Research Methods – psyc6302-501-2168/educ6305-501

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Research Methods – PSYC6302-501-2168/EDUC6305-501

Fall 2016 - Monday & Wednesday 5:40PM – 6:55PM

Mesa Building 4264 (MB4264)
Instructor: Emily A. Farris, Ph.D.

Office: Mesa Building 3124

Office hours: MonWed 4PM-5:30PM; TuesThurs 11AM-12PM, or by appointment


Phone: 432-552-2347

Course Information Available on Canvas:

Course Prerequisites: Introductory Statistics
Required Materials:

Leong, F. T., & Austin, J. T. (2005). The psychology research handbook: A guide for graduate students and research assistants 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN: 0761930213

Field, A. (2009). Discovering Statistics Using SPSS: And Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN: 978-1446249185

American Psychological Association (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Additional readings from empirical peer-reviewed research journals will be posted as pdf files on Canvas throughout the semester.
Course Description & Objectives: This course is designed to provide the foundations of research planning, methodology, analytic techniques, interpretation and reporting of psychological research. Throughout this course students will demonstrate a growing knowledge of research and design in psychology and education. The class will rely on discussion of assigned readings. Therefore, it is important that students complete assigned readings in a timely manner so that they are better able to participate in class discussions. Students who take an active role in the class through cooperation and participation in discussions will hopefully enjoy learning about research methods in psychology and education.
Student Learning Goals: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to (a) complete IRB (institutional review board) forms, (b) write a research proposal in APA style, (c) conduct a peer-review critique of a research proposal, and (d) complete a short oral presentation of their proposal.
Attendance & Participation: It is your responsibility to attend every class and be on time. Attendance will be periodically monitored. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the content of the assigned readings and may earn up to 10 points for class participation.
Discussion/Thought Questions & Responses: Each class period (August 29 – November 21) each student is responsible for coming up with 4 discussion or thought questions based on the readings. The questions should be short answer or essay style exam type questions designed to evoke discussion during class. If more than one chapter/article is assigned, the questions for the day should come from more than 1 of the assigned readings. Discussion/Thought questions for one class period are worth 4 points for a total of 96 points of the final grade by the end of the semester. In addition, each class period the student will provide an answer/response to 1 of his or her 4 submitted questions. The responses should be approximately 0.5 – 1 pages typed double-spaced and cite appropriate references as needed. The responses will be graded based on thoughtfulness and preparation using a scale of 0 (abysmal/absent) to 4 (excellent). Thus, the response to a discussion question for one class period is worth up to 4 points for a total of 96 points of the final grade by the end of the semester. The 4 questions and 1 response are to be typed in a word document named FirstNameLastname_Discussion_date.doc (i.e., OptimusPrime_Discussion_1-13-14.doc) and submitted via Canvas by 12pm CST on Monday/Wednesday. Late discussion questions and responses will NOT be accepted.
Completion of NIH Protecting Human Research Participants Training: Students should complete the NIH Protecting Human Research Participants training course that is available at by 5:40PM CST on Wednesday September 7th and submit their completion certificate to the instructor as a pdf, jpeg, or tiff file as evidence via Canvas. This assignment is worth 10 points. The course is also the training required to be able to submit a research proposal to the UTPB Institutional Review Board (IRB), as such all students who will be completing a thesis need to take it anyway.
Research Proposal Components: Each student will complete a written project proposal that will resemble a formal grant application or master’s thesis proposal. A grading rubric and further instructions will be provided in class. The proposals should be in line with the student’s research interest(s). Sections of the proposal will be submitted throughout the semester in order to earn points for the course and receive feedback from the instructor.

  1. Each student must submit a topic and general research question(s) for approval via Canvas on Wednesday September 14th for 8 points.

  2. Each student will submit a brief outline/bullet points of the literature review section and primary hypothesis for their proposals via Canvas on Monday September 26th for 10 points.

  3. Each student will submit completed mock IRB documents that complement the proposal he or she is working on for the class. Information about these documents can be found at and will be discussed in class. The completed documents (i.e., application, consent forms, etc) must be submitted by 5:40PM CST on Monday October 10th and are worth up to 25 points.

  4. Each student will submit a draft of his or her methods section (participants, materials, design and procedures, and data analysis) in APA style via Canvas by 5:40PM CST on Wednesday October 19th for up to 25 points.

  5. The first full version of the proposal is due at 5:40PM CST on Wednesday November 2nd By the following Friday, I will send each student a blinded copy of one of his or her peer’s papers for peer-review.

