Psychology 3780G 001 FW23

Research in Social Psychology

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.




Department of Psychology 

Winter 2024 







An introduction to the methods and techniques used in the study of human social behaviour. Students will conduct studies using a variety of procedures, and will develop an independent research proposal. 


Antirequisite(s): PSYCHOLOGY 2780E  


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So 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(s):  Both Psychology 2801F/G and Psychology 2811A/B, or both the former Psychology 2800E and the former Psychology 2810, and one of Psychology 2070A/B or Psychology 2720A/B, PLUS registration in third or fourth year Honours Specialization in Psychology or Honours Specialization in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Third or fourth year Psychology Majors and Psychology Special Students who earn 70% or higher in both Psychology 2801F/G and Psychology 2811A/B, or 70% or higher in the former Psychology 2820E (or 60% or higher in the former Psychology 2800E and the former Psychology 2810) also may enrol in this course. 

2 lecture hours, 2 laboratory hours, 0.5 course 


Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll 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: Lorne Campbell 

Office: SSC 6328 

Phone number: (519) 661-2111 ext. 84904 

Office Hours. Thursdays 1-2pm  



Teaching Assistant: Somer Schaffer  

Office: SSC 6315 

Office hours: TBD  



Time and Location of Classes and Labs:  

Class: Wednesday 9:30am – 11:30am, AHB-2B02 

Tutorial/Lab: Friday 9:30am – 11:30am, UC-1225 


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. 


2.1 Online Learning Notice: 

Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, 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. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information. 




Research Methods in Psychology – 2nd Canadian Edition:  (this is a free open access textbook) 




The purpose of this course is to provide students with experience in most phases of social psychological research. The objectives are to develop the ability to critically evaluate research literature, to gain practical experience in planning, designing, and conducting experimental research, and to practice presenting and writing research reports and proposals. 



By the end of the term, students should have developed the following skills: 


Learning Outcome  

Learning Activity  


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.  

Describe the replication crisis in social psychology, including identifying the factors that precipitated it, questionable research practices, and the steps the field has begun to implement to enhance research practices in social psychology. 


Lecture; Readings; Class discussion; Group project preparation 



Critical review; Multiple choice exams; Group project  

Application of Knowledge.  

Articulate the above concepts when critically evaluating published research and when designing research. 



Lecture; Class discussions 


Independent project; Critical review; Multiple choice exams 


Integrate research findings on a topic relevant to social psychology and generate hypotheses and study design based on this previous work. 


Research projects; Class discussions; Readings 


Independent project; Class participation 


Application of Methodologies.  

Operationalize your research ideas by designing a social psychology experiment that exemplifies best practices in the field and coherently interpret the results of statistical analyses. 



Independent project; Group project; Class discussions; Lecture; Readings 


Independent project; Group project; Multiple choice exams 

Communication Skills.  

Communicate research ideas and results (your own and others’) clearly and concisely, in language accessible to intelligent non-experts (oral and written formats). 



Class discussion 

Project drafts 

Student feedback in class 


Newspaper article; Class participation; Independent project presentation; Group project presentation 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge. 

Identify questionable research practices when they appear in published research and articulate weaknesses/knowledge gaps within a topic area. 



Lecture; Class discussions; Literature review 


Critical evaluation; Independent project report; Class participation 

Autonomy and Professional Capacity. 

Work collaboratively with others to develop a data analysis strategy and present results. 



Group project 


Group participation ratings; Class participation 





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 expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 
70% 1000-level and 2099-level courses 
72% 2100-2990 level courses 
75% 3000-level courses 
80% 4000-level courses 

The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario 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. 

Make-Up Exams: Tests must be written on the scheduled dates unless you have a legitimate excuse recognized by the university administration. Valid reasons include medical or compassionate reasons, and must be substantiated by proper documentation (e.g., a medical certificate, which will be verified by the Office of the Dean). A student who misses a regularly scheduled exam for other reasons, or who cannot justify a claim, will be assigned a 0 for the exam. 

There will be six (6) components to the marking scheme: a Midterm Exam (worth 25%), a Final Exam (worth 35%), and four (4) written assignments (worth a total of 40%; part a = 5%, part b = 5%, part c = 15%, part d = 15%).  

PLEASE NOTE: Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulation, 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 is exempt from the Senate requirement that students receive assessment of their work accounting for at least 15% of their final grade at least three full days before the date of the deadline for withdrawal from a course without academic penalty.  


MIDTERM TEST: Wednesday February 14, 2024 (in class) 


FINAL EXAM:      TBA (during exam schedule) 


Components of the Research Proposal (to be submitted via Assignment tabs in OWL) 


  1. Provide an overview of area of research within social psychology that is of interest to you and that you would like to investigate further. This should be no longer than 2 double spaced pages of text. Due on January 26th.  


  1. Develop a specific hypothesis (or hypotheses) that you plan to investigate with an experiment. Your experimental design should include two (2) independent variables (IVs) that you would manipulate in a laboratory setting. Each IV needs to have at least two (2) levels, and a maximum of three (3) levels. This should be no longer than 2 double spaces pages of text. Due on February 16th. 


  1. Write a brief introduction and methods section that lays out the logic of your hypothesis (or hypotheses), and discusses the specific experimental methods you plan to use to test your hypothesis (or hypotheses). The length of this document should be limited to 8 double spaced pages of text, and can incorporate elements of the prior written assignments. Due on March 8th. 


  1. Using SPSS, create a fictitious data set to “test” your hypothesis (or hypotheses). For example, if you are proposing a 2 x 2 factorial design that therefore has four (4) study conditions, you will create fake data for participants in each of these conditions in such a way that you feel this data would support your hypothesis (or hypotheses). You need to create fake data for a minimum of 15 participants for each proposed study condition. You will also be required to analyse this fake data set and write a brief results section. The written results section should be no longer than 5 doubles spaced pages of text. You will also be asked to submit your fake data set and SPSS syntax you used to analyze your data. Due on April 3rd. 








Week of January 8 Lecture 





Scientific Thinking 


Chapter 1 

Week of January 15 





Open Science Practices 



No readings this week 

Nosek et al (2019) 


Week of January 22 






Developing Research Ideas 

Reading and Critiquing Articles 


Chapters 2 & 4 

Dziobek et al (2005) 

Week of January 29 






Designing and Conducting Experiments 

Field Experiments 


Chapter 6 

Week of February 5 





Other Types of Study Designs 

Tips for the midterm exam 


Chapter 7 

Week of February 12 




TEST 1 (25%) (on Wednesday Feb. 14th) 

No lab this week 




Week of February 19 





Reading Week 

Reading Week 



Week of February 26 





Independent Variables 

Implicit and explicit measures 



Chapters 8 & 9 

Week of March 4 





Dependent Measures 

A primer on using SPSS 


Chapter 8 


M Week of March 11 





Validity and Realism 

Further tips on using SPSS, creating data, and saving syntax 


Chapter 5 

Chapter 11 

Week of March 18 





Research Ethics 



Chapter 3 

Week of March 25 





Writing Reports  

Presenting research at conferences from a graduate student perspective 



Chapter 12 

Chapter 13 

Week of April 1 






Classes end on April 5. I will post a video discussing tips for the final exam. No lab this week. 




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 online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

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. 


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;  
  1. 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 hours after 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. 



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.