Psychology Research Pool

Research Exposure Requirement Policies and Procedures

Rationale


Most introductory courses in the natural sciences include laboratory sections in which the student is exposed to the research methods of the discipline by demonstration or actual repetition of well-established phenomena. Because of the unique quality of the science of psychology, it is possible to introduce students to research methods by direct participation in ongoing studies. These studies are designed to contribute to the contemporary research literature, and it is quite possible that the results of this work will be reported in future elementary textbooks.

Although direct exposure to laboratory research is invaluable, an alternate means for learning about methods in psychology (as recommended by the APA Committee for the Protection of Human Participants in Research, 1982) will be available in the form of reading and reporting on papers found in the research literature or attending and reporting on department and university colloquia that are related to psychology.

The Requirement


All students in Introductory Psychology (PSYC 101 or PSYC 102) at Towson University must accumulate 4 points of research credit during the semester.

Regardless of instructor, this requirement will count for 3% of the final grade in PSYC

101/102. 

These 4 points of research credit may be obtained by completing 2 hours of the following activities: (1) participating in psychology studies (2) reading and summarizing one approved journal article (3) attending and summarizing one approved research or colloquium presentation, or (4) participating in mock counseling sessions. Each of these credit opportunities is described in more detail below.

Creating an Account


Before completing your research credits, you must sign up for a Research Pool account on the internet. This will allow you, your course instructor, and the Psychology Research Administrator to keep track of your credits. To create an account, follow directions here.

All students must create an account by: The end of the third week of class.

Once you have created an account and received your password via email, you will be able to log on to the web site. One of the first things you will be asked to do on the web site is to fill out an online pre-test questionnaire. Although not required, failure to complete the pre-test will make you ineligible for some studies.


Option 1: Participating in Studies

 

  • How much credit are research studies worth?
    One point of research credit will be provided for each half hour (30 minutes or less) of participation.

  • How do I sign up?
    All available research studies will be listed here.

  • Can I choose which studies I want to participate in?
    Absolutely! When you log on to the web site you will be able to view a list of studies that are available to you. Each study has a title and a short description of what is required. Please check the eligibility requirements to make sure that you are eligible to participate. When you sign up, be sure to write down the location, date and time of the study.

  • I’ve never participated in psychological research before. What should I expect?
    Research studies in psychology vary widely. Some studies involve filling out questionnaires, others involve physical measurements such as heart rate, and others involve responding to stimuli on a computer. In all studies, at the start of the research session, you will be informed of what you will be asked to do during the session and given the option of participating or not. If you agree to participate, you are still free to stop participation at any point during the study. Those individuals who elect to stop their participation at any point during the study for any reason will still receive credit. At the end of each session, more information will be provided concerning the data, theory, and/or research area under study; questions are quite appropriate at this point and will be encouraged.

  • How do I get credit?
    Within 24 hours after your scheduled time slot, the experimenter will log on to the web site and give you credit. You should receive email notification of this.  If you do not receive credit for your participation in a timely fashion, please contact the research pool administrator by email.

  • What if I have to cancel a scheduled appointment?
    The web site allows you to cancel a scheduled appointment as long as you do so at least 2 hours prior to the appointment.

  • What if I don’t show up?
    Students are responsible for arriving on time and keeping the appointment. A student who misses a scheduled appointment without canceling will be designated an unexcused “No Show” and will be penalized by 1/2 credit. If you are penalized for a no-show, you will receive an email notification. Please contact the research pool administrator by email if you think you have erroneously received a no-show penalty.

  • I received a no-show penalty. Can I make up the credit I lost?
    Yes. You can make up the credit penalty by completing any of the four credit options.

  • What if the researcher does not show up?
    If a researcher fails to show up within 10 minutes of a scheduled session but the student does, the student will still receive credit for participating. Contact the research pool administrator if this does not happen.

  • What is the deadline for completing Option 1?
    The last day of classes. However, many studies will conclude well in advance of this deadline. Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to sign-up for studies while they are still available.


Option 2: Writing Research Report.  


Credit is based on writing a report about a published psychological research article.

 

  • How much credit do I get?
    Four points of research credit will be provided for a satisfactory report.

  • How do I complete the report?
    Follow these instructions.

  • Where do I hand in my report? 
    Please hand in your report at the Psychology Department office in the Liberal Arts Building, Room 2210.

  • How do I get credit?
    Within 1 week of receiving your report, the research administrator will log on to the research pool web site and, if your report is satisfactory, give you credit. You should receive email notification of this.  If you do not receive credit for your report in a timely fashion, please contact the research pool administrator.

  • What is the deadline for completing Option 2?
    The last day of classes by 4:30 p.m.

  • Where do I find an article to summarize?

              The article must come from one of the following journals, all of which are in Cook Library:

Adolescence, American Journal of Family Therapy, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, British Journal of Social Psychology, Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, Developmental Psychology, Exceptional Children, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Psychology and Aging, School Psychology Review, School Psychology Quarterly.

Option 3:  Colloquia Report.


Credit is based on writing a brief report about a psychology related research presentation.

  • How much credit do I get?
    Four points of research credit will be provided for a satisfactory report.

  • How do I complete the report?
    Follow directions on this form.

  • Where do I hand in my report?
    Please hand in your report at the Psychology Department officein LA 2210.

  • How do I get credit?
    Within 1 week of receiving your report, the research administrator will log on to the research pool web site and, if your report is satisfactory, give you credit. You should receive email notification of this.  If you do not receive credit for your report in a timely fashion, please contact the research pool administrator by email.

  • What is the deadline for completing Option 3?
    The last day of classes by 4:30 p.m.

Option 4: Clinical Experience


Occasionally, students can earn credit by participating as a mock client in a counseling session.  If this option is available, students will be able to sign-up on the research pool web site and procedures will be the same as Option 1.

Extra Credit

Introductory Psychology students may also be able to earn extra credit points by participating in additional psychology research studies or writing additional research reports. The decision to offer extra credit resides solely with the course instructor. The amount of extra credit that students may earn is also at the instructor’s discretion. Please check with your instructor to see if extra credit is available in your class.

The no-show and cancellation policies stated above also apply to extra credit.

The Research Pool Administrator

This faculty member will oversee participant pool issues, communicate with PSYC 101 instructors, and ensure that students receive proper credit for research exposure. The position will be rotated among psychology faculty who frequently use the participant pool. The research administrator can be contacted by email.

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