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Psychology 302

PSYC 302: Research Methods in Psychology

Prerequisite: PSYC 301

Credit Hours: (3)

Introduces students to the major methods and techniques employed in psychological research, including descriptive, correlational, and experimental approaches to empirical research. During the laboratory portion of the class, students will design and conduct empirical research projects, analyze data from those projects, and write reports describing the research in American Psychological Association (APA) format.

Note(s): Students may not receive credit for PSYC 302 after passing PSYC 202.


Detailed Description of Course

1. Psychology as a science
2. An overview of research methods and design
3. Ethical issues and guidelines in conducting research
4. Measuring and defining ideas
Sampling, reliability, and validity in measurement
5. Descriptive research and analysis of descriptive data
6. Correlational research and analysis of correlational data
7. Experimental research and analysis of experimental data
Simple experimental designs
Complex designs and interactions
8. Subject variables and developmental research
9. Small-N experimental designs
10. From the laboratory back to the real world
Quasi-experimental designs
Program evaluation research


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

A combination of lecture, informal discussion, in-class activities, and out-of-class assignments may be used in the lecture portion of the course. These components will focus upon the text or other assigned readings, audio-visual presentations, or other relevant materials drawn from the popular cultural media and current events. The same techniques may be used during the laboratory portion of the course, where students will design and conduct research projects under the guidance of the laboratory instructor, analyze data from the projects, and prepare research reports in American Psychological Association format.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed the course, the students will be able to:
a. Use databases to identify relevant background research on topics in psychology, and critically evaluate the validity of the background research and conclusions drawn from it.
b. Select an appropriate research design and strategy to answer a question of topical interest in psychology
c. Conduct empirical research using valid and appropriate methodologies to answer a question of topical interest in psychology.
d. Analyze and draw appropriate conclusions from empirical data collected in the course a research project.
e. Prepare and present the results of research in a variety of oral and written formats, including the recommended format of the American Psychological Association.


Assessment Measures

Student performance will be assessed based on some combination of the following: 1) in- or out of-class examinations, which may consist of objective or essay questions, 2) In-class or out-of-class quizzes and/or assignments, 3) APA-style laboratory reports, term papers or projects., 4). oral presentations, 5) class attendance and participation.


Other Course Information

None


Review and Approval

March, 2010