  6. Each student will submit a peer-review critique that will be graded for its quality by 5:40PM on Wednesday November 16th for up to 25 points. Further instructions for the peer-review critiques will be provided in class.

  7. The final version of the proposal should address issues raised during the review process and is due on the date of the Final Exam (Monday December 12th at 5:30pm CST) for up to 100 points. Further, if a student submits his or her final proposal by 12PM CST on Friday December 9th, he or she will receive 5 additional points on his or her grade for the proposal.

  8. Additionally, the last 3 class periods (i.e., Wednesday November 30th, Monday December 5th, and Wednesday December 7th), will be used for each student to give a 10-15 minute oral presentation of his or her proposal to the class for up to 50 points.

Student Lead Topic Discussion & Article Summary: To help facilitate learning objectives and student involvement in discussions, each student will (a) write a summary of one of the empirical articles chosen by the instructor and (b) pick an empirical peer-reviewed research article in his or her area of interest to summarize and lead discussion on it. The student choice article should be sent to the instructor via email ( as a pdf file at least 4 full days prior to the date that you are leading discussion in class (i.e., if you are leading discussion on Monday, then I should receive your article by Thursday morning, and if you are leading discussion on Wednesday, then I should receive your article by Saturday morning) so that all students have sufficient time to read the chosen article. Upon approval of the article the instructor will make it available to the class via Canvas. Each discussion will be for a portion of the class period (approximately 15-20 minutes) for up to 15 points. A detailed grading rubric for the discussions will be provided later. Additionally, on the day that a student is scheduled to lead discussion, he or she should submit a 1-2 pg single-spaced summary of the chosen article by 5:40PM CST via Canvas for up to 15 points. Each student will also write a summary over one of the articles chosen by the instructor. The instructor-choice summary is due by 5:40PM CST via Canvas on the day the article will be discussed in class for up to 15 points. The student is not expected to be the primary discussion leader for the instructor-choice article, but should actively participate in the discussion with other classmates. An example of an empirical article and its associated summary, as well as a template for the student’s summaries, will be available on Canvas. If a student’s submitted summary does not follow the template, he or she will automatically receive a 0 for that assignment. Some class days may have more than one student leading discussion on different articles. We will determine the order of student lead topic discussions during the first week of class.
Grading Policy

Grades are based out of 500 possible points. Grades are not based on a curve, and I do not “bump” grades up for any reason. Grades are based on the total number of points accumulated over the course of the semester. Any course work not completed by the last day of class (Wednesday December 3) will be converted to a ‘0’.
Points Distribution

