William S. Altman, Ph.D.


General Psychology
Research Assignments

Below is information about the specific assignments you'll need to fulfill in this course.


Acceptable Research Projects for PSY 110
(Must use Biopac MP40)

    1. Driving while texting or talking
    2. Lie detection
    3. Multitasking
    4. Effects of various stimuli on mood
    5. Effects of various stimuli on pain
    6. Effects of various stimuli on attention
    7. Effects of various stimuli on aggression
    8. Effects of various stimuli on stress
    9. Effects of various stimuli on learning


The Thesis and Hypothesis Paper

Develop a research question based on the topic area you’ve chosen, and a specific hypothesis you’d like to test. You will need to find 10 sources in the research literature to complete this paper.

Sample: Olfactory Perception

Sample: Pain as Perception

Sample: Violent Video Games and Aggression

Scoring Guide for the Thesis and Hypothesis Paper

The Formal Research Proposal

Write a formal proposal for your research project. This will combine information from your first two papers with a design for the experiment you’re going to do.

Caffeine is a Stressor

Sample: Indie Rock Assists with Relaxation

Sample: Social Media and Distracted Studying

Sample: Coloring Reduces Stress

Sample: Biofeedback and stress

Sample: Lie detection

Formal Research Proposal Scoring Rubric

Form Research Groups and Execute an Experiment

Each group will choose and execute one of the group members’ proposals.  You’ll use the Biopac MP40 to test your hypothesis with measures of brain activity (EEG), heart rate (ECG), eye movement (EOG), or muscle control impulses (EMG).

Group work is sometimes difficult, as students can’t always find good times to meet.  To help you with this, I recommend that you use some sort of online collaboration tool, such as those listed on the Collaborative Tools page. These free tools will allow you to work together without having to be in the same place.


Research Presentations

Present the results of your experiment to the class using PowerPoint or a Formal Conference Poster.

Sample: Research Poster on Indie Rock and Relaxation

Research Presentation Scoring Rubric


Final Research Report

Combine your earlier papers with the information you gave the class in your research presentation to create a final report on your research project.

Sample: Intelligence and thinking

Sample: Stress Reduction Through Meditation

Sample: Linking Color and Emotions

Sample: Distraction in the Learning Environment

Research Report Scoring Rubric

Group Process Questionnaire

Use this form to rate yourself and your fellow group members. The ratings you provide will help determine each individual team member’s grade for each assignment.

Group Process Questionnaire


Possible Extra Credit Assignments

Write a psychological analysis of a popular film

View any film you like, and write an essay explaining how that film illustrates a particular psychological principle. Be sure to reference the appropriate material in your textbook (using proper APA style).

Write a Critique of a Current Journal Article

How to Critique Journal Articles

First Fridays in downtown Binghamton

On the first Friday of every month, Gorgeous Washington Street sponsors an Artwalk from 6-9 PM, among the downtown Binghamton art galleries. It's an opportunity to visit many different kinds of galleries, talk with the artists, hear some terrific music, and get some free munchies at some of the places (although it's kind to put some money in their tip jar - if there is one - if you indulge). I encourage you to go, and to enjoy the evening. For more information, see their web page:


If you want to earn some extra credit, here's what to do:

1.    visit at least 3 galleries on Friday evening;

2.    type up a one-page essay which should

a.    identify each of the galleries you visited by name and location;

b.    include something about what you saw at each;

c.    write about how what you saw relates to some aspect of psychology (with reference to specific information in the book); and

     3. Turn in your essay during the next class