PSY 301 Experiments
Experiment Requirement Information
Important Dates to Remember
Downloadable PDF Forms
Psychological data and theories depend upon the research methods used to obtain them. Thus, an exposure to research and research methods is an experience that is valuable to understanding psychology. At most universities some exposure to psychological research is generally required of students enrolled in introductory psychology courses. At the University of Texas at Austin, the Department of Psychology requires each student enrolled in PSY 301 to gain some familiarity with, and appreciate of, the aims, methods, problems, and results of psychological research.
There are two options the student has for completing this requirement:
- the research paper option, and
- the experiment option.
The two research requirement options are discussed during one of the first meetings of the Psychology 301 class. If you feel that you cannot complete the requirement in either of the ways outlined on this page, you should see the teaching assistant to discuss the possibility of alternatives.
In order to qualify for some experiments and to get .5 hours of credit towards your experiment requirement, you must complete a number of prescreening questionnaires. This will help researchers find appropriate participants for their experiments. Prescreening is done on OPERA, the online Psychology Experiment and Research Application.
See "Important Dates to Remember" for prescreening dates.
If you choose to participate in prescreening, you must do so between May 31st and June 7th, 2012 (Summer I) or July 9th and 15th, 2012 (Summer II). Please try to do it earlier during this timeframe to avoid overloading the server.
You do not have to complete prescreening in one session. Each time you log on you will pick up where you left off.
If you have questions or problems regarding the prescreening web site, e-mail email@example.com
One way to become familiar with classical and contemporary psychological research is by doing some independent reading and writing a paper about it. The purpose of the reading is to acquaint the student with original research as it appears in written form. By completing the paper, you will have the opportunity to learn and write about how psychologists present hypothesis, methods and results.
If you choose this option, you must first select a topic from the area of psychology that you would like to examine. You could select one of the topics that appear below or you could select your own topic. If you select your own topic, you should have your selection approved by your Psychology 301 teaching assistant.
Next, you need to find three to five articles from the psychological journals. An easy way to locate articles is to use PsycINFO, available on the UT library website under “Databases and Indexes to Articles” (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/indexes/titles.html?subject=Psychology). PsycINFO is a searchable database with links to articles and abstracts published in psychology. Many of the journal articles that are listed in PsycINFO can be located online or in the libraries on campus. You should look for journals such as, The Journal of Experimental Psychology, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Child Development, etc.
If you have a question whether a particular journal will be acceptable, please check with the teaching assistant. Articles from Psychology Today, Reader's Digest, andRedbook, etc., are not acceptable. Your references MUST come from psychological journals.
Finally, you must write a paper based on your readings. At a minimum, you should summarize the work you have read. You can present the material as a simple summary, or you could compare or contrast the hypotheses, methodological procedures, statistical procedures, or results. The following rules apply to each paper submitted to satisfy the requirement; however, your professor may have additional requirements:
1. Typewritten in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced with one-inch margins, and the body of the paper must be at least 5 pages in length.
2. You must attach a reference list and include in-text citations to these references.
3. You must attach a cover sheet with your name, UT EID, unique number, and the semester and year.
4. It must be your own work! Do not copy articles. Discuss them in your own words.
5. You may only reference one website in your paper (not including journal articles available online)
6. It is due in your PSY 301 Teaching Assistant (TA) as specified by your instructor. Depending on the instructor, this date is typically well before, but no later than, the last day of class.
Therapy for Depression, Mid-life Crisis, Achievement Motivation, Creativity, Biochemistry of Schizophrenia, Suicidal Behaviors, Death and Dying, Child Abuse, Effects of Noise on Hearing, Synaptic Transmission, RNA and Memory, Attachment in Infants, Drug Use Motivation, Test Anxiety, Development of Self-esteem, Acquisition of Morality, Types of Personal Space, Music Therapy, Psychological Aspects of Pain, Violence and Aggression, Sex-role typing, Stages of Sleep, Behavior Problems of Children, Biochemistry of Bipolar Disorder, Neurological Effects of Meditation, and Dance Therapy, Any topic discussed in the Psy 301 textbook.
If you have any questions, please contact the Research Coordinator via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration must be completed on OPERA, the online Psychology Experiment and Research Application. You must have a UT EID and password to access the site.
No. of hours you have for experiment: 5
First day of OPERA: Thursday, May 31st, 2012 (Summer I) or July 9th , 2012 (Summer II)
Last day of OPERA: June 29th, 2012 (Summer I) or August 6th, 2012 (Summer II)
First day of Prescreening: (see 1st day of OPERA)
Last day of Prescreening: June 7th, 2012 (Summer I) or July 15th, 2012 (Summer II)
Logging in to OPERA
The Research Paper Alternative
Not Fulfilling the Research Requirement/Incompletes
See "Important Dates to Remember".
