Research Opportunities and Protocols
Several of the advanced courses (e.g., Psychology 315, 320, 335, 340) provide students with the opportunity to conduct independent research. The Department views this opportunity as enhancing the learning experience. Students can apply and often extend the empirical results they study in the classroom. While some student research will be directed toward satisfying course requirements, other research may spark student interest and lead to an honors or independent study project.
Students are encouraged to present the results of these projects at regional conferences. In the past, Moravian Psychology students have presented at the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA), American Psychological Society (APS) and the Lehigh Valley Undergraduate Psychology Conference, held each Spring at one of the LVAIC institutions.
Finally, conducting and presenting independent research are very good ways to develop one’s analytical and communication abilities. Such abilities are crucial for professional development, whether the student is directed toward graduate school or a particular career. The Department believes that there is no better preparation for psychology and related professions than some “hands-on” experience.
In addition to participating in research through advanced course work, undergraduate students are also encouraged to become involved with ongoing faculty projects. This is an excellent opportunity for students to follow the development of a particular area of research across time. The faculty member benefits from sharing his or her area of interest and from getting to know the student in a professional context. Such working relationships are particularly helpful to faculty members when writing letters of recommendation for students. We suggest that you read the faculty descriptions included in this handbook, determine whose interests seem similar to your own, and set up an appointment to discuss research possibilities.
Ethics in Psychological Research
When scientifically studying behavior, psychologists and students of psychology bear the responsibility of treating research subjects, human or animal, in an ethical fashion. Faculty and student research subjects must necessarily be evaluated as ethically acceptable before they may be conducted. The ethical researcher avoids procedures that unnecessarily create undue stress or serious harm to the subject.
Appropriate frameworks for research using human and animal subjects have been established by the American Psychological Association (APA). The Psychology Department at Moravian adheres to these frameworks, and anticipates that students embarking on the study of psychology will realize the importance of these principles. Copies of the APA guidelines for research are available from the departmental secretary. In addition, the role of ethics in psychology is discussed in detail in many of our course offerings.
In the psychology foundation courses, students are required to participate in psychological studies conducted by fellow students. Participants outside the psychology may volunteer for a research study. All participants are required to submit a signed waiver to the student experimenter. The purpose of signed research participation forms is to follow the college’s HSIRB procedures and also to track extra credit awarded by the student’s instructor.
Moravian University’s Human Subjects Internal Review Board (HSIRB) provide oversight to an individual’s research proposals that utilize human subjects. Students, faculty, staff or administrators are to submit their proposal to the committee prior to conducting their human subject study. For more information, please see the HSIRB site.
Students must begin receiving guidance from their professor as to the direction of research. A proposal can be submitted to their faculty for preliminary review. Formal approvals prior to deploying any experiment that involves human participation must go through HSIRB.
Reserve Research Rooms
Students who wish to reserve a room for a psychological study must contact the following departments:
All classroom reservations are to be made through AMOS.
PPHAC 203, 204, 237
These rooms are appropriate for individual testing or small groups of less than 5. Students must sign up at the Secretary’s office in PPHAC 228. Mark your name and dates for which you will conduct research in these rooms.
Reeves Library, Room 204
Please call Nancy Strobel @ ext. 1545 or Debbie Gaspar @ ext. 1305. Reservations can be taken at minimum 48 hours’ advance notice. Room 204 can be reserved up until 10 pm.