Syllabus & Notes 2017

Course: Experimental Psychology 250
Semester: _______________________________

Class Location: ___________________________

To adhere to New York City and State fire codes, be sure that the classroom exits are not obstructed and doors are not shut. Public safety: Emergency # 212 772-4444 (for Police/Ambulance call 911)

TA information:
Office hours:


Add any information here:

Please depart research laboratory cubicles by 12:45 and return to the main classroom with all of your belongings. Unless otherwise announced, class/lab will be dismissed from the main lab classroom area. Please leave cubicles doors open. If any classroom door has a lock, please be careful not to lock any classroom door on your way in or out of the classroom.
Course Agenda: This course is designed to teach the basics of experimental research skills especially for Psychology Research. This includes the development of skills such as 1) time management, 2) ethics training, 3) development of research ideas, 4) study/instrument design, 5) variable selection/sampling procedures, 6) hypothesis testing, 7) coding techniques, 8) 9) reliability, 10) networking for research, 11) critical analysis of research 12) effective writing for science, editing 13) peer-review process 14) oral/visual/media communication.  In addition to the goals that I have highlighted above, the Department of Psychology of Hunter College CUNY has identified several goals listed here: “HUNTER COLLEGE OF THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY GENERAL SYLLABUS FOR ALL EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY COURSES  Catalog Description: Four credits (2 hours lecture, 4 hours laboratory). Prerequisites: Declared psychology major; Engl 120 with a minimum grade of C; one semester of acceptable lab science sequence with a passing grade; Psych 248 with a minimum grade of C. All students are expected to show competence in the following: 1. Research Design 2. Origin of research hypotheses.  Dependent and independent variables, determination of relevant variables, controlled and uncontrolled variables, general and procedural (operational) definitions of variables, internal and external validity, reliability. 3. Observational, correlational and experimental research. 4. Within and between subjects designs, order effects (counterbalancing), matching by pre-test, random selection, factorial design, single and matched samples, single subject and group data. 5. Organization, summarization and presentation of findings.  6. Calculation and interpretation of descriptive and inferential statistics. B.  Ethics 1. Informed consent, confidentiality, participant-experimenter interaction, and debriefing.  Completion of the CUNY computer based training (CBT). Note: Classroom exercises cannot be conducted prior to CBT. C.  Information Literacy1.  Information retrieval through library databases (e.g., PsycInfo, PubMed). 2. Use of abstracts, research journals. 3.  Evaluation of sources. D.  Techniques 1. Data collection and analysis. 2.  Use of computers and other experimental materials/apparatus and equipment for data collection. 3. Use computer programs such as Excel, SPSS, Word, and PowerPoint.E. Communication of Research Results 1. Students in all sections must complete a minimum of four full APA research reports based on data collected for the course. There may be additional assignments. 2.  The final paper should be an original study designed by the student.3. The results of this experiment are to be presented in class preferably in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. ” (FROM DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY, JANUARY 2016)” Dr. Amber Martin, 22nd of August, 2016 “All syllabi should include the departmental learning outcomes listed below:”

  1. Understand fundamentals of scientific methodology, including research design, hypothesis testing, variable selection, and sampling methodologies.
  2. Understand the fundamentals of ethical research, including but not limited to the completion of the CUNY online ethics certification (CBT).
  3. Demonstrate information literacy by conducting literature searches and evaluating source materials.
  4. Carry out data collection using multiple modalities (observational, experimental, etc.) in conjunction with data analysis using computer based software.
  5. Effectively communicate results through research papers and oral presentations.

Professor: Tricia Striano (Thomas Hunter Hall #507 buzzer).

Office hours for TA: Please ask TA

Office hours for Professor Striano: Unless otherwise announced, Professor Striano’s office hours are held on Tuesday at 8:45am. When I confirm your appointment via email, I will inform you the exact location of our meeting. Office Phone: 212 772 5678. Note that my office is in a secured suite. You will therefore need to be buzzed in. To arrange an appointment for office hours, write “OFFICE HOUR 250” in the email subject heading. Only use your Hunter College email address when corresponding with the Professor or with the TA. Send your email request to prior to Thursday at 4pm. Please expect me to reply with your exact time slot/location prior to Friday at 4pm. Instructions for office hours with the TA will be given in class. Paste the following into your request to Dr. Striano.

