PS406 Experimental Psychology

for S2T 2010

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


PS 406: Experimental Psychology


S2T 2010 DL


Kerkman, Dennis D.




Ph.D. (Developmental & Child Psychology, University of Kansas)
M.S. (Psychology, University of Georgia )
B.A. (Psychology, University of Kansas)

Office Location

MA 223 (across from Bookstore)

Office Hours

M, W, F 10-11:00 a.m., 12-1:00 p.m. or by appointment.

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

March 15 - May 9, 2010

Class Days

n/a (online)

Class Time

n/a (online)


Prerequisites: EN105, EN106, PS101, SO307, SO308, passing the WCT, and 60 accumulated hours credit.

Credit Hours



Kantowitz, B. H., Roedigger, H. L., & Elmes, D. G., (2009). Experimental psychology (9th ed.). Wadworth, Belmont, CA.

NOTE:  You must have the 9th edition. Previous editions are quite different and are not acceptable. We will only be using the first 5 chapters. This textbook is available through the Barnes & Noble Bookstore on the Parkville campus, or through MBS bookstore, or via the internet (publisher’s website:
Microsoft Office applications
Microsoft Office Word (2003 or later), Powerpoint (2003 or later) , and Excel (2003 or later) are required.
SPSS is required.

You can order the student version of the SPSS software from SPSS directly,
but the cost may be different from MBS and some students on financial aid or scholarships don’t get reimbursed if they do not purchase through MBS!

Note: SPSS is available on almost all of the computers here on campus.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

(A great resource with internet video step-by-step instructions for APA Style, APA References, SPSS stat package, etc. courtesy of Park University Psychology & Sociology Department's own Professor Jean Mandernach (with assistance from other departmental faculty).

Additional information on APA style, in general:

Journal articles on theory and research in how people estimate large quantities: 

Journal articles on methods for analyzing how people estimate large quantities, esp. geographic locations, distances, etc.:

IRB Certification:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:

An introduction to the design and analysis of laboratory experiments and other research methods in psychology. Topics may include: cognitive, social, perceptual, clinical developmental and biological processes. Students conduct and evaluate experiments, may serve as subjects, and gain experiences in writing scientific research reports. This course will satisfy the EN 306 requirement for Psychology major. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: EN 105, EN 106, PS101, SO 307, PS 308, passing the WCT, and 60 accumulated hours.

