SO/PS 308 Principles of Social Research
SP 2013 HO
Dr. Patricia A. Marsh
Associate Professor of Psychology
Ph.D. Social/Personality PsychologyM.S. Psychology; Graduate Certificate in Occupational Health PsychologyB.S. Psychology
Mabee Underground (MA) 208B; across from the Copy Center
MW 10 – 11 AM, M 1 – 3 PM, W 12 – 1 PM, T 4 – 5 PM, or by appointment
January 14 – May 10, 2013
2:25 - 3:40 PM in Mabee Underground (MA) 604
An introductory social science class (i.e., SO141, PS101, CJ100, or SW205) and PS/SO307 or equivalent
Jackson, S. L. (2012). Research methods and statistics: A critical thinking approach (4th ed.). United States: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
ISBN-13: 9781433805615 (soft cover)
You will need a calculator for some parts of this class; however, this website might serve as a backup calculator if you currently do not have one, lose it, or misplace it: http://web2.0calc.com/
SPSS & Excel
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
APA style (free) tutorial: http://www.apastyle.org/learn/tutorials/basics-tutorial.aspx
University of Toronto’s How Not to Plagiarize: http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/using-sources/how-not-to-plagiarize
LEO—Literacy Education Online: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/apaintext.html
Cengage Learning’s Companion website (For Students):
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 email@example.com or call 800-927-3024Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
SO 308 (PS 308) Principles of Social Research: Surveys the range of quantitative (experiments, surveys, etc.) and qualitative (observations, interviews, etc.) methodologies commonly used in social scientific research. Critically examines issues related to formulating research questions, evaluating social scientific literature, sampling, measurement, design, analysis, interpretation, and communication of results. Involves completion of data analysis projects and a research proposal. Prerequisite: An introductory social science class (i.e., SO 141, PS 101, CJ 100, or SW205) and SO 307 or equivalent. 3:0:3
As a professional in the field of Psychology, I am dedicated to the mission of enhancing students’ learning. I set high expectations for myself and my students in our performance, professional behavior inside and outside of the classroom, and in the ethical and respectful manner in which we interact with each other. Research has shown that learning can be enhanced with activities that generate what Bjork (1994) had called desirable difficulties, because these tasks “trigger encoding and retrieval processes that support learning, comprehension, and remembering” (as cited in Bjork & Bjork, 2011, p. 58). Although learning should be challenging it can also be an enjoyable process. Structure, organization, and details are key elements of my teaching approach along with techniques such as conveying life stories, hands-on activities, “props” (e.g., the Bobo doll), and assignments/tests that reflect the knowledge, skills, and attributes identified by APA (2007) as core to the undergraduate psychology major.
Because learning is an ongoing process, students receive multiple forms of feedback and opportunities to engage in the learning process throughout the course. People learn at different paces, through different styles, and from different cultural/societal/family experiences. However, because the course is confined by preset start and end dates, students’ strategies for learning the course material will differ and this is to be expected.
Some students, who seek out additional assistance and/or advising with me, tend to extend the learning process beyond the scope of the course and into their professional development. Learning, mentoring, conducting and applying research, and providing my service to the profession are keys aspects of who I am as a social/personality psychologist. I am also very dedicated and passionate about my career and hope to inspire others to feel that way about their chosen profession.
Expectations I have for students associated with this course:
Assumed Knowledge & Skills (i.e., what students have walking into this course)
· Basic understanding of psychological and statistical concepts, and theories of behavior.
· Basic understanding of the order of mathematical operations; fractions, proportions, decimals, and percentages; calculations with negative numbers; basic algebra for solving equations (e.g., solve for X); and calculations with exponentials and square roots. For a review visit http://www.mathgoodies.com/standards/alignments/grade4.html
· Intellectual inquiry and skepticism.
· How to critically read a college level textbook; use of eCompanion; database searchers for academic sources (e.g., use of Park’s library services and knowing the difference between peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed references), and knowledge of university policies.
· Self-regulation of one’s learning (e.g., taking notes based on your methods of learning, identifying strengths and areas of improvement in your learning endeavors, receiving and incorporating constructive feedback into your learning process); ability to read/access and follow a course syllabus.
Junior level (assumed because the course is at the 300-level)
· How to properly cite and reference the source(s) of ideas, concepts, theories, findings, and terminology using APA style 6th edition (e.g., title pages, header and page numbering, main and sub-headings, references page, etc.).
· Avoid stealing, copying, or taking credit for information that you did not create (i.e., acts of plagiarism).
