PSY 331 Week 2 Discussion 1 Cognitivist View
PSY 331 Week 2 Discussion 1 Cognitivist View
This course is an individualized advanced research course focusing on cognitive processes. You are expected to
be proficient with the basics of experimental design and statistical analysis. The main course objectives include
learning about and participating in all aspects of research design and interpretation, including literature review,
ethical guidelines, specification of testable research ideas, development and execution of a research plan
(including collecting data within the limits imposed by the class format), and analysis and presentation of the
results in both oral and written formats. For a complete listing of learning objectives, see
www.psychology.ilstu.edu/undergrad/objectives/index.shtml. Objectives will be assessed through exams,
assignments, and activities.
The first half of the course will examine the nuts and bolts of planning a research project. We will discuss
chapters from the texts and background readings related to our topic and complete a midterm exam. In addition,
we will design a research project relating to an issue within the domain of cognitive science. Classes for this
portion of the course will consist of discussions and exercises related to the assigned readings. It is critical that
you complete the assigned readings before class and come prepared to participate in discussion, including
bringing copies of the readings with you to class.
The second half of the course will consist of conducting a research project, analyzing the results, and presenting
the results in an oral conference style talk and in a written APA-style manuscript. During this portion of the
course, classes will be geared toward completing the research project. This includes class time set aside for data
collection, analysis, and interpretation, as well as writing workshops.
To do well in the course, you must attend class regularly; complete all assigned readings, exercises, and
activities; actively participate in all aspects of the course, including discussions and the research project; and
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GRADING PROCEDURES AND DETAILS
Your course grade will be based on the total number of points you earn during the semester (no rounding or
curving): A = 180-200 points, B = 160-179 points, C = 140-159 points, D = 120-139 points, F = 119 points and
below. If you withdraw from the course, your course grade will be based on the points earned up to the official
date of withdrawal.
You will be evaluated based on one midterm exam, several assignments and in-class exercises, class
participation, and the planning, execution, and presentation (both oral and written) of a research project. The
midterm exam will include material from the texts, readings, and class and will consist of short answer/essay
questions. To do well, you need to be able to understand and apply the principles of research design and
interpretation. Detailed instructions for the assignments, exercises, and research project will be given in class.
Grades will be based on the following activities:
Midterm Exam 40 pts. (20%)
Research Summary 5 pts. (2.5%)
Brief summary and critique of three research articles
Online Ethics Training 5 pts. (2.5%)
Computer-based human research participants training: www.citiprogram.org
Must complete Social/Behavioral Research Course, which takes approximately 3 hours, and print
Annotated Bibliography 10 pts. (5%)
Type written list of 5 relevant references with brief summaries (a paragraph for each reference)
Article Roundtable 5 pts. (2.5%)
Brief oral summary of 1-2 articles most relevant to our proposed project aimed to facilitate sharing of
IRB Submission 5 pts. (2.5%)
Application for human participant approval. Forms will be completed during class time, so attendance
is necessary to receive credit.
Peer Reviews (2) 20 pts. (10%)
Research papers will be randomly distributed for review. This grade reflects the quality of the review,
not the quality of the papers being reviewed. Peer reviews will be completed during class time, so
attendance is necessary to receive credit.
Topic Proposal 20 pts. (10%)
2-page, type written proposal, which includes question of interest, experimental design, hypotheses and
predictions, and reference list
Oral Presentation 20 pts. (10%)
15- to 20-minute group presentation of the research project. Each group will present a portion of the
project, including an introduction to the question of interest, an explanation of experimental design, a
description of results, and a discussion of the implications of the project. Presentations should
incorporate overhead or Power Point slides.
