new link as of December 1, 2020
broken links here
Activities and Exercises
table interpretation skills - good Teaching of Psychology
article describing how to improve these skills by having students
construct their own tables [added 12/13/13]
and easy Internet resources for stats and research design
- good article from Jessica Hartnett in a recent Teaching
of Psychology issue [added 8/13/13]
data from studies depicted on video" - The link above
is to an article describing an interesting take on data analysis
in the most recent issue of Teaching of Psychology.
supplementary material including a handout that goes with
the assignment and descriptions/links to many of the videos.
Milgram: Expanding research ethics education to participant
responsibilities" - a set of activities and resources
from the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology [added
the Purchase - Here's an intriguing website developed
by a few psychologists: "At BeyondThePurchase.Org we
have developed studies that allow professors to introduce
consumer psychology, the psychology of money, and positive
psychology to their students through our interactive and academic
website. If you will be lecturing on: (1) the effects of money
primes on attitudes and behavior, (2) the psychological benefits
of experiential buying, or (3) measuring happiness, personality
traits, or values you can introduce these topics by having
your students first take some of our studies. After students
complete any survey or study, they receive personalized feedback
and learn more about the psychological construct measured
or manipulated. For example, if you are discussing how the
mere exposure to money effects your attitudes and behavior,
we have a between-groups study which primes half of the participant's
with phrases that make them think about money--then all participants
complete the Fair Market Ideology scale. This study is modeled
on work done by Eugene M. Caruso, Brittani Baxter, Kathleen
D. Vohs, and Adam Waytz (2012). On the feedback page we teach students
about how thought about money, as suggested by previous research,
makes people more likely to support free-market systems and
believe they are fair. If you will be lecturing about the
psychological benefits of experiential consumption, we have
a within-groups study where participants reflect on both a
material and experiential purchase (counter-balanced to control
for order-effects) and answer questions about how the purchase
improved their lives. Click on this link to see the Spending
Choices and Happiness study. On the feedback page we teach
students that that spending money on experiences makes people
happier and contributes more to overall life satisfaction.
Finally, if you are discussing topics like survey construction
and usability, construct validity, or external validity, you
can have students take any survey from our happiness
and well-being surveys and have a class discussion. On
each of these feedback pages we teach students how to interpret
their scores on Subjective Well-being surveys. Barbara Lehman
(from Western Washington University) developed a handout that
helps professors facilitate a discussion about these topics
in the classroom. If you are interested in using BeyondThePurchase.Org
in your classroom, please email me at rhowell (at) sfsu (dot)
edu and we can discuss how we could make this easy for you
and your students. Also, if you are interested, we can develop
an individualized link for your students so we can segment
the data and provide you with de-identified data set for your
student to examine in the class."
handout - Chris Wetzel provides this good formative assessment
using a particular probability question. As many of you know,
formative assessments are means of checking our students'
understanding along the way, as well as an opportunity to
give them some more practice with the concept or skill. The
large and well-designed set of possible answers in this handout
allows the instructor to really probe the students' thinking.
Answers provided. [added 12/4/10]
critical thinking skills in Social Psychology -
colleague Heather Coon and I embarked on a project to more
systematically develop scientific thinking skills in our students.
Click on the link to read about how we used brief research
articles to develop a variety of thinking skills. You are
welcome to use any of the materials. Feedback is always welcome.
Bargh, Chen, and Burrows (1996) in class - Jennifer Tickle
presented a very interesting class activity at the 2007 SPSP
teaching pre-conference. Remember the Bargh et al. study in which students were primed for old age,
and then walked more slowly down the hall? Jennifer describes
how you can recreate that study in your class and then discuss
relevant social psychological and methodological issues. [added
or Causation? - updated - I have added quite a
few more links to my collection of popular press articles
that often include questionable headlines. I use the links
on this page to teach about the language of correlations versus
causal relationships, the type of research commonly associated
with each, and how to evaluate the quality and quantity of
evidence to support such claims. I also have added an assignments
section that includes brief tasks that could be used as in-class
activities or out-of-class assignments. I would love to hear
of any activity/assignment ideas you have or create to accompany
this resource. I will add them to the site. Thanks.
correlations - Excellent PowerPoint demonstration adapted
and developed by Marcel Yoder -- You can send students to
this link and they can complete the activity, or you can use
this as an in-class activity. As Marcel suggests and research
has demonstrated, this illusory correlation between distinctive
events can also be connected to stereotyping and prejudice.
