Psychology 202

Required Materials:

1. Research Methods in Psychology, Bordens & Abbott, 2nd Ed.
2. Research Design and Methods, Resource Manual-Perkins
3. Stapler
4. 3-ring binder
5. 1-Scantron form #20788 (ParScore) and 3 Scantron forms #20787 (ParScore)
6. 1-double-sided high density (DSHD) 3.5" diskette and H&SS Lab Packet


Introduction to Research Methods
Science/Alternatives to Science
Science and Human Behavior
Types of Research
True Experiments, Ex-postfacto
Single Subject Experiments
Complex Experiments
Factorial Designs
Types of Error
Controlling Error
Research ethics (Animals)
Research ethics (Human)

A. Course Overview

The principle objective of this course is to provide you with a basic understanding of research methodology as it applies to psychology. Accordingly, your instructor will not stress any one particular content area in psychology but rather will present material related to the philosophy of science, research design, data analysis and data interpretation. It is the belief of your instructor that these objectives can be accomplished most effectively by having you actively participate in conducting experiments, interpreting data, and communicating your findings in the form of written research reports. This material is presented early in your major in the belief that a strong methodological background will increase your effectiveness in upper-division laboratory and lecture courses. The course is not intended solely for students who wish to pursue careers in research. The methodological concepts presented in class are being applied with increasing frequency to areas traditionally regarded as non-experimental (e.g., clinical psychology, community mental health, probation, criminal justice, and teaching).

B. Grading

Your understanding of the course objectives will be evaluated by a combination of exams, homework assignments, and a research report. The following points have been assigned to each activity:

3 Exams










Total Pts


Final grades will be assigned on the basis of the following percentage of the total possible points.

Percent Required Pts Letter Grade
=>90 515 A
=>80 457 B
=>70 400 C
=>60 342 D
=<50 0 F

In order to help reduce your anxiety and maximize the probability of your receiving a favorable grade on the examinations, I have prepared a set of instructional objectives (study questions) for each unit. These objectives specify approximately 90% of what you should have learned as a result of attending the lectures and reading the assigned materials.

The objectives for each of the three units are located on pages 3 through 7 in your lab manual. Most of the objectives (questions) come from my lectures, not from the book. The best way to use these objectives is to review them after each lecture. Try and "hook-up" each question, found in the unit objectives, with the correct answer which most often can be found in one of my lectures. If you do this after each lecture, reviewing for the exams will be much easier. If you're having trouble finding an answer to one of the objectives, see me before class or during my office hours for help. Since most of the objectives come from my lectures, it is imperative that you attend all the lectures.

 C. Examinations

 You are required to take the exams on the dates specified on the course outline.Failure to take an exam on the date specified will result in a score of zero unless you have a written medical excuse. You can keep track of how well you are doing in the class by using the form found on page one of your lab manual. To calculate your grade at any time during the semester simply take the number of points you have earned in the class to date and divide it by the total possible number of points to date. This will give you your percentage which you can then convert to a letter grade using the above scale.

 D. Class Attendance and Promptness

You are required to attend all classes and laboratory sessions. I start the class promptly at 8:00 a.m. Please be on time. Attendance will be taken at the start of the class period.

E. Late Work

Homework is due and collected at the start of each laboratory period. Late homework or research reports will not be accepted.

F. Class Withdrawal

Authorization to withdraw after census shall be granted for only the most serious reasons, i.e. a documented physical, emotional or other condition which has the effect of limiting the student's full participation in class. Poor academic performance is not evidence of a serious reason for withdrawal.

G. Working and attending CSUF

Many of you work and also attend CSUF. A frequently asked question is how many units should I take if I am working. This question is difficult to answer precisely because one needs to take into account many factors, such as the type of courses you are taking, your ability, your commuting time to school and work and other family or social commitments. Nevertheless a good estimate is:

Work hours per week

Units per semester











Many of you, especially those who have attended a community college, have had successful experiences with workloads in excess of those recommended above. Unfortunately, as one progresses in the major, the work load per unit, competition, and number of term papers and research reports increases. Making no downward adjustment in the number of units or in the number of hours worked will, undoubtedly, lead to lower grades and excessive amounts of stress. Frequently, these symptoms show up about two thirds of the way through the semester when it is too late to drop a class. The solution to the problem is to try and use the above recommendations when you are in the process of registering for classes or no later than the first two weeks of classes. This means you will have to make some sacrifices either in terms of slowing down your educational progress (fewer units per semester) and/or reducing your income. For some students it's even necessary to convince parents that pursuing a college education full-time (12-15 units) is a full-time job! The benefits of doing so are substantial. Following the above recommendations will allow you sufficient time to study, use the library, meet with faculty, and, in general, maximize the chances that your grades will reflect your true potential.

Last updated: February 25, 1997