REASON FOR MY VISIT: Please fill in the reason for your visit here



Please be as specific as possible about the questions that you would like addressed at office hours. This helps both of us prepare for our meeting.

Try not to write, “I HAVE A QUESION ABOUT PAPER 1.”

Rather try to express the exact nature of your question in your request, “On Page 3 Paragraph 2 on my paper assignment # X, Titled XXXXX, I lost 1 point and would like to understand why. According to the APA manual, PAGE X, SECTION Y states “XXXX.

Treat class like an important business. If you plan on attending my class, arrive on time. You will lose points for arriving to class late. You will not lose points for not coming to class as long as your assignments are completed on time and according to instructions provided to you/your class partner. Try not to steal valuable learning time away from your classmates by arriving to class late and disrupting the entire class rhythm and dynamic. If you cannot make it to class, try to complete your work and assignments and coordinate with your class partner who may inform you what you may have missed. Research Methods and success in my course demands a great deal of planning and time management strategies (see Chapter 3 of your “Doing Research” workbook for additional guidance). Try to follow the syllabus and instructions/ course guides provided to you. If instructions are not clear to you, you should have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and to obtain clarification during class question periods or during office hours. Try to work well with others, be innovative, critical, diligent and creative with your projects and there is excellent opportunity to perform very well in Research Methods Class. Focus and use your class time wisely (See also Insight Out, Chapter 5 on Focus).


Materials for the course include:

* Doing Developmental Research: A Practical Guide. Guilford Press. 2016 (ISBN 9781462524433 or ISBN 9781462524426) “Addressing practical issues rarely covered in methods texts, this user-friendly, jargon-free book helps students and beginning researchers plan infant and child development studies and get them done. The author provides step-by-step guidance for getting involved in a developmental laboratory and crafting effective research questions and proposals. Tips on recruiting study participants cover access issues—such as how to overcome language and cultural barriers—and include helpful sample scripts. The book offers time management strategies, pointers for organizing and communicating data, and a roadmap of the journal publication process, complete with an annotated sample article. Numerous concrete examples, checklists, worksheets, and exercises are featured. Reproducible forms can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8½” x 11″ size.” (Guilford Press).

Unless instructed otherwise, please bring this workbook to our class each week as we will often do in-class exercises and assignments. Please do not use an “e-copy” of your book in class given that cell phones/ computer use is not permitted in my classroom unless instructed.

* InsightOut: Get ideas out of your head and into the world. Harper Collins. 2015. (ISBN 978-0-06-230127-7). “In this revolutionary guide, Stanford University Professor and international bestselling author of inGenius adopts her popular course material to teach everyone how to make imaginative ideas a reality. As a leading expert on creativity, Tina Seelig has continually explored what we can each do to unleash our entrepreneurial spirit. In Insight Out, she offers us the tools to make our ideas a reality. She clearly defines the concepts of imagination, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurism, showing how they affect each other and how we can unlock the pathway from imagination to implementation, where our ideas then gain the power to inspire the imaginations of others. Drawing on more than a decade of experience as a professor at the Stanford University School of Engineering, Seelig shows readers how to work through the steps of imagination, ideation, innovation, and implementation, using each step to build upon the last, to ultimately create something complex, interesting, and powerful. Coping with today’s constant change, everyone needs these skills to conquer challenges and seize the opportunities that arise. Seelig irrefutably demonstrates that these skills can be taught, and shows us how to mobilize our own energy and bring new ideas to life” (Harper Collins).

