Research Experience for Psychology Students
Students can volunteer for research experience as well as earn credit for research experience through an Independent Study. Course credit is offered through Psych-466, Independent Study. Some common questions regarding Independent Study are:
Do I have to come up with my own idea?
Not exactly. It is best if you have some ideas in mind, or at least have some idea of the topic area(s) you would like to study. You and your mentor will discuss these ideas to develop the best research plan.
Who will be my mentor?
It is up to you to talk a psychology professor about mentoring your study. Please keep in mind that professors plan their research months in advance. You don't want to surprise a professor with this at the last minute. You should talk with your professor during the first week of the semester prior to enrolling in Psych-466 Independent Study. You need to allow time to develop a proposal to send to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts for approval.
How is an Independent Study structured since there is no classroom time?
You will need to work out a timetable with your mentor. The schedule moves quickly! You have 15 weeks to do the literature review, decide on instruments and design your study, secure Institutional Review Board Approval, make arrangements with participants, collect data, enter the data in a software package, analyze the data, and write your paper.
How do I sign up for an Independent Study?
First you need to talk to a professor about serving as the mentor for your project. If you are uncomfortable with that, or you don't know who to ask, then talk with your advisor. Once you and your mentor have agreed on a project, then you must fill out the paperwork and write a proposal the semester before you want to do the study.
How do I arrange to survey General Psychology?
You can find the procedures here.
Where can I present my research?
Here are just a few of the options:
- Psychology Department Annual Student Research Colloquium
- University Poster Session for Student Research and Creative Projects
- Eastern Psychological Association Annual Conference
- University of Scranton Psychology Conference
- Lehigh Valley Undergraduate Psychology Conference
You might also consider publishing your study in one of these journals for student research: Journal of Psychological Inquiry ; Journal of Psychology & Behavioral Sciences; Journal of Undergraduate Research.
Does an Honors Independent Study count?
Yes, an Honors Independent Study carried with a psychology professor as a mentor will take the place of a department Independent Study for graduation requirements.