Psychology 2801F 650 SU24

Research Methods in Psychology I

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


Western University

London                   Canada


Department of Psychology

Summer 2024


Psychology 2801F    Section 650

Research Methods in Psychology I


1     Calendar Description


This course will introduce students to the variety of ways to conduct research in psychology. Topics to be covered include the scientific approach to testing psychological theory; ethical issues in psychological research; developing and planning research projects; basics of measurement; survey research; best practices in research conduct.

Antirequisites: the former Psychology 2800E, the former Psychology 2820E, Psychology 2830A/B, Psychology 2840A/B, Psychology 2855F/G, Psychology 2856F/G, Health Sciences 2801A/B.

Prerequisites: At least 60% in 1.0 credits of Psychology at the 1000 level; a passing grade (i.e., at least 50%) in Data Science 1000A/B and a passing grade (i.e., at least 50%) in 0.5 credit of Year 1 Math from among the following courses: Calculus 1000A/B, Calculus 1301A/B, Calculus 1500A/B, Calculus 1501A/B, Mathematics 1225A/B, Mathematics 1228A/B, Mathematics 1229A/B, Mathematics 1600A/B, or Applied Mathematics 1201A/B, or registration in Year 2 of an Honours Specialization in Neuroscience with special permission from the program administrator. Math 1228A/B is recommended. Students who have completed Statistical Sciences 1024A/B (or other introductory statistics course in addition to 0.5 credit of Year 1 Math) instead of Data Science 1000A/B may enrol after completing an introductory programming class from the following list: Computer Science 1025A/B, Computer Science 1026A/B, Computer Science 2120A/B, Data Science 1200A/B, Digital Humanities 2220A/B, or Engineering Science 1036A/B. Data Science 2000A/B may be substituted for Data Science 1000A/B for students entering the program with 1.0 credits of Year 1 Math courses.


2 Lecture Hours; 2 Laboratory Hours; Course Weight: 0.5


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


2     Course Information


Instructor:                  Dr. Corey Isaacs

Office Hours:              via Zoom by appointment



The best way to contact me is by email. Please include “Psych 2801” in the subject line and send emails only from your Western email account. I will always do my best to respond to your email within 48 hours (Monday to Friday), but during busy times it may take a little longer.


Time and Location of Classes: This course will be offered online asynchronously—you will not be required to attend any weekly class sessions. Lecture videos will be released on OWL every Sunday and will remain available for the remainder of the course.


For courses that include an online component, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements.


3     Course Materials


This class uses an open textbook that is free to download:

Price, P. C., Jhangiani, R. S., & Chiang, I. A. (2015). Research Methods in Psychology (2nd Canadian Edition). Simple Book Production.


A PDF of this book is available on OWL. Alternatively, you can read it or download it in your preferred digital format from this website:


If you prefer to read your textbooks in hardcopy, you can print the book at one of Western’s libraries for 10 cents a page, or $32 (


Some lessons include additional readings that can be found on the OWL course website.


4     Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes


This course introduces the ways in which research is conducted in psychology. We will consider a wide range of alternative research methods, including observation, archival research, questionnaire surveys, case studies, and experimentation. We will also consider topics closely allied to research design, such as ethics, report writing, and data presentation.


In addition to providing training in research techniques needed for third- and fourth-year psychology courses (e.g., Psychology 4850), it is expected that Psychology 2801F/G will contribute significantly to the development of scientific thinking skills that students can apply to their future careers and in everyday life.


Learning Outcome

Learning Activity


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

·         Find and interpret original empirical research.

Lab modules, term paper

Lab assignments, term paper, exams

Knowledge of Methodologies

·         Evaluate the appropriateness of different methodological approaches for specific research questions.

Lectures, readings, lab modules, term paper

Lab assignments, term paper, exams

Application of Knowledge

  • Generate your own research ideas and hypotheses.

·         Critically evaluate original empirical research.

Lectures, readings, lab modules, term paper

Lab assignments, term paper

Communication Skills

·         Communicate accurately, clearly, and logically, using the discourse of the discipline of psychology

Lectures, readings, lab modules, term paper

Term paper

Autonomy and Professional Capacity

·         Ensure that research adheres to ethical standards.

Lectures, readings, term paper

Term paper, exams


5     Evaluation


The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives.


The course requirements, along with relative weightings in the determination of final grades, are:

  • Midterm 15%
  • Final Exam 30%
  • Lab Assignments 25%
  • Term Paper 30%


Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations, you must pass the essay component to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments must be at least 50%.