Scott Plous provides a good description of such
a link in his overview of prejudice research at the Understanding
Prejudice website. [added 1/8/06]
the importance of question wording on surveys" - Laura
Madson, in an issue of Teaching of Psychology, provides
an interesting exercise, with questions, for illustrating
how easily survey wording can affect responses. Students are
also able to practice data analysis. [added
Statistics and research
methods tutorials - good set of online tutorials on a
variety of topics with a little interactivity for students
- This simple-to-use tool by Michael Birnbaum allows you or
your students to create surveys for use on the Web or elsewhere.
critically about causality and ethics - a few exercises
for students to distinguish between correlations and causal
relationships, from Julie Wright's Social Psychology course
scientific claims - Terry Humphreys presents his students
with a nice, brief exercise on identifying common errors in
evaluating scientific claims. Could be used as a brief paper
assignment or an in-class activity, and, as Terry notes, it
could be adapted for any psychology course including social.
For the answer key, you can e-mail Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Validity Tutorial -
"In Part 1 of this tutorial, you will be introduced to nine
sources of threat to internal validity. First, some relevant
terms are defined. Then, some background explanation for a
hypothetical experiment is presented. Finally, each of the
nine threats is described, followed by an example and a contrasting
nonexample as applied to the hypothetical experiment. An explanation
is included of why the example represents a threat to internal
validity and why the nonexample is not a threat. "In Part
2 of this tutorial, you will be asked to classify 36 hypothetical
experiments as internally valid or not. If not, you must select
the threat to internal validity from one of the nine sources
introduced in Part 1." [added 2/4/03]
- good activities or assignments on confounding variables,
operational definitions, correlation coefficients and a few
in psychology experiments
- at this site you can 1) have your students participate in
lab experiments from which you can download (in an Excel spreadsheet)
the class' data for in-class analysis, 2) have your students
participate in ongoing, online studies, and 3) view demonstrations
of experiments without participating
- "An in-class demonstration that aids in combating belief
in psychics and in a claim made by some philosophers of science"
about the different research methods - a collection of
ideas and resources from the Teaching of Psych Idea Exchange
readings and statistical exercises - This new resource
from the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology includes
five collections of materials organized around five topics
(including a social psych one). Each collection is introduced
with a reading describing a research question, and then also
includes Excel and SPSS data files as well as questions and
answers for the research design. [added 6/10/12]
statistics and research methods - a nice collection of
hands-on activities and demonstrations developed by Karen
Holmes, Antonio Jemes, and Renita Stukes [3/29/09]
sets - The Center for the Teaching of Statistics makes
25 data sets available. [added 4/4/08]
Interface for Statistics Education" (WISE) - links to
tutorials, interactive exercises/demos, glossaries and more
- a visual guide to learning probablility and statistics - created by Daniel Kunin
and Statistical Reasoning
- The folks at Carnegie-Mellon University have created an
excellent instructional site on causal reasoning. (Note: I
had difficulty making it work in Netscape Navigator, but I
got most of it to work in Internet Explorer.) Click on "Guest
Access" to enter and use the site. It includes extensive instructional
modules with interactive demonstrations and exercises. You
will need to check your "System Requirements" at the site
to make sure you have the necessary downloads to make the
modules and "Applets and Shockwave" lab to work. No extra
software is needed to use the large number of case studies
included which illustrate the media confusing causal relationships
with correlations and other such phenomena. Very well done.
Data sets - "A secondary purpose of the EAMMi2 was to generate a data set that instructors could use to teach statistics and research methods for years to come. Now that the data set is publicly available and the first round of manuscripts are working through the publication process, we wish to invite faculty and students to use our data for learning or future scientific pursuits."
your own IAT - FreeIAT lets you or your students create your Implicit
Association Tests. [added
Analysis Assignment - [added
critical thinking skills in Social Psychology - My
colleague Heather Coon and I embarked on a project to more systematically
develop scientific thinking skills in our students. Click on the link
to read about how we used brief research articles to develop a variety
of thinking skills. You are welcome to use any of the materials. Feedback
is always welcome. [added
or Causation? - updated - I have added quite a few more
links to my collection of popular press articles that often include
questionable headlines. I use the links on this page to teach about
the language of correlations versus causal relationships, the type
of research commonly associated with each, and how to evaluate the
quality and quantity of evidence to support such claims. I also have
added an assignments section that includes brief tasks that could
be used as in-class activities or out-of-class assignments. I would
love to hear of any activity/assignment ideas you have or create to
accompany this resource. I will add them to the site. Thanks.
