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APA Style Sheet From the website: APA Lite for College Papers is a concise guide to crafting research papers in the style of the American Psychological Association (APA). It is based on the current [6th] edition of the APA Publication Manual (2009) while incorporating guidelines for Material Other Than Journal Articles found in the last edition. Specifically covers writing scientific papers at the undergraduate level. Free for the downloading (in PDF).
APA Style: Summary of Changes in the 6th Edition Summary of what's new in the 6th edition, including chapter by chapter changes and links to two free tutorials on What's New and the Basics of APA Style.
APA Manual Corrections: Overview of corrections to the 6th Edition Corrections to the First Printing of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (July 2009). Corrections to the first printing of the manual have been organized into four categories in an effort to group like changes together: Errors in APA Style Rules, Errors in Examples, Clarifications, and Nonsignificant Typos. In the first three categories, each correction is followed by a brief explanation of the change that directs users to the relevant APA Style rule or section in the manual to provide context. Items in the fourth category, Nonsignificant Typos, are simply listed with no explanation, as the majority of these have no direct APA Style implications. Also includes links to the corrected sample papers (opens in PDF format).
APA Style Essentials Douglas Degelman, Vanguard University of Southern California, put together this document to provide a common core of elements of APA style that all members of an academic department can adopt as minimal standards for any assignment that specified APA style.
APA Template Paper with Comments for Illustrating the 6th Edition of APA Style (2010) The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) is pleased to announce the following new resource This resource uses a 14-page undergraduate research paper to illustrate many features of the 6th edition of APA style by presenting the paper as a sample for students to emulate. Extensive comments in the margin call attention to the feature being highlighted. The sample paper has more extensive explanations of APA style than the sample papers in the APA Publication Manual and by not overlapping pages, users can read the entire paper’s content. Written by Jordan Buess and Rick Froman of John Brown University. (Opens in PDF format)
APA Writing Guide Online This online workshop developed by Purdue University provides a very thorough guide to APA style. In addition to its many online examples and explanations, it includes a list of books and websites for more information.
Applied vs. Theoretical Research: The Absurdly Artificial Divide Between Pure and Applied Research. The snobbish idea that pure science is in some way superior to applied science dates to antiquity'' according to Stephen Quake in this opinion piece from The New York Times, February 17, 2009.
Are Extroverts Ruining Psychologists' Surveys? According to a recent study, Extroverts answer survey questions more enthusiastically than do introverts Is their tendency towards hyperbole getting in the way of scientific objectivity? Do extroverts really experience the world more intensely, or are they just less hesitant to say so? Read all about it in this summary from LiveScience, August 19, 2011.
Chance J. Laurie Snell of Dartmouth College presents this page of resources for teaching a course in probability and statistics including videos, audios, syllabi, activities, computer simulations, data sets, links to internet resources, and a Teacher's Guide for teaching a quantitative literacy course.
Conducting Psychological Research for Science Fairs: A Teacher's Guide and Resource Manual. Science fairs provide students with an opportunity to engage in exciting discoveries, learning, and potential awards and recognition. This resource provides guidance to teachers of high school psychology courses as they engage students in the scientific method and eventually supervise students who wish to participate in local, regional, and national science fair competitions in psychology. (Printed in 2004) In PDF format.
Correlation and Causation From the website: Looking for examples of correlation and causation? You’ve heard it a million times: correlation doesn’t mean causation. Still need help? Well, here’s a humorous look at this topic that I think drives home the point. The Psych Files "Breaking News" explores whether satisfied workers are more productive and whether living together causes divorce. I hope you enjoy this unique video episode of The Psych Files. (Originally released November 16, 2009).
Correlation or Causation? Jon Mueller, North Central College, Naperville, IL, devised this fun activity to help students think critically about what they read in the popular press and about distinguishing between correlation and causation in particular. Many of the actual headlines listed here imply causation when the research was merely correlational. Jon uses this resource to help my students identify the language of causal relationships and correlations, identify the tell-tale signs that an experiment or a correlational study is being described in the media when there is no mention of the type of study, and to learn how to evaluate the quality and nature of evidence in judging the merit of a claim. See the link above for sample assignments he uses with his classes along with the actual headlines.
Correlation vs. Causation Everyday Einstein, Lee Falin, uncovers the truth (and lies) of the correlation/causation fallacy. Just because something seems to cause something else, does not necessarily mean it does. June 21, 2013.