· Writing in a professional (non-conversational) manner. Professional writing includes, but is not limited to, the use of complete sentences, clear topic statements and supporting sentences, research or evidenced based rationales instead of unsupported opinions, transition sentences across paragraphs, integrating information from multiple sources, demonstrating multiple applications of critical thinking, and a concluding paragraph.
· Ability to work collaboratively in teams.
· Professionalism in one’s behavior and quality of work.
Students desiring to earn an "A" letter grade in this course will devote on average 6 – 9 hours per week, which includes attending class lectures/discussions. Depending on the number of “Assumed Knowledge & Skills” described above that students have BEFORE entering this course, some may need to devote significantly more hours to achieve their desired grade in this course.
Instructor Learning Outcomes
1. Problem Statement: (max. 1500 words) an overview of the topic your research will investigate. It introduces and justifies your research question, key variables, their hypothesized relations, and your guiding theoretical perspective. It explains how your planned research is unambiguous in its goals and methods, concerned with a significant issue that will add to the store of human knowledge, theoretically justifiable and testable, practical and feasible to implement, ethical and respectful of human rights, and builds on existing knowledge in the field.
2. Literature Review: (max. 1500 words) a critical summary of existing research your project will build upon. Your review will evaluate at least five other relevant research projects from original sources in reputable, peer-reviewed journals. The lit review discusses previous research, as it influences the proposed project. It evaluates the methodological, theoretical, or substantive strengths or weaknesses of those studies and explains how they shape your research plans.
3. Ethics & Conduct of Research: (max. 1500 words) summarizes potential ethical dilemmas, political consequences, and practical challenges associated with designing, conducting, implementing, and disseminating your research. It explains where your research process might go wrong and the safeguards you will put into place to minimize those risks.
4. Design & Procedures: (max. 2000 words) describes and justifies your plans for measurement, sampling, design, analysis, and interpretation of results. It explains which data you would collect, when you would collect it, and what you would do with it to make sense of your topic and shed new light on your research question — and how and why. This section is a set of “how to” instructions for actually turning your “good idea” into a real plan for scientifically answering your original question. Your research proposal is a carefully constructed argument for why your question should be answered and how a valid and reliable answer might be obtained. It should be a meticulous set of instructions for generating an answer according to the rules of scientific method, and it should make the case to interested parties for how such an answer can be achieved.
Modifications to the Core Assessment’s Instructions
The maximum word limit for the entire assignment (i.e., 6500 words) is approximately 19 – 20 pages double spaced, which does NOT include the title, abstract, or references pages or the Tables, Figures, or Appendices that students might include. The description above will serve as the basic format of the Core Assessment (CA) assignment in this class with the following modifications:
Detailed Class Assessment:
Unless otherwise stated, all assignments are to be completed, submitted, uploaded, and/or turned-in by the start of class period (i.e., 2:25 p.m.) as indicated in the schedule portion of the syllabus.
(300 points, 30%)
3 * 100 points
There will be 3 exams, each worth 100 points. I reserve the right to keep the exams.
(must pass the training and present the certificate by the due date/time to earn these points)
Students must complete and pass the Investigator Education Program (i.e., the National Institute for Health’s—NIH Office of Extramural Research training); passing the training also makes students eligible to submit research proposals to Park’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Students are “required to submit a copy of their program completion certificate” (Institutional Review Board, n.d., para. 24) to their professor by the deadline as an email attachment or hard copy (print out). Reading the modules and passing the embedded quizzes can take multiple hours (3-5 hours depending on comprehension speed), thus plan accordingly.
Core Assessment Assignment
(210 points, 21%)
Core Assessment [Research Proposal]. This assignment will be broken down into smaller components; see class schedule for associated due dates.
CA Part 1: Problem Statement & Literature Review sections of the CA as described earlier in the syllabus; a minimum of 1750 words for the combined sections.
CA Part 2: Design & Procedures (first attempt)
CA Part 3: Design & Procedures (final attempt)
CA Part 4: Ethics & Conduct of Research and Planned Analyses
CA Final Paper & PowerPoint Presentation: Last submission of the CA paper (all parts approximately 18 – 22 pages)
(104 points, 10%)
25 points &
Up to 24 points
†(1) RMS Assessment Test & Survey (beginning of spring semester) – Online and in the Testing Center
(2) Pre APA Test – in class; points earned for completing the assignment
End of the semester
(3) Follow-up RMS Test & Survey; online and the Testing Center. Any score above 25 correct responses (out of 44 items) will count as extra credit toward students’ total points in the course.
(4) Post APA Test – in class; points based on the actual score earned on the test.
