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    Methods of Psychological Inquiry
    Psychology 241
                                                                (Spring 1996)

Instructor:     Cynthia Butler                Time:    6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
E-Mail:            Mondays & Wednesdays
Office:    Byrne Hall, Rm. 604, x2019                         Room: Byrne 403
Office Hours:    Wednesday  5-6 p.m.
      or by appointment

Teaching Assistants:    Lisa Henckemeyer, Jessee Harriott, Kimberly May, Nancy Briggs


Reading Materials:

Graziano, A.M. & Raulin, M.L. (1993).  Research Methods: A process of inquiry (2nd Ed.).
    New York: Harper Collins.

Plus three assigned research articles (see page 3).

Goals of the Course:

1)    To acquaint you with the statistical and scientific methods and design techniques used in psychological research.
2)    To sharpen your reading and critical thinking skills.
3)    To provide you with the skills necessary for reading and evaluating psychological research.

Course Requirements & Grading:

You will be responsible for:                            % of Final Grade

1)    All of the information presented during lectures.            
2)    All of the information presented in the reading assignments
   listed in the Schedule of Events.
3)    Written homework assignments and rewrites (see p. 3)            45
      Contact and collaboration with your TA   (20%)
      Content of assignments and timeliness of (80%)
4)    Midterm exam                                    25
5)    Final exam.                                    30

Attendance/Late Policy:

In order to meet the goals of this course, attendance at lectures is mandatory.  An attendance sheet will be passed around at the beginning of each class.  If your name is not on the attendance sheet, you will be considered absent unless you see me after class. You are encouraged to provide appropriate documentation of any absences (doctors note, etc.).  If at any point your tardies or undocumented absences become excessive, you will given both a verbal and written notice.  If absences/tardies continue to be excessive, your course grade will be affected.

    Schedule of Events

Date        Topic                        Reading Assignment
1/7        The Nature of Science                Ch..1
1/9        The Research Process                Ch. 2 & Appendix A
1/14        The Starting Point                Ch. 3
1/16        Data and Measurement            Ch. 4
1/21        Data and Measurement            
1/23        Hypotheses                    Ch. 8
1/28        Issues of Validity                
            Homework 1 due
1/30        Controls in Experimental Research        Ch. 9
2/4        Experimental Design: Independent Groups    Ch. 10    
2/6        Review for the Midterm
            Homework 2 due,
            Rewrites of Homework 1 due
2/11        Midterm Exam (6:30 - 8:30)
2/13        Experimental Design: Correlated Groups    Ch. 11
2/18        Experimental Design: Factorial        Ch. 12
            Homework 3 due, Rewrites of 1 & 2 due
2/20        Statistics                    Ch. 5
2/25        Statistics
2/27        Field Research I                Ch. 6
            Homework 4 due, Rewrites of 1-3 due
3/4        Field Research II                Ch. 13
3/6        Research Ethics
3/11        Diversity in Research and the Future        Ch. 15
            Final Rewrites of Homeworks 1-4 due
3/13        Review for the Final
3/18        Final Exam (6:30 - 8:30)

Homework Assignments:

You will choose a set of research reports from the sets listed on page 4 .  You will use those three research articles throughout the quarter to answer the homework questions on pages 5-7.  You must write answers to each of the questions for each one of your chosen research reports.  Your final homework grade will be an average your three grades for the articles.

   Timeliness and Content (80%).  Homework answers must be neatly written or typed and in the form of full sentences.  Use your own words (copying directly from the article is plagiarism).  Answers should be brief and to the point.  

Your TA will mark each homework answer, giving each “OK” or “Rewrite”.  OK means your answer was complete and you conveyed to the TA that you understood the concept from class on which the question was based and how it applied to your article.  Everyone will need to do at least some Rewrites.  Rewrites should show improvement over previous answers.  Use the feedback the TA's write on your homework to improve your answers. You may need to rewrite an answer several times.  That doesn't mean you're not doing a good job, as long as your answer is improving!

There are 4 homework due dates.  Late homeworks will not be accepted until the next due date..  On each due date, you are responsible for turning in the current homework assignment and any rewrites of previous questions.  Failing to turn in the assigned homework or rewrites of previous assignments on a due date results in points being deducted from your final homework grade.  

   Contact and Collaboration with Your TA (20%).  If you have difficulty completing assignments, improving rewrite answers, or just need some clarification on the homework questions or feedback, contact your TA.   You are responsible for recognizing when you need help and seeking out your TA.  They are glad to help you understand the material and reduce your number of rewrites.  See them during their office hours of call them to set up an appointment at some other time.

Turning in Homework -- Practical Issues.

*    This information should appear at the top of each assignment you turn in:  Your name, article author's last name, Homework number (for example HW 1, or Rewrite of HW 1), and the date.  
   *    Leave 2-3 spaces after each answer so your TA can give you feedback.
   *    Make copies of your homework.  
   *    Staple together all the homework you are turning in.    
   *    Rewrites: Attach the most recently graded version of that assignment

Homework Article Sets

Set #1:    Darley, J.M. & Latane, B. (1968).  Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 377-383.

Festinger, L. & Carlsmith, J.M. (1959).  Cognitive consequences of forced compliance.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 203-210.