can Psychologists Obtain Accurate Measurements? - This is an assignment
from Karen Gasper's Self and Social Judgment course in which she asks
students to visit the IAT site, another measurement site, read a linked
article and answer a few questions in response. [added
variables assignment - several scenarios are presented
for which students are to identify the independent, dependent and
confounding variables, and describe how to "unconfound"
the experiment - good in-class activity also
definitions assignment - students practice operationally defining
terms and distinguishing between correlational and experimental questions
- possible in-class activity
coefficients assignment - students practice verbally and graphically
describing different coefficients - possible in-class activity
bias - Remember Bargh et al.'s study in which subjects primed
with old age-related words subsequently walked more slowly down
the hallway? Apparently, the experimenter in that study was aware
of the priming condition for the participants. Did that affect the
outcome? Stephane Doyen redid the study and intentionally introduced
the potential for experimenter bias. Some "experimenters"
were told to expect the participants to walk more slowly, while
some were told to expect participants to walk more quickly. Participants'
walking speed matched those experimenter expectations. I like Bargh's
reaction when he was apparently informed of these results. [added
of wording in surveys - Do 77% of Americans favor the "choice"
of the public option in health care reform? Well, as usual, it depends
on how you ask it. [added 1/13/10]
fudging" -good example of how research results can be distorted
to create different interpretations [added 11/20/03]
and causation in parenting - I don't think Sam Sommers would expect
me to put this blog entry under Methods, but that is where I am going
to use it in my teaching. His column provides an excellent example
of while correlation does not imply causation, the lack of correlation
can suggest the lack of causation. [added
subjects in psychology studies - Below is an article about how
students at the end of the semester may be different from those at
the beginning as participants and those online may be different than
face-to-face participants. This article warns about our reliance on
WEIRD participants: Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratized.
of semester, online or not, affects type of participant - Students
who sign up for studies online and earlier in the semester are a little
bit different. [added
are online research participants really doing? - Blog entry describes
research on a new tool (a piece of computer code called UAT -- UserActionTracer)
that permits online researchers to track the actions of the participants.
online research methods textbook - [added 1/19/10]
does not imply causation - Great cartoon! However, as was pointed
out to me, since it is only a single instance it really isn't a correlation
culture that never was" - I cannot vouch for the complete
accuracy of these blog posts, but they describe some fascinating tales
of scientific mischief and misinterpretation. Second
resources for methods in program evaluation and social research
- a sociological methods site with a large number of links to resources
on topics such as surveys and qualitative research [added
still isn't causation" - Good series of back-and-forth letters
to the APS Observer on this issue that could be good for your students
to review and discuss [added
rats show a Mozart effect?"
- interesting analysis of how research results can be misinterpreted
and misrepresented using an effect that has received wide-spread media
attention [added 4/5/04]
and pitfalls in psychology" - Kenneth Pope provides an excellent
list of 18 logical fallacies and psychology-related examples of them.
on several topics - David Kenny provides some clearly written
explanations of a variety of methodological and interpersonal perception
topics. [added 7/16/03]
online research methods text
- some good info and quiz questions at the end of each section [added
in the Psychological Laboratory: Truth or Triviality?"
C.A., Lindsay, J.J., & Bushman, B.J. (1999). Current Directions in
Psychological Science, 8, 3-9. Scroll down page to link to view entire
Predicting whether a replication will succeed or fail - Very interesting study in which they asked experts to predict prior to a replication whether a replication would fail or not. Turns out the experts were quite good at predicting which would fail. Here is another large replication project of 21 social science studies published in either Nature or Science.
Re-replication of the facial feedback phenomenon - This story provides a great example of how science is tentative and how our understanding of the world is always evolving.
Ten famous psych studies that have been difficult to replicate - We have to rethink some of our classroom demonstrations. The link is to the article on the 10 studies. Also, here is an essay from Dana Carney, first author one of the famous studies on how "power poses" can create neuroendocrine changes and promote increased risk tolerance, responding to recent reviews and a meta-analysis finding no such effect. Her response has been hailed as a very positive and appropriate acknowledgment of the role of replication in science.
psychology findings replicate outside the lab?" - This blog
entry discusses a comparison of lab and field results. Overall, the
lab findings fared well out in the real world. However, social psychology
was one of the weaker areas. [added
Observational research of norms
The SAGE model - Several psychologists propose that a model of research that integrates field and lab study, quantitative and qualitative methods, can better address some complexities of human behavior in real world settings.