Homework & Class Activity assignments
There will be various homework and individual/ group activity assignments (in addition to the other individual and one group project assignments). Some of these assignments will be planned (e.g., appear in the syllabus’ schedule and others will be more spontaneous. Although the possible points may slightly exceed the maximum number, students should NOT rely solely on being able to make up all points missed earlier in the semester.
Group Project: Observation Study Paper (6%)
Each group will submit one (1) miniature version of an APA research paper based on the observation study they designed, collected data for, analyzed, and wrote.
(3 – 5% extra)
(maximum; lack of absences policy)
(maximum; participating in research studies or equivalent research experience)
†Students who completed these assessments (item #1) at the end of fall 2012, walked into this class with those 35 points already earned.
Grades in the course are based on the number of points earned by the last day of class and points earned on the final exam. Adjustments on individual assignments/tests are rare and at my discretion. Adjustments to students’ total points at the end of the semester will NOT occur. For example, if students are 1 point away from the next letter grade, I will not simply move them up one point. I do not know what each student’s total points for the course are until I compile grades at the end of final’s week; therefore it is each students responsibility to keep track of his/her own total points and to increase performance during the semester if additional points are needed for the grade he/she wishes to earn in the course.
Final course grades will be determined as follows:
904 - 1004+
803 - 903
703 - 802
602 - 702
Late Submission of Course Materials: Assignments Eligible for Late Submission & Associated Point Reductions
Assignments NOT Eligible for Late/Make up Policy
Classroom Rules of Conduct: Phone/Pagers: These items are to be placed in the silent, vibrate, or off mode during class. Use of these devices in class (e.g., text messaging) is both rude and disrespectful. At the professors discretion (i.e., decision), students may be subjected to a 25-point deduction in their final course points for each incident.
Drop Policy: In compliance with Park University’s policy. Students will be dropped from the course after two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences. Although faculty/instructors submit attendance on a weekly basis, being dropped is an administrative function of the attendance system and faculty members are not involved in that part of the policy.
Attendance Policy: Students are expected to attend all classes and this reflects expectations once they graduate (e.g., expectations of employers and graduate programs). To encourage the active engage and participation of students, extra credit points will be allotted to students at the end of the course based on their level of attendance throughout the semester. Regardless of the type of absence (i.e., excused vs. unexcused), students with 0 – 2 absences will earn an addition 20 points toward their total course points. Those with 3 – 5 absences will earn 10 points. Those with 6 or more absences will not earn any additional points.
Absences due to representing Park University (e.g., conference presentation, debate, fieldtrip for another class), taking a university test (e.g., exit exam for your major), will count as officially attending. For this policy to be validated, the instructor must be informed at least 24-hours before the start of class and/or have proper documentation (e.g., letter from another professor associated with the university-related event).
Obtaining lecture notes for missed classes is the students’ responsibility, which means contacting a classmate for the notes/materials. If you know in advance that you will miss class on a major due date or for long periods of time, please notify me immediately! Ideally any missed work is completed in advance of the due date. Attendance does NOT mean that you show up to class and read a newspaper or text message your friends. Individuals who exhibit behaviors that the professor considers disrespectful or a hindrance to the learning process will be asked to leave the classroom.
Email policy: Unless I am sick or out of town, I will usually respond to emails within a 48-hour period when regular classes are in session, Monday - Friday. Such policies do not apply during breaks (e.g., spring, summer, fall, or winter breaks), official Park holidays, or during school closings.
Be Respectful (both inside and outside of the actual classroom): As a student in this class, you should know upfront that you will encounter new ideas, topics, images and discussions, which may challenge your worldview. Some students may find this information personally offensive, uncomfortable, distasteful, or upsetting. Because the field of psychology addresses positive, neutral and negative aspects of human and animal behavior, we will discuss a broad range of topics that may not be pleasant for everyone. Please be respectful to your classmates and your instructor(s). Debates on relevant issues are encouraged, however no one should engage in personal attacks inside or outside of the classroom.
Student Behavior: At the instructor’s discretion, student behavior deemed disruptive to the educational environment will result in disciplinary action consistent with the university’s academic policy. Consequences of disruptive behavior include, but are not limited to, removal from the classroom and administrative withdrawal of the student from the course.
Students will receive a public warning to cease the activity. On the second occurrence the student will be instructed to leave the class room. If the student fails to leave the class room, Public Safety Officers (police) will be contacted and the student escorted from the class room.
Office Hours: Specific times for office hours are listed on the front page. Individual appointments are available upon request. Please take advantage of appointments. These times are set aside so that questions or concerns can be addressed, assistance and resources discussed, or for meetings about your professional development (e.g., academic and career).
