PSYC270 Experimental Psychology

Department of Social & Behavioral Science: Psychology

I. Course Number and Title
PSYC270 Experimental Psychology
II. Number of Credits
4 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
2250 (lecture) 1800 (laboratory)
IV. Prerequisites
PSYC215 (Prerequisite or co-requisite)
V. Other Pertinent Information
VI. Catalog Course Description
This course introduces the student to the basic principles of experimental design through a description of experimental investigations in various subject areas such as perception, learning, memory, and social psychology. It also focuses on the skill of scientific report writing and includes scheduled laboratory experiences.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    1. Course
    2. Students will:
      1. explain the experimental strategy in scientific investigation;
      2. read and effectively summarize research reports in the psychological journals;
      3. write reports of experiments using the stylistic conventions of the American Psychological Association; and
      4. use library resources, including electronic online resources, for an efficient review of the psychological research literature.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. Category III
      Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
      Students will:
      1. understand and express the meaning and significance of a variety of communications. (Interpretation)
      2. use methods, concepts and theories in new situations.(Application Skills)
      1. reason from what they know to form new knowledge, draw conclusions, solve problems, explain, decide, and/or predict.(Inductive and/or Deductive Reasoning Skills)
      2. communicate and justify clearly the results of their reasoning. (Presenting Argument Skills)
      Information Literacy:
      Students will:
      1. determine the nature and extent of the information needed.
      2. determine the technologies and information formats appropriate for the information identified.
      3. access needed information effectively and efficiently.
      4. evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into their knowledge base and value system.
      5. develop an understanding of the many economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information legally and ethically.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    The following topics are presented:
    1. the scientific method
    2. using electronic databases to find scholarly journals
    3. how to perform ethical research
    4. using the scientific method to study behavior
    5. identifying variables and validity in research
    6. how to observe behavior
    7. how to construct surveys
    8. conducting simple experiments
    9. conducting complex experiments
    10. understanding research results: Descriptive statistics
    11. Understanding research results: Inferential statistics
    12. generalizing the results
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    1. Course
    2. Exams, quizzes, class and online participation, experiments, and/or projects as specified in the individual instructor's course format will be utilized. Use of lecture/discussion will be at the individual instructor's discretion for the classroom portion of the course. The laboratory portion of the course will demonstrate the use of the computer for managing experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and conducting reviews of the psychological literature. The student will implement, analyze and report an experiment of the student's design.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: At least one written assignment incorporating interpretation, application, inductive and/or deductive reasoning, and presenting argument skills will be assigned to at least one of the Planned Topics.

      Information Literacy: A written research report applying all of the Information Literacy objectives will be assigned applying at least one of the Planned Topics.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Text as indicated in instructor's format. Students use educational resources as specified in the individual instructor's format. Software for managing experiments will be used in the laboratory portion of the course. PsychArticles or a similar bibliographical tool will be used to teach online research skills.

Review/Approval Date - 11/98; Core Goals/Objectives added 5/03; Revised 4/2010