the Internet for research - APS Observer article describes
some of the newer tools possible. [added
Reconstruction Method example (Are you enjoying yourself? How
do we know?) - One method of measuring your level of happiness or
enjoyment is through Kahneman's Day Reconstruction Method in which
participants "divide the last day up into discrete episodes and
rate their feelings during each one." However, as this blog entry
describes, that method led to some "bizarre" results such
as "people seem to spend an inordinate amount of time doing things
they claim not to enjoy, like spending time with their children, and
commuting." (I just realized, I've been commuting to work with
my children the last couple years. Yikes!) A new approach suggests
asking people not only how they feel during these activities but also
how worthwhile or meaningful (i.e., rewarding) they are. Adding such
questions to the method changes what people report as enjoyable. Spending
time with children is still a common activity, but now it is described
as more pleasurable. Commuting .... not so much. [added
equation modeling - links to relevant resources [added
Two Disciplines of Scientific Psychology"
- Cronbach's presidential address to the APA (1957) in which he describes
the two "streams" of research (experimental and correlational)
Poll Shows Correlation is Causation" - humorous, mock article
reporting what everyone always knew!
“Pew Research compares forced-choice versus check-all response options” - In Pew’s report they found that “Response options matter, such that more participants agreed with statements when they were in the forced-choice format.” Links on this page take you to the short and long versions of the report.
Nick Jonas takes the “which Jonas Brother are you" quiz (1:56)
Sampling bias in the 2016 U.S. presidential election - an analysis of one reason the polls were off in the election
NOT to report survey data - some survey advice/humor linked to
at Jessica Hartnett's blog Not awful and boring examples for teaching
statistics [added 8/13/13]
brief guide to questionnaire development" - [added
many gays and lesbians are there? - This blog entry reviews a
Gallup poll of Americans on this question. However, I would suggest
there is an anchoring effect. The scale is skewed so much towards
the higher responses that it is not surprising that participants apparently
overestimated the number. [added 8/20/11]
The importance of interviewer-respondent interaction - "This
study uses data collected from 90 never-married young adults in rural
Malawi to compare reports on first sexual encounters between a standard
survey and an in-depth interview. A significant fraction of young
women who claimed in the survey to have never been sexually active
affirmed sexual experience during the in-depth interview, fielded
shortly thereafter." [added
is a survey?" - a book online about creating good surveys
by Fritz Scheuren [added 3/23/08]
blog on analyzing polling data - "Political arithmetik: Where
numbers and politics meet" is a blog from Charles Franklin, a
professor of political science, in which he explains political bias
in polls, the statistical analysis of them, and more. Lots of good
examples and very detailed analysis. [added
- provides access to Census 2000 data and trends back to 1990 and
1980 with reports on topics such as segregation - presented by the
Social Science Data Analysis Network at the University of Michigan
practices for survey and public opinion research"
- advice and ethical guidelines from the American Association for
Public Opinion Research [added 7/10/02]
defense of self-reports"
- APS Observer article by Rebecca Norwick, Y. Susan Choi, and
Tal Ben-Shachar [added 3/21/02]
- a lot of information about different data collection tools and processes
involved in evaluation, from the Innovation Network [added
resources for methods in program evaluation and social research
- Extensive set of quality links to survey methods and other research
topics [added 3/21/02]
Thinking in Psychology
statistics blog - Jessica Hartnett has started a new blog: "Not
awful and boring examples for teaching statistics." Lots of good examples
and ideas. [added 8/13/13]
Dataset generator -
Richard Landers has developed a program which will create datasets
for you. [added 8/13/13]
tutorials and movies - The link is from UCLA Academic Technology
Services. This link takes
you to more video tutorials for SPSS. To view them click on the PASW
(SPSS) selection on the right. This
link is to another good tutorial from Amherst College.
resources - CAUSEweb presents lots of good instructional resources
for undergraduate statistics including lesson modules, computer and
hands-on activities, datasets, analysis tools, and multimedia.
bet you don't understand error bars" - a nice little quiz
(and explanation) for you and your students [added
and misuse of statistics and data - This
link takes you to STATS, a site which presents and analyzes lots
of good examples of uses and misuses of statistics. [added
for R - a tutorial for the statistical program R [added
workshops - a collection of tutorials from Thomson Learning [added
Baseball Salaries Database
- Want some data for your students to analyze? I see some relative
deprivation here! [added 11/11/03]
Statistical computing resources
introduction to sampling "Web
Interface for Statistics Education" (WISE) - links to tutorials,
interactive exercises/demos, glossaries and more
Assessment Service - "a nonprofit nonpartisan organization,
examines the way that scientific, quantitative, and social research
is presented by the media, and works with journalists to help them
convey this material more accurately and effectively" - contains
lots of good examples of how statistics are used and misused in the
and research methods concepts
- good review of concepts effectively using graphics and text
- well-designed, online stats "text"
- excellent set of java simulations on many stats concepts
of Data Visualization - "The best and worst of statistical
graphics" - good examples of how graphs can be used effectively
and used to "lie"
general list - John H. Krantz maintains an excellent list for
APS of online studies across many areas of psychology including
Scales and Tests on the Web
can find a variety of attitude measures and other scales (e.g.,
self-esteem, self-consciousness) online at the Social
Instrument Compendium - Alan Reifman has created the most comprehensive
list of social-personality measures available online. If you know
of others, send them to Alan. [added 11/24/07]
Books, and Book Chapters (available online)
J., & Siepmann, M. (2000). Using
web questionnaires for judgment and decision making research.
