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PSY 311:  Experimental Psychology
Dr. Keith Markus, Fall 2003
Classroom:  332T

Times:  Section 06 meets T & TH, 11:05-12:20 (lecture) & 12:30-1:45 (laboratory).  I set my watch to and will use that to determine the start and end of class periods.  Trust hallway clocks at your own peril.

Purpose:  The purpose of this course consists of providing a foundation in experimental, quasi-experimental, and other research methods commonly used in psychology.  Students will gain first hand experience in formulating hypotheses, designing research, writing research proposals, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing, reviewing, and revising research reports.  The course provides a foundation for critical thinking about psychological knowledge by raising the question "How do we know about psychology?" and surveying the types of answers available.  The course further provides a foundation in the style of technical writing appropriate to psychological research reports.

About this Syllabus:  This syllabus serves as your road map and survival guide for this course.  It provides information essential to passing the course.  Take time to familiarize yourself with the syllabus and always keep it handy.  Note that should there be any conflict between the syllabus and your common-sense expectations, the syllabus trumps your expectations.  Always follow the syllabus.  For example:  The final paper comes due at the start of the final exam period for a reason and papers turned in late will count as late even if it seems like it should not matter.

Text Books:
    Martin, D. W. (2004).  Doing psychology experiments (6th ed.).  Florence, KY:  Brooks Cole Pub.

    Horvat, J. & Davis, S. (1998).  Doing psychological research.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.

    American Psychological Association (1994).  Publication Manual (5th ed.).  Washington, DC:  Author.

General Course Requirements:  In addition to attending class, you will need time to work in the library and time to work together with your group.

Email Account & Web Access: This course requires you to have an email account and access to the World Wide Web.  If you do not already have an email account, you may obtain one from the College by following the instructions on the College home page under the Student Email Access link.  If you do not have home access to the Web, you can access it from the Academic Computing Center, the Lloyd Seally Library, the College Cyber-cafe and Cyber-lounge, most public libraries, or any other place that offers such access.  You are responsible for scheduling time to use the Web when you have access to such resources.

Attendance:  I will not penalize non-attendance, but absence tends to bring its own penalties.  I do not allow make-ups for missed quizzes or assignments.  You can only miss one exam without penalty.  If you do not attend class regularly, you will probably do poorly in the course even without a specific absence penalty.  So make a habit of attending every class.  If you completely stop attending class for a period spanning two exams, I will assign you a WU grade.  In the event that you do miss a class, I do not require any documentation from you.  If you keep up with the course, the grading system described below allows a sufficient cushion should something cause you to miss one or more classes.

For the purposes of College records, I will pass around an attendance sheet.  It is your individual responsibility to initial the attendance sheet.  If I forget to pass the attendance sheet around, remind me.  Never initial the attendance sheet for another person.  Never use red ink.

Papers:  The papers for this course constitute a series of short assignments, building toward a final paper.  These papers parallel the process psychologists go through in conducting and reporting experiments.  Most of the papers are electronic submissions that you will complete using your email account or the Blackboard Web page.

Format.  All papers must be typed.  All papers should be written in accordance with APA style but only printed papers should follow APA format as described in the 5th edition of the APA Publication Manual.  Electronic papers should follow the format given under their descriptions in this syllabus.  For electronic papers, indicate underscore _like this_.

Martin (2004) also discusses APA style and APA format.  I have not made any specific reading assignments from the Publication Manual.  Read it and use it and a reference tool.  If you have questions about APA format, raise them in class.  The Manual overrules any other source on APA format (including Martin and myself).

Lateness.  Papers are due at the beginning of class.  I will allow a ten minute grace period.  Anything turned in after that constitutes a late submission and will not receive full credit (see below).  I judge timeliness of electronic submissions by the time and date in the Web document.  Technology cannot be 100% reliable, so leave yourself some time to provide a margin for error.

