PSK 515 Research Methods & RESEARCH ETHICS

Benjamin Disraeli img

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

- Benjamin Disraeli

PSK 515 Research Methods and Research Ethics

Course Overview
Conducting research, in a simple terminology, is to ask questions, to wonder "things" around us, and to obtain data with careful design. Without operationally defined, carefully conducted, and empirically testable research questions, it is hard to arrive at "true" conclusions. Computer technology enables us to carry out data analysis with great ease. Thousands of data can be factor analyzed, compared, and/or checked for correlation structure with little effort of the researcher. However, there is one very important thing remained "human", that is critical and creative thinking. The purpose of the PSK 515 course is to bring critical and creative thinking applications to research questions. In other words, we (including me) are going to force our brain to work hard from a multidimensional perspective.

Art of making research is a more technical part of PSK 515. We are going to discuss and try both qualitative (“research without numbers”) and quantitative (“numbers are good”) methods. Research questions and application will be concentrated on psychology related issues but they may also include examples from science in general.

The major aim of PSK 515 is to read and to do research. Reading research means using critical thinking skills powered by technical knowledge to read and understand published data. Doing research is not only doing numerical calculations but also applying research methods knowledge to the world.

Course Format
Students are expected to have read each week’s reading(s) prior to class and to contribute to class discussion. Each week, you must turn in your written work during class (you may not email it, or turn it in at any other time). Each student is expected to come to class prepared to summarize the key points of the readings and to participate in the discussion regarding it. To summarize, each week, students will lead discussions about, write and submit reaction papers to, and critique readings from scientific research journals, chapters, books, and etc. Because this is a small class, contributing to group discussion is essential. Think of this course as a challenging voyage in unknown waters.

I. Creative Essays and Exams (20% of your total grade): In PSK 515 Course, in addition to formal exams, you are going to be asked to present your knowledge in a critical and creative manner. Although the format is similar to standard examinations, the actual performance is dependent on your skills in analyzing, comprehension and written presentation. For these informed assignments and quizzes you will be able to use any material (books, your notes,... etc.).
II. Research Proposal (40% of your total grade): You have to design (1) correlational or (2) experimental research proposals for the same research question. The format of the papers is extremely important. You should use academic writing styles in your project papers; they should be written in accordance with the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.).
Each proposal should contain (a) an interaction with a literature review, (2) proposed method of your study, (3) possible results and discussion. The due date for proposals is the 11th week, (you should present your research question until 3rd week.) You can study in groups (up to 2 persons).
III. Become a Journal Reviewer (20% of your total grade): Each group’s research proposal will be evaluated by randomly assigned students (aka reviewers). These reviewers are going to criticize the
proposed study and decide to reject or publish in a professional journal.
IV. Final Exam (20% of your total grade): A classic, comprehensive, open-book final exam includes all topics discussed in class sessions.

Students may be asked to read and comment on some articles about each week’s topic. For related articles, please check out the course’s website. Other main reading materials are listed below.
‣ Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2005). Practical research: Planning and Design. Boston: Pearson.
‣ Eldoğan, D., Korkmaz, L., Yeniçeri, Z. & Kökdemir, D. (2017). Akademik yazım kuralları kitapçığı.
Ankara: Başkent Üniversitesi.
‣ Pettigrew, T. F. (1996). How to think like a social sicentist. New York: Longman.
‣ Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S. (2012). Research methods in psychology (9th
Boston: McGraw-Hill.
‣ Lem, S. (1964/1998). Soruşturma (Çev. S. Cerit). İstanbul: İletişim.

Weekly Course Schedule

Week 01 (Sep., 25th): Introduction to Research Methods and Research Ethics
(No reading assigned)

Week 02 (Oct., 2nd): What is Science? What is Research?
Read: Karl Popper - Science as Falsification
Watch: Karl Popper's Falsification
Watch: Amy and Beau - Science for Everyone
Bonus: Brain of a Worker + Blackawton Bees

Week 03 (Oct., 9th): Do We Need Ethics?
Research Question Submission (Due date: Oct. 8th, Monday, 23.59)
Read: Yazarlık Hakkı ve Sıralaması
Read: Kissing the Right Way
Read: Personal Space in the Lavatory
Bonus: APA Ethics Code + TPD Etik Yönetmeliği + TPD Etik Süreç Yönetmeliği

Week 04 (Oct., 16th): Science vs Open Science
Read (if you can): Get Me Off You F Mail List
Read (if you dare): Going through Back Door
Read: HARKing
Read: False Positive Psychology
Read: Walk of Open Science
Bonus: Feeling the Future
Bonus: JARS-Quantitative + JARS-Qualitative
Web: Academic Griviance Studies
Web: Open Science Framework

Week 05 (Oct., 23th): To Find a Research Question
(No reading assigned)

Week 06 (Oct., 30th): Literature Review
(No reading assigned)

Week 07 (Nov., 06th): Where to Start
Look at Infidelity Questionnaires Form A and Form B
Bonus: Infidelity Article

Week 09 (Nov., 27th): Sample, Population, and WEIRD People
Read: Earth is Round
Read: Statistical Methods
Read: WEIRD People

Week 10 (Dec., 04th): Variables
(No reading assigned)

Week 11 (Dec., 18th): Statistics
(No reading assigned)