Approved by Faculty Senate December 2, 2002




Department ________Psychology_______________    Date ______10/7/02__________________  


        _______PSY309_________        ____ Experimental Psychology Lab _____________________         ______2____

        Course No.             Course Name                                                             Credits


        This proposal is for a(n) _x_ Undergraduate Course


        Applies to:         __x__ Major                     ___x_ Minor

__x_ Required                                                 _____ Required

_____ Elective                                                 __x_ Elective


        University Studies (A course may be approved to satisfy only one set of outcomes.):

Course Requirements:

                    Basic Skills:                           Arts & Science Core:            Unity and Diversity:

                    _____ 1. College Reading and Writing           _____ 1. Humanities                   _____ 1. Critical Analysis

                    _____ 2. Oral Communication               _____ 2. Natural Science            _____ 2. Science and Social Policy

                    _____ 3. Mathematics                _____ 3. Social Science                  _____ 3. a. Global Perspectives

                    _____ 4. Physical Development & Wellness       _____ 4. Fine & Performing Arts           _____     b. Multicultural Perspectives

                                                                                    _____ 4. a. Contemporary Citizenship

                                                                                    _____     b. Democratic Institutions

        Flagged Courses:      _____ 1. Writing

                                    __x_ 2. Oral Communication

                                    _____ 3. a. Mathematics/Statistics

                                    _____     b. Critical Analysis


        Prerequisites _____PSY 210, PSY 231, CMST 191, concurrent enrollment in PSY 308____________



Provide the following information (attach materials to this proposal):


        Please see “Directions for the Department” on previous page for material to be submitted.



Attach a University Studies Approval Form.


Department Contact Person for this Proposal:



________Carrie Fried_________                       _457-5483__             _______cfried@winona.edu__

Name (please print)                               Phone                    e-mail address




Course Syllabus and Calendar for P309

Experimental Psychology Lab

Instructor: Dr. Carrie Fried

            Office: 231 F Phelps Hall, Phone: 457-5483,  email:,


This course is designed to be taken in conjunction with Psych 308: Experimental Psychology.  It is designed to complement the material presented in that course by offering students a chance to actually conduct research and gain hands on experience with the methodological issues discussed in P308 lectures.  The required texts and assigned readings for lab coincide with the P308 lectures.  There will be no additional texts to buy for this course.

P308 Texts:  Research Methods: A Process of Inquiry by Graziano & Raulin (5th ed.)

   APA Publication Manual (5th ed.)


Course goals and objectives: 

1) Learn to conduct research in psychology, w/ emphasis on the experimental method. (Oral F)

2) Learn to communicate research findings in both written reports and oral presentations (Oral B-F)

3) Gain experience planning, designing, conducting, and analyzing several experiments. (Oral F)

4) Develop skills in doing library research and writing in the social sciences.

5) Learn to critique research and spot flaws in research designs & conclusions.

6) Review of the use of appropriate statistical techniques and tests.

7) Gain experience using computers and software to conduct statistical analysis. (Oral E)


This is an Oral Flag course in the University Studies Program.  As such it includes requirements that promote students' abilities to

A.  Earn significant course credit through extemporaneous oral presentations

B.  Understand features and types of speaking in their discipline:

C.  Adapt their speaking to field specific audiences

D.  Receive appropriate feedback from teachers and peers, including suggestions for improvement: 

E.  Make use of the technologies used for research and speaking in the field:  

F. Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields: 

(Italicized letters through-out the syllabus help designate where these occur


Lab Time:  The lab sessions will give you a chance for hands on experience and active learning of the issues related to conducting experimental research in psychology.  In the lab sessions you will do a little bit of everything including, designing and conducting studies, writing surveys and measures, graphing, and analyzing data.  There will be no make-up lab assignments. 

During the semester, in addition to smaller lab activities, you will be working on several larger projects, described briefly on the next page. Late papers or oral presentations will be docked significantly.


Grades and evaluation:  Grades in this class will be based on how well you complete the assignments.  There will be no exams.  Some of the assignments (general in lab activities) will be pass-fail, but you must be in lab and your work must be of passing quality to earn the points.  Some of the lab activities as well as the major projects will be graded. 


In lab activities:                         75 pts.

2 Papers (write-ups of small experiments you will run):                         40 pts.

2 Oral presentations (Oral A)                         35 pts.

Final project (which will include oral and written parts) (Oral A)                         50 pts.

                        Total                         200 pts


A = 182-200 , B=164-181, C=146-163, D=126-145.


Overview of major projects.

Papers:  You will be designing and conducting 2 fairly simple experiments.  I will give you the hypothesis to test.  For the papers you will write up the experimental findings in proper APA format.

Oral Presentations:  For these, you will prepare a research proposal and present it to the class.   You will come up with a research hypothesis and an experimental design to test it.  You will also have to describe what kind of statistical test you will conduct and expected results. (Oral A-F)

Final Project.  For the final project you will work in groups to actually design and carry out an experiment in a research area of interest to you.  There will be both a written and oral component of the final project.  Each student will write their own paper, but final oral presentations will be made by the group. (Oral A-F)


Course Calendar (may change slightly as semester progresses)


  Week 1:   NO LABS         


Week 2:       M. Library resources and literature reviews.

