There will be four projects as outlined below. The percentage of your grade that each project is worth, as well as the number of references required for each project is indicated. Note that I would prefer the majority of the references you cite to be recent journal articles (that is, within the last 25 years). For more detailed information about a project, click on it in the table below.
Due dates for these projects are given in the tentative
class schedule (and are as tentative as the rest of the schedule).
All written reports must be in APA format. Spelling,
grammar, and punctuation do count, so be sure to proofread your work carefully. In order
to receive a passing grade, all projects must be handed in. Projects are
to be handed in to my mailbox in the Psychology Dept. Office (D240) within
24 hours of the onset of the class that they are due. A penalty exists
for tardiness. For each day the project is late (weekends included),
10% of its total possible points will be deducted. Since this deadline
is generous, even one minute late will be counted as one day. When a paper
is handed in late (and only when it is late), you must write the
date and time it is handed in on the cover sheet. If you do not, then I
will write the date and time that I actually encounter it.
PROJECT  % OF
GRADE 
# REFS
REQUIRED 


1. Statistics Review  
2. Data Set Analysis  
3. Class Experiment  
4. Independent Project Proposal 



a) Outline  
b) Draft of the full writeup  
c) Oral presentation (peer graded)  
d) Final draft of writeup 
PROJECT 1. Statistics Review
(5 points)
Perhaps the most difficult part of this project is the problems at the
end where you must decide which statistical test to use. The notes from
your previous Psychological Statistics class should help in this regard. Note that I have placed all of the notes and more from the Psychological Statistics course I teach on the web. In particular, the diagram of some tests of significance may also be helpful to you.
In addition, you may consider barrowing a statistics
text from the library.
PROJECT 2. Data Set Analysis
(5 points)
In Psychological Statistics you began working with data. You were introduced to graphing (or making pictures of data) and performing statistical tests to determine whether what you saw in the data (e.g., differences, relationships) where worth paying attention to. In Project 1, we reviewed some of this material. In Project 2, we will try to improve and refine these skills.
The project simply consists of a data set which I will give you at the appropriate time. The assignment is for you is to make sense of the data. I realize that some of you may find this a difficult task, because you may feel that it is too vague. In the past, you have typically been told what tests to run on what aspect of the data. In the real world, however, no one will tell you what test to run or even what data to collect.
The project will be performed in pseudo randomly created groups, with all members of a group receiving the same grade. Ideally, the members of each group will possess different skills that can be shared; thus mutually beneficial learning will take place. Also, the group aspect of the project resembles the real world where you will typically have to work with other people. Each group will hand in one assignment.
As a hands on experience with research, the project has several purposes.
Please submit a a title page, results section, and table(s), figure captions, and figure(s). I want you to show that you know how to describe and analyze data. Thus you should demonstrate a variety of statistical tests. However, I am also looking for a coherent and meaningful description and analyses of the data, thus, simply doing one example of each of a variety of different statistical tests will not be sufficient.
In my experience, students make one or both of two mistakes when performing this project. First, students get so carried away with performing statistical tests (i.e., inference) that they forget to include detailed descriptive statistics as well. Secondly, students do not take the project seriously enough and perform a cursory and shallow analysis. Since the skills that you acquire doing this project will be invaluable for the remaining projects, I strongly encourage you to take it seriously.
Students often ask how many pages should the project be. I have a hard
time with this question, since I am looking for quality rather than quantity.
Nonetheless, as a rough estimate, I would say that the results section
alone should consist of at least
5 pages and there should be at
least one or two tables and one or two figures.
PROJECT 3. Class Experiment
(10 points)
You will be provided with a detailed handout describing this project at the appropriate time.
PROJECT 4. Independent Project
Proposal (30 points total)
As a hands on experience with research, the project has several purposes.
The four parts of the project are as follows:
PROJECT 4a. Outline (5 points)
The purpose is to tell me what you plan to propose. Note that since
this is a proposal, you will frequently be using future tense rather than
past tense (i.e., you have not yet conducted the study and will not in
this class).
PROJECT 4b. Draft of the full
writeup (10 points)
Since this is a proposal and you don't have any results, you may combine your results and discussion sections. Thus, in the introduction you should make clear why the project is important, in the methods section you should make clear exactly what you propose to do, and in the results and discussion section(s) you should make clear what you expect to find (results) and why it is important (discussion), respectively. Your reference section should contain a minimum of six references.
In order to keep things simple, you do not need to request a specific
amount of money nor am I requiring you to submit a budget and budget justification,
etc. like all granting agencies would. Just include whatever apparatus,
etc. you may need without any budgetary limitations.
PROJECT 4c. Oral presentation
(5 points & peer graded)
The presentation should take a total of 20 minutes; approximately 15 minutes for the actual presentation (12 to 18 is reasonable) and the remainder for questions. For help in preparing your presentation, see Effective Presentations.
This project is peer graded (using a form for evaluating the presentation). This means that each class member (excluding
myself and any guests) will rate your performance. Your grade will consist
of the average of all the evaluations. On the day of the final, I will
give you a statistical summary of the evaluations you received which will
include the average for each evaluator as well as the average for each
of the questions on the evaluation. This information should help identify
your strengths and weaknesses for future presentations.
PROJECT 4d. Final draft of
writeup (10 points)