S.K. Webster
Psy 201 Syllabus
Experimental Design and Statistics

Dr. Sandra K. Webster
Westminster College
Instructor Contact Information

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PSY 201 Course Description:

An introduction to experimental research design, methods and statistics for the behavioral sciences. This course includes research ethics training, APA style writing instruction, and data analysis. Students propose research, do peer review, collect and analyze date, and present the results through laboratory modules and term research projects. A laboratory is included.  Prerequisite: PSY 101.

PSY 201 Course Objectives:

The Psychology 201 Course objectives are based upon the APA (American Psychological Association) Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major 2.0. The relevant sections are noted in parentheses.

1.     To acquaint students with the vocabulary used in research design and analysis. (APA 2.1.1)

2.     To equip students to critically evaluate psychological research in terms of ethical, internal and external validity. (APA 2.2.1)

3.     To extend students' proficiency at literature review, and written and oral communication. (APA 2.2.2)

4.     To enhance students' logical problem-solving skills in the area of research. (APA 2.2.3)

5.     To provide students the basic skills in experimental design. (APA 2.2.4)

6.     To provide students with knowledge of, and ability to, apply statistical techniques commonly used in psychology. (APA 2.2.4)

7.     To aid students in an evaluation and appreciation of the role of research methods and analysis in the application of psychology. (APA 2.2.5)

8.   To correctly use APA style, especially format for references and citations. (APA 2.4.1)

9.     To recognize and apply ethical standards in reviewing and conducting behavioral research. (APA 2.3.1)

10.      To communicate research findings with appropriate oral presentation skills. (APA 2.4.2)

Text Books:

Webster, S.K. (2006). Hand in Hand: Research Design and Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences.  Indianapolis, IN, Thomson- Atomic Dog Publishers. [Note students enrolled in the course will receive separate instructions on how to get the book through the course LMS.]

American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Ed. 2nd printing or better)  Washington, D.C.: Author. 

Course Calender via Google

Course Modules


Course Mastery:

Grades will be assigned on a mastery system for this course with the following distribution: 

Percent of Work Mastered





















Below 60 


Mastery will be demonstrated through quizzes, mid-term, the final exam, and the laboratory. 

The final course grade will be assigned based upon: 

§  10% Quizzes

§  15% Exam 1

§  15% Exam 2

§  25% Laboratory grade

§  35% Final Exam 

The Laboratory Grade will be assigned based upon:

§  15% Lab reports for labs 1-5
§ 5% Library Assignment

§  15% Term Project Research Proposal

§   5% Peer Review of Research Proposals

§  10 % Term Project Data Analysis

§  10% Oral Presentation of Research Project

§  10% Poster Presentation of Research Project

§  30% Final Written Research Report

Attendance is required. Unavoidable absences should be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible. The college policies concerning making up tests will be followed. Throughout the course research methods and statistics will be integrated. Students should bring calculators to class and be prepared to use them on examples. 

Quizzes: Before each new chapter of the text is covered in lecture students must take the online quiz through the textbook. The purpose of the quiz is to assess comprehension of the text content.  Students must take the quizzes before the lecture on the date scheduled. The lowest two quiz grades will be dropped. 

Extra Credit: Throughout the term students may gain extra credit toward quizzes by assisting in research. The amount of credit will be determined by the amount of activity. For example, assisting in a half hour experiment will count for .5 points (total grade) but assisting in data collection or coding for over 10 hours will count for 5 points. The maximum amount of extra credit available is 5 points but you may assist in research as much as you like. It's good for your learning experience and supports your own future research endeavors. 

Exams and Final: Unlike the quizzes these will be in the form of essay and application problems. The purpose is to assess students' ability to apply what has been learned in class.  The final is necessarily cumulative.

Academic Integrity: (Policy Statement Courtesy of Westminster's Academic Standards Committee) 

Page 22 of your student handbook states:

 Central to the purpose and pursuit of any academic community is academic integrity. All members of the Westminster Community, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators, are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity, in keeping with the philosophy and mission of the College.

 The most flagrant violation of academic integrity is cheating on an exam or a quiz.  Students caught participating in such an activity (either for their own or for another's benefit) will receive a course grade of "F," with no opportunity for the student to receive a "W" or "WF."

 Other forms of scholastic dishonesty will be dealt with in a like manner.  These may include (but are not limited to):

 A.              Copying/turning in another's work (e.g., a fellow student's, a past student’s, or work from the internet) as one's own.

B.              Lending of one's work to another so that he/she may turn it in as his/her own.

 C.              Inappropriate input from any source for written assignments. This can include asking someone to correct or identify errors. It can also include any verbal answers received inappropriately.

 D.              Stealing class materials from students, the professor, or from the library.

 E.               Inhibiting another student from using library materials or other resources necessary for the class.

 F.               Falsifying a  journal entry.

 *NOTE: See your Student Handbook, pp. 22-24 for more extensive explanations of Academic Integrity.

Written assignments will be submitted through the Internet service, Turnitin.com.  This service provides the user with an originality report for all papers submitted to it.  The first assignment will be for students to learn to summarize a research report in their own words, using Turnitin.com in order to verify that they have really summarized and not merely paraphrased.  The second assignment to be submitted will be the research proposal.  Lastly, the final research report will be submitted through turnitin.com.

Student Support Services
Students learn in many ways, and often have unique obstacle to overcome in mastering college level concepts and skills.  You may already have discovered a specific learning challenge, or you may do so during this course.  In either case please let your instructor know so that appropriate learning and assessment alternatives can be used to perform to your capabilities.  Westminster provided a number of support services. Some of them are:

Learning and Writing Services:  Director, Jamie Kohler

Office of Disability Resources: Director, Faith A. Craig

Diversity Services: Director, Jeannette Hubbard

Library Instruction: Director, Erin Smith

Assessment Plan

        The assessment plan shows the linkages between the course assignments and  the Psychology/Neuroscience Major Goals.


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