A 20% penalty applies to late assignments.   Late individual assignments may be accepted for full credit only in the case of documented emergencies.  I deem events emergencies at my discretion.  To provide some frame of reference, the following are not emergencies:  caught in traffic (leave early), doctor's appointment (plan ahead), death of printer (do not wait until the last minute).  I will request written documentation of emergencies.  I do this simply for your protection so that I can document the reason for the grade that I assign should I need to.

I will not accept late group papers for full credit under any circumstances.  Lateness penalties apply to all members of a group if that group's paper is late.  If you are concerned that something may prevent you from turning in an assignment on the day it is due, turn it in early.  Early papers are always welcome.  As a general rule, it is better to turn in an imperfect paper on time than a perfect paper late (maximum grade = 80%).  Always turn something in:  A completely wrong paper with nothing missing (~50%) will affect your grade much less than a missing paper (0%).

Length.  Page counts do not include title pages, references, appendices, or other extraneous material.  Page maximums are intended as safeguards against mission creep.  Concentrate on doing what is assigned, and doing it well.  Do not try to make additional work for yourself by exceeding the parameters of the assigned task.  Papers under the minimum page limit may be penalized, but it is better to turn in something under the limit than nothing at all.  Papers need not exceed the minimum length in order to earn full credit.  If you concentrate on the substance of the assignment, length should take care of itself.

General assignment for all papers.  Your papers involve a research project.  It is up to you to choose your own topic and design your own study using the skills acquired from the readings and lectures.  Nevertheless, your project must conform to one of the following  general categories.  (These categories will keep you within the bounds of what you have approval to do without additional Institutional Review Board review, for which you do not have time.)

Category I:  Category I includes any research project using archival data.  My Web page contains links to some good sources of archival data.  The Library home page contains additional sources.   Under certain circumstances, you can also reanalyze data from published sources.  This requires a table reporting a crosstabulation of more than two variables or a correlation matrix with many variables in the printed article.  You can also build a data set by coding case studies from psychiatry journals.  You can also build a data set from published tables by using aggregates (years, cities, countries, etc. -- as opposed to people) as observations and matching them across tables.  Whatever the source, it is up to you to obtain the data for analysis.  You must identify the source of your data in your papers (for ICPSR, use the four-digit study number, for other Web sources, give the URL).

An additional requirement is that you test a new hypothesis using the archival data.  You cannot simply reproduce analyses that have already been done.  The idea is to test a new idea on an existing data set.  Often times this will involve selecting a subset of the sample in the data set to form a new sample  (for example you might select female first-year police officers out of a sample of police officers).  It may also involve combining existing variables to form a new variable that addresses your specific interest (for example, a "bachelor" variable might be constructed out of "age," "gender," and "marital status").  The task in a Category I study involves finding a way to use the existing data to test your hypothesis.

The most common point of confusion with Category I involves confusing references (published articles and such) with archival data (actual case-level data sets that you can download, not just statistical summaries across cases).  The former generally does not suffice to provide the latter except under the special conditions described above.  If in doubt, check with me about data you think that you might use.

Category II:  Category II includes any research project involving the collection of new data by recording publicly observable behavior of adults inside the buildings on campus.  Publicly observable behavior only includes behavior observed at a distance, without the observer concealing his or her self, without any contact or interaction with the person observed, without recording the identity of the person observed, without intervening in the environment of the person observed, and in a location freely accessible to all members of the College community.  Such locations include hallways, the cafeteria, the library, and the areas outside of offices offering services to students.  Such locations exclude the insides of offices, classrooms, rest rooms, and any other restricted access area.  Category II projects must take explicit precautions to exclude minors from the research population.

For example, you can measure the flow of traffic in various North Hall stairwells before and after the central stairway closes for painting.  You cannot measure how many books you can stuff in your shirt before someone approaches you in the bookstore or library.  You can measure the waiting time and average time at the counter from outside a College office (e.g., Bursar, Registrar).  You cannot measure which people behind the counter take the longest to complete a transaction.  You can measure the proportion of students leaving a classroom during class time who make a phone call at different times of the day, so long as you do it from outside the classroom.  You cannot measure the behavior of anyone inside a classroom.  The task in a Category II project involves designing a sampling strategy and a means of coding behaviors that allows you to test your hypothesis.

