Research Methods

PSYC 3080K

Course Description

A survey of the research methods most frequently applied to the behavioral sciences. Particular emphasis is placed on the experimental design; non-experimental designs are also covered. Laboratory time involves designing, implementing, and analyzing research projects.


PSYC 1101 or PSYC 1101H, PSYC 1102, & PSYC 3070K with grades of C or higher 

Learning Outcomes

Required Materials

Assignments & Grades

Activities (6% of overall grade)

Throughout the semester, we will complete in-class and at-home activities and assignments designed to improve understanding and application of concepts. You will get credit for completing these activities. In-class activities cannot be made up; therefore, your consistent attendance is important. At-home activities will be turned in on D2L unless told otherwise. See D2L for these due dates.

Exams (36% of overall grade)

There will be four in-class exams covering content from class and readings. These exams will be a combination of multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank. You will need green scantrons (form 882-E). These can be purchased at the bookstore sold individually, in the scantron vending machine in Nesbitt, or on Amazon (click here). Exams cannot be made up. Instead, the final exam will replace a missed exam regardless of why the exam was missed. If you miss more than one exam, documentation from the Dean of Students will be required to determine make-up eligibility.

Final Exam (14% of overall grade)

A fifth and final cumulative exam will take place in class during our scheduled final exam time. This exam will cover the last two chapters of the book – plus all previous content (i.e., every chapter in the book). The exam will be the same format as the previous exams; the only difference will be the number of questions and time allowed to complete it. Failure to take the final exam will result in a zero. The final exam cannot be made up without documentation from the Dean of Students. As noted above, the final exam can replace one previously missed exam, if applicable.

Labs (14% of overall grade)

Over the course of the semester, we will practice skills related to research methodology in the behavioral sciences. There will be a total of fourteen labs throughout the semester. Some labs have more than one assignment. Some lab assignments are completed as a group and others are completed individually. All lab instructions and requirements will be available in D2L on the day of each lab. Lab assignments must be submitted on D2L or on Teams as instructed. Lab assignments will NOT be accepted late. Per departmental and syllabus policy, if you are absent for more than two labs, you will be withdrawn from the course.

Research Project (30% of overall grade)


As a major component of this course, you will work as a group to conduct a psychological research study. Group assignment will be randomized through D2L. During the first few labs, your group will choose a topic to investigate. You may choose to conduct a correlational study or controlled experiment for your project. Your project must attempt to replicate a well-founded effect or bias in cognitive psychology, and you must use Qualtrics survey software to collect your data. You will need to get IRB approval before you collect data, and your lab assignments will help you prepare each component in this process. However, you need to anticipate a considerable amount of time outside of your labs to complete this project. You will design your research project (which Dr. Hale must approve), collect your data, and analyze your data as a group. Use your SPSS Manual and APA Manual to help throughout this project.


APA Manuscript 

Throughout the semester you will write an individual APA formatted research paper detailing your project. See the “Research Project Instructions” document on D2L for complete directions of the APA Manuscript and project at-large.



There are many ways to present research in the psychological sciences. We will have two presentations this semester in different formats commonly used at research conferences. A research poster will be created as a group throughout this semester to be used as a visual aid for one of these presentations. This poster should be a single slide on PowerPoint, sized to 36”H x 48”W. Some lab time will be dedicated to creation of this poster. See D2L for full instructions and resources. Everyone will earn the same grade in your group for the poster (depending on effort).



As mentioned above, there are many ways to present research in the psychological sciences. We will have two presentations this semester in different formats commonly used at research conferences.


The first presentation will be a group “paper talk” presentation that covers your introduction and methods. As a group, you will need to prepare a 5-10 minute presentation, including a PowerPoint presentation (or similar) as a visual aid. This visual aid must have a trial sequence diagram. (The same trial sequence can be used on your poster.) These presentations will take place during lab. Each will have a 5-minute Q&A afterward. See D2L for grading rubric. 

The second presentation will be a poster presentation. This presentation will be completed at the end of the semester. Details, include time and place, will be announced in the first half of the semester. Resources to help with this presentation can be found on D2L.

Lab Research Journal (Required for all group assignments)

You will record your research project goals and progress in a research journal on Microsoft Teams. All team members will use the same journal. This will help with communication and ensure proper progress is made. Every member of the group must contribute to the journal on a regular basis. You should record your goals for each week at the start of the week, including what you plan to do and when. Then, you should record what you do throughout the week. When grading each group assignment, I will use the journals, the assignments, etc to determine your grade. If you do not record your goals, contributions, and progress in the lab journal, you will not earn credit for team assignments. If you do not attend lab during team assignment work, you will not earn credit for team assignments. A lab journal reflection will be completed at the end of the semester. These journals are intended to improve communication and team effectiveness. If you notice team members inaccurately describing their effort/contributions or the effort/contributions of others, please let me know via email and/or during office hours. Intentionally recording inaccurate effort/contributions for yourself or others is cheating, a violation of the UNG Student Code of Conduct, and will result in an F in the course; it will also be reported to the Dean of Students and the office of Student Integrity.

Grade Scale

> 90.0% = A

80.0 - 89.9% = B

70.0 - 79.9% = C

60.0 - 69.9% = D

< 60.0 = F

Schedule Overview


Week 1: Syllabus & Introduction

Week 2: Psychological Research

Week 3: Sources of Information // APA Manual Assignment 1

Week 4: Claims & Validities // Exam 1


Week 5: Research Ethics // Outline & Annotated Bibliography due

Week 6: Good Measurement //  APA Manual Assignment 2

Week 7: Surveys & Observation // APA Manual Assignment 3 // Introduction due // Exam 2


Week 8: Sampling // APA Manual Assignment 4

Week 9: Bivariate Correlation // Method due

Week 10: Multivariate Correlation // Exam 3


Week 11: Simple Experiments // Oral Presentations (during lab)

Week 12: Threats to Internal Validity // SPSS Output due

Week 13: Complex Experiments // Exam 4 // Complete First Draft due


Week 14: Other Designs // Poster due

Week 15: Generalizability // Final Draft due // Poster Presentation (Friday from 12:00 - 12:50 pm; location TBD)


Cumulative Final (see final exam schedule for date and time)

Lab Overview

Lab number corresponds to week number. For instance, Lab 1 occurs during Week 1.



Bring APA Manual

Bring SPSS Manual

Bring Both Manuals


Lab 1: Source searching // Teamwork workshop

Lab 2: Group roles activity // Select research project topic

Lab 3: Research designs // Outline and annotated bibliography workshop

Lab 4: Research ethics & CITI Training

Lab 5: APA introduction workshop // IRB workshop

Lab 6: Study design & IRB continued...

Lab 7: Qualtrics workshop // Poster workshop

Lab 8: APA method workshop // Introduction peer review

Lab 9: Correlation lab

Lab 10: t-test and ANOVA lab

Lab 11: Oral presentations // Method peer review

Lab 12: Data cleaning workshop // Results, discussion, and abstract workshop

Lab 13: Visual representations of data lab // finish posters

Lab 14: Complete first draft peer review // journal-to-journalism activity

Lab 15: JEOPARDY final exam review // Poster presentation preparation