
Discuss Results

 March. 18

Experimental Design (9)
Writing Day

 March. 19

Complex Experimentation (10)
2nd Paper Due, Intro. 3rd lab

 March. 20

Alternate Experimental Designs (11)
Code Data

 March. 21

Interpreting the Results of Research (12)
Analyze Data

 March. 24

Cultural Influences
Discuss Results

 March. 25

Exam 3 (Chapters: 9,10,11,12, Culture)
Writing Day

 March. 26

3rd Paper Due

Goals of the course: This course is designed to familiarize you with many of the facets of research design and interpretation. You will learn not only the correct procedures to follow in conducting an experiment, you will also learn the effect faulty design and procedures have on the scientific enterprise.

The lab component of this course is designed to give you hands-on experience with data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of research results. Everyone will participate in three lab projects and will write a paper on each project in APA format. This experience is an invaluable tool for understanding experimental design.

The course will enable you to critically evaluate the reports of research you read. This ability will aid you selecting articles for your senior seminar paper. The course will also give you an ability to design your own research project. Therefore, this course will benefit those who will conduct further research either at Cornell or in graduate school and those who will occasionally evaluate the relevance of research findings they encounter in their personal or professional life.

Reading assignments and Morning Class: Class discussion/lecture will be based upon the readings listed for each day and will extend the material, not simply go over the same material presented in the book. Classes will require a high degree of participation. Therefore, it is critical that you complete the reading before class so that you will understand the material presented in class and can contribute to the discussion.

Afternoon Labs: There will be three lab reports. The first lab report will be given less weight than the second lab report and third lab report will carry the most weight when determining your final grade. Papers are due at 9:00 am every Monday. Any papers turned in after that time will be considered late. A paper will be reduced one third of a letter grade for each hour it is late. Therefore, plan your time accordingly. You do not need to wait until the analysis is completed to begin writing your paper. You can begin writing the introduction and method section as soon as the experiment has been introduced. A quick start on the introduction will spread the writing over several days and prevent a last minute CRUNCH.

Examinations: There will be three exams. The exams will cover material presented in class, labs, and in the text during the time period designated on the reading schedule below. Exams will be given only on the date indicated above and will start promptly at 9:00 am. The exams will be approximately two hours in length and will be composed of objective questions (50%) and essays (50%). Some of the questions will involve statistical calculations.

Make-ups will be given to students who have missed one of the scheduled exams. All make-ups will consist of several essays. Exams must be made up within two days of the actual exam date.

Grading: The exams will account for 60% of your course grade (First exam 30%, Second Exam 30%). The research project will account for 30% of your course grade and the lab reports will account for 9% of your grade. The final 1% of your final grade will be based on the discussion questions you turn in each day. Grades will be assigned on a percentage basis using:

 A  94%  B- 80%  D+ 67%
 A-  90%  C+ 77%  D 64%
 B+  87%  C 74%  D- 60%
 B  84%  C- 70%  F 59%

These percentages will be based on the total points possible in the course. The exams will account for 50% of your final grade. The lab reports will account for the other 50% of your final grade.

 Exams  Lab Reports
 1 = 17%  1 = 10%
 2 = 16%  2 = 15%
 3 = 17%  3 = 25%
 Total = 50%  Total = 50%

Academic Honesty: Any violation of academic honesty is a serious breach of the student-teacher relationship and the values of Cornell College. Therefore, violations of academic honesty will be treated accordingly. Any individual who cheats on an exam or turns in work that is not their own will receive a course grade of "F".

Class Attendance: Although attendance will not be taken during class it is obviously very important that you attend every class period and lab. Material covered on the exams will come from both the textbook and class. In addition, you will not be able to complete the labs if you are not in class.

Please be Prompt: Latecomers are very disruptive to everyone and may force us to continue beyond ending time. In addition, there are two behaviors that will absolutely not be tolerated in class; SMOKING, EATING, and Cell Phones.