Psychology 2801G 200 FW23

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.



LONDON               CANADA

Department of Psychology



Psychology 2801G    Section 200

Research Methods in Psychology I





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.


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


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. If you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


Prerequisite: At least 60% in 1.0 credits of Psychology at the 1000 level; Data Science 1000A/B and 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 Statistics 1024A/B (or other introductory statistics course) instead of Data Science 1000A/B must seek special permission of the instructor to enrol.


Extra Information: 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.




Instructor:        Dr. Corey Isaacs

Office Hours:   via Zoom by appointment



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


Time and Location of Classes: Lessons will be provided asynchronously via our OWL course website. New lessons will be released every week. Labs will be conducted synchronously (in-person) on a biweekly schedule (see Section 7 below). Check the OWL course site for your lab section’s day/time.


Delivery Method: Blended


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. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147.



Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students.




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 (


Lessons 6 and 8 include additional readings that can be found on the OWL course website.




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 Activities


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.

  • Find and interpret original empirical research.

Lectures, readings, lab activities, term paper

Lab assignments, term paper, exams

Knowledge of Methodologies.

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

Lab assignments, term paper, exams

Application of Knowledge.

  • Generate your own research ideas and hypotheses.
  • Critically evaluate original empirical research.

Lab assignments, term paper

Communication Skills.

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

Lab assignments, term paper

Autonomy and Professional Capacity.

  • Ensure that research adheres to ethical standards.

Term paper, exams




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%
  • Laboratory 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 multiple-choice exams, which will be administered in person. Exams will cover material from both the readings/listenings and the OWL lessons (see Section 7.0). The midterm exam will be one hour in duration and will cover Lessons 1 – 4, and the final exam will be 2 hours in duration and will cover Lessons 5 - 11.




Exams. If you are unable to write an exam at the scheduled time, you must request permission from your faculty to write a makeup exam by submitting documentation to your faculty academic counselling office to receive academic considerations. A student who misses an exam without permission from their faculty will be assigned a grade of zero for that exam. If a student is unable to write the midterm exam or the makeup midterm exam and has received academic considerations for both, the weight of that exam may be reassigned to the final exam.


Laboratory Assignments. Lab assignments 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). Technical difficulties will not excuse a late assignment, so be sure to verify that your assignments have been successfully submitted to OWL before the submission deadline.


Term Paper. The term paper is due by 5:00 PM on Friday, April 5. There is a 10% per day late penalty, and the absolute latest that your essay can be submitted without academic considerations is Wednesday, April 10th. If you receive academic considerations from your faculty academic counselling office (i.e., by submitting appropriate documentation), that deadline will be extended accordingly.




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


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see

A+ 90-100              One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level

A   80-89                Superior work that is clearly above average

B   70-79                Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory

C   60-69                Competent work, meeting requirements

D   50-59                Fair work, minimally acceptable

F   below 50           Fail


Note that, 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. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course.




All times indicated in this course outline and on the OWL course website are listed in London, ON 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, Feb. 10,
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Final Exam

Lectures & readings from Lessons 5 – 11


TBA (April 11 – 30)




Assignment Topic




Writing a Research Proposal


Jan. 15 – 17


Generating Research Questions


Jan. 29 – 31




Feb. 26 – 28


Methods & Data Visualization


March 11 – 13


Peer Review


March 25 – 27

Research Proposal


Due Friday, April 5

*Lab dates and times vary by lab section. Consult your class schedule for your specific day and time.






Readings/ Listenings

Lab Module

Jan. 8 – 13

Psych as a Science

Chapter 1


Jan. 14 – 20

Your Own Research I

Chapter 2

Introduction & Writing a Research Proposal

Jan. 21 – 27

Your Own Research II

Chapter 2

Jan. 28 – Feb. 3

Research Ethics

Chapter 3

Generating Research Questions

Feb. 4 – 10

Study Time (No New Content)

Chapters 1 - 3

Saturday, Feb. 10, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Midterm Exam (Lessons 1 – 4)

Feb. 11 – 16


Chapter 4

Feb. 17 – 25


Feb. 26 – Mar. 2

Open Science

Ep. 4 of Four Beers Podcast


March 3 – 9


Chapter 5


March 10 – 16

Interpreting Graphs

Presenting Stats in Graphs

Methods & Data Visualization

March 17 – 23

Survey Research

Chapter 9


March 24 – 30

Professional Development


Peer Review

Mar. 31 – Apr. 6

Research Proposal


TBA (April 11 – 30)

Final Exam (Lessons 6 - 11)


8.0  Land Acknowledgement


We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum.


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g., First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service.




Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link:


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. 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 (


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.


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.


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.




Tests and examinations for this course will be conducted in person on the Western campus. In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. If a remote proctoring service is used, the service will require you to provide personal information (including some biometric data). Please ensure you are familiar with any proctoring service’s technical requirements before the exam. More information about remote proctoring is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at:




Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at:


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;
  2. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate.


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation.


Students seeking academic consideration:

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;  
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hoursafter the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence.


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.


12.0      Contingency Plan for Return to Lockdown: IN-Person & Blended classes


In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor.




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette:

  • Please “arrive” to class on time.
  • Please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet).
  • Please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material.
  • To minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise.
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak.
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable.
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting.


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following:

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question.
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking.
  • Self-identify when speaking.
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise).


General considerations of “netiquette”:

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course.
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing.
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate.
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately.


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct.




Office of the Registrar: 


Student Development Services:


Psychology Undergraduate Program:


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 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.


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.