Syllabus for PSY-322

RESEARCH IN EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Research in Experimental Psychology (PSY-322) provides an introduction to the research methods used by experimental psychologists as they attempt to understand human behavior. Examples of research studies, chosen from a variety of areas of experimental psychology, demonstrate these methods and provide you with an understanding of the knowledge these studies have produced.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:  

  1. Explain why the scientific thinking used in psychological research is better than common sense as a means of acquiring knowledge about behavior.
  2. Explain the logic of the psychology experiment and describe the features of experimental methodology intended to satisfy that logic.
  3. Compare and contrast predictive and causal relations between variables.
  4. Compare and contrast manipulated and non-manipulated variables.
  5. Explain the problem of confounding in psychological experiments and describe methods used to minimize the problem.
  6. Describe ways of summarizing patterns of data.
  7. Explain the principle of drawing inferences from patterns of data and describe ways of measuring the confidence that should be attached to these inferences.
  8. Describe factors that limit the generalizing of experimental findings in psychology.
  9. Describe the analysis required to determine whether experimental findings are accidental.
  10. Describe the format for reporting research findings.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the college's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.


Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-0-495-60231-6

Note: The Study Guide was written to accompany an earlier edition of the textbook. In that edition the current Chapter 5 had been Chapter 4. Therefore, the supplement in the Study Guide titled "Supplement to Chapter 4: Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient" is a supplement to current Chapter 5, not Chapter 4. Also, you will not be able to check answers to your Review and Study Guide Questions in the Study Guide. In all other ways the Study Guide matches the current textbook.

Study Guide

COURSE STRUCTURE

Research in Experimental Psychology is a 3-credit online course consisting of ten (10) modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in three (3) graded online discussion forums, complete and submit six (6) written assignments, submit a research project, and take two proctored examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to submitting six written assignments for this class, you are required to introduce yourself and participate in three (3) graded online class discussions.

Your first posting, "Introductions," will give you a chance to tell your mentor and classmates something about yourself and to find out who they are. You should post your introduction in the Introductions forum on the class Discussion Board and respond to at least two of your classmates' responses.

 

Deadlines for posting discussion threads on the class Discussion Board are given in the course Calendar.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six (6) written assignments.These assignments build toward your research project report. (See next section.)

Research Project Report

As already stated, your assignments all build toward the research project report. Their goal is to guide you through to completion of the experimental design of your research project and to its implementation.

The completed Research Project Report must be presented in the proper format. Your report must be free of errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Handwritten reports will not be accepted.

Note: The Research Project Report is worth approximately one-quarter of your final grade.

The directions for the Research Project Report can be found within the Module 10. (See also the course Calendar.)

Examinations

You are required to take two (2) proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Midterm Examination

The midterm is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers material from Modules 1 through 5 of the course. It consists of multiple choice and short essay questions. The exam is drawn from the text and assigned readings. You will not be asked to do any statistical calculations on the exam.

Final Examination

The final is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers material in Modules 6 through 10. Like the midterm exam, it consists of multiple choice and short essay questions. The exam is drawn from the text and assigned readings. You will not be asked to do any statistical calculations on the exam.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

 

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.

 

 

Plagiarism

Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

 

Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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