History and Methods of Psychology

Psychology 130

(Class under construction, anything might change)

Chuck Huff

Class: 10:45-11:40 RNS 310

Lab A: Tues 11:45-2:45 RNS 240
Lab B: Thurs 2:15-5:15 RNS 131

current as of 02/29/12

Regents Science Hall 120, 786.3169
Mail to the Prof
Office Hours: by appointment
Mail to the class

Welcome to the evolving History and Methods of Psychology class! This syllabus will also evolve as we put the class together over the term. But you will be notified of the thing you need to do in time for its completion.I appreciate your patience as we continue to figure out how this course best works and change things on the fly.picture of camel

Required Texts

The lab manual is available on the web. In addition to the manual, you will read many current and historical psychological articles. These will be available as regular files on moodle, listed below in the schedule for the class.

I have also assigned three books we will be reading:

Collins, H.M, & Pinch, T, (1998) The Golem: What you should know about science. Cambridge University Press. 0521645506 $17.09

Sternberg, R.J.,  Roediger, H.L, & Halpern, D.F. (2007). Critical Thinking in Psychology. Cambridge University Press.

Chung, M.C. & Hyland, M.E. (2012). History and Philosophy of Psychology. Wiley-Blackwell.

The class has been designed by the entire department to introduce students to the methods and history of psychology as a discipline. Thus it has a series of labs as a major component. These labs are taken from the old 126 course, but many are completely reworked, and some are new. The point of the labs is to give you an idea of the many different ways we collect data in psychology, with human and with other animals, from questionnaires to observation, from self report to sophisticated electronic measurement, from experimental design to simple naturalistic observation.

Most of your grade (60%) will come from things you do in the lab. But the division is not so easy, since some of the lab is outside the building and lab procedures will extend into the classroom.


Help with Assignments

For many of you, this will be the first lab you have taken and the first time you will be writing up lab reports. We have included some helps for you here. If you are struggling with lab notes or reports, look here first for help. But by all means go to the lab help sessions even if you are not prepared. This is better than avoiding it because it looks too difficult. It will not go away on its own. So, with that advice behind us, here are some helps:

APA Style
Finding the Literature

Lab Notes

You will need to purchase a lab notebook. These will be available in the bookstore, and should be shelved right next to the textbooks for the class. For every lab session we ask that you keep notes about the procedures, apparatus, the data collected, unusual occurances, etc. At the end of the lab, clean up the notes (making corrections, or addition, elaborating on some points, making a drawing more clear, etc.) and turn them in by Friday at 5. Since this revision procedure is new, we do not have a good example of formal lab notes, but here is a sample of neat initial lab notes. The lab notes will be graded by the preceptors for the class as 0, √-, √, or √+ (0 to 3). Most times you should receive a √ for this, with significant deviation in either direction resulting in a + or -. A zero is for any week that you should have had lab notes and did not. The lab manual will be graded every week, and you must hand it in in the designated lab notebook drawer outside the RNS 240 lab room by 8 PM on the posted due date. Here is a grading rubric we will use for your formal lab notes. Lab notes turned in after this time will recieve a 25% reduction in grade. Lab notes turned in after Monday at 2 PM will receive a 50% reduction in grade. Lab notes cannot be turned in later than Monday of the week following the lab except by special arrangement with the instructor.

Formal Lab Writeups

The three labs that are listed in red require a formal writeup. The formal lab report is a typed APA style paper. You will turn in the formal lab writeup on the Monday after lab in class. You should not turn in your lab notebook. The preceptors for the course will be grading your lab writeups based on a rubric that is based on a much more detailed checksheet. Do note that the grade for the lab writeups are stepped so that the first does not count much, but the last counts 15% of your grade.

Lab Poster

Don't like the labs we have? You get a chance to propose a better one. We provide most of what you need to know for this project through the link above. The rest comes from class and lab and from your own investigation and research.

Midterm and Final

We will be doing some significant reading in the class, and class lectures will be devoted to helping you understand them. The midterm and final will be your chance to show that you have done so. These will take the form of a 48 hour take home, open book essay. A superset of the questions will be given to you at least a week before the exam (actually, you should receive some every week as we go through the books). At the beginning of the 48 hour period, I will post the subset of questions that require an answer. The days labeled "question time" are designed to fall within this 48 hour window, and allow you to ask questions in class about the questions you are supposed to be answering. Here is the rubric for the exam.

CEL Participation

Several classes and one lab will be dedicated to acquainting you with the Center for Experiential Learning. These folks have lots of professional knowledge and practical experience in helping student figure out what sorts of careers they might attempt, planning for those careers, and integrating undergraduate experience (classes, internships, extra-curricular things) into those plans. As a part of this experience, you will be required to take the Strong Interest Inventory (and to understand how it works) and also to make an appointment with the CEL sometime in the semester to discuss your SII score and to begin to make career plans. The CEL will give me a list of those who have worked with them, and I will use this to asign the 2% credit (enough to push you over a border in the grading scheme).

