Psychology 491

PSYC 491: Research Lab: Special Topics

Prerequisites: PSYC 302 and permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

Will expose the psychology student to research in a particular area of interest which may not be addressed in any of the other research lab courses offered by the psychology department faculty. It will allow students to have an in-depth exposure to a specific research topic, through lecture, discussion, and empirical investigation. Students will be required to conduct a research project and to submit a research report in APA format.

Note(s): This course will count as meeting the lab requirement for the major.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course will focus on specific research areas in psychology, with a reflection of faculty interests and expertise guiding the selection of a current and productive course topic.  This course will be designed to allow for lecture presentation, discussion, and exposure to experimental techniques within a particular topical area.  Interpretation of current research in the specific area, and exploration of theoretical models related to this research will be a major part of this course, and students will be required to develop and conduct a research project related to the particular topic that is the subject material for the course.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course is designed specifically for an oral discussion and demonstration format.  Readings will be assigned and discussed in class.  The interpretation of demonstrations in terms of current knowledge and theoretical perspectives will be encouraged.  Student review of research and collaborative experimentation will be substantial part of this course.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

        1)    Identify the major areas of contemporary research on the topic of the class

        2)    Understand the problems of measurement and empirical research related to the topic

        3)    Design an empirical test of a hypothesis regarding some aspect of the topic

        4)    Perform an empirical investigation of some aspect of the topic which includes collecting and analyzing quantitative data

        5)    Write up the results of an experimental investigation in APA format   


Assessment Measures

Assessment may include the following:

1)    Students may have quizzes, unit exams, midterms and/or comprehensive finals in this course.

2)    A term project.  Students will be required to write up a research investigation using APA format.  Students may be required to make oral presentations of the term project, and may also be required to present orals reviews of research studies within the topic.

3)    Participation, project critiques, homework, and short written reviews of research within this topic may also be part of the assessment process for this course.


Other Course Information

Students may be assigned a list of outside readings from a reading list of experimental reports in relevant psychological journals.


Review and Approval

October, 2007