Category III:  Category III projects involve collecting new data involving the behavior of electronic devices, computers, or artificially intelligent systems.  These include anything from PC computer programs to Furby dolls to clock radios, so long as you stick to inanimate objects.  If you have only one such participant available, consider a single-subject design (Martin, 2004, Chapter Ten).  Alternatively, consider treating stimuli sampled from a domain as cases, and the participant as the constant stimulus.  The most difficult aspect of Category III projects may involve finding relevant literature.  Choosing an aspect of the behavior of the artificially intelligent object that parallels an aspect of human behavior provides one strategy for finding links to existing literature.  For example, both people and grammar checkers interpret sentence structures.  On the other hand, using your TV remote control to cause Furby to continuously burp does not hold any obvious psychological interest.  This category offers the least restrictions on your research design, so use your creativity.  Other examples previously proposed in this category include studies of virtual pets, voice recognition software, and of robotic dogs.  (Warning:  new Furbies follow a natural developmental process that will generally exceed the time available for data collection, so you need to match the maturation level of the Furbies to your data collection period.)

Category IV:  Category IV projects involve testing hypotheses about authors' writing behavior by coding observations from library books, published articles, Web pages, or other published sources.  For example, in a previous semester one project looked at changes in the use of gender-neutral pronouns over time.  One might also use the preface to code reasons for writing to study motivation among authors.  You can exercise a good deal of flexibility in coding your variables based on text included in the publication, demographic variables characterizing the author, the publisher, the topic, or any other codable variable derived from information contained in the publication.  This category allows you considerable access to data within the constraints of what you can code from publications and Web pages.  The closer you stick to formulating a hypothesis about human authors, the easier you will find it to connect your study to existing research.

Category V:  Category V projects involve testing hypotheses by coding behavior from publicly available audio or video recordings.  For example, you can use recordings of TV programs, movies, or radio.  You cannot use recordings that you make live (as opposed to taping a broadcast) or that the general public does not have access to.  Develop and test a hypothesis by coding discrete behaviors from the recording (e.g., word use, eye contact, blinking, aggression).  Independent variables (see Martin, 2004) can reflect attributes of the recording external to the recording itself (e.g., year, source, broadcast time).  I have not used this category before, so you may discover some sticking points along the way.  This category and Category II share a lot in common and so the same issues may arise.  Expect the sampling procedure to pose the greatest design challenge in this category.  On a practical note, leave yourself enough time to code the behavior.  For example, verbatim transcription can take 30 minutes for every minute of recording.  On the other hand, less detailed coding might take only 3 minutes for every minute of recording.

Initial Proposal (electronic submission).  Post a message to the designated discussion forum using the following format.  Replace the material in parentheses with the requested information.  State items 6, 7 & 12 in terms of abstract variables and items 8, 9 & 13 in terms of concrete observations.  Make sure that your proposal contains all 11 parts.  Make sure to include your name at the end of the proposal.  Pay careful attention to the way Martin (2004) defines the words used in the assignment.  (Always check your post after you post it to make sure that it posted properly.)

1. Author (Your full name)
2. Affiliation (Your college)
3. Title:  (Project title of 15 words or less.)
4. Project Category:  (I, II, III, IV, or V)
5. Abstract:  (Summarize your proposal in one APA-style paragraph.)
6. IV:  (State the independent variable.)
7. DV: (State the dependent variable.)
8. IV Operation:  (Explain how you will operationalize your IV.)
9. DV Operation:  (Explain how you will operationalize your DV.)
10. Population:  (Name the population from which you will sample.)
11. Sample:  (Describe the sample you will use in your study including the sample size.)
12. Theory:  (State the theory that implies your hypothesis.)
13. Hypothesis:  (State the hypothesis as a prediction.)

