Research Methods
Summer, 2018
9:45 - 11:45 MTWR, COE 247
[Course Syllabus] [Lab Syllabus]

Instructor: Dr. William Langston
Office: N/A
Phone: N/A (office) 615/692-4583 (cell)
Office Hours: 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. 
Ebook options
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 “true” experiments.  We will also focus on how to report the results of experiments to others, and on how to interpret the results of experiments.
Course Responsibilities:
1.  Exams:  We will have two exams spaced evenly throughout the session.  These exams will be cumulative (that’s just the way this material works).  Exams are worth 100 pts. each.
2.  Final:  There will be a comprehensive final covering everything in the course.  The final is worth 200 pts.
3.  Quizzes/Exercises:  We will have a quiz or homework approximately every other day.  I will count your top 10 quiz/exercise scores; there will be no make-ups for missed quizzes or late homeworks.  These assignments are worth 10 pts. each.
4.  Research report:  You will write one report, based on a lab project.
Assignments: Quantity: Points:
Exams 2 @ 100 ea.   200
Quizzes/Exercises  10 @ 10 ea.
Research report

Your grade will be based on the number of points earned.  Totals (apply your highest possible grade):

>540 = A, >522 = B+, >498 = B, >480 = B-, >462 = C+, >438 = C, > 420 = C-, >402 = D+, > 378 = D, >360 = D-, >0 = F.
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
     Late, but doesn't inconvenience me 
     Some level of inconvenience
Not accepted after they’re due 
No make-ups offered 
No penalty 
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 one week 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.  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.  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.
7.  If you experience problems in the course, see me.  We will have to make appointments for summer 2018.
8. 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 (615-898-2783) can provide information about such accommodations. Additional information is here:

9. Do you have a lottery scholarship? To retain the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship 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 may 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 (

10. 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 University’s Title IX coordinator to help ensure student’s safety and welfare. Please refer to MTSU’s Title IX site for contact information and details:
Schedule of events:
Week of:  Topic: Notes: Read: 
Course introduction
Ch. 1


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

Ch. 4
Chs. 5, 6

Kinds of design
Ch. 2 (pp. 26-41)

Observation research 
Ch. 12 (pp. 290-295)

Exam 1 Thursday, 6/14

6/18 Surveys 8
Ch. 14

Simple experiments 
9, 10, 11
Chs. 8, 9, 10, 11

Factorial designs
Ch. 9
More factorial designs

Strong inference 

Exam 2 Thursday, 6/28

7/2 Paper due Monday, 7/2

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

Correlational vs. experimental approaches

No class Weds. July 4

Final examination due Thursday, 7/5

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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