EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 3914   Sections 3&4  CLB 319  Spring 2003

INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Richard Potts   OFFICE: 204 North Murray  PHONE: 744-4593

OFFICE HOURS: Tues, 2-3:15, Thur, 11-12.  EMAIL: pcharle@okstate.edu


LAB TIME AND PLACE: Sect. 3, Wed. 6:30-8:20; Sect. 4, Fri. 2:30-4:20, in N. Murray 015.


TEXT:  Cozby, P. (2001). Methods in behavioral research (7th Ed.). Mt. View, CA: Mayfield Publishing. [some additional readings may be distributed later in the semester]


COURSE OVERVIEW.   This course has the goal of teaching you about experimental methods

that are commonly used in psychological science.  In most of your other psychology courses, you learn what psychologists have discovered about human behavior and cognition. In this course, you will learn how psychologists go about discovering such facts. You will learn about specific research techniques, get hands-on experience in designing experiments and other research projects, you will collect data from human subjects, you will analyze that data using statistical methods, and you will interpret and write up results of those efforts in manuscript form in much the same manner as psychological researchers do.  This 4-credit course may be more demanding than others, and you should be prepared to give it an appropriate  amount of time and effort.  You should leave this course with a fundamental understanding of the scientific techniques used to study psychological phenomena.


GRADING:  Four tests, a comprehensive final exam, and four laboratory assignments comprise the grading system.  The four in-class tests will sum to 160 points (approx. 47% of course grade), with each test worth 40 points or thereabouts. Format is a mix of multiple choice and short answer items.   The grading scale for all tests will be a type of  curve  based on the actual class performance on each of the tests.  This will be further illustrated after the first test.  The comprehensive final exam will be worth 80 points (23%), and will be comprised of items very similar (but not necessarily identical) to items on the previous tests.  Grades will be posted in class following each test.  Individual feedback on tests will be available only in my office.  You may come to my office anytime during regular office hours or by a special appointment and visually review your test using an answer key.  This test review opportunity will allow you to ask questions in an individual or semi-individual basis, and I will be glad to give you whatever information you need, within reason. Tests can be reviewed only until the next test is given; i.e., you may not review Test 1 after Test 2 is given, and so on.  Tests may not be taken from my office nor copied.  You may make highlight marks in your class notes while reviewing your test, but you may not copy test items.

The laboratory projects will be worth a total of 100 points (29%).  Handouts will be distributed in lab at later dates with details of each assignment.  The laboratory points will be combined with the lecture points for a single course grade.  Students receiving "A"s on all four tests and in lab are exempt from the final exam.


CLASSROOM RESPONSIBILITIES:  From the OSU document entitled "Student Rights and Responsibilities Governing Student Behavior", Section II, Subsection C reads: "It is the responsibility of the student to conform to conduct conducive to learning by being prepared, prompt, attentive, and courteous in the classroom and conforming to policies set by the teacher to maintain an academic decorum".  Thus, respectful behavior towards the instructor and class members is expected, and discourteous or disruptive behavior will result in university disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the course.  In concrete terms, the following behaviors are prohibited in lecture and lab:  habitual lateness, leaving early, talking to other class members during lecture, using cell phones, extraneous activity (e.g., reading O'Colly, doing other homework, copying notes, sleeping), inappropriate use of laboratory computers (playing games, checking email, etc.).


ATTENDANCE: Near-perfect attendance is expected. Attendance in lecture will be taken on several unannounced days.  The attendance record will be consulted in matters of borderline course  grades, whether to accept a questionable excuse for late projects, etc. Low attendance (more than 1 or 2 absences during the semester) will result in low benevolence on my part. Needless to say, it is an empirical fact that low attendance leads to low test grades.  Because laboratory projects will require you to be present in the lab session and sometimes to collect data in teams, attendance in each lab is mandatory.  Unexcused absences in lab will carry a penalty of -5 points per absence.  A point penalty may also be incurred for excessive tardiness.  Missed tests, project deadlines, or lab absences will be excused only with official documentation that verifies a legitimate and compelling illness or emergency. Such documentation must be presented to me or the lab instructor as soon as you return to class.  Make-up tests must be taken within one week of the original test, and lab assignments will be due within that next week as well.  Lab assignments turned in late without valid excuse will incur a 3-point per day penalty (in addition to any applicable absence penalty).  Other courses, appointments, jobs, athletic events, vacations, and the like are not legitimate excuses for absences. You are personally responsible for the entirety of your attendance and performance in this course, with the exception of medical or other compelling emergency. You are responsible for all information presented in class, including any changes in the syllabus and test schedule announced in class, regardless of your daily attendance, excused or not.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------­Schedule of tests and chapter assignments


TEST 1  Feb. 4   Covers chapters 1, 2, 4, 6


TEST 2  Mar. 6   Covers chapters 12, 5, 10


TEST 3  Apr. 3   Covers chapters 13, 8, 11


TEST 4  Apr. 24  Covers chapters 9, 3, 14


FINAL EXAM  May 5,  2:00 PM


More specific reading assignments (page #s in text, additional readings) will be given prior to each new topic.


Other dates to remember:

last day to drop a course with no grade – 1/21

last day to drop a course with only "W" – 4/11

last day to withdraw from all courses with "W" or "F" – 4/25