Research Concepts in Psychology
A course radically restructured to try to propose
an innovational educational experiment
Silliman University, 1997-1998
[©Frederick David Abraham and the students of Psych67]
This course on research was going nowhere because of curricular redundancy
and related factors. We opened the first day with circadian questions (time
of max and min arousal), and proceeded to sophisticate using hourly rating
scales. We found what we called a siesta affect (max in morning and late
afternoon, with diurnal min early afternoon, see
figure, which differed from a result shown in Kimble's Biological Psych
text book which showed a single maximum mid-day with no dirurnal min. We
attribute our result provisionally to a cultural and tropical climate synchronization
of individual min, with the Kimble graph erasing the min due to their spread
about the day. We then discussed doing research on various possible topics
including child labor abuses and career choices and opportunities for psychology
and social worker students, but didn't really get excited until we discussed
the need for some educational reforms in our curriculum, which led to proposing
a course and evaluating it.
We are a thus research methods class that has gone astray, and busted
out of usual course constraints. We were bored with reviewing old stuff
and so we are trying something different. We discovered we all felt that
education as usual was too confining, not challenging, and did not give
us any freedom to discover on our own, or become enthusiastic, or respect
our abilities adequately. We decided to propose a student defined course,
and call it research by adding an evaluative component to it. We hope to
actually propose the course to the administration, in which endeavor, Dr.
A has pledged his support. We may try to run a quickie pilot version in
the remainder of the semester to bolster our proposal, but we are still
defining some of the procedural and evaluative components for which we
solicit your advice. Please look at our proposal.
and reply from there.
Created: 1/31/98 Updated: 2/11/98