Discussion Questions (24 @ 4 points each) 96 points

Response to Discussion Question (24 @ 4 points each) 96 points

Final Proposal Paper 100 points

Proposal Oral Presentation 50 points

Peer-Review of Proposal 25 points

Mock IRB Documents 25 points

Methods Section Draft 25 points

Lead Class Discussion Student-Choice 15 points

Article Summary Student-Choice article for Discussion 15 points

Article Summary Instructor-Chosen article 15 points

Participation 10 points

Literature Review & Hypothesis Outline 10 points

Human Subjects Training 10 points

Topic Approval 8 points

TOTAL = 500 points


A = 448 - 500 points

B = 398 - 447 points

C = 348 - 397 points

D = 303 - 347 points

F = 0 - 302 points

Please Turn All Electronic Devices (cell phone, pager, tablets, etc) Off or to Silent/Vibrate Mode while in class. You should only be using such devices for note-taking purposes. Otherwise, you are distracting myself as well as your classmates and likely negatively impacting your ability to actively participate in the class. This means no texting, facebooking, taking selfies, pinterest, otherwise messaging people, etc. If you have an emergency situation where you must use such a device, such as a sick child or immediate family member, please quietly leave the room to do so. Students should not leave the room during class, unless there is an emergency.
Drop Policy: For the Fall 2016 semester, the last day to drop a course is Friday October 28th. It is the student's responsibility to officially withdraw if they do not plan to attend after registering. Students will not be automatically dropped for non-attendance. Repayment of certain types of financial aid administered through the University may be required as the result of dropping classes or withdrawing. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Academic Integrity & Scholastic Dishonesty: It is the philosophy of The University of Texas of the Permian Basin that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. According to the UT System Regents’ Rule 50101, §2.2, "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." Please see,, and for more information. I reserve the right to use TURNITIN.COM, a site that helps determine if plagiarism has been committed, as well as similar tools.
Disabilities Accommodations & Student Support Services: The University of Texas of the Permian Basin provides a variety of resources and programs designed to help students develop academic skills, deal with personal situations, and better understand concepts and information related to their courses through the Student Success Center ( and the Programs Assisting Student Study (PASS) Office ( located in MB2215 and MB1160, respectively. These resources include tutoring, major-based learning centers, developmental education, advising and mentoring, personal counseling, and federally funded programs. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of all federal equal opportunity legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). All instructors at UTPB are required by law to provide "reasonable accommodations" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Any student requiring an accommodation for this course must provide the instructor with official documentation in the form of a letter certified by the staff in the PASS Office (MB1160). Only those students who have officially documented a need for an accommodation will have their request honored. Information regarding diagnostic criteria and policies for obtaining disability-based academic accommodations can be found at or by contacting Leticia Madrid, Director of the Pass Office at or (432)-552-2631. Additionally, the PASS Office refers some types of accommodation requests to the University Counseling Center, which provides diagnostic testing for learning and psychological disabilities. For information about testing contact Suzanne Rathbun, Director of the University Counseling Center, 432-552-2365,
Electronic Communication Policy: All UTPB students are provided with email accounts through the university server. Every student must use the university email for student-instructor interaction in this course. Go to the IRD Information on Email website for more information. You can have your UTPB account linked to your personal account by contacting Information Resources. Please use proper grammar and punctuation when communicating with me via email (i.e., no texting language, include who the email is addressed to and who the email is from). Please include the course name in the subject line of your email to assist me in being able to respond promptly. Important emails regarding class information will be sent to students through Canvas. It is your responsibility to regularly check Canvas for such emails, or set up Canvas to forward emails to an email account that you regularly use. All email communication to me should be sent directly to me at
Tentative Schedule






August 24

Introduction/Syllabus/Grading Rubrics

Syllabus/Grading Rubrics


August 29

Reading Research Articles

L&A Ch. 4; Roediger & Gallo (2004); Patihis & Loftus (2015)

August 31

Research as a Script; Applying Theories

L&A Ch. 1-3, 32; Brainerd et al (2008); Brainerd & Reyna (2002)


September 5

Labor Day

No Class

September 7

Designing Research

L&A Ch. 6-7; Cordon et al (2013); Lyons et al (2013) Human Subjects Training due


September 12

Surveys & Scale Development

L&A Ch. 8-9; McKenna & Kear (1990); McKenna, Kear, & Ellsworth, (1995)

September 14

Student Discussion; Topic approval due


September 19

Samples & Power

L&A Ch. 10-11; Sargent et al (2006); Chandler et al (2015)

September 21


L&A Ch. 12; Student Discussion


September 26

Data Collection Procedures

L&A Ch. 13-15; Shapiro et al (2013); Paolacci et al (2010); Literature Review Outline due

September 28

L&A Ch. 17; Tausczik et al (2012)


October 3


L&A Ch. 18-19; Field Ch. 1-2

October 5

Farris et al (2011); Barnes et al (2016)


October 10

Advanced Statistics

L&A Ch. 20; Field Ch. 11, 16; Mock IRB due

October 12

Blicher et al (2016); Jenney et al (2013)


October 17

Meta-Analysis & Archival Data

L&A Ch. 21-22; Reed et al (2014)

October 19

Barquero et al (2014); Methods Draft due


October 24

Writing & Revising in APA style

L&A Ch. 23-25; In class APA activity

October 26

Student Discussions; Questions on Methods

October 28

Last day to drop classes


October 31

Multilevel Research

L&A Ch. 28; Hayes (2006)

November 2

Peterson et al (2014); Proposal for Peer-Review due


November 7

Cross-Cultural Research

L&A Ch. 31; Sauter et al (2010); Martin et al (2016)

November 9

Program Evaluation

L&A Ch. 5; Baum & Cohen (1998); Jennings et al (2013)


November 14

Computational Modeling

L&A Ch. 29; Ramirez-Mahaluf et al (2015)

November 16

Student Discussions; Completed Peer-Review due


November 21

Working with Others

L&A Ch. 26-27; Wyman et al (2013); Haley et al (2013)

November 23

Thanksgiving Holiday

No Class


November 28

Example presentation & Questions

November 30

Proposal Presentations

Proposal Presentations


December 5

Proposal Presentations

Proposal Presentations

December 7

Proposal Presentations

Proposal Presentations


December 12

Final Exam at 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Final Proposal Due

Note: L&A = Leong & Austin Textbook; Field = Field Textbook; all other articles will be provided in pdf on Canvas.
Tentative Reading List
Discussion questions and responses must be submitted each class day beginning Monday August 29th through Monday November 21st. There will be no discussion questions and responses due on Wednesday November 16th. The remaining class periods are for student oral presentations of their research proposals. All articles listed below will be provided in pdf format on Canvas. Please be sure to also read the assigned chapters, which are important for discussion and providing background information. Readings are listed below by Topic and date.

