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PSYCH202B: Research Methods Lab

Unit 1: Developing a Research Question   One of the most important—and frequently overlooked—steps in successful research occurs prior to laboratory experimentation, when the researcher develops a question that can be accurately and effectively studied.   Though psychologists generate these questions in a number of different ways, many of the most successful arise from previous experiments performed by either the researcher him or herself or from others in the field.   However, even when a psychologist is building from existing research, there are a number of elements he or she must consider when establishing the parameters for further research.   In this unit, we will discuss different methods for the formulation of a solid research question as well as ways to determine the scientific value of a given experiment.  As we move through this unit, you should begin to develop a research question you are interested in reviewing or researching.

1.1 What is a Good Research Question?   1.1.1 Must Be Testable   - Reading: Rutgers-Camden: Jon’a F. Meyer’s "Some Early Steps in Research” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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1.1.2 What Does the Research Add to the Existing Knowledge?   1.1.3 Has the Research Already Been Conducted?   1.1.4 The Costs and Benefits of the Research   - Reading: The Rochester Institute of Technology: Office of Human Subjects Research: “Protecting Human Subjects at RIT – Reviewing Research” Link: The Rochester Institute of Technology: Office of Human Subjects Research: “Protecting Human Subjects at RIT – Reviewing Research” (HTML)

 Instructions: On the above webpage, please read through the various
sections of step 1 (Risk/Benefit Analysis) and apply these questions
to your research question.  Under section A (“Identifying Risks”),
click on the link to the “Identifying Risks Table” to learn about
various potential risks.  

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1.2 A Call for Replication   1.2.1 How to Replicate Previous Research   - Reading: Santa Clara University: Dr Jerry Burger’s “Replicating Milgram: Would People Still Obey Today?” Link: Santa Clara University: Dr Jerry Burger’s “Replicating Milgram: Would People Still Obey Today?” (PDF)

 Instructions: Clicking on the above link will bring you to Dr.
Jerry Burger’s webpage.  Please scroll down to the section titled
“Research and Representative Publications” and select “Replicating
Milgram: Would People Still Obey Today?”  In PSYCH202, you read
about the importance of replication as well as Jerry Burger’s
partial replication of Milgram’s famous obedience experiment.
 Please read through this in order to see an important real world
example of a replication.  

 As you are reading the article, consider whether or not you think
the replication was necessary, what the risks were, and whether or
not it added to previous knowledge.  Also, please note that this was
a partial replication (meaning not all aspects of the original
experiment were conducted) and consider the reasons for this.  This
reading also applies to subunit 1.2.2.  

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  • Reading: Find Articles at BNET’s version of Christiane Kugler, Stefan Fischer, and Cynthia L. Russell’s “Preparing a Replication Study” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

    Submit Materials

1.2.2 Partial Replications   1.2.3 When is Replication Appropriate?   1.2.4 Replication: Same vs. Different Design   1.2.5 Replication in a Different Population   - Web Media: Argosy University: Helping Psychology’s “Conformity: The Solomon Asch Experiments.” Link: Argosy University: Helping Psychology’s "Conformity: The Solomon Asch Experiments.” (Adobe Flash)

 Also Available in:  

[Youtube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRh5qy09nNw&feature=player_embedded)  

 Instructions: Please watch the above clip and read the description
of the Asch Experiment to prepare for reading about a cross-cultural
replication of the experiment.  

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  • Reading: San Jose State University: Sharon Glazer’s Psyc100w: Writing Workshop’s version of Yohtaro Takano and Shunya Sogon’s “Are Japanese More Collectivistic Than Americans?: Examining Conformity in In-Groups and the Reference-Group Effect” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

    Submit Materials

1.3 Supporting and Counter Evidence   - Reading: University of Washington: Psychology Writing Center’s "Writing a Psychology Literature Review" Link: University of Washington: Psychology Writing Center’s "Writing a Psychology Literature Review” (PDF)

 Instructions: Clicking on the above link will bring you to the
University of Washington’s Psychology Writing Center.  Scroll down
to the list of writing guides, and under the section “Scientific
Writing & APA Format,” click on “Writing a Psychology Literature
Review” to download the PDF.  Please save this file as you will need
to access it again for subunits 2.1.2 and 2.2.  

 As you learned in PSYCH202, research ideas are often based on
previous research.  Please read the first two pages of this guide
(through Library Research) to learn about the steps in developing
your research question based on previous research and planning your
literature review.  As you read this, start to think about the
searches you could conduct on your topic, and ask yourself how you
might narrow it down based on the previous studies you might find as
a result of your research.  This reading applies to subunits
1.3.1-1.3.3.  

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1.3.1 The Use of Previous Conclusions to Spur New Research   1.3.2 Reinforce a Previous Study’s Conclusions or Prove it Wrong   1.3.3 Connecting Two or More Ideas   1.3.4 Applied Research: Using Laboratory Research in Practical Areas   - Reading: The Association for Psychological Science: Observer: Peter M. Vernig’s “From Science to Practice: Bridging the Gap with Translational Research” Link: The Association for Psychological Science: Observer: Peter M.  Vernig’s “From Science to Practice: Bridging the Gap with Translational Research” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entirety of this webpage to learn
about translational research, which focuses on applying findings
from basic research to other settings.  

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