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Computer Use in ResearchStudents use computers in a variety of research applications.  The experience with up-to-date technology improves their research and their future employment opportunities. Some of the research applications students make in psychology include: 
  • Research literature search 
  • Designing experiments 
  • Preparation of research stimulus materials
  • Direct on-line data collection for experiments
  • Observational coding of videotaped behavioral data
  • Programming of behavioral experiments
  • Data analysis
  • Reporting the results of the research.

The department philosophy is that computers are important tools for gaining and communicating information.  Students and faculty use these tools throughout the research process from the initial generation of research ideas through presentation of the final results.  Some applications are used by all students.  These include computerized literature search and use of on-line journals; data analysis (using SPSS and other statistical packages);  using computer network resources for peer review of proposals; and presenting research results electronically using the "smart" classroom technology.  Other applications are use for specific research projects.  Some students measure human physiological responses (e.g., heart rate) through monitors that directly download the data to a PC.  Others have designed experiments that use computer generated stimuli to produce cognitive responses.  Students studying preschool children's social skills may use the Observational Coding System.  Neuroscience students use computer augmented instruments that measure physiological and behavioral variables.

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