How do I log-in? | Rationale | How does it all work? | What if I don't show up for the experiment?
What if the experimenter does not show up for an experiment? | Debriefing | General Ethics Issue

Below you will find information relevant to our experimental participation program. You should carefully read this information at least one time before participating in experiments to insure you understand how it all works. If you're cool with all that, then enter and experiment!

 

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How do I log-in?

When you first log-into TAPS:

Both your Username and Password are set to your Student Number.

* as soon as you log into TAPS you can change your password *

Rationale


Your final grades in PsyA01 and PsyA02 will be based primarily on 2 exams, a midterm and a final exam (students in PSYA01 will also be required to complete a peerScholar assignment for marks). In addition to these evaluations, 3% of your mark will be based on participation in ongoing psychology experiments. For each 1/2 hour of participation you will earn 0.5 credits, up to a maximum of 3 credits (3hrs of participation).

Our rationale for this requirement is the following. In class you will hear about data gathered from psychology experiments. The best way to gain an appreciation for this research process, and for some of the research happening here at the University of Toronto Scarborough, is to experience it first hand. Thus, our hope is that your participation will enhance your understanding of how we learn about human behaviour in a direct manner.

If for whatever reason you are uncomfortable participating in experiments, you do have the option of completing written assignments to earn the 3%.

How does it all work?

When you log onto the system you will be presented with a list of experiments that are currently available. You will be able to see how long the experiments take, how many credits you get for participating (all experiments use a rate of 0.5 credits for each 30 mins of participation), along with a brief description of the experiment itself (this may also include filter questions to ensure whether or not the study is the right one for you).

When you choose an experiment a schedule of available times will then be presented and you simply choose a time that works for you and enter the information it asks for. Please write down the location of the experiment and the time slot that you choose, then just arrive at the designated location at that time. You will receive an e-mail reminder about the experiment 24 hours before your scheduled appointment.

Once you have completed the experiment the experimenter will acknowledge your participation to the system and your credit "balance" will be updated accordingly. Note that the most you can get for one experiment is 2 credits. You can check your current balance, as well as what experiments you have signed up for at any time.

The alternative to participating in experiments is to complete written assignments. These are 1-2 page, single spaced papers, summarizing a scientific journal article. Each paper is worth 1 mark (a maximum of 3 papers can be submitted or some combination of papers and experimental participation). You will be required to select (concise) articles of interest from the CURRENT issue of Psychological Science (you can also access the journal online via the Library website), read the article and write a review of the methodologies and procedures used to test the hypotheses. Essentially, the paper is meant to provide learning opportunities similar to participating in research, that is, a better understanding of the scientific process. How are experiments designed, why are they designed that way and how do the results help us to understand human behaviour? These are the kinds of questions your paper should address. Each paper should take approximately 1 hour to complete. Your paper will be graded on a pass or fail and there are no credit deductions if you fail the assignment. A pass earns you 1 mark and a fail will require you to submit another paper or participate in research (as long as you submit your work in advance of the due date). A combination of papers and experimental participation is allowed.

“Normally, students will be required to submit their course essays to Turnitin.com for a review of textual similarity and detection of possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their essays to be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. The terms that apply to the University's use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the Turnitin.com web site”.
 
You are to submit an electronic copy of your assignment as well as the article you selected to review via the Turnitin Assignment shell which can be found on the Course Materials page (below the lecture slides) on Blackboard. Three assignment shells have been setup so each assignment can be submitted individually.

What if I don't show up for the experiment?


These experiments are run by students such as yourself and their time is valuable. If you don't show up for an experiment your balance will be reduced by 0.5 credits. You can make those credits back by participating in more experiments, but the hope is that you will just decide to show up instead.

Note that you can cancel a scheduled appointment and not be penalized for missing it as long as you do so with 48 hours of the appointment.


What if the experimenter does not show up for an experiment?

Your time is valuable as well and there is no good reason for the experimenter to not show up. If you show up to your shceduled time and the researcher does not, you should still receive the credit. If you don't, you can send a note to the course email address indicating the experiment name, date/time you signed up for and the researcher's name. Hanan will make sure you receive credit for the experiment, and will also issue a warning to the experimenter. If an experimenter receives more than 3 warnings they will no longer be allowed to use the participant pool.

Debriefing

As stated above, we really hope you learn something about psychology as a result of your participation. To facilitate this, the experimenter will explain to you the purpose and results of the experiment at the end of the experiment. Due to the nature of some experiments, sometimes such information will not be available until the end of the term. In such cases the experimenter will tell you when and where the information will be made available to you. Because experiments can be ruined if later participants find out details of any kind from earlier participants, please do not talk about experiments with friends until the end of the term.

General Ethics Issues

All experiments conducted within psychology must be performed in accordance with the American Psychological Association's ethical guidelines. This means that we cannot harm people in any manner, and any deception used must be minor, and must be revealed to the participant at the end of the session. The truth is that most experiments involve no deception at all. Most simply involve you filling out questionnaires, or responding to events presented on a computer. Any results are always treated anonymously. That is, you are given a participant number when you run the experiment and, from that time on, your data will only be discussed or presented in terms of participant numbers. No names are ever used.

Also your participation is completely voluntary, and you are free to withdraw from an experiment at any time and still receive your bonus credit. There is also the alternative to experiment participation which is the reaction paper described above.

In all honestly, the worst aspect of the typical psychology experiment is that they are sometimes a little boring. However, they do give you a real hands-on feel for the research going on here at Scarborough.

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University of Toronto at Scarborough 2003 - 2012