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University of Rhode Island — Psychology
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PSY 301 - Introduction to Experimental Psychology
Course Information

Professor: Andrea Paiva, Ph.D.; Department faculty
Semester: Fall, Spring
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PSY 200(300)

Catalog Description: Lectures, demonstrations, and laboratory experiments introduce the student to basic methodological principles and experimental techniques applied in psychological research.

Course Goals & Outcomes

PSY 301 is a course in behavioral science research methods. It is one of the two required "methods" courses for Psychology majors at URI. The other is PSY 200 (300) (Quantitative Methods), which is a prerequisite for 301. You should review some of the basic concepts from PSY 200 (300) in order to be comfortable with the quantitative reasoning parts of 301. Ask for advice on this if needed.

By the end of the semester students will be able to:

  • Master basic concepts of scientific method and research design.
  • Learn how to collect data and interpret results
  • Prepare research reports, emphasizing APA manuscript formatting.
Course Syllabus

Conceptually, the course has three main parts: lecture, cases, and lab. This course will require careful attention to lectures and readings, and effort on your part to master the terminology used in research work. Students will also be evaluated via weekly quizzes and a final course exam.

Class Topics

  • Psychology, Science, and Research Introduction
  • Variables & Threats to Validity
  • Testing Theories with Experiments
  • Skills for Research
  • Measurement, Reliability, & Validity of Variables
  • One-Factor Research Designs
  • Between-Group & Repeated-Measures Designs
  • Factorial Designs & Interaction Effects
  • Quasi-Experiment and Time Series
  • Baseline Designs, Surveys, & Meta-Analysis
  • Ethics- Human and Animal Research Subjects
  • Ethics- Responsibilities of Researchers
About The Professor

Dr. Andrea Paiva is a Research Professor in the Department of Psychology affiliated with the Behavioral Science program. Her research interests are in the areas of statistics and methodology, measure development and health psychology. This course is also taught by multiple instructors; please refer to the URI Course Schedule.

Reasons To Take This Course

This is a required methods course for Psychology majors; it lays the foundation for understanding the basic concepts of experimental psychology. It is a prerequisite for Psy 361, Learning and Psy 384, Cognitive Psychology.

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