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition ISBN-10: 1433950618 “The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences. It provides invaluable guidance on all aspects of the writing process, from the ethics of authorship to the word choice that best reduces bias in language. Well-known for its authoritative and easy-to-use reference and citation system, the Publication Manual also offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, and tone that will result in strong, simple, and elegant scientific communication. “ (From
Note: In order to be fair to the whole class, please try to take any notes with a paper notebook or in your workbook and transfer your notes later to your digital device if you prefer to record notes digitally on your computer, phone, or tablet. My classroom is considered a “safe space” for students to express themselves specifically as related to the goals and agenda of the class. Please therefore do not use your cell phone or computer in class. If you need to watch a movie, check social media, monitor the news or make a call or send a text, please just leave my classroom and do so from the hallway or location of your choice outside of my classroom. Computers and tablets should be safely stored and placed off your desk unless instructed otherwise. Your phone ringer should be off.

* 20 notecards and a pen

*Poster board materials. You will not need this until toward the end of the semester. Additional details will be provided later in the semester.

* Supplemental Text. A practical Introduction to Research Methods. Zechmeister and Shaughnessy. 1992. McGraw Hill. You do not need to purchase this book. Many on-line sources may be used though the semester. More details will be provided in class.

* Film (The Experimenter). 2015 “ Yale University, 1961. Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) designs a psychology experiment that remains relevant to this day, in which people think they’re delivering painful electric shocks to an affable stranger (Jim Gaffigan) strapped into a chair in another room. Disregarding his pleas for mercy, the majority of subjects do not stop the experiment, administering what they think are near-fatal electric shots, simply because they’ve been told to. Milgram’s exploration of authority and conformity strikes a nerve in popular culture and the scientific community. Celebrated in some circles, he is also accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster. His wife Sasha (Winona Ryder) anchors him through it all. “  (

* 8) one box of crayola crayons or creative medium of your choice
* 9) A notepad/research log

Prepare for disaster:  It is recommended that you find two class partners on the first day of class. Did you forget to take notes? Did your computer crash the day before the assignment is due? You may wish to contact your class partner and try to figure out a solution. Try to obtain your class partner’s contact information such as phone number and email before rather than after disaster strikes. It is recommend that you store your partners’ contact information in your cell phone and on a paper notebook. It is important to plan ahead. Planning ahead is a key to successful research.

Pause. Look around the room. Should you wish, take a moment to introduce yourself to your classmates and try to find a few class partners.

List the contact information of your possible class partners here:

(above intentionally left blank).

A serious problem: Problems and unfortunate circumstances occur. You may encounter a serious personal problem or situation that prevents you from completing the course or from completing your individual assignments. In these cases, contact your academic advisor who will advise you. Your advisor can also discuss whether you should withdraw from the course, whether you should take an incomplete. If you are ill and cannot come to class simply coordinate with your class partner. For instance, if you have a presentation due, you could send your class partner a video of your presentation to show to the class for you or post it on your blog. Please just obtain class materials from a class partner if you anticipate not coming to class.

Academic Integrity: Plagiarism, dishonesty, or cheating will be punished to the full extent allowed according to Hunter College and CUNY regulations. Hunter College regards acts of academic dishonesty as serious offenses against the values of intellectual honesty. The College is committed to enforcing CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty according to the Hunter College Academic Integrity Procedures.

Forms can be found at

I have a zero tolerance plagiarism policy.

Counseling Center

“Balancing the demands of college and personal life can be challenging. The Hunter College Counseling Service is here to help students handle this stress and pressure successfully and constructively. At times, just talking can make a difference while other times, more intervention is needed. We strive to help our students manage the demands of life through the provision of confidential and individualized counseling services. Our licensed mental health professionals can assist students in overcoming personal,academic, and/or crisis situations that could negatively impact their progress and success at Hunter College. The Counseling Service works closely with the Office of AccessABILITY,Wellness Services and Advising Services to provide comprehensive and coordinated services to all students. We work to create a learning environment where our students feel safe, respected and valued and facilitate the process of developing a balanced and healthy lifestyle, including care for oneself” From

Behavioral Response “Hunter College is committed to the health and safety of the student body, and maintaining a productive learning and working environment. The Hunter College Behavioral Response Team is a group of professionals dedicated to providing support and assistance to students in crisis or in distress. The BRT promotes a culture of mutual support and collaboration and is a resource for all faculty, staff, and students. Our team is designed to: Identify those students in need of assistance

