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Participation in Research or Research Summaries by Psychology 111 Students

Research is the basis of knowledge in psychology and provides the content in all areas of the discipline. The Department of Psychology requires a minimum of 6 hours of research experience of each student enrolled in PSYC 111, unless the participant pool coordinator has dictated otherwise. This requirement may be completed by active participation in a department-approved study, by report of instructor-approved library reading, or a combination of these two in accord with guidelines set by the instructor. Each accepted library research report receives one hour of research credit, and active participation in ongoing studies receives credit according to the length of time spent in the study, which can vary from half an hour up to more hours.

Details of the research participation will be provided early in your class. Attendance on the day that research participation is described is mandatory and you will receive in-depth instructions on how to use the Pool Party web site for research participation. You will also participate in an initial screening process which may allow you to participate in future studies.

Failure to fully complete the research experience requirement results in a one-letter grade drop, so if a student, for example, had a 'B' in PSYC 111 at the end of the semester but failed to fulfill the research experience requirement, the student would receive a 'C'. Students who make an appointment for research participation, as do the investigators conducting the study, make a commitment to be at the designated place at the designated time for their appointment. If an emergency arises to prevent the participants from being able to be at the appointed time and place, they must notify the investigator no later than one hour prior to the study time. If students fail to come to the study on time or fail to cancel with sufficient notice, they will not receive credit for that study. Moreover, it is up to the investigator to decide whether and when such a participant can make an additional appointment for that particular study. Students should be aware that making a large number of appointments at the end of the semester (at the same time that hundreds of other students are trying to do so) can be difficult. It is best to fulfill the 6-hour requirement before the end of the semester.

Again, failure to meet the 6-hour requirement at the end of the semester will lead to a reduction in grade of one letter grade.

Those students who do not wish to participate in research may substitute written assignments for research participation. The written assignments will give you some exposure to psychological research and acquaint you with some of the rich sources of materials where psychological studies are reported. The written assignment includes these requirements:

1. Submit brief summaries of research articles published in current psychological journals (published in the past five years). A list of acceptable journals is given below. Research summaries must be typed, double-spaced, and should not exceed two pages (about one-and-one-half pages is recommended). Attach a photocopy of the first page of the article to your summary. Each summary counts for 1 HOUR of research time.

2. Research participation and/or summaries are due by the date stated in your syllabus. No credit will be given for late summaries.

3. Each summary should be written in your own words. Review the departmental policy on plagiarism before turning in any written work. To avoid being charged with plagiarism, ask your instructor any questions you have what it means to write in your own words.

A good summary attempts to summarize briefly who investigated what problem, by what method, and what resulted from this research. Use the following organization (two points each):

  • Authors' names', year, title of article, journal, volume number, page numbers (available from the article).
  • Purpose of the study (general problem, hypotheses, etc.). (What were they trying to do in the study…what did they think they would find?)
  • Method or procedures used. (Omit technical details. In brief, how did they do the study? Do not get into too much detail, just describe at a broad level what they did.)
  • Results. (What was found? What does it mean? Do not go into technical detail, just say in everyday terms what the results were. Did it support what they thought would happen?)
  • Personal comments. (What, in your opinion, was the importance or significance of the study?)

All research participation and/or summaries are due by the date provided in your syllabus.

List of Acceptable Psychology Journals

If there are other journals you wish to use, check with your instructor first. Only 'scientific' journals, not 'popular' sources (e.g., Discover, Psychology Today, blog posts, etc.) will be accepted.

These journals are available through our university library. If you are using a computer on campus, you can probably also access most of the articles from these journals online.

Psychological Science
Child Development
Cognition
Developmental Psychology
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Journal of Applied Psychology
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Journal of Counseling Psychology
Journal of Educational Psychology
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Journal of Personality
Journal of School Psychology
Memory and Cognition
Psychology in the Schools
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Sex Roles