PSY 203- Design & Statistical Analysis

Course Objectives: This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to many of the basic statistical techniques used in psychological research. There are several objectives for this course, including but not limited to:

  1. Gaining a theoretical understanding of basic statistical techniques.
  2. Learning how to perform statistical calculations by hand.
  3. Implementing the appropriate statistical technique based on your research design.
  4. Learning how to use statistical software (SPSS) to analyze data.
  5. Interpreting the results of a statistical analysis.
  6. Proficiency in writing Results and Discussion sections to describe statistical findings.

In the short term, these skills are invaluable as you move ahead to PSY299 Research Seminar and other courses in which you will critically evaluate evidence presented in research articles. In the long term, these skills are essential to thinking critically about information, and even conducting your own research.

Syllabus: PSYC203


PSY 299- Research Seminar in Social Psychology: Best Practices in Social Psychology

Psychology has recently faced a crisis of confidence due to several developments, including but not limited to fraud, poor research practices, and an inability to replicate several studies. This 299 seminar will focus on understanding the sources of this crisis and training in better methodological and statistical practices. Together, we will identify a single study from the social psychological literature for replication. Students will divide into three groups, with one group attempting a close replication of the original study and the two other groups attempting conceptual replications of the original study. Although I will occasionally lecture, class time will primarily involve class discussion, group work, and hands-on experience creating research materials and using SPSS to analyze data. You will be involved in all aspects of the research process, including hypothesis development, study design, data collection and participant management, data analysis and interpretation, and professional presentation of your findings in both oral and written form.


Syllabus: Syllabus299


PSY 375- Seminar in Political Psychology

Political psychology involves the application of psychological theories and processes to political phenomena. You will learn the content of political psychology scholarship, how political psychology research is conducted and applied, and about current controversies in political psychology. You will learn how to apply your knowledge of political psychology to understanding past and current political affairs. Finally, you will learn how to develop and test research hypotheses related to political psychology topics.

Syllabus: PSY375 Political Psychology


PSY 390/492- Lab Learning: Political Psychology Lab

The Political Psychology Lab conducts research on how people’s personalities, beliefs and experiences affect their social and political attitudes and behavior. Each semester, our lab conducts one or more original research projects. These projects will be in various stages—we may be doing the initial reading and discussion to get a project off the ground; we may be designing a study and preparing for IRB submission; we may be collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data; we may be drafting a poster or paper to present at a conference; or we may be writing up our studies for publication. Typically, we are engaged in a number of these stages simultaneously as we work on multiple projects. A supplemental document describes our projects for the current semester.

Lab members are typically limited to three semesters of PSY390. After that, if you wish to continue in the lab, you are strongly encouraged to take on a greater role (i.e., PSY393; PSY492; PSY396/496).

Syllabus: Lab Learning 


PSY 470- The Psychology of Bias

Each course under the Psy470 umbrella is relevant to a different set of specializations. As a senior experience, students use their prior knowledge as a foundation for individualized study of theoretical, empirical, or clinical issues. The study group is a community of learning in which students direct their own in-depth exploration of a field, discuss their ideas with others in the group, and express their discoveries and conclusions in successive drafts of a major written paper. Psy470 is worth 1 course unit.

In this course, we will learn about the psychological foundations of biases in social perception and judgment. We will approach this topic from a social-cognitive perspective; that is, we will explore how normal cognitive functioning influences social perception and judgment. In the first half of this course, we will review literature on motivated reasoning processes in general, and then examine how these processes shape self, intergroup, and political perception and judgment. In the second half of the course, we will design a study to test the predictions of a model I have developed which predicts biased political judgment. Together, we will design the studies, request IRB approval, and collect, analyze, and interpret the data. You will report your findings both in an individual written paper and a group oral presentation.

Syllabus: PSYC470