                    W. Developing research hypotheses.  Designing and conducting experiment #1


Week 3:       M. Single Factor Between Subject designs     

                    W. Introduction to statistical and graphing software  (Oral C, E, F)


Week 4:       M. Statistical analysis  (Oral C, E, F)                     

                    W. Writing in APA format and style (Oral C, F)


Week 5        M. Paper #1, Hypothesis development, introduce 1's oral presentation assignment (Oral B-F)

                    W. Work on Oral presentation #1 (Oral D)


Week 6:      M. Oral presentations (Oral A-F)

                    W. ANOVAs, Between subject designs


Week 7.      M. Within subject designs

                    W. Ethics


Week 8:       M. Question / Item / Scale writing and attitude measurements

                    W. Analysis of between subject designs. Ideas for final projects


Week 9        M. Work on final project proposals

                    W. Analysis of factorial designs, paper #2 due


Wee 10:       M. Final project proposals and IRB protocols 

                    W. Pilot Test final projects


Week 11:    M & W Work on final projects and oral presentation #2 (Oral D, E)


Week 12     M Second oral presentation:  (Oral A-F)

                    W.  Factorial design research proposal


Week 13:    M. Non-experimental methods

                    W. Surveys & program assessment


Week 14:    M&W  Work on final projects (Oral D)


Week 15     M Sample oral presentation of final project (Oral B, C, F)

                    W  Present final projects (Oral A-F)


Explanation of how P309, Experimental Psych Lab, meets oral flag criteria


A.  EARN SIGNIFICANT COURSE CREDIT THROUGH EXTEMPORANEOUS ORAL PRESENTATIONS: Assignments involving oral presentations will make up approximately one-third of the overall course grade.   In these presentations, students will make research proposals (explain research hypotheses and experimental designs to test them) and research presentations (describe the methods and results of completed research projects). Students will also be expected to answer questions and respond to comments following their presentations and to ask questions of other students. In addition, many of the daily lab activities will require students to present and defend their ideas verbally.  This may include describing research ideas, critiquing and explaining flaws in research designs, or describing the results of data analysis.


B.  UNDERSTAND FEATURES AND TYPES OF SPEAKING IN THEIR DISCIPLINE:  The oral presentations will focus on learning to report psychological research ideas and research findings.  These presentations will mimic the types of presentations psychologists give at research colloquia or professional conferences.  The two types of presentations (reporting preliminary ideas and research findings) will teach students different sets of skills.  For example, in presenting research ideas students will learn how to explain emerging ideas to other researchers and how to be open to suggestions and incorporate others' ideas into their own proposals.  In presenting research findings, students will learn how to defend their research projects and clearly articulate what they did, why they did it, and what they found. 


C.  ADAPT THEIR SPEAKING TO FIELD SPECIFIC AUDIENCES:  As mentioned above, the presentations will mimic those from professional conferences or research colloquia.   This will include learning how to correctly use discipline specific vocabulary, how to decide what information to include and what to leave out, how to accurately describe statistical tests used, and how to correctly report results of the statistical analysis.  For example, students will learn what pieces of information are vital to relay and need to be included (e.g., how dependent variables were measured or why certain statistical tests were done) and what types of information are typically left out or mentioned in passing  (e.g., how statistical analysis was conducted or how random assignment of subjects was carried out).  Students will also work on visually presenting data analysis, including how to prepare graphs that will illuminate, not muddy, the key findings. 


D.  RECEIVE APPROPRIATE FEEDBACK FROM TEACHERS AND PEERS, INCLUDING SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:  Students will have an opportunity to work with other students prior to making the presentations.  This will include soliciting help in developing ideas and rehearsing the actual presentations.  In some cases, students will work on individual presentations, and in other cases presentations will be made as a group project.  On all presentations, students will receive a detailed grade sheet from the instructor identifying areas of strength and weakness.  Other students in the class will also be able to make comments and suggestions on presentations.


E.  MAKE USE OF THE TECHNOLOGIES USED FOR RESEARCH AND SPEAKING IN THE FIELD:  Students will use Power Point presentation software and LCD projectors when making some presentations.  They will also be using statistical and graphing programs (e.g., SPSS, Excel) in analyzing their data.   All of these are common technological tools used in the discipline.  Class time will be devoted to teaching students how to use these technologies.


F. LEARN THE CONVENTIONS OF EVIDENCE, FORMAT, USAGE, AND DOCUMENTATION IN THEIR FIELDS:  The entire course focuses on conventions of evidence.  This includes forming a testable hypothesis, developing proper variables and research designs to specifically test this hypothesis, conducting the research in a way that will not violate underlying assumptions of the scientific and experimental methods, and using the appropriate statistical tests to document and quantify the effect.  Linked to this, students will be taught the proper ways to document and format this evidence for presentation.  This will include learning APA formatting, proper reporting of statistical evidence, and lessons on the ethics of honest and transparent scientific reporting.