Data Visualization Tools and Videos The Social Psychology Network (an excellent site, if you're not already familiar with it) features these links to web videos that dramatically illustrate why statistics are worth studying and how data animation is being used to address problems such as climate change, global poverty, and the spread of HIV. Inspiring, informative, and highly recommended for teachers, students, and anyone who analyzes statistical data according to founder and webmaster Scot Plous, Wesleyan University.
The Deathly Hallows of Psychological Science Personality psychologist Brent Roberts compares the proposed changes to improve psychological science — including the Open Science Framework, journal reporting practices, and new statistics — to the dilemma Harry Potter faces in the final book of the series ‘’The Deathly Hallows”. The dilemma we face is whether to destroy the Horcrux by eliminating problematic practices or to continue in the path of least resistance by pursuing the Deathly Hallows. His vivid analogy and clear description of the problem make this a thought-provoking and challenging read for any psychological scientist. Posted March 2014.
Design Your Own Implicit Association Tests (IAT) Adam Meade, North Carolina State University, has created this website where researchers can create their own IATs using free open-source software on this website.
e-Textbook: Qualitative Methods Workbook From the electronic textbook created by George Boeree of Shippensburg University for his Qualitative Research Methods course. Includes chapters on Phenomenological Description, Structural Analysis, Observation, Interviewing and other techniques.
Examples and Links Paul C. Cozby at California State University, Fullerton, wrote the textbook Methods in Behavioral Research: Resources for Research in Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences. This homepage for the book includes web resources and examples of key concepts. Very useful even if you are not familiar with his textbook.
Glossary adopted from Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social and Behavioral Research edited by A. Tashakkori and C. B. Teddlie, (2003).
Guide Your Students to Become Better Research Consumers In this article for the April 2014 APS Observer psychologist Beth Morling outlines four validities (external, internal, construct, statistical) which are easy to remember and can help students to more critically evaluate research.
How to Conduct Research Gary McCullough, University of Texas, created this laboratory manual to guide students through the process. Includes sections on finding an idea, researching background literature, generating a viable hypothesis, operationalizing variables, writing a proposal, the IRB review process, collecting data, analyzing results, reporting results and presenting the findings. (Opens in PDF format)
How to give a good talk in Psychology or other Sciences Kevin Grobman, wrote the following advice primarily to help psychology graduate students improve their talks at a conference, pro-sem, or brown-bag. By speaking to lots of graduate students (and recently being one myself), I felt the most important areas to cover are developing self-confidence and knowing how to target a particular audience. Most of this advice is applicable to other speakers (e.g., undergraduates), other fields (e.g., business, physical sciences), and other medium (e.g., poster presentations). Also includes links for a PDF file version of this essay and the 40-minute slide presentation which inspired it.
How to Search APA's Research Databases Anne Breitenbach, APA Publications & Databases, put together this primer describing the host of free teaching tools for psychology research that are perfect for undergraduate students, [including] video tutorials, training webinars and reference guides that will help students learn how to efficiently search scholarly research databases, [and] website materials, podcasts and topic guides that will help them explore psychology and human behavior.
Internal and External Validity of Experiments Materials developed by W. Huitt, J. Hummel, & D. Kaeck.
Internal Validity Tutorial From the website: This tutorial is a component of the courseware of the Psychology Centre of Athabasca University. The tutorial is used in Athabasca University's Psychology 404 (Experimental Psychology). It was authored by Dr. David Polson, Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria. Dr. Cheuk Ng, Dr. Lyle Grant and Dean Mah of Athabasca University provided various content-related, technical and instructional-design assistance.
IRBs and Research on Teaching and Learning (2014) Ryan C. Martin, Regan A. R. Gurung, and Janie H. Wilson put together this resource for the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP). This unit addresses common questions researchers might have about seeking approval from Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) to conduct research on teaching and learning (often called the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; SoTL). It is available under the Ethics tab.
Lecture Notes from Tom O'Connor' Research Methods course at North Carolina Wesleyan College.
Likert Scales: Dispelling the Confusion John S. Uebersax wrote this overview of the uses and misuses of the term Likert Scale to clear up confusion. Includes examples.
