Psych 440.01 and 440L.51
M/W/F 9:00 – 9:50 GHH 06
TH 11:00 – 1:50 CAS 128
Dr. Judith Platania
CAS 102 (401) 254-5738
M/W/F 10:00 – 11:00
TH 9:30 – 10:30
Or By Appointment
Doing Psychology Experiments, 7th ed. Martin, D. W.
SPSS Survivor Manual, 4th ed. Pallant, J.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association,
6th ed. Washington, D.C.
Successful completion of the following courses: Introduction to Psychology, Quantitative Analysis, and Research Methods in Psychology is required. If you did not receive at least a “B” in these courses, you should plan on spending a fair amount of time reviewing the materials from these courses. You will not be allowed to remain in class if you are currently registered for either PSYC 240 Quantitative Analysis or PSYC 340 Research Methods or both.
In this course you will gain an in-depth understanding of experimental design. In addition, due to the significant emphasis of writing on presentation, in this course you will also dramatically expand your knowledge and skills in all aspects of report writing; specifically, surveying the literature, creating hypothesis statements, conceptualizing design and methodology, analyzing and interpreting data using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences V.19 (SPSS), reporting your final results, and discussing your findings in the style required by the American Psychological Association.
It is my expectation that at the completion of this course you will have learned: (1) how to formulate and test research questions using experimental methodology, (2) perform appropriate statistical analyses and interpret results, (3) read and critique professional research, (4) use professional level statistical programs, (5) enhance your general writing skills and more specifically, your scientific writing skills and apply the conceptual logic of experimentation to your own research, and finally, (6) present the results of your research findings both verbally as well as in written format.
Class will follow a lecture/discussion/laboratory/ format. Class-time typically consists of lectures supplemented by discussions, case studies, and examples of the experimental methodology in order to assist in learning to apply course materials to the experimental setting. This is a difficult, labor-intensive course. However, learning is a process and you will find as you complete the assignments your knowledge base of experimental psychology will expand. The utility of this course extends beyond any intention to attend graduate school. In this class, you will be practicing and refining your writing skills, your knowledge of complex statistical analyses and your ability to intelligently discuss literature in many area. This includes recognizing cogent arguments, flawed designs, and far-reaching conclusions.
In order to ensure the course objectives are met, I will be assessing your progress in each of the above areas through in-class assignments, the presentation of your group research proposal, the presentation of your final project at a professional poster session, a comprehensive final exam, and an APA-style manuscript of your completed experimental study. A detailed description of each outcome as well as the course grading scheme is as follows:
Exam – 100 points
There will be one exam in this class. The exam will cover material presented in the Martin text as well as the lecture materials and all class assignments. Exam format will include short written responses as well as longer essay responses. The exam is comprehensive and will take place during the designated timeslot for finals (TBA). I will place all lectures in PowerPoint format on the University shared drive (in lab) to assist you in preparing for the exam. However, this does not absolve you of any responsibility for taking notes during class. I reserve the right to eliminate electronic access to this supplemental material if I feel students are not taking notes during class.
Assignments – 400 points
You will be required to complete a series of assignments in this class. The assignments are designed to help you connect learning to application and to increase your skills-set in experimental methodology. The assignments are unannounced and can take place either during our fifty-minute meetings (M/W/F) or our weekly Lab meetings (TH 11:00 – 1:50). Class assignments constitute 50% of your grade. Please take them seriously as there is no opportunity to make up a missed in-class assignment, regardless of excuse. My class attendance policy permits you to miss two regularly scheduled class sessions (M/W/F) without losing points. However, for each class missed after two I will deduct 10 points from your final grade. Similarly, you will be allowed to miss one Lab session without penalty to your final grade. Any missed Lab session after one will result in 50 points deducted from your final grade.
