Senior Research

Students in the Department of Psychology take Psychology 461 and 462, two semester-long courses in senior research, which allow them to pursue a substantial year-long research project in collaboration with a faculty member. The experience is grounded in the scientific method and culminates in a final written product and opportunity for professional presentation.

By participating in the senior research experience, students:

  • Identify a theory or phenomenon which serves as the basis of the project
  • Formulate the scientific question such as how or why the phenomenon occurs or how and why conceptual variables are related to it
  • Develop a research hypotheses
  • Construct a research design
  • Consider ethical issues and obtain IRB or IACUC approval
  • Search the relevant literature
  • Collect data
  • Analyze data
  • Interpret data in relation to the hypotheses and extant literature
  • Write the result formally in appropriate scientific style
  • Present the result professionally either on campus or at a local, regional or national meeting or conference
  • When possible, publish the result in a peer-reviewed journal