Grading:  Items 1 through 13 earn 1 point each.  Six additional points awarded for overall grammaticality, clarity and cohesiveness (0 = inadequate, 1 = adequate, 2 = exceptional for each).

Suggestions (electronic submission).  You are each responsible for making a minimum of 15 contributions to the discussion of the papers on the Blackboard discussion boards over the course of the semester.  Note that the material to comment on will reduce in quantity (and increase in quality) as the semester progresses.  Also, I will close forums as new forums open.  So, try to complete your 15 by mid semester.  Always read the other suggestions before you post a new one.  You can offer a new suggestion for a problem already mentioned in a previous post (still include all three sections in your post), but do not repeat a suggestion already posted.

When commenting on a proposal, use the following format:
A. Quotation:  (Quotation or paraphrase of the section of the proposal on which you wish to comment.)
B. Problem:  (Clear statement of the problem that you see with the section.)
C. Suggestion:  (One suggestion for how to address the problem.)
If you have more than one suggestion, put them in separate posts commenting on the same problem (see grading:  one post counts as one point even if it contains multiple suggestions).

Use the same subject line (use the reply button) so that readers can easily connect your post with the proposal to which your suggestions apply.  It usually works best if you delete portions of the proposal that do not relate to your comments and quote only specific sections relating to your comments.  Use greater-than signs for Internet style quotation.

A. Quotation:
> 2. IV:  The IVs are the students that I will observe.
B. Problem:
  IVs describe students but the students constitute the sample not the IV.
C. Suggestion:
  I think that your IV is actually the age of the students.  Is that what you meant?

    Notice a variety of things about the above example:  First, the greater-than sign sets off the first line as a direct quotation from a proposal.  Second, only the material that relates to the suggestion gets included.  Third, the suggestion articulates the apparent problem with the proposal but also makes a positive suggestion for how to correct the problem.  Finally, the email focuses on the proposal and not the proposer (this allows us to avoid flame wars).  Always write in a polite and collegial manner.

Keep a log of your contributions by recording the date and subject line for each post.  Email me a copy of your log before each examination.  Maintain a cumulative log for the entire semester, do not start fresh after each exam.  (You can do this by saving it before you send it, or sending a copy to yourself.)

Sample Log:
Name:  Keith Markus
Suggestions:  4
1. 1/5/01 Cafeteria food and nausea.
2. 1/6/01 Why do rest rooms always close between classes?
3. 1/6/01 Cafeteria food and nausea.
4. 1/13/01 Effects of book return due date on bookstore lines.

Grading:  Your grade for email list participation will be based upon your final log, emailed to me prior to Exam Four. The denominator for your percentage grade, 15, reflects the minimum requirement.  The Numerator is a little more complex.  If you make 15 or fewer posts, then the numerator is simply the number of posts.  If you make more than 15, then the numerator is 15 plus 10p/(p + 5) where p is the number of posts minus 15.  For example, 10 posts gives you 67%, 15 posts gives you 100%, 20 posts gives you 133%, and 25 posts gives you 144%.  The maximum possible is about 1.67%  As such, participation in the discussion provides one source of extra credit.  Note, however, that gratuitous posts (without substantive content) may not count toward your final grade.  Post and post often, but do not post just for the sake of posting.

Final Proposal (electronic submission).  Post a revised proposal to the designated discussion forum using the following format.  Add a literature review to your proposal.  Include at least three research reports from academic journals in your literature review.  References to books are acceptable if they report specific empirical studies.  You should cite your theoretical sources, but these do not count toward the three references to previous research.  Describe the studies and show how they relate to your proposed research.  Make any revisions in your proposed study suggested by the literature.  (Simply describe the altered research design, do not describe the changes.)