The experiments vary in length. Some last a half hour, some an hour, and a few are very long, like 4 or 5 hours.
You may sign up by accessing OPERA, and logging in using your UT EID and password.
You may begin participating in experiments on Thursday, May 31st, 2012 (Summer I) or July 9th , 2012 (Summer II). You DO NOT have to wait until the end of the prescreening period.
The deadline for participating in experiments is June 29th, 2012 (Summer I) or August 6th, 2012 (Summer II). No experiments will be run after this date and it is your responsibility to make sure you have completed all 5 hours by then.
E-mail the Research Coordinator, Abby Black, at email@example.com to activate your user account. You must include your EID in the email.
If you are under 18 you must first submit a parental permission form (available outside Room SEA 2.216 or on the web in PDF format). Once signed by your parent/guardian, return it to Abby Black in Room 2.216 via hand delivery, mail, or fax (512-471-3413).
This problem stems from the fact that you are trying to log in from a computer while you are off-campus. Adding an app. to your computer that makes it look like you are on campus will help. It is a VPN Client (Virtual Private Network) and you can get it (free for UT faculty/staff/students) from Bevoware.
1) Go to http://www.utexas.edu/its/bevoware/
2) Click on "BevoWare software downloads"
3) Log in with your EID and password.
4) Read the "Bevoware Usage Statement"
5) Search "Cisco Systems VPN Client" (found under "Utliities", near the bottom of the page) and select the version to match your operating system.
6) Install the application.
You will need to have the application running before you log into OPERA (or any other UT website), but this will make your computer 'look' as if it is on-campus.
If you have trouble with Bevoware (not OPERA), you can call the University ITS Office at (512) 475-9400.
Prescreening is an online questionnaire that the experimenters use to find subjects who are eligible for their studies on special populations. You are not required to participate in prescreening. However, it is a good idea for two reasons. First, it gets your first 0.5 hour of credit out of the way. Second, by doing prescreening, you potentially increase the number of experiments you are eligible for.
You are not required to participate in prescreening. However, it is a good idea for two reasons. First, it gets your first 0.5 hour of credit out of the way. Second, by doing prescreening, you potentially increase the number of experiments you are eligible for.
See "Important Dates to Remember".
The prescreening questionnaire is available online from May 31st to June 7th, 2012 (Summer I) or July 9th to 15th, 2012 (Summer II). To register for the prescreening survey, log on to OPERA.
The survey is not available after those dates.
Once you register for the prescreening survey, you will not see it on the “Browse All Experiments” list. To regain access to continue filling out the survey, look at the bottom of the first page you come to after you log into OPERA with your EID. You will see a third option presented instead of the customary two; “Surveys requiring my attention”. Use this link to continue taking the prescreening survey.
Yes, most experiments do not have prescreening as a prerequisite. Please remember that the prescreening is optional.
You can participate in ONE online study in addition to the prescreening survey.
The only exception to this rule is if you are selected for an online study based on your prescreening answers.
Always print out and save the confirmation page at the end of an online survey. You should be able to view your credit online within two weeks. If your credit does not show up online within two weeks, send a copy of the confirmation page to the research coordinator. You can hand deliver a copy to SEA 2.216 or fax a copy to 471-3413.
You can only participate in studies with different numbers. For example, you cannot participate in more than one of these studies: 327A, 327B, 327C. You can participate in all of these studies: 37A, 307A, 371A. If you participate in studies with the same number, you will only receive credit for the first study in which you participated. You can participate in studies with the same letter.
Yes. The letter associated with the experiment number only means something to the Research Coordinator and the researcher; students do not have to worry about them.
In this case, please review the instructions that appeared at the end of your survey (and are likely on the confirmation page that you printed out) and make sure that you followed them. If you have already done so, please contact the researcher.
Consider the risk you take by waiting until the end of the term to complete your experiments. For example, if you only have 1.0 hour left to complete, and the 1.0 hour session that you are signed-up to participate in on the last day that OPERA is open gets cancelled by a researcher, you may not be able to finish the requirement by the deadline. Similarly, the only remaining sessions may have eligibility restrictions that prevent you from registering for the experiment. No exceptions will be made for students who leave their participation until too late in the semester.
To cancel yourself from an experiment (which must be done 6 hours or more in advance) log on to OPERA and click “Browse Registered Experiments.” Click on “View” next to the experiment that you cannot attend. When the experiment session details come up, click on “Unregister.” You will then see a message saying that you are unregistered from the experiment session.
If you are unable to cancel yourself from a study more than 6 hours in advance due to an emergency or other serious scheduling conflict, contact the Research Coordinator as soon as possible. There is still a possibility that you will be docked an hour without appropriate documentation.
