Research Methods
Fall, 2018; 9:10-10:05 MWF, COE (College of Education) 244
[Syllabus] [Lab Syllabus]

Instructor: Dr. William Langston
Office: JH 100
Phone: 615/898-5489 (office)
Office Hours: 12-1 T, 2:30-3:30 W, drop in anytime, calling first is a good idea, email for appointments.
[Text] [Description] [Responsibilities] [Grading] [Policies] [Calendar]
Required Text:
Ray, W. J. (2012). Methods Toward a Science of Behavior and Experience (10th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 

Course Description:
In this course we will discuss how to design and conduct research in psychology. We will focus on several types of design including observation, correlational studies, surveys, and experiments. We will also focus on how to report the results of research to others, and on how to interpret the results of research.
Course Responsibilities:
1.  Exams: We will have three exams spaced evenly throughout the semester. These exams will be cumulative (thatís just the way this material works). Exams are worth 100 points each.
2.  Final: There will be a comprehensive final covering everything in the course. The final is worth 200 points.
3.  Quizzes/Exercises: We will have a quiz or homework each week. I will count your top 10 quiz/exercise scores, so there will be no make-ups for missed quizzes or late homeworks. These assignments are worth 10 points each.
4.  Research report: You will write one report based on a lab project.
Assignments: Description: Points:
3 @ 100 each

10 @ 10 each
Research report


Your grade will be based on the number of points earned. Totals:

>630 = A, >609 = B+, >581 = B, >560 = B-, >539 = C+, >511 = C, >490 = C-, >469 = D+, >441 = D, >420 = D-, >0 = F.

The grade for the lab will be determined using the policies outlined on the lab syllabus.

General Policies:
1. Attendance: Attendance is mandatory. I will pass around a sign-up sheet every day. Only people with perfect attendance will be allowed to take advantage of extra credit opportunities.
2. Late policy: Complete assignments on time.
 Type of assignment: Penalty:
Not accepted after Friday of the week theyíre due
No make-ups offered 

     Late, but doesn't inconvenience me 
No penalty
     Some level of inconvenience 10% - 100%
*Papers turned in before I start grading are not late, regardless of the due date.
3. Grading guarantee (my late policy): Exams will be returned within one week of the exam date. Papers will be returned within two weeks of the final due date. Bonus points will be awarded at the rate of five points per incomplete exam/paper per day until they are graded. Bonus points will be divided equally amongst all assignments turned in to me on time, for anyone with perfect attendance.
4. Missed exams: If you know in advance, notify me to make arrangements. Exam make-ups will only be given in cases where some emergency forced you to miss the exam.
5. Course notes are available on the web at
6. Drop deadlines: The last day to drop without a grade is September 9. Incompletes will only be given if you have successfully completed the majority of the coursework and were prevented from finishing by a major tragedy or emergency.
7. Any student engaging in any form of academic misconduct will lose credit for the relevant assignment and will be subjected to the appropriate university proceedings.
8. If you experience problems in the course, see me. Youíre welcome in my office anytime.
9. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities: If you require assistance or accommodation (e.g., testing, note-taking, etc.), or you have questions related to such accommodations, speak to me as soon as possible. Also, the Disability and Access Center (898-2783) can provide information about such accommodations. Additional information is here:
10. Do you have a lottery scholarship? To retain the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) eligibility, you must earn a cumulative TELS GPA of 2.75 after 24 and 48 attempted hours and a cumulative TELS GPA of 3.0 thereafter. A grade of C, D, F, FA, or I in this class may negatively impact TELS eligibility. If you drop this class, withdraw, or if you stop attending this class you may lose eligibility for your lottery scholarship, and you will not be able to regain eligibility at a later time. For additional Lottery rules, please refer to your Lottery Statement of Understanding form ( or contact your MT One Stop Enrollment Counselor (
11. MTSU faculty are concerned about the well-being and development of our students and are legally obligated to share reports of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking with the Universityís Title IX coordinator to help ensure studentís safety and welfare. Please refer to MTSUís Title IX site for contact information and details:
12. Statement on academic misconduct:

Schedule of events:
Week of:  Topic: Notes: Read: 
Course introduction 
Ch. 1


9/3 H O L I D A Y Monday, 9/3

Chs. 2 (pp. 41-47), 3, 7
Ch. 4

Start measurement
Ch. 5, 6
Finish measurement 

Exam 1 Friday, 9/21

Kinds of design 
Ch. 2 (pp. 26-41)

Observation research
Ch. 12 (pp. 290-295)
Ch. 14
Simple experiments
Chs. 8, 9, 10, 11
H O L I D A Y Monday, 10/15

Within participants designs 10
Multiple groups designs 11

Exam 2 Friday, 10/26

Start factorial designs 
12 Ch. 9
More factorial designs

More factorial designs

Strong inference 13

Exam 3 Friday, 11/16 (take home)

Finish factorial designs

H O L I D A Y Wednesday, 11/21

H O L I D A Y Friday, 11/23

Non-experimental designs 14 Chs. 12 (pp. 266-289), 13
More non-experimental designs

Correlational vs. experimental approaches

Final examination Wednesday, 12/12, due by 12:00 PM

Please note:  Some due dates and topics may shift to later dates.  In no event will due dates be moved to an earlier date.

Research Methods Syllabus
Will Langston
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