PSY 301: Research Methods

Reader requirements: An advanced degree in psychology or related field (social work, counseling) and with professional experience that includes reading psychology research literature. Also availability on dates below–quick turn-around times needed for discussing feedback.

  1. Course Information
  2. Schedule
  3. Giving Feedback

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Harris Cooper

Hands-on experience in designing and conducting research in psychology. Theoretical topics include experimental and non-experimental methods, including observational, archival, and case-study methods. Problems of validity and control. Using these theoretical tools, students review literature, design experiments, collect data, analyze data, and write papers on areas such as learning, cognitive science, sensation and perception, and social and psychology.

Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? A journal article.
For whom? Academic Psychologists.
Where would such writing typically be found? A scholarly journal such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology or Journal of Experimental Psych: General.
Why would someone usually read it? Typical readers would be interested in your article because they were (a) considering conducting research on the same topic, (b) preparing material on the topic for lecture, and/or (c) curiosity about the topic.


Student – Reader Interactions

Here are the deadlines for students in the reader project (dates may vary somewhat):

Introductory Meeting

  • Jan 24th – deadline to sign up
  • Jan 30th – matches made
  • by Feb 6th – Intro Meeting: must plan date for first feedback meeting, between Feb 9 and 13 (see below)

First half of Report

  • Feb 8th – Student sends draft (Abstract, Intro, Methods) to Reader
  • ASAP – meeting to discuss feedback, if reader has time, send written feedback prior to meeting; plan date for next meeting!
  • Feb 17 – Revised draft due to Instructor

Second half of Report

  • March 22rd – Student sends draft (Results and Discussion) to Reader
  • ASAP – meeting to discuss feedback, if reader has time, send written feedback prior to meeting
  • March 31th – Revised draft due to Instructor

Final paper – Make sure to copy Reader when sending it to Instructor

PSY 301 Schedule Spring 2017

Giving Feedback

Giving feedback is the activity around which the entire project is designed. You may have considerable professional experience giving feedback on writing — whether to colleagues, employees, or other contexts — or perhaps this is a fairly novel experience. Given the aims and nature of the Reader Project, we are hoping that our volunteers engage with student writing in a particular way–one that is quite different from what is conventionally done in other contexts.

The primary aim of the project is to help students really understand what it means to write for readers, rather than as a school assignment. Think about the following when you give feedback, whether in writing or in real time:

  • Respond as a reader rather than as an editor. (They can get basic editorial help from others.) Focus on sharing your reactions to the draft as a user of such writing. What are you thinking as you read? More

Instructor’s input:

Scoring rubric:
How the students’ papers will be evaluated by the instructor; Readers can keep these questions in mind while giving individualized feedback on what seems most important.
PSY 301 Rubric for Scoring of Research Proposal Introductions

Quality Reader Feedback Example

PSY 497 IntroMethodsResults_Model