Research Design & Statistics (PSYC 5320-161)
Fall 2016

Professor: Roberto R. Heredia., Ph.D. 

URL: http://www.tamiu.edu/~rheredia/

Office: CH 205

E-mail: rheredia@tamiu.edu

Class Time & Place: M 5:30 - 8:00 PH 205

Phone: (956) 326-2637

Office Hours:  M-R, 12:00 - 2:00  PM  or By Appointment

Course Description:

PSYC 5320 provides the background of research methods and statistical techniques necessary to understand the principles and methodology used in psychological research. Designed to assist students in the preparation of the thesis proposal. Prerequisites:  Psychology 2317 (or a statistics course) and PSYC 3302 and PSYC 3102 or permission of instructor.

Required Texts:
Christensen, L. B., Johnson, R. B., & Turner, L. A. (2013). Research Methods, Design, and Analysis (12th ed.). Florence, KY: Pearson.  (ISBN-10: 0205961258 • ISBN-13: 9780205961252).
George, D., & Mallery, P. (2013).  IBM Statistics 23 Step by Step: A Simple Guide and Reference (14
th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. (ISBN: 978-013-432025-0)

Note: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is available at the various university laboratories (e.g., Killam, Cowart, and Pellegrino Halls). Alternatively, the student might want to consider JASP, or  PSPP 
Open Source/Free Software, for statistical analysis (highly similar to SPSS) which can be downloaded for Windows, Mac,  or Linux users (DATABASES).

Journal Articles: TBA

Instructional Objectives
: Upon completion of this course you will have:

1. Critically interpret and understand the principles and logic in conducting psychological research.
2. Formulate a theoretically and empirically sound research idea.
3. Compose a literature review or a research proposal in APA style.
Critically read and interpret the methods and results section of scientific research articles.

Course Philosophy:
This is a highly demanding graduate course. There is considerable reading and writing to be done and much to think about. You are expected to master the basic material covered in the readings and in lectures, and to participate actively in class. Some lectures and discussions in the course are designed to supplement the readings. As such, you can expect discussions to present ideas that are not always covered in the readings. The student should NOT expect lectures/discussions to be devoted to explanations of concepts learned in undergraduate statistics/research methods.

As rightly pointed out by Linden (2007), I will "Imagine that [my] audience has [some] knowledge [Research Design and Statistics] but infinite intelligence" (Prologue, The accidental mind: How brain evolution has given us love, memory, dreams, and god).

General Expectations
(1). Student will understand concepts in design and statistical research.
(2). Student will conduct statistical analysis of selected data and correctly report what the analysis indicates.
(3). Student will formulate a coherent thesis proposal which is amenable to scientific and statistical scrutiny.
(4). Student will write an appropriate results section of a report summarizing statistical results.

(5). Student's email response policy = 24/48 hour time interval.

1). There will be one midterm and a final exam each worth 100 points consisting of essay questions. The final Examination will be comprehensive.

(2). Class will consist of a mixture of lectures, discussions, and class activities (using SPSS). Active class discussions is required. The purpose of these sections is to allow a more in-depth discussion of the issues discussed in lectures and readings, particularly discussions of the ways in which these issues apply to your particular discipline and research interests. The student will be much more prepared for lively discussion during the classroom time if he/she have read the assigned material prior to the time in which it will be addressed in class. For the statistics portion of this course, the student is EXPECTED to be familiar with the basic procedures of data entry, sorting, and basic statistical analysis in SPSS. These procedures will not be reviewed in this class (please see George & Mallery, 2013).

Journal Article Assignment: Students will select three recently published research articles from the field of psychology to critically evaluate and review during class discussions.