Manage each incident effectively, Provide structure for an effective method of, addressing student behaviors, Initiate appropriate intervention

Promote a coordinated response”

ADA & 504 LAWS

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

“In compliance with the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Hunter College is committed to ensuring educational parity and accommodations for all students with documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. It is recommended that all students with documented disabilities (Emotional, Medical, Physical, and/or Learning) consult the Office of AccessABILITY, located in Room E1214B, to secure necessary academic accommodations. For further information and assistance, please call: (212) 772- 4857 or (212) 650-3230”

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

“ADA is a federal civil rights law that guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in state and local government services, public accommodations, employment, transportation, and telecommunications. It upholds and extends the standards for compliance set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to include all policies, procedures, and practices that impact the treatment of students with disabilities. Taken together, these two federal laws, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA of 1990, provide the essential legal mandate for higher education. Educational accommodations or academic adjustments are the services or strategies necessary to provide equal access for the student with a disability in an academic setting. Such accommodations must be “reasonable” in that they do not alter the essential nature of the task, and that they do not pose an “undue administrative or financial burden.” An accommodation does not compromise the essential elements of a course or curriculum, nor does it weaken the academic standards or integrity of a course. Accommodations simply provide an alternative way to accomplish the course requirements by eliminating or reducing disability-related barriers. They provide a level playing field, not an unfair advantage. The law provides that a student with a disability has the right to request accommodation from the college or university once he or she has provided appropriate documentation of the disability to the appropriate personnel at the institution. The Office of AccessABILITY located at East 1214B is the designated office at Hunter College.”

Note: All I that is needed by Professor is verification in the form of your current accommodation card.


Grading is according to guidelines set forth by Hunter College. Please see guide at Hunter College (i.e., A + is 97.5 to 100 percent, A is 92.5 to 97.4 percent etc.). There are no make up assignments. Your final grade may be reduced by -1 each time that you engaged in actions that are not consistent with the syllabus, instructions/goals of my course (described below). If you have questions about whether you have engaged in the below behaviors/actions please arrange a meeting for office hours or hand in a notecard during a question period with 1) your name 2) Hunter email address and 3) date month, day, year and 4) “private” under your name. You could then write your question such as, “Did I lose points today for falling asleep?” I will email you a response along with the potential number of points lost.

For instance, if you took out your cell phone out in class to order lunch on-line (-1) ate your lunch in class (-1) and then fell asleep (-1) at your desk, you would lose 3 points from your final grade (i..e, a grade of 89 or B+ would become an 86 or B). You could avoid losing points simply by stepping outside of my class to place your lunch order, eating your lunch at a location outside of the classroom and taking a nap at location of your desire. You will not lose points if you do not come to class, assuming that your assignments are complete and on time.

You should always have a very good sense of the your grade in class. If at any time you would like to know your grade or how potentially to improve your grade please e-mail for an office hour appointment using the guide above. You begin my class with 100 points or an A+. To determine your estimated grade at any point of the class, subtract the points that you have lost from 100. Add any extra credit points. Extra credit assignments will be given throughout the semester and you can expect a minimum of 15 extra credit points. These points are helpful if you missed an assignment, paper, etc.

Actions/behaviors that will result in losing points:

1.providing written or verbal excuses in person or e-mail/letter form
Example: “I missed class because my sister had a baby” (= 1 excuse) Potential medical documents, city or police records, notes from therapists, doctors, courts, attorneys etc . are not wanted in any  form. 
2. Using the internet or phone in the classroom unless instructed by professor

3.falling asleep or put your head on the desk. If this happens I will have to assume there is a medical emergency and have you removed from the classroom.
4. Waiting at my office door without a confirmed appointment.
5. Asking questions outside of class time/office hours. If you do not understand an assignment, grade, mark on your paper, etc. immediately arrange an appointment for office hours so that your question may be addressed. In an effort to treat all students fairly and to give all students the exact same information, please ask questions during class. If you have a private question about the class (about a mark on your paper, a project or a grade) please arrange for office hours (see above).
6. Eating in classroom. You should expect a short break during class or feel free to step outside of the classroom to have a snack.
7. Grading in this course based on the following assignments and projects:
LAB 1, APA Paper 1: 10 points
LAB 2, APA Paper 2: 10 points
LAB 3, APA Paper 3: 10 points
LAB 4, APA paper 4: 10 point
Blog*                             50 points (article presentation, cover letter, poster analysis,lab analysis)
FINAL Poster Presentation 10 points