  1. Reading Research Articles (8/29/16)

    1. L&A Ch. 4

    2. Roediger, H.L. III, & Gallo, D.A. (2004). Reading journal articles in cognitive psychology. In D.A. Balota & E.J. Marsh (Eds). Cognitive psychology: Key readings. (pp.723-733). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

    3. Patihis, L., & Loftus, E.F. (2015). Crashing memory 2.0: False memories in adults for an upsetting childhood event. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30, 41-50. Doi: 10.1002/acp.3165

  1. Research as a script; Applying theories (8/31/16)

    1. L&A Ch. 1, 2, 3, & 32

    2. Brainerd, C.J., & Reyna, V.F. (2002). Fuzzy-trace theory and false memory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 164-169. Doi:

    3. Brainerd, C.J., Stein, L.M., Silveira, R.A., Rohenkohl, G., & Reyna, V.F. (2008). How does negative emotion cause false memories? Psychological Science, 19(9), 919-925.

  1. Designing research

    1. 9/7/16

      1. L&A Ch. 6 & 7

      2. Cordon, I.M., Melinder, A.M.D., Goodman, G.S., & Edelstein, R.S. (2013). Children’s and adults’ memory for emotional pictures: Examining age-related patterns using the Developmental Affective Photo System. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 114, 339-356. doi: 10.1016/j.ecp.2012.08.004.

      3. Lyons, P.A., Coursey, L.E., & Kenworthy, J.B. (2013). National identity and group narcissism as predictors of intergroup attitudes toward undocumented latino immigrants in the United States. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 35(3), 323-335. doi: 10.1177/0739986313488090.

    2. 9/12/16

      1. L&A Ch. 8 & 9

      2. McKenna, M.C., & Kear, D.J. (1990). Measuring attitude toward reading: A new tool for teachers. The Reading Teacher, 43, 626-639.

      3. McKenna, M.C., Kear, D.J., & Ellsworth, R.A. (1995). Children’s attitudes toward reading: A national survey. Reading Research Quarterly, 30, 934-956.

  1. Samples & Power (9/19/16)

    1. L&A Ch. 10 & 11

    2. Sargent, J.D., Wills, T.A., Stoolmiller, M., Gibson, J., & Gibbons, F.X. (2006). Alcohol use in motion pictures and its relation with early-onset teen drinking. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 67, 54-65.

    3. Chandler, J., Paolacci, G., Peer, E., Mueller, P., & Ratliff, K.A. (2015). Using nonnative participants can reduce effect sizes. Psychological Science, 26(7), 1131-1139. doi: 10.1177/0956797615585115.

  1. Ethics (9/21/16)

    1. L&A Ch. 12

  2. Data Collection Procedures

    1. 9/26/16

      1. L&A Ch. 13, 14, & 15

      2. Shapiro, D.N., Chandler, J. & Mueller, P.A. (2013). Using Mechanical Turk to study clinical populations. Clinical Psychological Science.

      3. Paolacci, G., Chandler, J., & Ipeirotis, P.G. (2010). Running experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Judgment and Decision Making, 5, 411-419.

    2. 9/28/16

      1. L&A Ch. 17

      2. Tausczik, Y., Faasse, K., Pennebaker, J.W., & Petrie, K.J. (2012). Public anxiety and information seeking following the H1N1 outbreak: Blogs, newspaper articles, and Wikipedia visits. Health Communication, 27, 179-185. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2011.571759.

  1. Statistics

    1. 10/3/16

      1. L&A Ch. 18 & 19

      2. Field Ch. 1 & 2

    2. 10/5/16

      1. Farris, E.A., Odegard, T.N., Miller, H.L., Ring, J. Allen, G., & Black, J. (2011). Functional connectivity between the left and right inferior frontal lobes in a small sample of children with and without reading difficulties. NeuroCase, 17(5), 425-439.