1. Author (Your full name)
2. Affiliation (Your college)
3. Title:  (Project title of 15 words or less.)
4. Project Category:  (I, II, III, IV, or V)
5. Abstract:  (Summarize your proposal in one APA-style paragraph.)
6. IV:  (State the independent variable.)
7. DV: (State the dependent variable.)
8. IV Operation:  (Explain how you will operationalize your IV.)
9. DV Operation:  (Explain how you will operationalize your DV.)
10. Population:  (Name the population from which you will sample.)
11. Sample:  (Describe the sample you will use in your study including the sample size and sampling method.  Make it clear exactly what will determine which cases from the population get into your sample.)
12. Theory:  (State the theory that implies your hypothesis.  State it in terms of your IV and DV.)
13. Hypothesis:  (State the hypothesis as a prediction.  State it in terms of your operations.)
14. Hypothesis test:  (State the statistical analysis that will test your hypothesis and how you will interpret the results.)
15. Relevance to previous research:  (Explain how your study relates to previously reported research studies.  Discuss at least three distinct studies from academic journals.  For each study, describe what they did, what they found, and explicitly relate it to your study.  I recommend discussing each study in a separate paragraph with each of the three points clearly indicated in each paragraph.)
16. Ethical Concerns:  (Indicate any ethical concerns and how they are addressed.  If none, state that there are none.)
17. Reference list:  (Use exact APA format.)

Grading:  Items 1 through 17 earn 1 point each except item 15 which counts for 3 points.  Eight additional points awarded for overall grammaticality, clarity, cohesiveness, and depth of discussion (0 = inadequate, 1 = adequate, 2 = exceptional for each).  Each empirical reference counts 1/3 for items 15 and 17.

Four Recommendations Regarding Final Proposals (electronic submission).  I will assign you four proposals.  Your task involves reading the four proposals that I have assigned (hopefully you already have, but it never hurts to refresh your memory) and rating the proposal using the following scales.

Use the following scale for your overall recommendation for this proposal.
(5) Exceptional (definitely accept)
(4) Good (accept if possible)
(3) Acceptable (consider as is)
(2) Weak (consider only with revisions)
(1) Unacceptable (reject)

Use the following scale for your evaluation of the research design irrespective of the topic.  Consider how well the design succeeds in providing useful information about the topic.
(5) Exceptional design
(4) Good design
(3) Acceptable design
(2) Weak design
(1) Unacceptable design

Use the following scale for your evaluation of the proposed topic irrespective of the research design.  If you ranked all the proposals in terms of the importance of the topic to psychology and divided them into five equal-sized categories, into which category would you put this proposal?
(5) Top 20%
(4) Second 20%
(3) Middle 20%
(2) Second to bottom 20%
(1) Bottom 20%

Send your ratings to me in the following format:
Reviewer: [Your name]

Proposal: [Title of proposal]
Author: [Author of proposal]
Recommendation:  [Your rating]
Evaluation of overall research design:  [Your rating]
Evaluation of overall topic:  [Your rating]

Repeat the last five items four times, once for each proposal.  You do not have to type out all the options, just provide your three ratings for each of the four proposals clearly indicating which go with which.  Remember that you do not have to work on every project (only one).  So, rate them in terms of their inherent quality and not in terms of your particular interest in the choice of topic or willingness to participate in that particular project.

Send this assignment to me as a private email.  Do not post your recommendations to the Blackboard page.

Grading:  One point per usable numeric rating for four proposals yields (3 x 4 =) 12 points.

Progress Report (electronic submission).  Provide the requested information in a post to the discussion board using the following format:

1. Authors (List all team members' full names)
2. Affiliations
3. Title:  (Project title of 15 words or less.)
4. Abstract:  (Summarize your proposal and results in one APA-style paragraph.)
5. IV
6. DV
7. Sample Size:  (State the number of observations in your data set.)
8. Hypothesis:  (Restate your hypothesis.)
9. Hypothesis Test:  (Restate your planned statistical analysis indicating what result corresponds to your substantive hypothesis.)
10. Descriptive Statistics:  (Report appropriate descriptive statistics, such as means or a crosstabulation.)
11. Inferential Statistics: (Report appropriate inferential statistics, such as a t test or chi-square test.)
12. Interpretation:  (State your interpretation of the analysis as it relates to your hypothesis.)
13. Email Addresses:  (List team members' email addresses in same order as the names.)

