Syllabus Spring Semester 2004


Psychology 313.  Experimental Psychology: Motivation

MW 3:00 - 4:15pm  AH-0401  Instructor:  Dr. Eva Ferguson 


Office:  III-0135  Phone Psych office:  2202 to leave a message

Office Hours:  MW 1:30- 2:30, W 10:30-11:30, other hours by appointment.


Textbooks:  Selected chapters from:

 Ferguson, E.D. (1982).  Motivation:  An experimental approach.  Melbourne, FL:  Krieger, 1982.

 Ferguson, E.D. (2000).  Motivation:  A biosocial and cognitive integration of motivation and 

     emotion.  New York:  Oxford University Press.


Prerequisites:  Students should have satisfactorily fulfilled the Psychology 211 and 212 requirement and should have mastered APA style report writing, design of research, and statistical analysis of data.  Students are to sign up as a group to go over their study with the instructor for preparing the IRB application.  Completed/final IRB application may be handed to the instructor any time before the 5th week, but at the latest on the Monday of the 5th week.


Course Requirements:  Three exams and an independently designed and conducted experiment.  Three exams each are worth 20% of the course grade and the experimental report is worth 35%. Smooth learning and group members’ sharing requires that students attend class and contribute on a regular basis. This counts 5% of the course grade, for a total of 100%.  Exams are based on lectures, text assignment, and class discussion.  Reports are due on time.  If a student cannot take the exam or hand in the report as scheduled, he/she must speak to the instructor ahead of the scheduled time and make special arrangements for a makeup or late paper (conversation with instructor is necessary – it is not sufficient to leave a message). Unexcused makeups and late paper without special permission are not possible and receive a failing grade.

     The experiment is done as a group project.  The final report of the study may have shared Methods and Results content, but the Introduction and Discussion are to be written individually by each student.

     Grading is based on percentage score (100% as the maximum): A is 90-100, B is 80-89, C is 70-79, D is 65-69. Below 65 is Failing.




1                    1              Jan. 12       M       Chapters 1 and 2 Ferguson (1982). Introduction and     

                                                                   motivation as an intervening  variable.  Discuss process

                                                                   for experiments: IRB application and report, research

                                                                   certificates, subject pool, senior assignment. Students

                                                                   form groups of 3 persons for doing an experiment. 


1                   2              Jan. 14        W      Chapter 3 Ferguson (1982).  Design an experiment.   

                                                                  Students should have formed groups for doing the

                                                                  experiment.  Discuss independent and dependent variables,                 

                                                                  factorial design, and statistical tests.

NO CLASSES            Jan. 19        M        Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


2                  3             Jan. 21        W        Continue discussing design of experiment. Consider

                                                                   statistical tests.


3                  4              Jan. 26         M       Students hand in design of experiments. Discuss 

                                                                   experiments.  Students sign up with the instructor for     

                                                                   review of their study and preparing the IRB application.

                                                                   All students must bring a copy of their Research Certificates

                                                                   to class.

3                  5              Jan. 28         W       Start Chapter 4 Ferguson (1982).  Biosocial variables. 

                                                                   Review problems of definitions: S, R, and S-R definitions.


4                  6              Feb.  2          M      Read chapter 6 in Ferguson (2000) text,

Emotion and Mood I.  Continue Chapter 4 Ferguson (1982).


4                  7              Feb. 4           W      Read Chapter 7 in Ferguson (2000). Emotion and Mood II.


5                  8              Feb. 9           M       All groups have kept a copy of their IRB forms and all

                                                                    groups have handed in their IRB applications to the

                                                                    instructor by this date. Review.


5                  9              Feb. 11         W        Review. 


6                 10             Feb. 16         M        First Examination over Chapters 1-4 in Ferguson (1982)

                                                                     and Chapters 6 and 7 in Ferguson (2000).


6                11              Feb. 18         W       Chapter 5 Ferguson (1982).  Activity. Start Chapter 6

                                                                    (selected pages) in Ferguson (1982). Task-Motivation

                                                                    interaction: Yerkes-Dodson Law, Taylor-Spence



7                12              Feb. 23         M       Chapter 8 Ferguson (2000) pp 129-166. Hunger and Thirst


7                13              Feb. 25        W        Chapter 8  Ferguson (1982).  Success and Reward.


8                14              Mar.  1         M        All groups are to have begun their data collection by now.



8                15              Mar.  3         W        Second Examination: Chapters 5, 6 and 8 in Ferguson

                                                                    (1982) and Chapter 8 pp129-166 in Ferguson (2000).


                                    Mar. 8-14                Spring Break – No Classes


9                16              Mar.15       M         Do sample statistics. Discuss Experiments and Senior

                                                                   Assignment (Posters, Psi Chi Paper presentation). Students

                                                                    bring data to class and make group appointments for

                                                                    statistical analysis of data.


9                17              Mar. 17       W         Chapter 9 Ferguson (1982).  Fear, Failure, and

Anxiety.  All data should have been collected by this date.


10             20               Mar. 22       M         Chapter 10 Ferguson (1982).  Achievement Motivation, &



10              21              Mar. 24       W         Discuss Experiments, Statistics, & Posters.

        Students bring in data from their experiments.


11             22               Mar. 29       M         Bring in poster samples or paper-presentation materials.

                                                                    Class time for editing materials.


11             23              Mar. 31        W          For students doing posters, bring in poster samples;

                                                                     for others, bring in paper-presentation materials.


12             24               Apr.  5        M          Ferguson (2000), Chapter 12 pp. 252 – 255, 264-280. 

                                                                    Aggression and  Mastery.


12             25               Apr.  7       W          Ferguson (2000), Chapter 14. Love and bonding.


13             26               Apr. 12       M         Discuss papers and posters.


13             27               Apr. 14       W         Hand in Experimental Papers.  Start student reports.


14             28               Apr. 19       M         Continue student reports.


14             29               Apr. 21       W         Posters.


15             30               Apr. 26       M          Reports and review for final exam.


15             31               Apr. 28        W        Review


     Tues. May  4 from 2:00-3:40              (Note: Not usual class time) Final Exam  over

                                                                   Chapters 9, 10 in Ferguson (1982) and selected pages in

                                                                   Ferguson (2000), as well as aspects of experimental design.







            It is a student’s responsibility to officially withdraw from a course through the enrollment office by the dates set by the university if the student is not intending to complete the course.  Students who do not withdraw but have not completed the course will receive an F.  Only under special circumstances a faculty member may agree to give a student an INC grade in order to allow the student to complete the remaining work for the course not later than the end of the following semester.  An INC is never automatic but must be approved by the instructor.  If an instructor agrees to give a student an INC grade, the instructor and student will fill out a form (Memorandum of Incomplete Grade) indicating why an INC is being given.  This form will be on file in the instructor’s office and if the work is not completed by the specified time, the grade will be changed from INC to F.