Proposal and Final Research Presentations – 200 points (100 points each)
You will be required as a group to prepare a class presentation of your experimental research proposal. Each will include the following: a discussion of the background literature, your hypothesis statements, proposed experimental design and statistical analyses. The presentations will be approximately 15 minutes in length. Each group member will present an aspect of your proposal. See the Schedule for presentation date. In addition, the class will present the final projects at a poster session (time TBD). Each grade will include both your individual contribution as well the group conceptualization, presentation, analysis and reporting of your research question.
APA Paper – 100 points
You will be required to complete an INDIVIDUAL paper on your group’s research project. Details of the paper requirements will be discussed in class. The paper is due on the last day of class, Monday, December 10. 2012.
Miscellaneous Important Items
Please do not come to class unprepared to take notes and participate. Please do not come to class late. Do not come late to the final exam, as you will not be allowed to take it. Your grade for the missed exam will be zero. You are responsible for all material covered in class whether you are in class or not. Check with your classmates for missed material. All assignments are due at the start of class on the date noted on the syllabus. Late assignments will not be accepted and will receive a grade of zero, regardless of excuse. I try to make the course schedule as accurate as possible. However, it may be necessary to make adjustments as the semester progresses. I will advise you of changes to this schedule if any are necessary. Lectures tend to deal with methodological issues, but also cover general content. There is heavy emphasis on design and statistics. If you feel I am not sufficiently covering a topic, please tell me and we will review it again. Also, there is no opportunity for extra credit in this class.
Letter Grade Assignment
Total Points Earned in Class*
* This range includes +/- grades as well.
University Civility Statement
Roger Williams University maintains that upholding the highest standards of civility, respect, and understanding of others is key to thriving in an increasingly global world. The University believes that reasoned and respectful discourse is the most enduring and beneficial way for us to learn from each other. Therefore, in joining the Roger Williams University community, you are expected to practice civility and respect in all aspects of teaching, learning, and living (taken from RWU Student Handbook 2010-2011, p.3).
Please avoid participating in disruptive classroom behaviors. Disruptive behaviors are defined as behaviors that interfere with the learning and/or teaching process, such as inappropriate talking during lectures or class discussions or in any manner interfering with other student’s ability to have a quality learning experience. Students will not be allowed to walk out of class during our regularly scheduled fifty-minute class meeting. I will relax this policy for our Lab meetings. However, extended time spent out of class during Lab sessions will result in a loss of half-letter grade. Disruptive behaviors also include cell phone and pager use and leaving class during class time. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off, silent, and out of sight during classes, and you should not be checking for calls or messages during class. Common sense and common courtesy should govern classroom civility.
University Policy on Plagiarism and Academic Integrity
Although multiple definitions exist, plagiarism is best defined as incorporating the words or ideas of another person into a paper, presentation, or other scholarly form without properly crediting the source from which the words or ideas come. Plagiarism is a violation of ethical practices. The author who commits plagiarism attempts to claim another person’s work as his or her own. Thus, plagiarism is both a form of intellectual theft and of intellectual fraud. In its worst form, plagiarism may consist of directly copying large or a small portion of either printed works or, as frequently happens in schools, written papers of another student. There are, however, more subtle forms of plagiarism as well. Paraphrasing, or changing an author’s ideas or words, is also a form of plagiarism if the source of the idea being paraphrased is not acknowledged, and this form of plagiarism is comparable to direct copying and every bit as serious. (Taken verbatim from http://www.rwu.edu/academics/academicaffairs/standards/.)
If I think there is an instance of plagiarism or any other breach of academic integrity in this class, I will follow the guidelines depicted at the website listed in the previous paragraph. If I consider the violation serious enough, I reserve the right to assign a failing grade for the particular assignment and/or for the course.
Human Subjects Training Collaborative – No Points – Required to Pass the Course
You will be required to complete the web-based training program in human research subject protection located at www.citiprogram.org, if you have not previously done so. This initiative presents a series of Modules to complete with the goal of enhancing your knowledge of ethical practices in research with human subjects. I will provide you with the study materials to help you through the course. Take your time with each Module. You will required to print out the screen depicting completion of each Module along with the grade obtained in each Module. Successful completion of the Modules is due on November 21.