Only post one report for the entire research team.  (Based on the Final Proposals, four or five research teams will each conduct a different study.)

Grading:  One point each for 1-13, plus 2 points each for grammaticality, clarity and coherence (as above).

Research Report (Hard Copy; 5-12 pages of text).  Use the information from your final proposal and progress report to write a research report including an Introduction, Method, Results and Conclusions sections.  This should follow the format of a complete APA style research report.  Turn in one copy of the paper for the entire research team.  Every member of the team should appear as an author on the title page.

Grading:  One point each for each of the following items.
(1) minimum of five pages of text,
(2) title page with title
(3) authors on title page
(4) affiliations on title page
(5) abstract,
(6) APA format,

(7) a total of three empirical references,
(8) description of data collected in studies,
(9) description of findings from studies,
(10) explanation of connection between studies and your hypothesis,
(11) DV name,
(12) IV name,
(13) Clear statement of theory supported by literature,
(14) Clear statement of hypothesis for this study implied by theory,

Method Section:
(15) DV operation,
(16) IV operation,
(17) discussion of ethics,
(18) sample explained including sample size,
(19) procedure explained,
(20) design and analysis clearly address hypothesis,

Results Section:
(21) descriptive statistics (effect size = group means or crosstabulation),
(22) statistical test of hypothesis (t test, correlation or chi-square),
(23) correct interpretation of hypothesis test,

Discussion Section:
(24) defensible substantive conclusion in discussion,
(25) description of a limitation of the study,
(26) at least one suggestion of future research.

Two points each for grammaticality, clarity, cohesiveness, and depth of discussion (0 = inadequate, 1 = adequate, 2 = exceptional).  Each empirical reference counts 1/3 toward items 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Team Member Ratings.  Send me a private email in which you rate the contributions to the group project of each member of your group (including yourself) using the following scale.

3 = Outstanding.
2 = Satisfactory.
1 = Unsatisfactory.
0 = Made no contribution.

Include your name at the top of your email, and clearly indicate which ratings go with which group members.  I will not return these papers, so keep a copy if you want one.

Grading:  This will count toward your small assignment grade.  100% for complete set of ratings.  75% for an incomplete set.  0% if you do not turn this in.  Note that the ratings your receive from your team members will not affect your grade, only your pride.

Examinations:  The course includes four exams on the reading material.  It also includes a comprehensive final examination given during the scheduled final examination period (see schedule).  The course does not include any make-up examinations or re-tests.  If you miss an exam (or the final), it will drop out of your final course grade as the lowest of your five examination grades (see grading).  If you feel satisfied with your first four grades, you can drop the final.

Note:  I do not grade examinations on a curve.  Based on previous semesters data, however, I will include a scaling factor of n/20, where n equals the number of items on the test, when I translate your number correct to a percentage score.  To compute your percentage score on a given examination, first divide the number correct plus n/20 by n.  Second, take the minimum of the result from the first step and 100%.  In essence that allows you to miss 1 out of every 20 items before you start to loose points.  For example, you could miss 2 items on a 40 item test.  You do not, however, get extra credit for missing fewer than 1 out of 20 items.

Quizzes:  There will be a quiz on the reading at the beginning of class on the day the reading is due.  Due dates for reading assignments are listed below.  Quizzes use a short-answer format.  Each question is graded as correct (1) or incorrect (0) with only occasional partial credit (0.5).  Avoid vague or ambiguous answers, as they will be graded as incorrect.  Avoid multiple answers for the same reason.  Give one clear answer for each question.  If you feel uncertain of the answer, state your best guess clearly and precisely.