Discussion Questions: By 10:00 AM of every Tuesday, submit by email at least five discussion points (of about 250 words) related to the broad themes of the readings from your textbook and readings. Discussion points should be empirical/ theoretical implications raised by the material that suggest creative connections to other issues, or follow-up experiments. Do not submit clarification questions of the material. Students are expected to be independent thinkers and find solutions to their queries in the scientific published literature of their respective psychological field(s). Comments must reveal thoughtful reflection on the material in fewer than 100 words. Be prepared to discuss the issues you raise and bring a copy of your discussion points to class. (Discussions points are part of your Participation evaluation). 

(3) Attendance: Attendance is not only mandatory, but crucial for this course to function well. You will be allowed one (1) absence for emergencies, and you should provide adequate notice or documentation. Failure to provide notice or documentation, or having more than 1 absence, will result in heavy penalties (e.g., dropping a whole letter grade). Class starts on time and all electronic devices (e.g., Laptops/Cellular Phones/Tablets) should be turned off and put away, unless the activity (e.g., taking notes) warrants it; please silence your cell phone and do not make calls, access applications or text during class. If you have a personal, urgent matter for which you need to be on call, please let your professor know in advance.

(4). Written Assignment + Scholarly Presentation: Research Proposal or Theoretical/Empirical Critical Review of Psychological Issue--A 5,000-6,250 word (~20-25 pages), double-spaced, writing assignment (references, abstract and title page are not part of the required length) worth 100 points with at least 20 references (from recently published academic publications) due December 5. Psychology Today and internet articles are not valid references. The emphasis on the proposal will be on your ability to write well (i.e., APA style, 6th ed.), to integrate the existing literature, and your ability to reason scientifically and propose a novel study. This paper will be an independent project (e.g., an experiment, a replication of an existing study, or a survey) related to your field of interest (e.g., Counseling, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental Psychology). An academic presentation (15-20 minutes) will accompany this proposal. The scholarly writing assignment will be graded according to the rubric found here.

How to write a proposal? It is highly recommended that you consult, Cone, J.D., & Foster, S. L. (1999). Dissertations and theses from start to finish: Psychology and related  fields. Washington, DC: APA. Writing well is a skill requiring practice, motivation and a lot of EDITING. If you need assistance with your writing, please visit the Enrichment Center where you can be helped.

(5). As part of your academic and intellectual development,  you are required to attend at least two academic presentations (e.g., student conferences, Department/College Academic Speaker's Series, or Psychology Master's theses defenses). Dates will be provided for these presentations. Please check your email messages.

(6). It is expected that you will neither give nor receive any unauthorized aid (defined as, but not limited to, the use of your notes, textbooks, the internet, or people) for all tests and assignments in this class.  All students are required to read and understand Dusty Devil's HONOR CODE, complete the HONOR CODE FORM and return it to your professor, and remember, "a Dusty Devil does not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do."

(7). All assignments and requirements  must be completed by the start of the final exam to pass the course.

Summary: Points will accumulate over the semester such that there will be:

1 Examination + Final :                                                 @ 100 + 100 points= 200 points
Participation & Attendance                                            @ 50/50 points = 100 points
1 Research Report + Presentation                                  @ 100 + 100 points = 200 points

Total possible points:   500 pts.
   A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%, Unsatisfactory = 79% and below





*Christensen et al.

#George &  Mallery

AUG 29

Introduction: Scientific Research/Ethics in Research

*Ch 1,4


Research Approaches & Methods of Data Collection/Hypothesis Formation

*Ch 2-3

SEP 12

Measuring Variables and Sampling/Research Validity

*Ch 5-6

SEP 19

Procedure for conducting an experiment/GUEST SPEAKER

*Ch 9

SEP 26

Control Techniques in Experimental Research/Experimental Research Design

*Ch 7

OCT 13

Control Techniques in Experimental Research/Experimental Research Design

*Ch 8

OCT 10


OCT 19

Descriptive Statistics/SPPSS Functions, Procedures, & Descriptive Statistics

*Ch 14;  #Ch 1-7

OCT 24

Inferential Statistics: Hypothesis Testing Principles

*Ch 15, #Ch 8-12

OCT 31

 Factorial Designs: Analysis of Variance 

*Ch 8, #Ch 14


Factorial Designs: Analysis of Variance  Continued

*Ch 8, #Ch 14

NOV 14

Linear/Multiple Regression (Faculty Evaluations)

#Ch 15-16

NOV 21
Multiple Regression continued *Ch 12
NOV 28

Quasi Experimental, Single-Case Designs/ Research Presentations TBA

*Ch 12
NOV 28 Survey Research/ Qualitative vs. Quantitative/ Research Presentations TBA *Ch 13
Reading Day/ Research Proposal Due Date

DEC 12


NOTE: The above schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.