This course includes two exams, which will be administered synchronously online. Exams will be closed book and linear (i.e., students cannot go back to change answers once they move on to the next question) and will cover material from both the readings/listenings and the OWL lessons (see Section 7). The midterm exam will cover lessons 1 - 4 and the final exam will cover lessons 5 - 10.


Policy on Missing Coursework


Exams. Students who fail to write an exam at the scheduled time will receive a grade of zero unless they receive academic considerations from their Academic Dean’s office.

There will be a makeup exam during the week after each of the midterm exams. If a student is absent from both the midterm exam and the makeup exam with permission from their Academic Dean’s office, that portion of their course grade may be reassigned to the final exam.

There will be a makeup final exam at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM on Saturday, August 10. Students will need to receive academic considerations from their faculty to write the makeup final exam.


Laboratory Assignments. Lab assignments are due on Fridays at 5:00 PM and will be penalized for lateness at 10% per day, including weekends. If a student receives academic considerations for a lab assignment the late penalty may be waived, or in the case of extended academic considerations, the weight of the missed assignment may be reassigned to the remaining lab assessments (i.e., lab assignments and term paper).


Term Paper. Term papers will be penalized for lateness at 10% per day, including weekends. Extensions may be granted only with academic considerations from your Academic Dean’s office.


Important Notes About Grades


Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations, you must pass the essay component to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments must be at least 50%.


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines:


The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages:

70%    1000-level to 2099-level courses

72%    2100-2999-level courses

75%    3000-level courses

80%    4000-level courses


In the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components.


Policy on Grade Rounding


Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered.


6     Assessment/Evaluation Schedule


All times indicated in this course outline and on the OWL course website are listed in London, Ontario local time (i.e., Eastern Time). That means that if you are in a different time zone, you'll need to adjust your deadline times accordingly to ensure you don't miss exams or assignment deadlines.



Relevant Material



Midterm Exam

Lectures & readings from Lessons 1 – 4


Saturday, June 1
10:00 – 11:00 AM

Final Exam

Lectures & readings from Lessons 5 – 10


TBA (July 29 – Aug. 1)




Assignment Topic




Writing a Research Proposal


May 20 - 24 


Generating Research Questions


June 3 - 7 




June 17 - 21 


Methods & Data Visualization


July 1 - 5


Peer Review


July 15 - 19 

Research Proposal


Friday, July 26 


7     Class Schedule




Readings/ Listenings

Lab Module


May 6 - 11





May 12 - 18

Psych as a Science

Chapter 1



May 19 - 25

Your Own Research I

Chapter 2

Introduction & Writing a Research Proposal


May 26 - June 1

Your Own Research II

Chapter 2


Saturday, June 1, 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Midterm Exam (Lessons 1 – 4)

June 2 - 8

Research Ethics

Chapter 3

Generating Research Questions


June 9 - 15


Chapter 4


June 16 - 22

Open Science

Ep. 4 of Four Beers Podcast



June 23 - 29


Chapter 5



June 30 - July 6

Interpreting Graphs

Presenting Stats in Graphs

Methods & Data Visualization


July 7 - 13

Survey Research

Chapter 9



July 14 - 20

Professional Development


Peer Review


July 21 - 27

Research Proposal



TBA (July 29 - Aug. 1)

Final Exam (Lessons 5 - 10)


8     Academic Integrity


Scholastic offences are taken seriously, and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site:


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Plagiarism Detection Software


All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism.  All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and


Use of AI


The use of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT to produce written work is not permitted unless permission is granted by the instructor for specific circumstances. Any work submitted must be the work of the student in its entirety unless otherwise disclosed. When used, AI tools should be used ethically and responsibly, and students must cite or credit the tools used in line with the expectation to use AI as a tool to learn, not to produce content.


Multiple Choice Exams


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating.


Exam Proctoring Software


Tests and examinations for online courses may be conducted using a remote proctoring service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote

Proctoring website at:


9     Academic Accommodations and Accessible Education


View Western’s policy on academic accommodations for student with disabilities at this link.


Accessible Education provides supports and services to students with disabilities at Western.

If you think you may qualify for ongoing accommodation that will be recognized in all your courses, visit Accessible Education for more information.  Email:  Phone: 519 661-2147


10  Absence & Academic Consideration


View Western’s policy on academic consideration for medical illnesses this link


Find your academic counsellor here:


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain academic considerations. Students must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence.


Medical Absences


Submit a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for Academic Consideration.


Nonmedical Absences


Submit appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate.


Religious Consideration


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term.


11  Other Information



Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness@Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you.


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal in writing to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology (


Copyright Statement


Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent.


12  Land Acknowledgement


We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Chonnonton. Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This land continues to be home to diverse Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) whom we recognize as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors of our society.