Experimental Psychology Picture

Purpose

This is an experimental psychology course offered in one semester to undergraduate students. This course is designed to be half-seminar and half-lecture. During the lecture portion, students review qualitative and quantitative research design methodologies, ethics, and threats to internal and external validity. Specifically we complete exercises that address and contend with the four canons of science (determinism, empiricism, parsimony and testability). Furthermore we endeavor to discover avenues in knowing about the world through four angles mentioned in the textbook written by Pelham & Blanton. These four angles respectively are intuition, consulting an authority figure, logic and empirical observation. In discovery, students attempt to complete a research project during the half-seminar portion of the class.

Reflection

For those of you who teach experimental psychology, you already understand that this is a gargantuan amount of work, especially if having more than eight students. So you must recognize that I love what I do - working with students! Yes, it is frustrating at times, but by the end of the semester, I don't regret any of my previous days. When I first taught this class, I felt like a 16 month old now belting out my phonemes. Every day felt like a new letter, and my students chose to be patient with me until I completed my incoherent monologue by the end of the semester. Through it all, they persevered and I was proud to see what they produced even though a couple needed more time after semester end. The most difficult task was choosing the analysis that best matched their data collection, since I worked with students who either had quantitative or qualitative research projects. The second more difficult task was encouraging students to make their final selection with their research questions. I attempted to address this issue the second time I taught this class by having coffee hour with the students, and inviting other faculty and students to this conversation early in the semester. That worked better and I will continue this practice. However, the best part of these experiences was witnessing students' growth from beginning to end... student to presenter/knowledge bearer/teacher. They came in suspicious and anxious, and left exhausted and confidently proud. Soon, I will present links to some of their presentations once they are available. They are truly making this world a better place.  

Syllabus

This is my syllabus for the course.

Evaluations

Here are the links to the evaluations for this class for Spring 2018 and Spring 2019.