PS406 Experimental Psychology

for FA 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


FA 2010 HO


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., T, R 3:45 -5:00 p.m. or via email.

Daytime Phone




Web Page

Semester Dates

August 16 - December 10, 2010

Class Days

Tuesday, Thursday

Class Time

2:25 - 3:40 p.m., T, TH


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 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.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

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:

Professor John Dewey, the founding father of Educational Psychology put it best: "Learning by doing."
Deadlines are important. See specific policy statement elsewhere in this document regarding deadlines.

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. 
  • Experiment Idea Assignment
  • Completion of the IRB Certification.  
  • Proposal for your research (IRB Application & Letter of Informed Consent).  
  • Introduction section (You should have already completed the Introduction section (review of the literature) for this class as part of your SO308 course, if not, you will have to do it in this class.) 
  • Conduct survey using SurveyMonkey
  • Method section for your final project.  
  • Results section (including Excel & SPSS data files) section.
  • Final Exam
  • Core Assessment = Research paper (50 points) is a written presentation of your research project (includes Introduction, Method, Results plus : Discussion, References, Tables, Figures). 


Assignment  Possible Points  Total Points  Total % 
Quizzes  10 pts each  40 pts  0.16
Experiment Idea  10 pts  10 pts  0.04
IRB Certification    10 pts  10 pts  0.04
IRB Application  15 pts  15 pts  0.06
Surveymonkey  15 pts  15 pts  0.06
Introduction Section  15 pts  15 pts  0.06
Method Section  15 pts  15 pts  0.06
Results Section  15 pts  15 pts  0.06
PowerPoint 40 pts 40 pts 0.16
Final Exam  25 pts  25 pts  0.10
Core Assessment 
Final Report  50 pts  50 pts  0.20
TOTAL     250 100%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: All assignments are due in the eCompanion dropbox for that assignment by midnight on Sunday of the week that they are due.  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 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, 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.
5. Please do not use cell phones, iPods, or laptop computers, or any other electronic device during class meetings unless you have provided documentation from Student Disability Services that you have a documented special need for such a device.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



DATES (Note: The Park University academic week runs from 12:01 a.m. on the Monday of that week to Midnight (US Central time zone) of the following Sunday.


(Note: “PPT” means PowerpPoint.  These are located in your eCompanion for the week)



Aug. 16 - 22.


Aug. 23 - 29

Text Chapter 1, 4

PPT lecture Chapters 1, 4

IRB Certificate, Quiz 1


Aug. 30 – Sep. 5

Text Chapter 2

Quiz 2


Sep. 6 - 12

Text Chapter 3

Brown, 2002

PPT Chapter 3

Experiment Idea Assignment

Quiz 3


Sep. 13 - 19

Text Chapter 5

PPT Introduction section

Introduction section

Quiz 4


Sep. 20 - 26

Surveymonkey tutorial

Surveymonkey Assignment

Surveymonkey assignment


Sep. 27 – Oct 3

Method section Assignment

IRB Application Assignment

Method Section

IRB Application


Oct 4 - 10

Pilot test each others’ Surveymonkeys, Download practice data file, Unzip data file, Edit Excel data file.

Your Surveymonkeys MUST be finalized to be sent out for data collection before mid-semester break or you will fail the course.

Mid-Semester Break

Oct. 11 - 17

Mid-Semester Break



Oct. 18 - 24

Edit input errors


Oct. 25 - 31

Import to SPSS

Compute demographics

Compute Means, SDs


Nov. 1 - 7

Results section assignment

Lecture Part 1,

Lecture Part 2,

Lecture Part 3.


Nov. 8 - 14

Lecture Part 4

Results section


Nov. 15 - 21

How to make a PowerPoint presentation of your experiment

Final paper, PowerPoint presentations


Nov. 22 - 28

In-class presentations (Don’t miss your date or you lose 40 points!)

These will be done in Alphabetical order. If you can’t make it on the date you were assigned, then you MUST contact me via email at least 48 hours in advance in order to re-schedule. Missing your presentation without rescheduling in advance will cost you 40 points. You must attend all presentations because there will be questions on the final exam taken from your classmates’ PowerPoint presentations.


Nov. 29 – Dec. 5

In-class presentations (Don’t miss your date or you lose 40 points!)


Dec. 6 - 10

Final Exam (online).

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

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.

Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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


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:8/22/2010 11:44:12 AM