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Psychological Research Design and Analysis
PSYCH RSRCH EV
CLASS CODE: PSYCH 303 CREDITS:  7
DIVISION: EDUCATION & HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
DEPARTMENT: PSYCHOLOGY
GENERAL EDUCATION: This course does not fulfill a General Education requirement.

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Basic principles of conducting research in psychology which include the design, the analysis, and reporting the results of psychological investigations.
DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic principles of conducting research in psychology, which include the design, the analysis, and reporting the results of psychological investigations. An understanding and application of elementary investigative procedures will be emphasized. Use of computers will be a part of this course since most statistical analyses can be quickly performed with current software. Likewise, we will focus on philosophy of science, research ethics, descriptive methods, experimental methods, applied reserach, and qualitative methods. Class periods will generally include lectures, discussions, and guided discovery. Lab periods will include some data collection, statistical analyses, etc. Lectures and discussions will largely complement textbook material, clarifying any confusing or complex topics and introducing important material not found in the text.
TOPICS: We will focus on the basics of experimental and quasi-experimental research design, single-subject research design, and qualitative reserach design. Likewise, we will focus on elementary statistical analysis including: (a)descriptive statistics such as regression and correlation, (b)inferential statistics such as hypothesis testing with z- and t-test, analysis of variance, and (c) some nonparametric techniques such as chi-square, Wilcoxon tests, and Kruskai-Wallis H. We will also study ethical conduct in research and how to write the research report.
OBJECTIVES: This course is designed to provide students with the basic skills required in performing research in the behavioral sciences. Course objectives will follow the IPRT model (inspired practice, reflection, and teaching), which will be briefly discussed in class. As a result of taking this course, students should be able to:(1)understand the basic nature of science,(2)conceptualize a research question and form a testable hypothesis,(3)conduct a review of the relevant literature,(4)formulate a valid research design,(5)understand elementary statistical theory and procedures,(6)identify different kinds of variables in research,(7)understand the importance of control, validity, and reliability in research,(8)select the proper statistical analysis for a quantitative study,(9)be able to read statistical output and interpret the data,(10)write a research report in APA style,(11)be familiar with the ethical dimensions of science, and (12)use effective critical thinking skills in the evaluation of research. Given these objectives, this will be a "hands-on" course in which studies will be conducted.
REQUIREMENTS: Homework: Students will be required to solve homework problems that will be assigned for the chapters in the text.
Projects: Each student will be required to participate in activities that will allow them to apply the research design and analysis knowledge they develop to practical/applied problems. These projects will be approved by the instructor. These will count toward the one hour per week of the required lab time.
Exams will be given in the testing center on the dates shown on the schedule. The exams will consist of multiple-choice questions, and computational problems. The necessary formulas and tables will be provided.
Papers: Because writing is a crucial aspect of this field, research reports will be required during the semester. The purpose of these reports is to hone your APA-style writing skills and to give you experience conducting original research. Psychological research reports apprise the scholarly community of the purpose, nature, and results of research. The dissemination of research results is a necessary part of science: it is the mechanism by which those results contribute to scholarly debate, add to our existing knowledge base, inform practice, and suggest avenues for future research. To perform this communicative function properly, scientific reports should clarify the significance of the research question its relation to other research, provide a clear, accurate, and complete descriptioin of the study itself, and offer a defensible interpretation of the data. A well written report will then communicate all of the information required for other researchers to critically examine or replicate the study.
PREREQUISITES: Psych 111, Math 108 or Math 110
OTHER:
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 2003