Yale University - Psychology 231 - Research Methods in Happiness
Dr. June Gruber - Yale Psychology - Research Methods in Happiness - Psych 231


Requirements include the following five things: class participation, weekly reading summary, lab exercises, research project paper, and research project presentation. Details and breakdown are below:

1. Class Participation (15% total)

Active participation in class discussion and laboratory exercises is encouraged. The success of this course depends on bringing your best possible self to class, participating, asking questions, and supporting your fellow class members. The goal is to foster a stimulating environment of scientific exchange between colleagues. This is a vital ingredient to successful science! Attendance is mandatory. Each week we will cover new topics and a hands-on laboratory exercise. You must be present to participate. Any absences must be verified with a Dean's note. Make-up laboratory sessions will be scheduled at the TF's convenience. At several points during the semester, you will presenting your ideas to others. This will foster engagement in the process of scientific thinking. Contemporary psychological science is rarely done in isolation, and requires active discussion, collaboration, and dissemination of ideas to other scientists from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Presentations will include presenting your group research project proposal, reading summaries, and additional opportunities (i.e., classroom demonstrations, exercises, etc).

2. Reading Summary (15% total)

Readings will be available for download on the course website. To get the most out of this course, it is important that you understand the readings, and how to interpret them as a scientist. This will allow for a better understanding of the lecture and your research project, and also give you the opportunity to ask questions. To encourage this, you will regularly complete a research summary table that includes providing information to answer several key questions about the article. You will initially do this with a sample reading, and the subsequent readings will be those related to your research project. This will help foster critical scientific reading of empirical articles, with an eye towards methodological detail and data interpretation, enabling you to delve into depth as part of the empirical literature review for your class project. You will submit your responses using an excel sheet (.xls format) each week with the updated reading from that added.  Submit your response to: psych231.happiness@gmail.com no later than 1 hour before the start of class that week. Answers will be assigned one of the following three grades:  1 (full credit), ½ (half-credit), 0 (no credit). You can assume you received a ‘1’ on your response unless you hear otherwise. For each day a reading summary is late, you will have 10% of your score deducted.

3. Laboratory Exercises (20% total)

An important component of this course is engaging in hands-on laboratory exercises. Each week after class you will receive a hands-on laboratory exercise in Professor Gruber's lab that involves, but is not limited to, literature review searches, exposure to data entry & analysis tools (SPSS, excel), stimuli programming, behavioral coding techniques, and psychophysiological methods (e.g., cardiovascular, electrodermal). Each week you will be given an assignment that involves learning to use these methodological tools as applied to real data, understand the underlying conceptual principles behind each tool, and submit a written laboratory report for that week. If you are unable to complete a laboratory assignment during class, you may attend the additional lab section hours or come during an additional open lab time. You will be given a key to enter the building and B01F lab room for this purpose. Lab assignments must be submitted to psych231.happiness@gmail.com at LATEST by Sunday 9pm that week. Email subject line should read: "Week 1 – Lab Exercise" and be submitted with all lab partner(s) names specified. Lab exercises will be assigned one of the following three grades:  1 (full credit), ½ (half-credit), 0 (no credit). Make-up lab exercises for 0 or ½ credit grades are not permitted. For each day a lab assignment is late, you will have 10% of your score deducted. Some lab exercises will involve meeting with group members to discuss and implement an independent research project for the course. You will turn in a summary of your group’s progress at the end of each lab session. Towards this aim, the class will split into several small groups to work on final research projects. Dr. Gruber will present project opportunities early in the term.

4. Final Research Paper (25% total)

You will be required to write a 20-page paper (excluding references) individually on your research project. This will include an Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion section, to be written in APA 6th edition format. All papers are due on the LAST DAY of class and must be emailed to psych231.happiness@gmail.com with: (1) "Psych 231 Final Paper" in the subject line, (2) Include names of all group members on the title page, (3) Include attachment (.doc format only!), and (4) Paste the text of the paper in the email body. Although the research project will be conducted in collaboration with class members, all report papers must be written and submitted individually by each class member. No late papers accepted.

5. Final Research Presentation (25% total)

A critical part of conducting research is to communicate your findings to a live audience in a straA critical part of conducting research is to communicate your findings to a live audience in a straightforward and captivating manner. One common venue through which this is done is through a conference poster presentations displayed at national psychology conferences. You will have the opportunity to create a visually appealing and scientifically accurate research poster that will depict your study introduction, methods, results and discussion section. These will be printed and displayed in a mock conference poster session at the end of the semester. Guidelines and specific instructions will be provided on how to prepare your poster, as well as how to prepare for answering questions during the mock poster session. Faculty in the psychology department will be invited to attend! All research posters will be done in collaboration with group members, and a single grade will be assigned to all group members. Each student will be asked to submit an anonymous and detailed description of each project member’s contribution that will contribute towards a group collaboration grade. Posters will be presented on the LAST DAY OF CLASS. No late posters accepted.

News & Events

Enrollment is near full at this point. Sorry. Contact instructor if you have questions.

Thurs, August 30, 2012
Kirtland Hall 207

Thursdays 1:30-2:30pm or 2:30-3:30pm
Kirtland Hall B01F
Must Enroll Online (Max. 8 per section)