Inclement weather/emergency closings: If we miss a class because of a snow/ice day, the exam schedule will remain as planned in the syllabus. The only exception is if a snow day occurs on an exam day. In that case, the exam will take place on the next day we return to class.
I reserve the right to keep this schedule flexible, which means small modifications might occur depending on circumstances throughout the semester. Such announcements are mentioned in class and may be conveyed in Course Announcements within eCompanion.
All assignments are due by the start of class time (i.e., 2:25 p.m.) unless otherwise stated. Papers MUST be uploaded in the eCompanion Dropbox within eCompanion as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file format.
Chapter 1: Thinking Like a Scientist
Introductions; Discussion of various Pre Assessment assignments
Pre APA Test (in class)
Class activity, based on links in the “Descriptive Methods” PP slide
Due: RMS Assessments (Test & Survey)
Chapter 2: Getting Started—Ideas, Resources, and Ethics
Due: Homework (HMWK) for Ch. 1
Class activity: Identifying elements of a research study
Class activity—Dissecting a research article
Due: HMWK for Ch. 2
Class activity, based on links in the “Ethical Standards in Research” PP slides
Chapter 3: Defining, Measuring, and Manipulating Variables
Due: Certificate from the NIH Office of Extramural Research training
Due: HMWK for Ch. 3
Exam 1 (chapters 1 – 3, plus additional readings that expanded upon content in these chapters)
Chapter 4: Descriptive Methods
Due: Core Assessment (CA) Part 1
Due: HMWK for Ch. 4
Due: Core Assessment (CA) Part 2
For Your Information: Friday/Saturday—Great Plains Psychology Convention (Omaha, NE)
At the end of spring break
Chapter 9: The Logic of Experimental Design
Due: Core Assessment (CA) Part 3
Due: HMWK for Ch. 9
Exam 2 (chapters 4 & 9, plus additional readings that expanded upon content in these chapters)
Chapter 8: Introduction to Inferential Statistics; Chi-Square Goodness-of-Fit Test (pp. 216-218)
Chapter 10: Inferential Statistics—Two Group Designs; Nonparametric Tests (pp. 264-272)
Due: HMWK for Ch. 8
For Your Information:
Park’s Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium (Monday – Thursday)
Ch. 10 Nonparametric Test
Due: Core Assessment (CA) Part 4
Chapter 13: Quasi-Experimental Designs
Due: HMWK for Ch. 10
Due: HMWK for Ch. 13
Due: CA paper (final version) †
Due: Follow-up RMS Assessments (Test and Survey)à by Friday 5/3
†Remember that only one Core Assessment (final version) paper is due per student. The final version of the paper is due on the day students present their research proposal to the class; hence, the repeating due dates for the same assignment.
5/9 (R), 1 – 3 PM
Full final exam schedule can be found in: http://www.park.edu/Spring2013ClassSchedule.pdf
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 (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96
Plagiarism: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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95(Additional) Policy on Cheating/Plagiarism:
Cheating on examinations and/or plagiarism of written material, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE ACTS WERE INTENTIONAL OR UNINTENTIONAL, will be handled in a manner consistent with the university's academic honesty and plagiarism policies. Students who are caught cheating, plagiarizing, or (un)knowingly providing false information may be reprimanded with a (a) failure grade on assignments or exams, (b) failure of the course, or (c) potentially other disciplinary actions. Again, these consequences can occur for unintentional, intentional, or other reasons for such acts.
Park University's Resources on Plagiarism: http://www.park.edu/cetl/quicktips/plagiarism.html
Plagiarism.org (Learning More about Plagiarism; http://www.plagiarism.org/)
University of Toronto's How Not to Plagiarize: http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/using-sources/how-not-to-plagiarize
LEO—Literacy Education Online: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/apaintext.html
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98(Additional) Attendance Policy:
ATTENDANCE WILL BE COLLECTED DURING THE FIRST 10 MINUTES OF CLASS. If you are late to class you will be marked late, which will be counted as an Excused Absence and it will count as an absence toward the extra credit points associated with lack of absences; see Course Policies.
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: http://www.park.edu/disability .
References cited in this syllabus
American Psychological Association—APA. (2007). APA guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from www.apa.org/ed/resources.html
Bjork, E. L., & Bjork, R. (2011). Making things hard on yourself, but in a good way: Creating desirable difficulties to enhance learning. In M. A. Gernsbacher, R. W. Pew, L. M. Hough, & J. R. Pomerantz (Eds.), Psychology and the real world: Essays illustrating fundamental contributions to society (pp. 56-64). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Last Updated:1/11/2013 2:48:22 PM