      2. Barnes, M.A., Stuebing, K.K., Fletcher, J.M., Barth, A.E., & Francis, D.J. (2016). Cognitive difficulties in struggling comprehenders and their relation to reading comprehension: A comparison of group selection and regression-based models. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9(2), 153-172. Doi: 10.1080/19345747.2015.1111482

  1. Advanced statistics

    1. 10/10/16

      1. L&A Ch. 20

      2. Field Ch. 11 & 16

    2. 10/12/16

      1. Blicher, S., Feingold, L., & Shany, M. (2016). The role of trait anxiety and preoccupation with reading disabilities of children and their mothers in predicting children’s reading comprehension. Journal of Learning Disabilities. Doi: 10.1177/0022219415624101

      2. Jenney, C.T., Wilson, J.R., Swanson, J.N., Perrotti, L.I., Leigey Dougall, A. (2013). Exergame use as a gateway to the adoption of and adherence to sport-specific and general physical activity. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 18, 198-217.

  1. Meta-analysis & Archival data

    1. 10/17/16

      1. L&A Ch. 21 & 22

      2. Reed, A.E., Chan, L., & Mikels, J.A. (2014). Meta-analysis of the age-related positivity effect: Age differences in preferences for positive over negative information. Psychology and Aging, 29(1), 1-15. Doi: 10.1037/a0035194

    2. 10/19/16

      1. Barquero, L.A., Davis, N., & Cutting, L.E. (2014). Neuroimaging of reading intervention: A systematic review and activation likelihood estimate meta-analysis. PLOS One, 9(1), 1-16. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083668.

  1. Writing & Revising in APA style (10/24/16)

    1. L&A Ch. 23, 24, & 25

  1. Multilevel Research

    1. 10/31/16

      1. L&A Ch. 28

      2. Hayes, A.F. (2006). A primer on multilevel modeling. Human Communication Research, 32, 385-410. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2006.00281.x.

    2. 11/2/16

      1. Peterson, C., Morris, G., Baker-Ward, L., & Flynn, S. (2014). Predicting which childhood memories persist: Contributions of memory characteristics. Developmental Psychology, 50(2), 439-448. Doi:

  1. Cross-cultural research (11/7/16)

    1. L&A Ch. 31

    2. Sauter, D.A., Eisner, F., Ekman, P., Scott, S.K., & Smith, E.E. (2010). Cross-cultural recognition of basic emotions through nonverbal emotional vocalizations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(6), 2408-2412.

    3. Martin, A., Kronbichler, M., & Richlan, F. (2016). Dyslexic brain activation abnormalities in deep and shallow orthographies: A meta-analysis of 28 functional neuroimaging studies. Human Brain Mapping, 37(7), 2676-2699. Doi: 10.1002/hbm.23202

  1. Program Evaluation (11/9/16)

    1. L&A Ch. 5

    2. Baum, A., & Cohen, L. (1998). Successful behavioral interventions to prevent cancer: The example of skin cancer. Annual Review of Public Health, 19, 319-333.

    3. Jennings, P.A., Frank, J.L., Snowberg, K.E., Coccia, M.A., & Greenberg, M.T. (2013). Improving classroom learning environments by cultivating awareness and resilience in education (CARE): Results of a randomized controlled trial. School Psychology Quarterly, 28(4), 374-390. doi: 10.1037/spq0000035.

  1. Computational Modeling (11/14/16)

    1. L&A Ch. 29

      1. Ramirez-Mahaluf, J.P., Roxin, A., Mayberg, H.S., & Compte, A. (2015). A computational model of major depression: The role of glutamate dysfunction on cingulo-frontal network dynamics. Cerebral Cortex. Doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv249

  1. Working with Others (11/21/16)

    1. L&A Ch. 26 & 27

    2. Wyman, B.T., Harvey, D.J., Crawford, K., Bernstein, M.A., Carmichael, O., Cole, P.E., …Jack, C.R., Jr. (2013). Standardization of analysis sets for reporting results from ADNI MRI data. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 9, 332-337. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2012.06.004.

    3. Haley, R.W., Charuvastra, E., Shell, W., Buhner, D.M., Marshall, W.W., Biggs, M.M., …Vernino, S. (2013). Cholinergic autonomic dysfunction in veterans with Gulf War Illness: Confirmation in a population-based sample. Journal of the American Medical Association: Neurology, 70(2), 191-200. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.596.

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