Educational Philosophy:
FACULTY’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: “Philosophy” is the love of knowledge.  “Education” is the process of guiding people out of ignorance into the light of understanding. “The Liberal Arts” are a set of disciplines that enable students to think critically and communicate effectively so they can understand themselves and the world around them, and how they can act for the purpose of serving a global community.  Studying these arts therefore liberates, or frees students from the constraints of ignorance so they can understand and improve the world around them. To understand the Liberal Arts, one must cultivate certain literacies: analytical and critical thinking, community and civic responsibility, scientific inquiry, ethics and values, literary and artistic expression.  In this course, the primary methods used to cultivate the literacies are: (1) learning by inquiry, reflection, and interaction (the Socratic Method of guided questioning in group discussions), (2) learning by experience (readings, lectures, demonstrations, videos, internet and other presentation media), and (3) learning by doing (hands-on interaction with the environment (e.g., collecting of one’s own research observations).  The Socratic Method will be used in the form of “Discussions” to cultivate the development of analytic and critical thinking, community and civic responsibility, and ethics and values by guided questioning in group discussions of perennial themes and controversies (e.g., nature vs. nurture), and current events (e.g., politics, international trade agreements/disputes, inter- and intracultural conflicts such as wars, terrorism, etc.).  These discussions frequently focus on issues with direct implications for community and civic responsibility. They also highlight cultural diversity issues and ethical and value judgments.  Scientific Inquiry will be directly addressed through reading assignments, lectures, and hands-on assignments for learning how to collect and summarize the student’s own observations of naturally occurring human behavior. Please note: Cross-cultural Psychology is about how the culture one grows up in forges the beliefs, valeus, and belavior of individuals and groups; how people get along with or do not get along with other people.  This topic is inherently controversial (e.g., politics, religion, wars).  We all have very dearly held beliefs and attitudes.  No one likes to consider, much less admit, that they might be wrong, especially in the ways that that think and feel and act toward other people.  However, in order for us all to make progress toward being more educated, rational human beings, we must consider points of view other than our own, and we must be willing to dispassionately and objectively consider points of view other than our own, being sufficiently open-minded to acknowledge the fact that we might be wrong.  A university is first and foremost a place for the free and frank exchange of ideas.  The founding father of Western philosophy, Socrates, the Athenian, devised a method for getting people to examine their beliefs and points of view other than their own, which has come to be known as “The Socratic Method”.  Socrates said that he didn’t know anything for certain, all he had were lots of questions.  He asked his students questions that made them seriously re-consider and even doubt the validity of their most dearly held beliefs about themselves and others.  This can be rather uncomfortable, because no one likes to consider the idea that they might be wrong.  In fact, Socrates’ questions made the citizens of ancient Athens so uncomfortable that they voted to have Socrates stoned to death for allegedly “corrupting the youth of the city” by encouraging the young people of the city to question their parents’ most dearly held beliefs.  Rather than be stoned to death, Socrates committed suicide.  I have no desire to be stoned to death or to commit suicide, but I do want all of us to become more balanced and rational and objective in our knowledge how people feel, think, and act, and do or do not get along with each other.   So, I am going to tell you in advance that I will intentionally challenge some of your beliefs and you also are free to challenge mine, so long as we all understand that we are doing this for the purpose of helping each other gain a more balanced and rational understanding of ourselves and each other.  No one is perfect, and that from time to time all of us have been wrong.  In this class, we will all have to be open-minded enough to consider the possibility that some of our thoughts and feelings and attitudes toward other people might be wrong, and we have to be forgiving enough to accept the fact that when someone challenges our beliefs, he or she is doing so for the purpose of trying to understand our point of view and helping us to understand points of view other than our own.  This will be much easier said than done, but it is the oldest and still the best way of teaching that I know.   Notice: If you do not feel comfortable with the idea of having your beliefs challenged, then you should drop this course immediately.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to conceive, design, execute, evaluate, and present your own psychological experiment.
  2. Utilize the basic vocabulary of experimental psychology.
  3. Communicate professionally using APA style.
  4. Demonstrate critical and scientific thinking related to research methodology.
  5. Apply psychological concepts to one's life and circumstances.
  6. Demonstrate understanding of statistical procedures.

Core Assessment:

Design, conduct, analyze, and report a genuine experiment in psychology from start to finish, using APA style.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

ASSESSMENT OF COURSE OBJECTIVES - Rubrics for all of these assessments can be found in the "Grading Rubrics" item under Course Home and in the Week when the assignment is due.

  • Quizzes on the chapters in the Kantowitz et al. text & lectures. 
  • Weekly Discussions.
  • Completion of the IRB Certification.  
  • Proposal for your research (IRB Application & Letter of Informed Consent).  
  • You should have already completed the Introduction section (review of the literature) for this class as part of your SO308 course
  • Conduct survey using SurveyMonkey
  • Method section for your final project.  
  • Results section (including Excel & SPSS data files) section.
  • Final Exam - 25 questions taken from the Weeks 1 - 3 quizzes
  • Core Assessment = Research paper (50 points) is a written presentation of your research project (includes Introduction, Method, Results plus : Discussion, References, Tables, Figures). 





Possible Points

Total Points

Total %

Discussion s (1/week*8 weeks)

5 pts each

40 pts



10 pts each

40 pts


Experiment Idea

10 pts

10 pts


IRB Certification  

10 pts

10 pts


IRB Application

15 pts

15 pts



15 pts

15 pts


Introduction Section

15 pts

15 pts


Method Section

15 pts

15 pts


Results Section

15 pts

15 pts


Final Exam

25 pts

25 pts


Core Assessment

Final Report

50 pts

50 pts




250 pts



Park University requires that a proctored final examination be taken by students , in person, in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week for all Online undergraduate level courses. This exam must be taken at any of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location (under certain circumstances). For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test. Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website.

Students are responsible for arranging a proctor for their final exam(s). Students can access the Park University Online Proctor Request form, to request their proctor beginning Week 2 of the term. The deadline for proctor approvals is the Friday of Week 6. FAILURE TO DO THIS WILL RESULT IN AN "F" FOR THE COURSE.