In M. H. Birnbaum (Ed.), Psychological Experiments on the Internet
(New York: Academic Press). (pre-publication version)
D. (2009). Research
methods in social psychology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Chapter 1 (Studying Social Psychology) can be viewed here.
From RESEARCH METHODS IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY by Dana S. Dunn. ©
2009 by Dana S. Dunn. Reprinted with permission of Wiley-Blackwell.
A. G. (2004). The
resting parrot, the dessert stomach, and other perfectly defensible
theories. In J. Jost, M. R. Banaji, & D. A. Prentice (Eds.),
The yin and yang of social cognition: Perspectives on the social
psychology of thought systems (Pp. 275–285). Washington,
DC: American Psychological Association. [added
C.A., & Bushman, B.J. (1997). External
validity of "trivial" experiments: The case of laboratory
aggression. Review of General Psychology, 1, 19-41.
C.A., Lindsay, J.J., & Bushman, B.J. (1999). "Research
in the Psychological Laboratory: Truth or Triviality?"
Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8,
R. F., Vohs, K. D., & Funder, D. C. (2007). Psychology
as the science of self-reports and finger movements: Whatever
happened to actual behavior? Perspectives on Psychological
Science, 2, 396-403.
D. J. (in press). Feeling
the future: Experimental evidence for anomalous retroactive influence
on cognition and affect. Journal of Personality and Social
H., & Jaccard, J. (2008). Unconscious
racism: A concept in pursuit of a measure. Annual Review
of Sociology, 34, 277-297.
B. J. & Wang, M. C. (1998). Using
normal quantile plots to explore meta-analytic data sets.
Psychological Methods, 3, 46-54.
B. J., & Wells, G. L. (2001). Narrative
impressions of literature: The availability bias and the corrective
properties of meta-analytic approaches. Personality and
Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1123-1130.
B. J. & Yuan, K.-H. (2002). Combining
standardized mean differences using the method of maximum likelihood.
Psychometrika, 67, 589-608.
N., & Huff, C. (1998).
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of deception in psychology research. Personality and Social
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S. D., & Vazire, S., Srivastava, S., & John, O. P. (2004).
we trust Web-based studies? A comparative analysis of six preconceptions
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A. G. (1975). Consequences
of prejudice against the null hypothesis. Psychological
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A. G. (1976). Within-subjects
designs: To use or not to use? Psychological Bulletin,
A. G., Gonzalez, R., Guthrie, D. G., & Harris, R. J. (1996).
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replicated? Psychophsysiology, 33, 175-183.
A. G., Poehlman, T. A., Uhlmann, E., & Banaji, M. R. (2009).
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A. G., Pratkanis, A. R., Leippe, M. R., & Baumgardner, M.
H. (1986). Under
what conditions does theory obstruct research progress? Psychological
Review, 93, 216-229.
A. G., & Ronis, D. L. (1981). On
the conceptual disconfirmation of theories. Pesonality
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J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The
weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences,
J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). Most
people are not WEIRD. Nature, 466, 29.
D., Krueger, A. B., Schkade, D., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A.
A. (2004). A
survey method for characterizing daily life experience: The Day
Reconstruction Method (DRM). Science (3 December 2004),
J., & Fitzsimons, G. J., (2006). When
questions change behavior: The role of ease of representation.
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S. (1996). Attitudes
toward the use of animals in psychological research and education:
Results from a national survey of psychologists. American
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S. (1997). Animal
research in psychology. American Psychologist, 52,
S. (1998). Signs
of change within the animal rights movement: Results from a follow-up
survey of activists. Journal of Comparative Psychology,
S., & Herzog, H. A., Jr. (2000). Poll
shows researchers favor lab animal protection. Science,
S., & Herzog, H. (2001). Reliability
of protocol reviews for animal research. Science, 293,
S. J., Zanna, M. P., & Fong, G. T. (2005). Establishing
a causal chain: Why experiments are often more effective in examining
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2000-2021. This site was created and is maintained by Jon
Mueller, Professor of Psychology at North
Central College, Naperville, IL. Send comments to Jon.