Your name
Lab # 1, 2, 3, 4 (circle one)

Please circle one

I carefully reviewed the APA guidelines     YES     NO
I formatted my paper according to the APA guideline   YES       NO
I completed the publication checklist in my DDR workbook   YES       NO

Comments by TA:

  1. Follow rules of grammar and spelling. 1 point for each new grammar error (e.g., spelling errors, punctuation errors, and run-on sentences).
  2. Identify the question of the study 1 point
  3. Identify hypothesis. 1 point.
  4. Identify why the question is important (Introduction). 1 point.
  5. Identify what is new about the study (introduction). 1 point
  6. Compute/reports the correct statistics. 1 point
  7. Follow

Your score for papers will be calculated using the following guide based on total points lost

0-10 points = 10
10-20 points = 9
21-30 points = 8
31-40 = 7 points
If you make 40 errors or more, please consider dropping the course. Grading Codes: APA= APA error; G/S = grammar or spelling error; WTQ = Where is the question; WN= What is new about your study?

Major comment on errors by page/section. A check or + means very good overall.

Title Page:







Additional notes/comments:

May my class partner deliver my paper to class at the time it is due?
May I hand in a paper late? Yes you may. 10 raw points will be deducted for each day your paper is later. Your grade falls to 9/10 automatically.
Will the TA and/or Professor read a complete draft of my paper before the due date? Yes. Your complete draft must be submitted/received 4 working days prior to the due date.
There are marks on my paper that I do not understand.
You should understand all marks on your paper. Please make an appointment for office hours

How to read this syllabus: Each date activities and assignments are listed to serve as a guide for what happens that day in class. If you see Homework assignment, “Read Chapter 3” that means read Chapter 3 for the following week. The syllabus is a guide for what happens in class that day or announcements that will take place that day.

1) February 1, 2017

Syllabus overview

Question period system
How and Why to develop a WordPress blog
CITI training – Complete and sign all forms from IRB before end of class. Give forms to TA.
Homework: Obtain your books and materials for class. Read Chapter 1-3 “Doing Developmental Research” (Guilford Press) book and complete all exercises in Chapter 3 of the DDR (post anwers on your Blog or bring hard copy to class).

Carefully read and study the entire APA manual
Read pages 1-36 in InsightOut
Complete Exercise # 1 on page 36, INSIGHTOUT, BLOG POST (#1)
2) FEB 10
Question period
Lab 1-4 Overview
Developing research questions and discussion of homework
Databases, Psych Info
Discussing your research question(s) (Lab 3/4) BLOG 1-2 paragraphs
Homework: Picasso paper & Blog Assignment
Read Chapter 2, 3, 4 (InsightOut)

3) FEB 17

Discuss Blog post #1

Embracing APA style
Looking at an APA paper & The ART of APA Style” Assignment BLOG POST # 2
Homework: Blog Post on Art of APA, details given in class
Ethics review and CITI review (Chapter 2, DDR, Discussion questions in class)
Develop Consent form (See book DDR and Hunter College IRB links).
Basics of survey development (focusing on the question). Why surveys?
Discussion/Overview of LAB 1
Homework Read:
Kaefer, T., Pinkham, A. & Neuman, S. (2016). Seeing and knowing: Attention to illustrations during storybook reading and narrative comprehension in 2-year-olds. Infant and Child Development, 57-69.

