This course is intended for and limited to senior psychology concentrators who are not writing a thesis. The goal of the seminar is to have an experience of the world of a researcher. Research is a creative, collaborative, and critical process. In our meetings, we will discuss a selective set of research topics chosen from a range of interesting questions in psychology. After each discussion meeting, we will congregate in small groups that are similar in many ways to “real” research groups. The goal of the small groups is to think through how to generate interesting questions that emerge from research that has already been done, and more importantly come up with concrete research ideas that will allow us to actually test the questions we have asked. The research ideas students come up with will ultimately become a basis for a final research paper. Finally, research is also a lot about communicating and “selling” your ideas to other people. Researchers want to get other researchers and the general public to hear about their research and incorporate it into the way they think about the world and therefore give talks and present posters in conferences and the general media. They also write grant proposals in order to get funding to their research and hope that the case they have presented is convincing enough to be one of the often fewer than 5% of proposals that is funded. Therefore, we will also devote time to polishing various means of presentations of your projects.
The goals of this course are (1) develop skills in asking research questions, (2) learn how to build a research program that will answer those questions, (3) experience working in research-groups, (4) practice some forms of oral presentation (poster, or talk), (5) conduct statistical analysis, and (6) write a research report.