Research Methods

Exemplar Study: Evaluating Meals on Wheels (Program Evaluation)

This paper describes a process evaluation conducted for a local Meals on Wheels program. In doing so, the researchers sought to address 4 key issues: 1) identifying key program components; 2) extent of component implementation; 3) volunteer satisfaction; 4) how to improve the program.  Based on their findings they suggested means for improvement. Mye, S. …

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Lecture Slides: Listen to the Music (Mixed Design Demonstration)

In this activity all of the students in class have the opportunity to listen to five different songs,and provide ratings of how energized they feel after each song. Instructors would need to insert the five music clips into the PowerPoint (details provided on the slide below). For the between-subjects variable, students are randomly assigned to …

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Online Activity: Factorial Design Concepts Review

This interactive application (created by Dr. Marcie Desrochers and Dr. Sara Margolin) provides supplemental instruction on factorial research designs that students enrolled in a Statistics or Research Methods course in psychology can complete as homework or on their own. It consists of 10 pages of definitions, examples, and images, and 11 quiz questions that help …

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Practice: Calculating the t-test for Paired-Samples/Dependent Means (Thinking Logically Over Time)

Instructors should assign this problem (about graduate programs training students to think logically) to students as in-class practice or homework after students have learned how to calculate a t-test for dependent means and test for significance. The activity leads students through determining the type of statistical analysis to use, the hypotheses, calculating the t-ratio and …

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Lecture Slides: Something You Will Like (Multigroup Design Demonstration)

In this demonstration/activity (with PowerPoint slides) students are randomly assigned to one of three groups. Those in Group 1 are the picture only condition and simply view the pictures. Those in Group 2 eat cookies while looking at the pictures. Those in Group 3 eat candy while looking at the pictures. The Instructor would need …

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Exemplar Study: Smells Like Clean Spirit (Two-group Design/Simple Experiment)

In three studies, the authors examined unconscious influence of smell on behavior. Study 3 used a two-group design to examine the direct effect of citrus scent (exposed vs. nonexposed) on cleaning-related behaviors. The judges recorded the frequency of participants’ crumb removal while eating. Holland, R. W., Hendriks, M., & Aarts, H. (2005). Smells like clean …

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Activity: That’s So Meta…Student Generated Course Evaluations

In this activity (created by Dr. Jacquelyn Omelian) students practice designing survey questions by creating courseevaluations. Students alternately serve as both researchers and participants, andthe results from the activity allow instructors to assess the pedagogical classroomenvironment while illustrating survey methodology. Please click here for the file.

Activity: The Alien Ethnographer

This activity provides students with the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the role that qualitative research, more specifically ethnographic field research, has when studying human behavior. This activity is best assigned as a small project which students can work on either individually or in small groups. Having students conducting this activity in small …

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Activity: Threats to Internal Validity: Smarties vs. Dum Dums

This activity helps students remember potential sources of threats to internal validity, through an in-class activity where students engage in an “experiment” with several intentional threats to internal validity. Students identify the threats and get candy. Easily one of our students favorite activities. Please click here for the file.

Activity: Ethics in Psychological Research

This in-class activity (created by Dr. Jamie S. Hughes) may be used with upper level undergraduates or new graduate students in research methods courses. It is designed for use with small collaborative groups and requires about 50 minutes of class time. Students will apply their knowledge about Belmont principles, APA ethical guidelines, and IRB review. …

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Activity: Research Idea Diary

This activity takes students(individually or as part of a group) through a series of steps to generate research ideas from their daily experiences. Next, students have the opportunity to select a research design that can test their idea. Please click here for the file.