APA-style Manuscript 40 pts. (20%)
Approximately 10-page type written write-up of the research project using APA style. 15 points of the
overall grade will reflect the quality of previous drafts and improvements based on reviewers’
Class Participation 30 pts. (15%)
Based on class attendance, promptness, and active participation in discussion; completion of in-class
exercises; active participation in all aspects of the research project (as judged by self, classmates, and
instructor); summary and reflection on learning experiences
You will be given the opportunity to earn a maximum of 5 points of extra credit by two methods:
(a) You may volunteer to participate in psychological research. You may earn 2 extra credit points for each half
hour of participation if you choose to volunteer (e.g., 1 1/4 hours = 5 points). Participation as a research
participant is entirely voluntary. To sign up for a study, go to the basement of DeGarmo Hall and sign up on the
sheets posted on the bulletin boards or sign up online. For online sign up and additional details, see
www.psychology.ilstu.edu/research/students.shtml. Please respect the sign-up process by keeping appointments
and only signing up for each study once.
(b) You may read a journal article and write a short summary and critique. The article may be on a cognitive
psychology topic of your choice, but must come from a scientific journal in psychology and must be approved
by the instructor at least one week ahead of time. Articles read for class activities and projects are not eligible
for extra credit. Summaries should be approximately 2 pages in length and typed with double spacing. The
article must accompany your summary, and it must have my initials of approval to receive credit. Summaries
may earn a maximum of 5 points extra credit.
All blue cards and summaries must be turned in by class time on the due date to be eligible for extra credit.
Late extra credit work will not be accepted. Please turn in ALL of your extra credit work at one time. Make sure
that your name is included on each piece, and that all pieces are stapled together in one bundle. Extra credit
points will be added to your point total in the determination of your course grade. Your grade will not be
affected if you do not choose to participate in one of the extra credit options. Extra credit assignments will be
held to academic integrity standards.
POLICY FOR MISSED EXAMS, LATE PAPERS, ETC.
Makeup exams will be allowed only for documented university-mandated and/or officially verified reasons (e.g.,
serious illness, family emergency, mandatory religious obligations). If the absence can be anticipated, you must
notify me in writing and provide documentation of your absence at least one week prior to the exam date to
arrange taking the exam before its scheduled day. If you are ill or have an emergency on the day of the exam,
you must contact me via voice mail or email before the time of the exam. In such cases, arrangements for the
make up exam must be finalized within two workdays of the exam date, and the make up exam must be
completed within a span of time less than or equal to the span during which you were absent. Failure to follow
these procedures will result in a score of 0 for the exam. Make up exams may differ in format from the original
exams. The final paper must be turned in at the assigned time (i.e., the final exam period) unless arrangements
consistent with university policy have been made in advance (www.registrar.ilstu.edu/crd/finalexams.shtml).
Late paper drafts and assignments will be graded down in accordance with the degree of lateness unless there is
a university-mandated and officially documented excuse. You will lose 10% of the possible points for each day
the assignment is late. Late paper drafts will not be eligible for peer review.
Attendance and Participation
Learning is facilitated by active participation. In this class, attendance is critical for the completion of the
exercises and research project, as well as for meeting the learning objectives. Attendance and class participation
constitute 15% of your course grade. If your absence is unavoidable, you are responsible for contacting your
teammates (as appropriate) and me in advance and obtaining all notes and announcements from a classmate.
Unless otherwise specified in the syllabus, assignments in this course must be completed by you alone and must
represent your best effort. Plagiarism and cheating in any form are serious offenses that will not be tolerated and
will result in disciplinary action, including the possibility of failing this course. Please consult the Code of
Student Conduct for details regarding University academic integrity policies:
Civility and Respect
We will respect one another and our learning environment. We will treat one another with civility and respect.
For example, interruptions during class such as using cell phones, reading the newspaper, or talking to a
neighbor about issues unrelated to class are disrespectful actions that will not be tolerated. Please consult the
Code of Student Conduct and the Department of Psychology civility guidelines
(www.psychology.ilstu.edu/diversity/civility.shtml) for complete details.
Students with Disabilities
Any student in need of special accommodation should contact 438-5853 (voice), 438-8620 (TDD).