PSYC 110 Research Requirement

As a student enrolled in PSYC 110 (Introduction to Psychology), you must satisfy a research requirement in order to receive a grade in the course. This page provides an overview of the requirement, along with links to all important resources for successful completion of the requirement.

What is the Research Requirement?

The research requirement is designed to help familiarize you with the methodology used in psychological research. This requirement can be satisfied by successfully completing either of the following options:
  • Option 1: Participate in TWO hours of Psychology studies (see instructions below), OR
  • Option 2: Read and answer questions about ONE current published Psychology research study (see instructions below).

What Impact Does the Requirement Have on Your Grade?

Satisfaction of this requirement will not affect the grade you earn in the course (e.g., A, B, C, or D). Completing the requirement does not count toward your grade nor is it extra credit. It is simply a requirement that must be completed as part of the course.

Students who successfully complete the requirement will be given the course grade that has been determined by their instructors. For example, if you have earned an A in the course according to your instructor's standards, then you will be given an A when you complete this requirement.

By departmental policy, students who do not complete the requirement will receive an Incomplete (I) in the course. Those who may find themselves in this situation have one semester to complete the requirement by writing a review article (see Option 2 below) or the Incomplete will automatically be changed to a grade of F by Registration/Records. The only exception is those who would not pass their course anyway -- they will have the F recorded immediately.

Students who are retaking the course are exempt from the requirement if they can provide proof they have satisfied the requirement before. If you previously satisfied the requirement, you must contact the Research Requirement coordinator (see below).


Option 1: Research Participation

What is the Participation Option?

One way to satisfy the research requirement is to be a participant in TWO hours of approved psychological research studies. Participation will give you an inside view of how research is conducted as well as assisting faculty and other students who are conducting research. Most students report that they enjoy the experience.

Studies can be worth anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours. Most studies are 1/2 hour, but some are worth more. How much a study is worth will be clearly indicated in the web-based signup system. You will simply need to complete enough studies to accumulate 2 hours of participation.

What Steps Do You Need to Take to Participate?

  • In the third week of the course, you will receive an email describing how to log into the web-based sign-up system at: http://uwsp.sona-systems.com. Studies will become available about the fifth week of the semester.
  • On the system, read about about studies that are available and sign-up for a study. After you sign up, you will receive an email confirming your appointment. Only studies available through this system will count toward the requirement, and you and you must use this system to sign up for the studies..
  • You do not need to sign up for both studies right away. You may sign up for studies at different points in the semester.
  • If you find that you cannot make your appointment, you MUST cancel your appointment using the same web site (http://uwsp.sona-systems.com.) After you cancel, you will receive an email confirming cancellation.
  • NO excuses for absences or tardiness will be accepted. If you fail to show up and have not cancelled, you will sent an email notifying you of this error. If you fail to show for a second time, you will be blocked from the study sign up system and will be required instead to write the journal article summary (Option 2 below) in order to complete the requirement.
  • If you show up for a study and the researcher is not there on time, please contact the Research Requirement Coordinator immediately.
  • After you complete the study, the experimenter will record your attendance on the web-based sign-up system. After a week or so, you will receive an email confirming that your attendance has been registered on the system. Thus, you do not need to hand in anything or contact your instructor.

Option 2: Library Research

What is the Library Research Option?

Students who are unable or unwilling to participate in studies for any reason may satisfy the research requirement by answering a few questions about a published article in psychology. However, this is not a free-form summary. Please follow the directions below carefully so that you can be assured that you do not have to rewrite the summary to get a grade in the course.

What Steps Do You Need to Take to Complete This Option?

  • Select an article from one of the articles on the appropriate journal list (see below) that was published after January 1, 2010. If the article does not come from one of these journals, you will not receive credit for writing a summary!
  • The article MUST describe a research study that involves data. Review articles and "Introduction to this Issue" articles are not acceptable.
  • You may use a printed version of the article or an electronic (such as PDF) version of an article.
  • This web site includes a REQUIRED cover sheet and question template for your summary. (Download the template here!) Summaries that do not use this template will be automatically rejected.
  • You should type your answers directly into the required template; you do not need to write a separate paper. This template will help you to properly structure your summary.
  • All questions must be answered in complete sentences and paragraphs and be written in your own words. A more thorough description of the requirement is available by clicking here!
  • Plagiarism (copying work from someone else) is a serious offense and will be dealt with accordingly.
  • The completed summary should Emailed to the Research Requirement Coordinator. Printed copies will also be accepted and may be delivered to D240 Science.
  • Your paper will be judged on a Pass/Fail basis at the end of the semester. If your paper is unacceptable, you will receive a notification after finals week. You will be given only one more try to make the paper acceptable and remove the Incomplete.

Which Journals May You Use to Complete the Requirement?

Journals are publications of original scientific work. They are different from magazines and newpapers, which are not typically written by the researchers themselves. This requirement will have you summarize a single article from a journal and, thus, summaries of articles from other sources will be automatically rejected.

The journals listed below (organized according to subdisciplines in psychology) can be found in the periodical section of the library. You may read either a printed copy of the journal article or you may use an online version (such as a PDF file). Links to library records of the journals can be found below:

If you discover that you are having a difficult time understanding or summarizing the article, pick another one. The most common reason a summary is rejected is that it is too shallow, which results from trying to compress a complex article into 3 pages or less. Similarly, articles that do not summarize a research study are inappropriate and should be avoided.

Timeline and Contact Information

What is the Timeline for the Research Requirement?

Most importantly, the deadline for participation is the last Friday BEFORE finals. No experiments will be posted for finals week or later! The following timeline is offered so that you know what to expect throughout the semester:
  • Week 1: You received a copy of these Research Requirement guidelines.
  • Week 3: You will receive an email with your logon information for study sign-ups.
  • Weeks 4 - 5: Studies will start becoming available for sign-up and participation.
  • Week 13: You will receive a reminder email about the Research Requirement.
  • Week 15: The last research studies of the semester will take place (Option 1). Research summaries (Option 2) must be handed in on the last day of classes BEFORE finals (Due Date: May 9, 2014).
  • Finals Week: All participation records will be updated. The information will be passed along to your instructor before your final exam.

Important Note: We cannot guarantee the availability of psychology studies at all points in the semester. Generally, there are more studies available about half-way through the semester and the number of studies available in the last two weeks is usually very limited.

Who Do You Contact With Questions?

Please note that these guidelines have been determined by departmental policy; they have not been set by your instructor. Therefore, your instructor -- who is the appropriate contact for all other aspects of your course -- is probably NOT the best contact regarding this requirement.

Finally, specific questions or concerns about any aspect of this requirement that are not clearly stated at this research requirement web site should be directed to:

Dr. Craig Wendorf
Research Requirement Coordinator
Office: D240 Science
Phone: (715) 346-2304