Research Design & Statistics (PSYC 5320-160)
Fall 2015

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

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

Office: CH 205

E-mail: rheredia@tamiu.edu

Class Time & Place: T 5:30 - 8:00 BH 225

Phone: (956) 326-2637

Office Hours:  M-R, 4-5 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 21 step by step: A simple guide and reference (13
th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Prentice Hall (ISBN-10: 0205985513 • ISBN-13: 9780205985517; eBook ISBN-10: 020598553X • ISBN-13: 9780205985531)

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 PSPP an
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. Understood the principles and logic in conducting psychological research.
2. Understood the mechanics of generating research questions.
3. Understood the mechanics of generating theoretically sound research ideas.
4. Written progressively complete research reports in APA style.
5. Understood how to critically  read and interpret the methods and results section of scientific research article.


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.

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 analyisis 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 researchs 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 brief discussion points 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 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 15 references (from recently published academic publications) due December 7. 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. In lieu of the final academic presentation, the student may choose to present a poster or paper at the 12th Annual Texas A&M System Pathways Student Research Symposium (October 22-23), at Corpus Christi (Transportaion will be provided; Abstract Deadline September 1). If you choose this option, you need to register for the conference. 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 Mater'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                                            @ 100 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 25

Introduction: Scientific Research/Ethics in Research

*Ch 1,4


Research Approaches & Methods of Data Collection/Hypothesis Formation

*Ch 2-3


Measuring Variables and Sampling/Research Validity

*Ch 5-6

SEP 15

Procedure for conducting an experiment/GUEST SPEAKER

*Ch 9

SEP 22

Control Techniques in Experimental Research/Experimental Research Design

*Ch 7

SEP 29

Control Techniques in Experimental Research/Experimental Research Design

*Ch 8



OCT 13

Descriptive Statistics/SPPSS Functions, Procedures, & Descriptive Statistics

*Ch 14;  #Ch 1-7

OCT 20

Inferential Statistics: Hypothesis Testing Principles

*Ch 15, #Ch 8-12

OCT 27

 Factorial Designs: Analysis of Variance 

*Ch 8, #Ch 14


Linear Regression

#Ch 15

NOV 17

Multiple Regression 

#Ch 16

NOV 24
Quasi Experimental, Single-Case Designs/ Research Presentations TBA *Ch 12

Survey Research/ Qualitative vs. Quantitative/ Research Presentations TBA

*Ch 13
Reading Day/ Research Proposal Due Date

DEC 15


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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