Variables & Confounds
Descriptive statistics (See Chapter 8)
Organizing your data (See Chapter 7; Exercise 1 and 2),
Practice using SPSS
4) FEB 24

Study development, survey development, stimuli development at NYPL 10-2

Ethics discussion and book exercises (1-4 Page 33 to 36 DDR Book)

Discussion of Lab 2,data collection.
How to summarize literature for Laboratory 2 (see also book Chapter 5).
Building on the basic architecture from Laboratory 1.
March 2

Data collection lab 1

True Experiments

Qualitative vs. Quantitative data
6) MARCH 9
Coding & Reliabiloty

How to identify Basics of research presentations/Poster Presentation Checklist  (Chapter 11)
Learning from peer reviews (Chapter 10, see also exercise 1 and 2 on page 157-158).
Giving oral presentations/Communicating your research
See Chapter 11
7) MARCH 16

Peer review process

Reading Presentations #

LAB 2 Due today by 11:00am
8) MARCH 23
Begin data Collection for Lab 3.
Paper 2 due at 3:30 pm. Total Pages = 7 (one title; introduction; method; result page; table; reference page with up to 4 references).

Reading Presentations #


9) MARCH 30
Analysis of research paper. Data collection Lab 3. Coding and data entry continued. Present Question for Lab 4 and bring to class 5 relevant peer-reviewed papers that you plan to cite in your final paper (5 minutes per person).  Compute statistics and write up of Lab 3.
Reading Presentations

10) APRIL 5

Lab 3 Due today at 11am 9-10 pages
Read/re-read Chapter 8 “Strategies for Using Statistics.”
Complete mock data entry for APA project # 4.
How will your data look and how will it be analyzed (and why?).  See Chapter 7 and 8
Once your Question and Data Entry and Statistical analysis plan (1/2 page) is approved by TA/Professor, you will begin data collection for lab 4

Reading Presentations #

11) APRIL 19

APA PAPER /project 4
Extra Credit Opportunity discussed in class
Write letter to Editor Exercise BLOG.
12) APRIL 26
See guidelines/script/handout in class
Basics of poster presentations and attending conferences.
Homework: Watch Experimenter Film /Ethics exercises
13) MAY 3

Labortory 4
Blog presentations
Extra credit presentations

14) MAY 10

Morning session lab 4
LAB 4 due 3:10 pm
Presentation 2 minute/video blog

Please see your book, “Doing Developmental Research” for more on conference presentations. XXX Course Evaluation & Summary of Research Methods tools and techniques.

15) MAY 17

Morning session, posters.

Research Methods Conference begins at 3:10 am with a conference “reception.” This class session is mandatory for all.  We will discuss how to network at a research conference and to begin looking at the posters of your classmates. More details will be given in class/posted.



All students and Faculty must complete the CITI Program to fulfil the IRB requirements for conducting research in the classroom. This must be completed before any data collection takes place. The forms are available on the CUNY Commons website (more on that in a minute) or on the IRB website at The students must complete the Human Subjects Basic Course (or the refresher where appropriate); the HSR for UG Students version. If you have any questions you can contact the IRB office directly at extension 13053. In order to conduct classroom research at CUNY you must first complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). Go to the website If you’ve already completed the CITI Program, it is valid for 3 years. You can log in to your account, print out a copy of your completion certificate. If it’s past 3 years, you can still log in, but you’ll have to take a “Refresher Course” and then print out the completion certificate. If you have not taken the CITI Program, you’ll have to start from the beginning by registering for a new account. Registration is a 7 step process. After this you will be able to take the required course, Human Subjects Basic Course for Under Graduate Student – also known as the HSR for Undergraduate Students. Each must be completed to go on to the next:

Step 1. Select an organization: City University of New York (CUNY)

Step 2. Enter personal Information

Step 3. Create your user name and password

Step 4. Create an account: You are asked for your country of residence, gender, race, etc.

Step 5. You have an option of receiving credit as a CEU (Continuing Education Unit).  Enter NO

Step 6. You are asked about you role in CUNY.  Enter Student Researcher – Undergraduate.

Step 7. Take the Human Subjects Basic Course, and select the HSR for undergraduate Students.

Click on Finalize and then open the CUNY Courses drop down menu. Select HSR for Undergraduate Students – Basic/Refresher. Complete the Integrity Assurance Statement and then complete the required 8 modules. You don’t need to do the Supplemental Modules.