Research Methods in Social Psychology

Spring Semester 2003, Tu/Th 9:00-10:20, BH336B
Section A

Professor: Sherri Pataki
Office: Baker Hall 339
Office Hours: Thursdays 10:30-11:30 or by appointment
Phone: 412-268-2801
Email: sp3n+@andrew.cmu.edu

TA: Adam Kramer
Office: Baker Hall 161A
Office Hours: By appointment via email
Email: adk+@andrew.cmu.edu

Textbook: Conducting Research in Psychology: Measuring the Weight of Smoke (2nd Edition).

Course Objectives: The main goals of this course are: 1) to understand and to critically evaluate research in social psychology, and 2) to acquire the skills necessary to conduct research in social psychology.

Grading: Final grades will be based on a midterm and final exam (each worth 25% of your grade), a final paper based on your group research project (worth 20%), five brief written assignments (worth 15%), and class participation (worth 15%).

Your participation grade will be based on the following: 1) attendance in class, 2) participation in class discussions, 3) completion of NIH On-line Ethics Course, 4) class homework assignments, 5) a class presentation of your group's proposed research project, and 6) a final class presentation at the end of the semester.

Late papers: Late papers will be deducted 5% per day. Papers not received in class will be considered one day late.

Attendance: Students are responsible for all material presented and discussed in class including handouts, group presentations and announcements.

Exams: The format for the midterm and final exams will be short answer/essay.

Missed Exams/Presentations: The only acceptable excuse for a missed exam or group presentation is a personal or family illness. Verification must be provided and the instructor must be notified prior to the exam or presentation.

Topics and Exams:Reading
Jan 14 Introduction 
Jan 16 Film: On Becoming a Social Psychologist Chapters 1 and 2
Jan 21 Overview of methodologies Chapter 3
Jan 23 Experimental design 
Jan 28 Alternative methods Chapter 4
Jan 30 Causality 
Feb 4 Manipulating independent variables
*NIH On-line Ethics Course deadline*
NIH On-line Ethics Course
Chapter 5
Feb 6 Measuring dependent variables 
Feb 11 Alternative explanations Chapter 6
Feb 13 Group Meetings 
Feb 18 Surveys Chapter 7
Feb 20 Cover stories and debriefing 
Feb 25
and 9
Testing Hypotheses Chapters 8
Feb 27 Review 
Mar 4 Midterm  
Mar 6 Midsemester break  
Mar 11 Group Meetings Chapters 10, 11, and 12
Mar 13 Class Presentations- Research Proposals 
Mar 18 Class Presentations- Research Proposals 
Mar 20 Analyzing Data  
Mar 25/27 Spring Break! 
Apr 1 Ethical issues in research Baumrind, D. (1964). Some
thoughts on ethics of research.

Milgram, S. (1964). Issues in the
study of obedience.
Apr 3 Ethical issues in research 
Apr 8 Demand characteristics
and experimenter bias
Apr 10 Subject Bias Sears, D. (1986). College
sophomores in the laboratory.
Apr 15 Cross-cultural research Betancourt, H. & Lopez, S. (1993).
The study of culture, ethnicity, and
race in American Psychology.
Apr 17 Cross-cultural research 
Apr 22 Cross-cultural research Nisbitt, R. (1993). Violence and
US Regional Culture.
Apr 24 Hands-on Methodology Problems Chapter 13
Apr 29 Class Presentations 
May 1 Final Exam