Letter Grade


Number of Points




90 - 100%



80 - 89.9%



70 - 79.9%



60 - 69.9%



00 - 59.9%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the day when they are due (see schedule, below).  If you fail to show up on the day of your presentation, you will receive a 0 (zero) for that presentation, unless you have a Doctor's note or an accident report.  Late term paper proposals or reports will be penalized 15% for each weekday or portion thereof that the assignment is late.  If you notify me 24 hours IN ADVANCE that you will be absent, then you will be allowed to make-up exams or presentations.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1. Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drive crash, emails bounce back, and servers go down.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, hard drive, sent email folder, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.  
2. Make-ups for exams will be given only to those who have notified the instructor BEFORE the regularly scheduled time for that exam.  There are no make-ups for the Proctored Final Exam.  Students who fail to take the final exam will receive a semester grade of "F" in the course (Park University regulations).
3. A university must be first and foremost, a place for the free and frank exchange of ideas.  The pursuit of academic excellence can only take place in an atmosphere of mutual respect.  We all have the right to use logic and evidence to disagree with each other’s positions, but none of us has the right to make derogatory or harassing statements or actions against any other member of this class.  The only thing I will not tolerate in this class is intolerance or disrespect for others.
4. Student misconduct during classes or in online discussions, etc. will not be tolerated.  Students who, in the judgment of the Instructor, behave in a way that is disruptive or disrespectful to the instructor or other students will have their semester grade reduced by an amount to be determined by the instructor.  They may also face disciplinary action as provided under the terms specified in the Park University Catalog.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


Threaded Discussion initial entries are due by Wednesday Midnight CST, all responses should be complete by Sunday Midnight CST.

All Assignments are due no later than Sunday Midnight CST (unless otherwise noted). 




  • Submit your introduction
  • Read Chapters 1 and 4
  • Watch PPT Lecture
  • Self Check 
  • Discussion - 5 pts
  • Quiz - 10 pts
  • IRB Certification - 10 pts
  • Read Chapters 2 and 3
  • Watch PPT Lectures
  • Self Check
  • Experiment Idea - 10 pts 
  • Discussion - 5 pts
  • Quizzes (2) - Total - 20 pts



  • Read Chapter 5
  • Watch PPT Lectures
  • Self Check 
  • IRB Application - 15 pts
  • Introduction Section - 15 pts
  • Discussion - 5 pts
  • Quiz - 10 pts
  • Read Lecture
  • Self Check 
  • Discussion - 5 pts
  • Survey Monkey - 15 pts



  • Read Lecture
  • Self Check 
  • Discussion - 5 pts
  • Method Section - 40 pts
  • Proctor Form Due
  • Read Lecture
  • Self Check 
  • Discussion - 5 pts
  • Results Section - 15 pts



  • Read Lecture
  • Self Check
  • Discussion - 5 pts
  • Final Report - 50 pts
  • Read Lecture
  • Discussion - 5 pts
  • Final Exam - 25 pts

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Kantowitz text Chapter 1 - Get the others at

Brown, 2002 Metrics & Mappings Theory of Estimation

Sample Discussion

Sample PowerPoint Presentation

Sample Method section

Sample Discussion

Sample PowerPoint Presentation

Sample Letter of Infomred Consent


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Analysis & Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Outcomes 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Correctly compares, contrasts, and evaluates at least 4 previous research articles.

Correctly compares, contrasts, and evaluates at least 3 previous research articles.

Correctly compares, contrasts, and evaluates at least 2 previous research articles.

Correctly compares, contrasts, and evaluates fewer than 2 previous research articles.

Outcomes 1, 2, 4, 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Applies theories and principles to create an original experiment with fewer than 4 errors (generalizing methods, principles, and statistics to the new experiment) and applies the results to one's own life circumstances.

Applies theories and principles to create an original experiment with 4-8 errors (generalizing methods,  principles, and statistics to the new experiment) ) and applies the results to one's own life circumstances.

Applies theories and principles to create an original experiment with 9-12 errors (generalizing methods, principles, and statistics to the new experiment) and applies the results to one's own life circumstances.

More than 12 errors in Applies theories and principles to create an original experiment with 9-12 errors (generalizing methods, principles, and statistics to the new experiment) and applies the results to one's own life circumstances. 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Outcomes 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Paper contains all of the components and formatted in correct APA style with fewer than 4 errors, including spelling and grammar.

Paper contains all of the components and formatted in correct APA style with 4-8 errors including spelling and grammar.

Paper contains all of the components and formatted in correct APA style with 9-12 errors including spelling and grammar.

Paper contains more than 12 errors including spelling and grammar. 


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Last Updated:3/11/2010 11:45:43 AM