Links AmoebaWeb maintained by Douglas Degelman at Vanguard University of Southern California, features an impressive array of links on specific topics in measurement and research methods.
National African American Photographic Archive collects, scans, and makes available to the public photographs and informative metadata illustrating the daily and work lives and social activities of African Americans.
Nonexperimental Methods Mark Mitchell, Clarion University, provides this extensive overview of nonexperimental methods including quizzes to test your comprehension of the material presented.
On line Textbook By Christopher L. Heffner: This ten chapter research methods text is written for both undergraduate and graduate students in education, psychology, and the social sciences. It focuses on the basics of research design and the critical analysis of professional research in the social sciences from developing a theory, selecting subjects, and testing subjects to performing statistical analysis and writing the research report.
Overview Susan Carol Losh, Department of Educational Research at Florida State University put together these 8 online guides for her class on Methods of Educational Research. They include sections on variables and hypotheses, reliability, validity, causality and experiments, quasi-experiments, survey research, focus groups, archival research and more.
Posters: Guidelines for Preparing Posters Using PowerPoint Presentation Software Authors Pam J. Marek, Anderson College, Andrew N.Christopher, Albion College, and Cynthia S. Koenig, University of Florida, created this PDF overview for the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology in 2001 (opens in PDF format).
Reading a Journal Article: It's Not Harry Potter Rob Weir explains how to teach students to read journal articles by encouraging them to consider the following: purpose and reading strategy, main points and new claims, abstracts and introductions, habits of the writer, evaluating evidence, concrete examples, skimming and moving on and more.
Replication Studies: Bad Copy In the wake of high-profile controversies, psychologists are facing up to problems with replication. These problem include the file-draw problem, focusing on positive results, an emphasis on counter-intuitive findings, and lack of conceptual replication, among others, according to this article by Ed Yong for Nature, May 16, 2012.
Six Ways to Separate Lies From Statistics Public Policy professors Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers present these ways in which non-experts can separate useful statistics from the lies in this article for Bloomberg, May 2, 1013.
SPSS Statistical Tutorials Tutorials on using SPSS for data analysis. Includes information on entering data, basic data analysis, correlation, and analysis of variance.
Online Statistics Calculator Calculate 56 different statistical estimates from summary data with this free site. Daniel S. Soper, Cal State Fullerton, designed these calculators to help students and others in the research community. Includes: effect size, chi-square, ANOVA, confidence intervals and much more.
Statistics Glossary. The STEPS (STatistical Education through Problem Solving) consortium has developed problem-based modules to support the teaching of Statistics in various fields including Psychology. As part of their online support, Valerie J. Easton and John H. McColl maintain this statistics glossary for all of the terms covered in a basic course. The glossary is arranged alphabetically or organized around key topics including presenting data, sampling, probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, categorical data, nonparametric methods, time series data, design of experiments, ANOVA, paired data, correlation, regression, and random variables and probability distributions.
Surveys: 20 Questions A Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results The National Council on Public Polls posted this essay by Sheldon Gawiser and G. Evans Witt as part of its mission to help educate journalists on the use of public opinion polls. Although they are talking about polls, many of their caveats apply to interpreting any research with survey or self-report data. From the website: The only polls that should be reported are "scientific" polls. A number of the questions here will help you decide whether or not a poll is a "scientific" one worthy of coverage – or an unscientific survey without value.
TeachPsychScience: Resources for Teaching Research and Statistics in Psychology Gary W. Lewandowski, Natalie Ciarocco and David Strohmetz created this site containing links to peer-reviewed resources for teaching research methods and statistics including online demonstrations, descriptions of class demonstrations, class and lab activities, class assignments, lecture materials, PowerPoints, exemplar studies, and student exercises.
Teaching Research Methods Jeff Standen conducted a workshop in 2010 at the ATP Conference on Teaching Psychology. This page contains links to his PowerPoint slides with suggestions for teaching research methods, a research methods mindmap, a PowerPoint-based experiment you can do with your class, PowerPoint slides on correlation, an overview of psychological research methods, levels of measurement, and notes on reliability and validity and much more.
Teaching Statistics: Not Awful and Boring Jessica Hartnett, Gannon University started this blog where she shares online resources for teaching statistic to undergraduates. In her own words: Most of [the suggestions] are funny. A few of them are serious but engaging. At no point will I suggest that you count M&M colors (although there is nothing wrong with that). Also, I'm not making any money off of this, I just know how hard it can be to teach statistics/research methods and thought I would share what I have.