Word Frequency, Imagery and Concreteness Ratings: http://www.math.yorku.ca/SCS/Online/paivio/
The English Lexicon Project:  http://elexicon.wustl.edu/
Nonword Database:  http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/~nwdb/
University of South Florida Word Association Database: http://www.usf.edu/FreeAssociation/

For Information on Other Databases, See
Materials for Cognitive Scientists:

Related websites of interest to the student:
Links to Information on APA Publication Style:
Tips on how to take Multiple Choice Exams:
Writing Workshop:
Psychology with Style:
APA Style Resources:
Computer Statistical programs info :
Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) info: http://www.spss.com/Support/Articles.html
General Statistics (Unix Stats) for ANOVA and more: http://ergo.ucsd.edu/unixstats/
You can obtain this program free from
http://www.acm.org/~perlman/statinfo.html at your own risk.
This is a full blown program that you can use with DOS.
Manuals and examples are provided in this site
Statistics on the web:
Also, you can obtain a Spreadsheet (like Excel) completely Free: http://www.openoffice.org/



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Classroom Behavior
The College of Arts and Sciences encourages classroom discussion and academic debate as an essential intellectual activity. It is essential that students learn to express and defend their beliefs, but it is also essential that they learn to listen and respond respectfully to others whose beliefs they may not share. The College will always tolerate diverse, unorthodox, and unpopular points of view, but it will not tolerate condescending or insulting remarks. When students verbally abuse or ridicule and intimidate others whose views they do not agree with, they subvert the free exchange of ideas that should characterize a university classroom. If their actions are deemed by the professor to be disruptive, they will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include being involuntarily withdrawn from the class.

Plagiarism and Cheating
Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s work as your own. It occurs when you:
1) Borrow someone else’s facts, ideas, or opinions and put them entirely in your own words, you must acknowledge that these thoughts are not your own by immediately citing the source in your paper. Failure to do this is plagiarism.
2) Borrow someone else’s words (short phrases, clauses, or sentences), you must enclose the copied words in quotation marks as well as citing the source. Failure to do this is plagiarism.
3) Present someone else’s paper or exam (stolen, borrowed, or bought) as your own, you have committed a clearly intentional form of intellectual theft and have put your academic future in jeopardy. This is the worst form of plagiarism.

Here is another explanation from the 2010, sixth edition of the Manual of The American Psychological Association (APA):

Plagiarism: Researchers do not claim the words and ideas of another as their own; they give credit where credit is due. Quotations marks should be used to indicate the exact words of another. Each time you paraphrase another author (i.e., summarize a passage or rearrange the order of a sentence and change some of the words), you need to credit the source in the text.

The key element of this principle is that authors do not present the work of another as if it were their own words. This can extend to ideas as well as written words. If authors model a study after one done by someone else, the originating author should be given credit. If the rationale for a study was suggested in the Discussion section of someone else's article, the person should be given credit. Given the free exchange of ideas, which is very important for the health of intellectual discourse, authors may not know where an idea for a study originated. If authors do know, however, they should acknowledge the source; this includes personal communications
(pp. 15-16).

Consult the Writing Center or a recommended guide to documentation and research such as the Manual of the APA or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers for guidance on proper documentation. If you still have doubts concerning proper documentation, seek advice from your instructor prior to submitting a final draft.

