Psychology | Honors Thesis Research
P499 | 3679 | G. Frommer
This course provides an introduction to the problems and methods of doing
research in psychology, using students' own experience with their honors
thesis as the primary vehicle. The thesis research is the most important
part of the course. You and your research sponsor will bear the main
responsibility for the research, but class discussion of your project at
its various stages will help you develop and refine your project in a
supportive non-competitive environment. Your research will be
time-consuming, and the seminar will not meet on all scheduled days,
except towards the end of the semester, when members will make oral
presentations of their research proposals to the seminar. You will also
present a written version of your research proposal. Your research
sponsor will help you select a project that has scientific merit and can
probably be completed given the available time and resources. However,
you will take the major initiative in developing the background for your
project, designing it, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting the data,
and preparing the oral report and the written honors thesis. The earlier
you get started on your project, the better. In addition, the seminar
will discuss the following issues: research methods, ethics of research,
practical aspects of doing research, using readings as guides for class
discussions. Each member of the seminar will be responsible for reporting
on at least one such paper and leading discussion on chapters from
The end product of your participation in the seminar will be your Honors
Thesis. The best guide for the format is a completed Honors Thesis or PhD
Thesis. At the end of the second semester you will make a 15-20 minute
presentation to the seminar and to invited guests: friends, other students
in your lab, family, and faculty. This presentation is modeled after the
presentations made at scientific meeting and provides practice for your
future presentations at such meetings. When your thesis reaches its final
form, you will defend it orally before a committee including your research
sponsor, the instructor of P499, and another faculty member. You will
deposit a bound copy with the Psychology Department and with the Honors
Division. Many students will also present their research to the
scientific public through publications in a professional journal and/or at
a scientific meeting.
Text: American Psychological Association, Publications manual of the APA.
K.E., How to Think Straight About Psychology.
Tests and Grades: Most people take P499 for 3 to 6 credits per semester.
Most get an "R" (grade deferred), because the thesis is not complete.
When your committee accepts your thesis, the "R" will be converted to a
letter grade, which will depend on class participation, sponsor's
evaluation, oral reports, and written reports. The department will then
certify you for Graduate with Honors in Psychology.