Testing and Assessment: Finding Information about Psychological Tests From the website: The APA Science Directorate answers hundreds of calls and emails each year from persons trying to locate the right test or find more information about psychological tests. APA neither sells nor endorses testing instruments, but it does provide guidance in using available resources to find psychological tests. Answers to frequently asked questions are provided here. Includes information about published psychological tests, unpublished psychological tests and measures, and responsibilities of test users.
Tips and Tools The Social Psychology Network is an excellent source of links for research methods, report writing, and library research.
Twenty Tips for Interpreting Scientific claims William J. Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark Burgman, researchers in various fields, offer this simple list of ideas that could help decision-makers to parse how evidence can contribute to a decision tips in Nature Magazine, November 20, 2013.
The University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre conducts research on personality including the five factor model, life satisfaction, self-monitoring, and other constructs collecting data via Facebook application. They are willing to collaborate and share their data with other researchers (including grads and undergrads) who have ideas for projects. Find out more about their work (including a list of research ideas for students) by visiting MyPersonalityWiki.
Using OK Cupid to Teach Research Methods Co-founder Christian Rudder talks about how OK Cupid collects and uses data. Their methods raise important questions about research including: What are different kinds of social science data? How can/should we manipulate respondents to get it? What does it look like? How can it be used to answer questions? Or, how can we understand the important difference between having the data and doing an interpretation of it?
Visualizing statistical concepts Features cool visualizations of power and sample size calculations, statistical inference, sampling and distributions, and probability.
Web Center for Social Research Methods Developed and maintained by William M. K. Trochim of Cornell University, the Web Center consists of four parts. The Knowledge Base provides information on research design, measurement, and data analysis; Selecting Statistics is an expert system designed to help students determine the most appropriate statistical analysis for their data; The Simulation Book provides simulations of common research designs; and Concept Mapping is a guide to that process.
Assignments, Exercises, and Activities
Activities Guide: Teaching Ethics in the Introduction to Psychology Course The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) is pleased to announce this new resource for teachers by Ana Ruiz and Judith Warchal of Alvernia University. This 23-page guide presents 17 activities related to ethics for each chapter in a typical Introduction to Psychology text as it integrates the APA Learning Goals and Outcomes for ethics into that course. For each chapter, the activity lists the student learning outcome, instructions for conducting the activity, materials needed, approximate time required, and a method of assessment. Activities most relevant to the personality class include APA Ethics code Jeopardy, Research Methods, Personality Testing, and Debating controversial topics.
Personality Labs: Exploring Personality Research Online Marcia Wehr at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida, has put together this extensive on-line course on Personality and Personal Growth. In this lab, students go on a World Wide Web scavenger hunt for research and applications of personality theories, search for interesting news about personality debates and research, search online journals and newsletters for recent research or interesting news articles on personality topics such as aggression, anxiety and coping, attachment, personality development, birth order and other topics related to personality traits and issues.
The Great Parking Debate: A Research Methods Case Study The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science presents this vignette to teaching principles of hypothesis testing: Two friends debate whether people leave their parking spaces faster if others are waiting. They decide to see if they can design a study to test their ideas. In this interrupted case study, students develop a research question and hypothesis and consider how to test a hypothesis. Students read about what researchers have done to answer the research question and identify and evaluate different research designs. Students are also asked to evaluate data. Developed for a use in an introductory psychology course to cover terms and concepts related to research methods, the case could be used in other introductory science classes, early in research methods courses, or in upper-level social science courses. Includes teaching notes and answer key.
Research Methods Knowledge Base William M.K. Trochim, Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University is the author of The Research Methods Knowledge Base, a comprehensive web-based textbook that addresses all of the topics in a typical introductory undergraduate or graduate course in social research methods. It covers the entire research process including: formulating research questions; sampling (probability and nonprobability); measurement (surveys, scaling, qualitative, unobtrusive); research design (experimental and quasi-experimental); data analysis; and, writing the research paper.
Writing the Empirical Journal Article Taken from the 2003 book The Compleat Academic: A Career Guide by John M. Darley, Mark P. Zanna, and Henry L. Roediger, this chapter provides a step by step guide to understanding what goes where in a APA-format paper. Also includes a guide to good writing and avoiding common grammatical errors. In PDF format.