Penalties for Plagiarism:  Should a faculty member discover that a student has committed plagiarism, the student should receive a grade of 'F' in that course and the matter will be referred to the Honor Council for possible disciplinary action. The faculty member, however, may elect to give freshmen and sophomore students a “zero” for the assignment and to allow them to revise the assignment up to a grade of “F” (50%) if they believe that the student plagiarized out of ignorance or carelessness and not out of an attempt to deceive in order to earn an unmerited grade. This option should not be available to juniors, seniors, or graduate students, who cannot reasonably claim ignorance of documentation rules as an excuse.

-- Caution:  Be very careful what you upload to Turnitin or send to your professor for evaluation. Whatever you upload for evaluation will be considered your final, approved draft. If it is plagiarized, you will be held responsible. The excuse that “it was only a draft” will not be accepted.
-- Caution:  Also, do not share your electronic files with others. If you do, you are responsible for the possible consequences. If another student takes your file of a paper and changes the name to his or her name and submits it and you also submit the paper, we will hold both of you responsible for plagiarism. It is impossible for us to know with certainty who wrote the paper and who stole it. And, of course, we cannot know if there was collusion between you and the other student in the matter.

Penalties for Cheating:  Should a faculty member discover a student cheating on an exam or quiz or other class project, the student should receive a “zero” for the assignment and not be allowed to make the assignment up. The incident should be reported to the chair of the department and to the Honor Council. If the cheating is extensive, however, or if the assignment constitutes a major grade for the course (e.g., a final exam), or if the student has cheated in the past, the student should receive an “F” in the course, and the matter should be referred to the Honor Council. Under no circumstances should a student who deserves an “F” in the course be allowed to withdraw from the course with a “W.”

Student Right of Appeal:  Faculty will notify students immediately via the student’s TAMIU e-mail account that they have submitted plagiarized work. Students have the right to appeal a faculty member’s charge of academic dishonesty by notifying the TAMIU Honor Council of their intent to appeal as long as the notification of appeal comes within 10 business days of the faculty member’s e-mail message to the student. The Student Handbook provides more details.

Use of Work in Two or More Courses
You may not submit work completed in one course for a grade in a second course unless you receive explicit permission to do so by the instructor of the second course.

UConnect, TAMIU E-Mail, and Dusty Alert
Personal Announcements sent to students through TAMIU’s UConnect Portal and TAMIU E-mail are the official means of communicating course and university business with students and faculty – not the U.S. Mail and no other e-mail addresses. Students and faculty must check UConnect and their TAMIU e-mail accounts regularly, if not daily. Not having seen an important TAMIU e-mail or UConnect message from a faculty member, chair, or dean is not accepted as an excuse for failure to take important action. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to sign-up for Dusty Alert (see www.tamiu.edu). Dusty Alert is an instant cell phone text-messaging system allowing the university to communicate immediately with you if there is an on-campus emergency, something of immediate danger to you, or a campus closing.

Copyright Restrictions
The Copyright Act of 1976 grants to copyright owners the exclusive right to reproduce their works and distribute copies of their work. Works that receive copyright protection include published works such as a textbook. Copying a textbook without permission from the owner of the copyright may constitute copyright infringement. Civil and criminal penalties may be assessed for copyright infringement. Civil penalties include damages up to $100,000; criminal penalties include a fine up to $250,000 and imprisonment.

Copyright laws do not allow students and professors to make photocopies of copyrighted materials, but you may copy a limited portion of a work, such an article from a journal or a chapter from a book for your own personal academic use or, in the case of a professor, for personal, limited classroom use. In general, the extent of your copying should not suggest that the purpose or the effect of your copying is to avoid paying for the materials. And, of course, you may not sell these copies for a profit. Thus, students who copy textbooks to avoid buying them or professors who provide photocopies of textbooks to enable students to save money are violating the law.

Students with Disabilities

Texas A&M International University seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified persons with disabilities. This University will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to afford equal education opportunity. It is the student's responsibility to register with the Director of Student Counseling and to contact the faculty member in a timely fashion to arrange for suitable accommodations.