Rubovits, P.C. & Maehr, M.L. (1973).  Pygmalion black and white.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 25, 210-218.

Set #2:    Dutton, D.G. & Aron, A.P. (1974).  Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 510-517.

Hess, E.H., Seltzer, A.I., & Shlein, J.M. (1965).  Pupil responses of hetero- and homosexual males to picture of men and women: A pilot study.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 70, 165-168.

Valins, S. (1967).  Emotionality and information concerning internal reactions.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 458-463.

Set #3:    Bandura, A., Ross, D. & Ross, S.A. (1961).  Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models.  Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 63, 575-582.

George, C. & Main, M. (1979).  Social interactions of young abused children: Approach, avoidance, and aggression.  Child Development, 50, 306-318.

Schacter, S. & Gross, L. (1968).  Manipulated time and eating behavior.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 10, 98-106.  

Set #4:    Berkowitz, L. & LePage, A. (1967).  Weapons as aggression-eliciting stimuli.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 7, 202-207.

Deci, E.L. (1971).  Effects of externally mediated rewards on intrinsic motivation.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 18, 105-115.  

Greenwald, H.J. & Oppenheim, D.B. (1968).  Reported magnitude of self-misidentification among negro children - artifact? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 49-52.

    Homework Assignment 1

    Due September 30, 1996

Write answers to the following questions for each of your three articles.  

1.      Based on the introduction to the article, restate in your own words what was already     known about this topic before this study and who were some of he authors who     contributed to this knowledge?

2.      What kind of information, which was missing in the previous research, is this study     supposed to add?

3.      If the study had clear-cut independent variables that were either manipulated or selected, name them.

4.      If the study had clear-cut dependent variables, name them.

5.      In addition to the variables stated in this study, and given other information in this study, can you think of any other variables that might have been extraneous?  Justify your answer.

6.      What were the hypotheses in you studies?  For all of the variables listed in questions 3, 4, or 5, tell what kind of association the authors expected to occur among them.  (Be sure to give hypotheses and not results).  

Homework Assignment 2

Due October 9, 1996

Write answers to the following questions for each of your three articles.  Please use the previous homework when answering this assignment.  

1.      Who were the subjects?  Be specific.  Consider age, sex, race, educational level, and     anything the article highlights.  

2.      In what kind of situation was the experiment conducted (lab or natural setting)?

3.      Define the meaning of operational definition.

4.      Name each of the independent variables and name their levels.  Then state the operational definition either for the whole variable or for each of the levels.  If the study had any non-manipulated or “selected” variables, name them and name their levels and state how they were operationally defined.  

5.      Tell whether the independent variable was varied between subjects, within subjects, or in some other way.  This answer can differ for each independent variable (a mixed design).  

6.      Name each of the dependent variables in the studies AND give the operational definition for each.  

Homework Assignment 3

Due October 23, 1996

Write answers to the following questions for each of your three articles.  Please use the previous homework when answering this assignment.

1.    For each independent or selected (nonmanipulated) variable, did any extraneous variables confound (covary with) it?  Please refer to your answers in homework 1, question 6 to answer this question.

2.      Define subject bias and experimenter bias.  For each independent or predictor variable, was subject or experimenter bias present? Why or why not.  

3.      For each within-subject (repeated measures) independent variable or design:

   a)    Did different subjects receive different orders of the levels of the independent         variable?  If so, what orders were used?

   b)      Does it appear that the levels were ordered in such a way that there might be         confounds with practice and fatigue?

4.      For each between-subject independent variable:

   a)     How were the subjects assigned to groups?

   b)    Were the groups matched on any variables?

5.      For each before-after design (pretest-posttest):

   a)      Does it appear likely that the results were caused by practice or fatigue?

   b)    Does it appear likely that the results were caused by novelty effects?

c)    Could the change in the dependent variable have occurred without the independent variable ?

6.      Are the operational definitions adequate?  Justify your answer.

Homework Assignment 4

Due November 6, 1996

Write answers to the following questions for each of your three articles.  Please use the previous homework when answering this assignment.  

1.      What type of approach to data analysis was used (minimal statistical, correlational, differences between frequencies, differences between means)?  In some studies, there can be more than one approach.  Where appropriate name the statistical tests.  

2.      Which differences or relationships are statistically significant?  List all of the results     found to be significant.

3.      If the researcher reported some results as significant but did not use conventional decision levels (.05 or .01), did the researcher explain why they considered the nonconventional  level to be significant?

4.      Which differences or relationships did the researcher indicate were not statistically     significant.  

5.      Do the authors draw causal or correlational conclusions about the relationships between variables?  Describe any unwarranted or hidden assumptions of causality in the authors' interpretations of the results?

6.      To what larger group might the results of this study be generalized?  If you do not think that the results generalize to any other group, give a reason for this.  Be sure to justify your answer according to the theories and hypotheses in the studies.  Refer to homework 1, questions 6 and homework 2, question 1 to answer this question.

7.      Indicate what “real world” situations you think the same results might occur?  Justify your answer according to the theories and hypotheses in the study.  Refer to homework 1, questions 6 and homework 2, question 1 to answer this question.