Psychology 433: Laboratory in Personality and Social Psychology




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Psychology 433: Laboratory in Personality and Social Psychology

Fall, 2010


Lecture Dr. Brad Sagarin Laboratory Lily Patel

instructor: PM 416, 815-753-7067 instructors: PM 573, 815-753-3509

bsagarin@niu.edu psyc433lab@gmail.com

Office hrs: TTh 3:30-5:00pm Office hours: Th 9:30-11:00am

http://www.niu.edu/user/tj0bjs1

Sara Johnson

PM 322, 815-753-9602

psyc433lab@gmail.com

Office hours: T 12:30-2:00pm


Lecture: TTh 11:00-12:15pm Lab: TTh 8:00-9:15am (PM 101)

PM 153 TTh 9:30-10:45am (PM 101)


Contacts: Name: ______________ Name: ______________

Phone: ______________ Phone: ______________

Email: ______________ Email: ______________
Course description:
Psychology 433 will focus on the application of the scientific method to the conduct of research in the areas of personality and social psychology. During the semester, you will gain experience (a) searching the literature and reading articles from psychological journals, (b) generating theories and testable hypotheses, (c) designing experiments, quasi-experiments, and observational studies to test these hypotheses, (d) considering the ethical implications of different methodologies, (e) analyzing data using descriptive and inferential statistics, and (f) reporting the results in an APA-style paper.
The lecture portion of the course will cover the conceptual and methodological issues surrounding personality and social psychological research. We will discuss these issues in the context of research on social influence. Attendance in the lecture is not mandatory, but you are fully responsible for all material covered, whether you are there or not.
The laboratory portion of the course is designed to give you hands-on experience with many aspects of the research process. Because participation in the lab activities is critical for learning the course material, attendance in the lab is mandatory. You are permitted two absences from lab during the course of the semester. Undocumented absences beyond these two will result in a reduction of your lab grade.
Required text:
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Required readings also include a set of journal articles and book chapters. I have tried to keep these readings to a reasonable number and length to ensure that everyone can complete them. The material from these readings will be included on the midterm and final exam. The lecture calendar lists the readings associated with each lecture. Information on accessing these readings will be given out during the first day of class.
Recommended texts:
Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence: Science and practice (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (2000). The elements of style (4th ed.). New York: Longman.


Organization of the course:
At the beginning of the semester, the lectures and labs will focus on building scholarly, methodological, and data analytic skills. Once the basics are in place, we will work on developing a personality scale—an important activity in personality research. We will then administer the scale to a sample of undergraduates, test its reliability and validity, and write up the results in an APA-style paper.
The major project for the semester will be the design, implementation, and analysis of a social psychology experiment. For this project, you will have the opportunity to develop hypotheses, design and pilot test materials and procedures, run the experiment, debrief participants, analyze the data, and write up the results in an APA-style paper.
Course evaluation:
There will be two tests given in the lecture portion of the class: a midterm worth 15% of the course grade and a final worth 15%. Make-up exams will only be offered in the event of illness or family or personal emergency. Such events must be documented before a make-up exam will be given. In addition, 5% of the course grade will consist of in-class assignments, group work, quizzes, etc. given in the lecture. Make-up assignments/work/quizzes/etc. will not be offered.
The APA-style write-up of the personality scale will be worth 10%, and the write-up of the social psychology experiment will be worth 35%. Procedures, timelines, and grading policies for these papers will be given out at a later date.
The final 20% will consist of a grade for the lab portion of the class. In assigning this 20%, the laboratory instructor will consider your lab attendance, your homework, and your participation in research activities. Please note that you must pass the lab portion of the class in order to receive a passing grade for the course. Regular attendance and active participation in the lab should ensure a passing grade.
Written assignments must be typed on a word processor, and must be turned in on time (at the beginning of class on the due date). For each day or part of a day late, the equivalent of one grade will be deducted from the assignment.1 In addition, assignments must use proper spelling and grammar. One point will be deducted for each spelling or blatant grammatical mistake found. Please use a word processor spellchecker and proofread your work before handing it in.
Letter grades are assigned as follows: 90% - 100% = A, 80% - 90% = B, 70% - 80% = C, 60% - 70% = D, <60% = F. Students who score within 1% of the next higher letter grade will be considered for the higher letter grade based on their distribution of scores on the tests, assignments, and papers, and their participation in lecture.
Class cancellation:
Lecture is cancelled on Thursday, October 7th. Lab will meet on October 7th.


1 However, on the back page of this syllabus, you will find one non-transferable certificate that will allow you to hand in one assignment (except the final submission of the final paper) up to two days late with no penalty.


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