Grading Weights


Percent Grade

Lab Assignments 70%
Informal Lab Notes 10%
First Lab Writeup 5%
Second Lab Writeup 15%
Third Lab Writeup 20%
Lab Rewrite (rewrite*.7)+(original*.3)
Lab Poster 20%
Course Assignments 32%
MidTerm 15%
Final 15%
CEL Participation 2%


There are four preceptors that will help in running the labs (2 for each section) and grading lab notebooks. You will be assigned to one of them as your primary "grader" for the term, and you will interact with all of them throughout the semester in labs. These students have taken the lab before and come highly recommened for their work in the major. They will be giving presentations in the labs and helping you as you step through the procedures and make decisions about what to manpulate and measure. In addition to serving as preceptors in this class, they are also taking a class from Prof. Huff on how to teach. So their work in class is grounded in careful supervision and study.

Lab Section A (Tues 11:45 - 14:45)

Lab Section B (Thurs 14:15 - 17:15)

Classroom Etiquette

This is a large class with some subtle distinctions that require attention and active processing. Therefore, unless there are extenuating circumstances, or I have specifically requested it, laptops are not allowed in this class. Please see me if you have a compelling reason to use a laptop while the class is meeting. If your schedule requires it, feel free to bring your lunch, but please open all items before class begins. Since our final exam time is the poster presentation, there will be no exceptions to the rule that requires students to attend the final exam period. Make your travel plans accordingly.

Late Policy

Late Lab Notes, Lab Reports, and Exams will be reduced according to the following schedule: up to 24 hrs late = - 5%, up to 2 days late = - 10%, up to 3 days late = - 25%, up to 1 week late = -50%. Papers beyond a week late will not be accepted. Grace is available by negotiation, based on hardship. It is your responsibility to keep track of time and to turn your paper in. I may send you an email reminder, but I will not track you down.

Disability Accomodation

If you have a documented disability that will impact your work in this class, please contact me to discuss your needs. Additionally, you will need to register with Student Disability Services located at the Academic Support Center in Room 1 of the Old Main Annex. All such discussions will be confidential.



Class Topic
Class Notes
Lab Topic


Class Overview; Lab Notes
No lab this week
Making claims
CTP 11
Golem I
Golem Intro & Edible
M 13
Coding the Structure of Psychology
APA Style & Structure
Designing Verbal Instruments & The T-Test
Formal Notes Due, 20:00
M 20
Traits Lecture (McMillan)!
Personality (Big 5 and Sensation)
Research Design

Finish SII by Sunday Feb 26 !

M 27
What's a good Theory
Constructing A Career
Experimental Design
Mar 2 Strong Interest Inventory, Kirsten Cahoon Huff @ APPE Personality Lab Report Due, 20:00 Career Interest Reading
M 5
Eye Movement (Prof. Thorsheim)
Eye Blinks & Cognitive Processing
CEL & You!
Sandy Malecha and Nate Jacobi !
Golem II
  Formal Notes Due, 20:00
Golem Germs & Lizards
M 12
Bronfenbrenner (Prof. Gross)
Coding Dinner Talk
Reading on Moodle
Question Time
  Exam Due, 24:00  
M 19   Spring Break      
  21   Spring Break      
  23   Spring Break      
M 26
Wundt & Co.
Research Programs (Lit Search) Spitzer & Commentaries
Darwin & other Functionalists
Dinner Lab Report Due, All Sections, 20:00; Formal Lab Notes Due, Sat 13:00
Apr M 2
Good Figures (Prof. Sherman)
  6   Easter Break    
M 9   Easter Break
  11 Rise & Fall of Behaviorism  
  13 Free Will and other conundrums   2 Informal Lab Notes Due, 13:00 on Saturday
M 16
Cognition & Pedagogy !
Design - A - Lab I
Angst & Despair
HPP 11
Thinking Ethics
no notes due
CTP 16
M 23
Social Influence (Me too)
Social Influence
Virtuous Science
Huff & Hughes; CTP 13
Sex & Death


M 30
Practical Lab Design
Design - A - Lab II
Social Lab Report Due, Sec A: 17:00
Pedagogy Reading
May 2 Quasi-Experiments  
Social Lab Report Due, Sec B: 17:00
  4 History of Clinical Psych  
HPP 13
M 7 Poster Design Principles  
Make - A - Poster
Poster Protocol
Question Time
Lab A Posters Due at Noon
M 14
Question Time
Lab B Posters Due at Noon
9-11 AM Joint Poster Session
Final Exam due at Poster Session
Revised Formal Lab Report Due