Examples and Illustrations
Factor Analysis and Sea Monsters Kevin Grobman, who maintains the DevPsy.org website, uses the brilliant metaphor of underwater sea monsters in order to help students understand what factor analysis is. Check out his cute graphics and explanation here. He also includes a link to PowerPoint slides you can use in your own lectures.
Slide Presentation Lecture and lecture notes by Sandra K. Webster, Westminster College.
APA Style Citations: Why and How The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) is pleased to announce the following new resource: Why and How to Write APA-Style Citations in the Body and Reference Section of Your Papers (2010) by Drew C. Appleby (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis). This resource is a 35-slide packet (in Microsoft PowerPoint®) that instructors can use to lecture about writing APA-style citations, following guidelines of the 6th edition of The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. In addition, a short file for the instructor provides suggestions for how to use the slides in classes.
Tests, Measures, and Scales
Against All Odds: Inside Statistics Annenberg media presents this instructional series on statistics for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 26 half-hour video programs and coordinated books. Includes distributions, sampling, causation, surveys, experimental design, probability, significance tests and much more. The best part of all, you can view them online!
APA Module on Research Methods, Measurement, and Statistics Stephen Chew presents on topics such as research methods and measurements used to study behavior and mental processes, ethical issues in research with human and nonhuman animals, and basic concepts in data analysis. Runs 60 minutes.
APA Template Paper with Comments for Illustrating the 6th Edition of APA Style (2010) The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) is pleased to announce the following new resource This resource uses a 14-page undergraduate research paper to illustrate many features of the 6th edition of APA style by presenting the paper as a sample for students to emulate. Extensive comments in the margin call attention to the feature being highlighted. The sample paper has more extensive explanations of APA style than the sample papers in the APA Publication Manual and by not overlapping pages, users can read the entire paper’s content. Written by Jordan Buess and Rick Froman of John Brown University. (Opens in PDF format).
Build An Online Experiment for Free. Michael Britt, of The Psych Files Podcast, created this video presentation of how to use Wix.com and Google Forms to create an online experiment for free. Perfect for class projects; may not be powerful enough for more extensive projects. He presented this work at the 2010 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science.
Discovering Psychology: Understanding Research (Program 2) The complete updated series hosted by Philip Zimbardo is available online for streaming in the classroom or for outside of class viewing as well as in DVD format. From the website: This program examines the scientific method and the ways in which data are collected and analyzed — in the lab and in the field — with an emphasis on sharpening critical thinking in the interpretation of research findings. With Dr. Christina Maslach of the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Daryl Bem of Cornell University. Updated. 30 minutes.
The Psych Files: Basic Research Design Parts 1 (Episode 45) and Part 2 Factorial Designs (Episode 52) Michael Brit, former professor of psychology, broadcasts a podcast about psychology called The Psych Files. Part I features: Independent variables, dependent variables, t-tests, anovas, experiments, between subjects, within subjects, confounds…confused? You won’t be after you watch this week’s video episode. Learn research methods in psychology the fun way - by choosing an interesting topic. In part II: We delve into a two by two factorial research design. Sounds dull you say? Well, I’ll try my best to make it kinda fun.
Research Methods and Statistics Concept Maps Alexis Grosofsky, Beloit College, created these concept maps of topics typically covered in undergraduate methods and statistics courses. These maps will help students organize material and see the bigger picture of how these concepts relate to each other. Each of these 11 maps could be used as an introduction, summary, or quick refresher (Opens in PDF format).
The Times and Troubles of the Scientific Method Science is working tirelessly night and day to disprove its own theories about how the universe works (or at least, that's what science thinks it's doing). Hank tells us a quick history of how we came to create and adopt the scientific method and then gives us a vision of the future of science (hint: it involves a lot more computers and a lot less pipetting). Posted by SciShow, April 29, 2013. (runs 11 minutes, 8 seconds)
Using OK Cupid to Teach Research Methods Co-founder Christian Rudder talks about how OK Cupid collects and uses data. Their methods raise important questions about research including: What are different kinds of social science data? How can/should we manipulate respondents to get it? What does it look like? How can it be used to answer questions? Or, how can we understand the important difference between having the data and doing an interpretation of it? Runs 5 minutes, 13 seconds.