Student Attendance and Leave of Absence (LOA) Policy:
As part of our efforts to assist and encourage all students towards graduation, TAMIU provides LOA’s for students, including pregnant/parenting students, in accordance with the Attendance Rule (Section 3.24) and the Student LOA Rule (Section 3.25), which includes the “Leave of Absence Request” form. Both rules can be found in the TAMIU Student Handbook (URL:  http://www.tamiu.edu/studentaffairs/StudentHandbook1.shtml).
Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, harassment based on sex, including harassment because of pregnancy or related conditions, is prohibited. A pregnant/parenting student must be granted a leave of absence (LOA) for as long as the student’s physician deems the absence medically necessary. As a TAMIU faculty member, we must:
1) Allow a pregnant/parenting student to submit work after a deadline that was missed because of a LOA due to pregnancy or childbirth,
2) If grading is based in part on class attendance or participation, allow a pregnant/parenting student to earn the credits missed so that the student can be reinstated to the status held before the LOA, and
3) At the conclusion of the LOA, allow the pregnant/parenting student to return to the same academic and extracurricular status held when the LOA began.
If we receive a request from a student for a LOA, including pregnant/parenting students, we will promptly report it to and seek guidance from the Office of Student Affairs at ext. 2282.

Students who are unable to complete a course should withdraw from the course before the final date for withdrawal and receive a “W.”  To qualify for an “incomplete” and thus have the opportunity to complete the course at a later date, a student must meet the following criteria:

1) The student must have completed 90% of the course work assigned before the final date for withdrawing from a course with a “W”, and the student must be passing the course;
2) The student cannot complete the course because an accident, an illness, or a traumatic personal or family event occurred after the final date for withdrawal from a course;
3) The student must sign an “Incomplete Grade Contract” and secure signatures of approval from the professor and the college dean.
4) The student must agree to complete the missing course work before the end of the next long semester; failure to meet this deadline will cause the “I” to automatically be converted to an “F”; extensions to this deadline may be granted by the dean of the college.

This is the general policy regarding the circumstances under which an “incomplete” may be granted, but under exceptional circumstances, a student may receive an incomplete who does not meet all of the criteria above if the faculty member, department chair, and dean recommend it.

WIN Contracts
WIN Contracts are offered only under exceptional circumstances and are limited to seniors. Only courses offered by full-time TAMIU faculty or TAMIU instructors are eligible to be contracted for the WIN requirement. However, a WIN contract for a course taught by an adjunct may be approved, with special permission from the department chair and dean. Students must seek approval before beginning any work for the WIN Contract. No student will contract more than one course per semester. Summer WIN Contracts must continue through both summer sessions.

Student Responsibility for Dropping a Course
It is the responsibility of the STUDENT to drop the course before the final date for withdrawal from a course. Faculty members, in fact, may not drop a student from a course without getting the approval of their department chair and dean.

Independent Study Course
Independent Study (IS) courses are offered only under exceptional circumstances. Required courses intended to build academic skills may not be taken as IS (e.g., clinical supervision and internships). No student will take more than one IS course per semester. Moreover, IS courses are limited to seniors and graduate students. Summer IS course must continue through both summer sessions.

Grade Changes & Appeals

Faculty are authorized to change final grades only when they have committed a computational error or an error in recording a grade, and they must receive the approval of their department chairs and the dean to change the grade. As part of that approval, they must attach a detailed explanation of the reason for the mistake.  Only in rare cases would another reason be entertained as legitimate for a grade change. A student who is unhappy with his or her grade on an assignment must discuss the situation with the faculty member teaching the course. If students believe that they have been graded unfairly, they have the right to appeal the grade using a grade appeal process in the Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.

Final Examination

Final Examination must be comprehensive and must contain a written component. The written component should comprise at least 20% of the final exam grade. Exceptions to this policy must receive the approval of the department chair and the dean at the beginning of the semester.