Your total quiz grade is the sum of your individual quiz grades.  There are seventeen quizzes each worth at least three points (one point per question).  You need 35 points for full credit.  Anything less than 35 is partial credit; anything more is extra credit.

Small Assignments:  I will periodically give in-class writing assignments.  I will collect and grade as either complete (1) or incomplete (0).

Grading:  Your grade comprises five parts:  quizzes (10%), small assignments (5%), examinations (40%), individual papers (20%), group papers (20%), and suggestion log (5%).  Your examination grade is the average of the four highest percent grades from the five examinations (10% each).  Your individual paper grade comprises your Initial Proposal (5%), your Recommendations (5%), and your Final Proposal (10%).  Your group paper grade comprises your research team's Progress Report (5%) and Research Report (15%).

With a JavaScript enabled browser, you can use the following Grade Calculator to compute your course grade from it's components.  I provide this only for informational purposes.  The result does not constitute an official grade.  However, it should give the same answer as I get in my spreadsheet grade book, and you should contact me if your grade does not match what you get here.  A difference may indicate a problem in the computations or in the recording of one or another grade.  Note that I compute grades on the exact values stored in my grade book rather than the rounded values that I report to you on paper.  That may result in some small differences in outcome.

Grade Calculator v1.0
Individual Papers 
Group Papers 
Suggestions %
Final Grade 
Letter Grade 


Class Cancellation:  This has never happened but should something prevent me from arriving at class on time, wait 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes consider class canceled for that period only.  Return at the beginning of the next period unless otherwise directed by the Department Secretary.

Posting of Grades:  I do not post grades on my door.  Why?  Because I think that you should know more than just your final letter grade and when I tried to post additional information on my door it disappeared in a matter of hours.  I will either post final grades, along with final exam grades and final paper grades to the Blackboard page or send them by email.

Do not ask the Department Secretary for your grade.  She has other responsibilities, and I will tell you your grade before she gets the grades anyway.

Research Teams:  Collectively, you will select four or five research projects on the basis of the Final Proposals and form four or five research teams (If class size falls below 20, I will reduce the number from five to four).  I will allow you to take the initiative in forming research teams and will only assign students to teams if there is a problem forming teams in a timely manner.  If some of you already feel accustomed to working together, you should take advantage of that.  At the same time, make sure that you have a team that covers each of the requisite skills.  That includes the ability to organize the data collection, crunch the numbers, and write the report.

Once the teams are formed, each team takes on the research as its collective responsibility.  If your team experiences difficulty working together, you need to get the work in anyway.  You have the responsibility to see that the work gets done, and too divvy up the work between team members.  You should not necessarily expect all members to contribute equally but all should contribute in some way.  If one team member does not come through with his or her part of the work, it is up to the rest of the team to complete the work on time.  Give yourself extra time to complete missing work before the assignment comes due.  It is a good idea to get the paper together before the due date so that each team member can review the entire paper before turning it in.

Office Hours:  Tuesdays 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Room 2127N

Campus Phone:  (212) 237-8784

Email address:


Basic Classroom Etiquette:  You should find the following material painfully obvious, but I find it necessary to include it in a syllabus to ensure that we all arrive a class with a common frame of reference.

1. Never speak to anyone in the classroom in an inconsiderate fashion (it undermines participation, collegiality, and academic freedom).  This primarily pertains to other students, but also applies to me.  If you have a personal problem regarding the class, bring it to my office hours so that we can discuss it privately without making theater.

2. Express disagreement with ideas without implying any criticism of the person with whose ideas you disagree (see 1).  (In order to learn from discussion we must all feel free to change our minds.  Disagreements between individuals tend to lock us into defending previous statements.  Discussing a statement, on the other hand, leaves individuals free to change their minds as the discussion sheds new light on the statement.)

3. Do not engage in any behavior that is disruptive to the class (it is unfair to other students).  This includes eating, walking in and out, and engaging in side conversations.

4. Do not eat during class.  I previously taught in a room that remained locked, and thus uncleaned.  Hopefully this will pose less of a problem in this room.  However, eating food tends to make it very difficult to concentrate in class.  Try to make time for lunch before or after class.