Credit is not reported instantaneously. It may take up to two weeks for your credit to be recorded on OPERA. Some researchers, due to the nature of their study, cannot report credits until the end of the semester.
E-mail the Research Coordinator, Abby Black, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just as you are allowed to cancel yourself from an experiment session 6 hours or more in advance, researchers are permitted to modify or cancel a session 6 hours or more ahead of time. When a research cancels a session 6 or more hours in advance, you do not receive credit for the experiment, nor will you receive a penalty. A cancellation notice will appear at the top of the screen when you login to OPERA and on your “Browse Registered Experiments” page. You will want to check OPERA within 6 hours of your session to confirm there has not been a cancellation.
I’m sorry, but that is why we have the “six hour” policy for both participants and researchers.
If you go to an experiment session, and the researcher fails to show up, submit a Research Error Correction Form within 5 days to the experiment coordinator located in SEA 2.216. Research Error Correction Forms can be found on the wall, outside of SEA 2.216 or on the web as a downloadable PDF file (via the link to Research Error Correction Form). If a researcher fails to show, you will be given 1.0 hour of free credit, regardless of how many hours of credit the experiment session was worth.
If you missed an experiment and did not cancel your participation at least 6 hours before your assigned time, you will be penalized ONE HOUR, regardless of how many hours of credit the experiment session was worth. This penalty applies for each experiment session you miss. If you have a verifiable excuse (doctor’s note, etc.) submit a Research Error Correction Form (found outside of SEA 2.216 in the wall bins) within 5 days of the missed experiment to the Research Coordinator in SEA 2.216 for reconsideration of the penalty.
If you need to cancel an experiment, please make sure to login to the experiment system and un-register for that experiment at least 6 hours before the scheduled experiment.
You may either earn an extra hour's worth of experiment credit to make up for each penalty deduction you earn, or you may choose the non-experiment option and write the 5-page research paper.
The most common reason for this situation is that you did not read the eligibility requirements closely enough and signed up for a study for which you did not qualify. Although researchers are asked to notify you via email when they unregister you from their session, they are not obligated to do so, as they have already made their criteria clear.
If you would like to write a paper to fulfill the research requirement during the semester of your enrollment, it is due no later than the last class day of that semester. However, your instructor has the right to set the due date earlier than that (and many of them do). If you are unsure, please ask the instructor.
The references criteria include scholarly articles, ones from peer-reviewed professional journals. If you have questions regarding the quality of your resources, please ask your TA; he or she is a great resource.
View the Research Paper section under Experiment Requirement Information.
You will get an X (Incomplete) on your semester grade report for PSY 301 if you passed the course: if you earned an F in the class that grade will be posted even if you did not complete the experiment requirement.
You will have until the end of the next long semester (Fall or Spring) to finish the research requirement before the incomplete permanently converts to an "F". Please also note that if you earn a failing grade in PSY 301, an "F" will be released whether you complete the research requirement or not. Once you do finish the research requirement, your grade will be released.
The Incomplete (X) automatically and permanently converts to an F! Don't let this happen to you.
You will have some extra time but must finish the experiment requirement before the end of the next long semester. You can still use the paper option (see the requirements) or continue to complete the required number of experimental hours when OPERA opens again in the next semester - just contact the Research Coordinator to have your user account re-activated if you would like to continue participating in experiments. After the first day of class in the next semester, you can log in to OPERA and continue signing up for experiments until the requirement is met. Be sure to finish before the last day for OPERA (usually one week before the end of classes).
No, absolutely not! This includes the prescreening survey. If you do, you will not get credit for any duplicated hours.
No, you will be able to continue participating with the hours that you earned during the semester you took the class. You will not automatically have access to the OPERA system to find new experiments; please contact the Research Coordinator to regain your access.
You MUST email the Research Coordinator at email@example.com to notify her that you have completed your requirement. She will then give you further instructions about how to get your grade changed from an X to the grade you earned in PSY 301. Be sure to do this well before the last week of classes to be sure the grade change can be processed before last class day.
No, but you will need to notify the Research Coordinator so that you do not receive an Incomplete at the end of the semester for not participating in any research hours.
The green sheet is your record of the experiments you participated in. It is very important that you keep an accurate record of your experiments and have the experimenter sign it every time you participate. If there is a credit recording mistake, the green sheet will be your proof of participation. Keep any online survey confirmation pages or debriefing forms from experiments you attend in person with your green sheet.
No, please hold onto your green sheets and keep with your class materials until you see your Psy 301 grade post to your transcript.
If the University is still operating, normal rules for canceling sessions still apply. The status of the University can be verified on the following Emergency Preparedness website: http://www.utexas.edu/emergency/ or you can call the university’s general information number, 512-232-9999.
Researchers must have a UT EID and password to access OPERA.