PSYCH 018 Index > Class Policies

Introduction to Research Methods–PSYCH 018–Evergreen Valley College

J. David Eisenberg ( Phone: 274-7900 x6577
Office Hours (Room R3-323):
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Wednesday
General Information
3 Units | CR | Prerequisite: PSYCH 001 or PSYCH 010, MATH 063
Course Description

This course is an introduction to the experimental and correlational methods used in psychological research. Students will learn to research the literature, perform laboratory experiments, conduct statistical analysis, and write reports of the research findings.

Course Content
  1. Introduction to Scientific Terms and Concepts
  2. Research Techniques
    1. Observation
    2. Correlation
    3. Case Study
    4. Survey
    5. Experimentation
  3. Ethics
  4. Statistical Procedures
  5. Reading Research Journal Articles
    1. Paraphrasing
    2. Finding and Linking Journal Articles to a Specific Hypothesis or Theory
  6. Hypotheses and Theories
    1. Formulation
    2. Testing
  7. Writing Research Proposals and Papers
    1. APA Guidelines
  8. Oral Presentations and Defense of Original Research
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course,the student will be able to:

This class consists of lecture and lab. The instructor will be present to assist you during the lab. In order to complete assignments, you will also need to work on them outside the scheduled laboratory periods.

Required Text
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, D.C.
ISBN 13: 978-1433805615
Recommended Text
Price, P.C. (2012). Research Methods in Psychology: Core Concepts and Skills, v. 1.0. Washington DC: Flat World Education
eISBN: 978-1-4533-2753-1
Assignments and Quizzes
You will be given several assignments related to material discussed in class, and will have short quizzes throughout the semester.
Observational Study and Survey
Each student will design and perform a observational study and a survey (these are two different assignments) on topics related to psychology. The project should use methods and techniques discussed in the course. The study and survey will each result in a research paper and an oral presentation. Students will develop their research study across the semester and have several opportunities to receive feedback from members of the class. On dates given at the class web site, students will have the opportunity to review one another’s progress (Peer Review). During each peer review, students must bring in a portion of their research paper, and they will receive feedback from others in the course. Participating in each of these peer reviews is vital to the goals of the course and learning about the scientific method.

At specified points during the semester students will turn in their final paper, written in APA format, for the study and the survey. The paper must include all parts of an original research paper including a Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References, and Graphs/Charts.

Oral Presentation
Researchers communicate their findings in a variety of ways in order to reach the largest audience possible. Therefore, it is important that a student in psychology practice communicating results in multiple ways. Each student will give a 4-5 minute talk based on the results of the research study he/she has designed and conducted. The oral presentation should include the hypothesis to be tested, the techniques used, the results, and a discussion of how the results relate to previous research. Students must also participate by asking questions of one another.
Written Work
All written work will be graded for organization, spelling, and grammar. Unless specified otherwise, all work must be in APA format, stapled together, and typed in 10-12 pt font with 2.54cm (1-inch) margins on all sides. Use only a serif font such as Times New Roman, Garamond, or Palatino. Do not use cursive or “artistic” fonts.

Please upload all assignments to Moodle, or print them out, as required in the assignment. I prefer to accept assignments in OpenDocument Text (.odt) format, but will accept Microsoft Word .doc or .docx files. You can create .odt files with the LibreOffice program, available for free download at

The work in this course will be weighted and combined to calculate your final grade as follows:
Lab Assignments: 34%
Quizzes 6%
Observational Study
Written Paper15%
Oral Presentation10%
Peer Review5%
Written Paper15%
Oral Presentation10%
Peer Review5%
90% and above A
Less than 60%F

You are required to attend classes. If you decide to drop the class, it is your responsibility to do so. Five absences may cause you to be dropped - please notify the instructor if you have any extenuating circumstances. The deadline dates for dropping a class with and without a “W” are listed in the printed schedule of classes.

If you are late to a class session, you will miss the material presented before you arrived. As a courtesy to your fellow students, please arrive on time on days when oral presentation of research papers is scheduled


Exercises are to be submitted prior to the end of the class lab period on the date due. If turned in late, you will receive reduced credit; one letter grade per class session late up to two sessions late. Missed tests or exercises will receive zero credit. Discussion about assignments is encouraged, but you must each do your own work. Cheating and plagiarism will be met with an F in the course. See the EVC catalog for details on the College Honesty Policy as well as student disciplinary and grievance procedures.

If you have learning or physical needs that require special accommodations, please let me know as soon as possible.

Course Outline

Note: This is a tentative schedule, and, real life being what it is, we may deviate radically from this printed schedule. Your mileage may definitely vary. The class web site will contain up-to-date assignments and due dates.

Week Tuesday Thursday Assignment Due

2 Sep 2014


Scientific Method
Chap. 1

9 Sep 2014

Variables and Samples
Chap. 2

Doing Research / APA Style
Begin planning Imaginary Experiment


16 Sep 2014

Experimental Methods
Chap. 5

Validity, Quasi-Experiments
Chaps. 6 & 7


23 Sep 2014

Chap. 11

Ethical Issues
Chap. 3

30 Sep 2014

Dealing with Data
Chap. 12

Significance Testing
Chap. 13
Begin planning Observation Research

Observation Lab
Imaginary Experiment
Writing: References

7 Oct 2014

Choosing a Significance Test

Test of Difference

Observation topic approval

14 Oct 2014

Test of Difference (cont.)

Work on Observation Research paper

Difference statistics

21 Oct 2014

Observation Peer Review

Work on Observation Research paper

chi-squared statistic

28 Oct 2014

Work on Observation Research Paper

Work on Observation Research Paper

t-statistic lab (extra credit)

4 Nov 2014

Work on Observation Research Paper

Observation Research Presentations

Observation Research Paper

11 Nov 2014

Asking Questions
Chap. 9

Plan Survey Research Paper

Building a Survey

18 Nov 2014


Work on Survey Research

Survey Topic Approval

25 Nov 2014

Work on Survey Research

Thanksgiving Holiday–No Class

2 Dec 2014

Questionnaire Review

Work on Survey Research Paper

9 Dec 2014

Survey Peer Review

Work on Survey Research Paper

16 Dec 2014

Survey Research Presentations

Survey Research Presentations

Survey Research Paper