5. Do not bring visitors to class (including your children).  (This is an unfortunate necessity due to the College policy of holding faculty responsible for anything that happens in their classrooms.  Personally, I consider you your child's best caretaker but as a bureaucratic necessity the College considers me the baby-sitter when you bring your child to my class.  As a result, I cannot allow any visitors in my class.)

6. Turn off  beepers, cellular telephones, and electronic alarms before class begins.  (See 3.)

7.  Do  not leave class except in an emergency.  Personal business should be taken care of before or after class but never during class.  (See 3.)

8. If you find yourself in the awkward position of having to enter or leave the classroom while class is in session, do so in the quietest and least disruptive possible fashion (it is not fair to make others pay for your indiscretion).  If you arrive late, never distract another student or the professor with questions about what we are doing (see 3).

Your remaining registered for this course after the first week of class implies tacit acceptance of the above principles of classroom etiquette.


Assignments Due
Lecture Topic
Lab Topic
1) T 9/2 Overview of course Written directions
2) Th 9/4 Quiz 1 (Q1):  Martin Chapter 1 (M1) Orderly observations Evaluation design
3) T 9/9 Q2:  M2 Doing experiments Path Diagrams & Roundtable discussion of proposal ideas
4) Th 9/11 Q3:  M3 & Horvat & Davis Chapter 2 (HD2) Getting an Idea Chopstick Study Design
5) T 9/16 Q4:  M4, HD1 &5 Ethical Issues I: Participants IRB Simulation using HD5
6) Th 9/18 Initial proposal Q&A review Subjective & Objective Time
7) T 9/23 Suggestion Log Exam I (M1-4, & HD1, 2 & 5) Time continued
8) Th 9/25 Q5:  M5 Ethical Issues II:  Colleagues Time continued
9) T 9/30 Q6:  M6 Literature review PsycInfo class (meets in library electronic classroom)
10) Th 10/2 Q7:  M7 Reliability Discuss proposals, Time continued
T 10/7 (Monday Classes)
11) Th 10/9 Validity Time continued
12) T 10/14 Q8:  HD3 HD3 as a case study Q&A Review
13) Th 10/16 Suggestion Log Exam II (M5-7 & HD 3) Roundtable discussion of proposals
14) T 10/21 Q9:  M8, HD6 Within vs. between subject designs HD6 as case study
15) Th 10/23 Q10: M9 More experimental designs Measurement Lab
16) T 10/28 Final proposal; Q11:  M10 Quasi-experiments, etc. Measurement continued
17) Th 10/30 Recommendations; Q12:  M11 Before you begin... Measurement continued
18) T 11/4 Form research teams Q&A Review
W 11/5 (Last day to drop)
19) Th 11/6 Suggestion Log Exam III (M8-11 & HD6) Review t tests
20) T 11/11 Q13:  M12 Interpreting results Review chi^2 tests & PC data analysis
21) Th 11/13 Confirmation bias & refrigerator problem Refrigerator continued
22) T 11/18 Q14:  M13 Reporting results: Form Roundtable on APA style (esp. active voice)
23) Th 11/20 Reporting results: Style (esp. pg. 272) Work in groups
24) T 11/25 Progress report; Q15: HD7 HD7 as a case study  Statistics questions
Th 11/28 (College closed)
25) T 12/2 Q16:  HD8 HD8 as a case study  Measurement continued
26) Th 12/4 Q17:  HD9 HD9 as a case study  Measurement continued
27) T 12/9 Q&A review Work in groups
28) Th 12/11 Team Member Ratings, Suggestion Log Exam IV (M12-13 & HD7, 8, 9) Work in groups
Th 12/23  Research report (due by 10:15 PM) Final Exam 10:15-12:15 PM (no exams given out after 1:15 PM) I will go over the final after the last person finishes
M 12/30  Final grades due at Registrar's Office


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