Frequently (or at least occasionally) Asked Questions

Social Psychology
Spring 2003

 

Here, in one convenient location, are the answers to your burning questions about PSYC 2606. Click on a question to see the answer.

Don't see the question you want answered here? Email if to me and I will answer it.

How come the application papers have due dates that are close to the midterms?
How come we talk about so many experiments?
Why do we have midterms, application papers, and reaction papers?
If we can drop a grade from one of the midterms, how come we can't drop the final?
Can I see a practice exam?
How come we do not get to keep our exams?

 

How come the application papers have due dates that are close to the midterms?

No, I am not sadistic. It just works out that way. The due dates for the application papers are based on giving you a reasonable amount of time to complete the assignment after we talk about the relevant material in class. For example, we will cover the material for the first application paper on 2/13 and 2/18. The paper is due 3 weeks later. We just happen to also have an exam around the same time. One alternative is to shorten the amount of time you have to work on the paper (make it due before the midterm), which seems unpleasant. I could also delay the due date, which is also bad because you would start to have assignments stacking up – you would have a ton of stuff due toward the end of the semester, rather than spacing things out. [return to top]

 

How come we talk about so many experiments?

If my only goal for this class was to have you learn some facts about social psychology, I could just put up a bunch of definitions and give you a couple of examples without ever talking about experiments. However, another goal I have for this class is for you to learn how social psychologists come to their conclusions. We do this through generating hypotheses, then testing these hypotheses in experiments. By talking about experiments, I hope to show you how the science of psychology is done. Presenting you with the experiments also allows you to come to your own conclusions, rather than telling you that you have to believe something just because I said it is so. [return to top]

 

Why do we have midterms, application papers, and reaction papers?

Again, I am not sadistic. People excel at different types of tasks, so I have structured the class to test your knowledge using different methods. Also, thinking about the material in these different ways should give you a better understanding of it. [return to top]

 

If we can drop a grade from one of the midterms, how come we can't drop the final?

The simple answer to this question is that this is the solution I have come up with that satisfies some of my preferences, while also being flexible for you. The long answer is as follows. In other classes, I have made the final a cumulative exam. When cumulative, it makes sense that this exam can't be the one whose grade gets dropped. Everyone has to take it. More recently, I have started to make the final not cumulative. Generally, I find that students like this. I also find that students like to be able to drop a low exam score. So how come the final grade can't be dropped if it is just like the other midterms? It is mostly because this would violate the spirit of why I let students drop a grade. I have this policy to accommodate unforeseeable things that happen in your lives, and not as a way to let you stop coming to class for the last quarter of the class. [return to top]

 

Can I see a practice exam?

Check out the web page for the text book. There are sample questions for each chapter. My test questions are very similar to the multiple choice questions on the publisher's web site. [return to top]

 

How come we do not get to keep our exams?

The simple answer to this question is that I want to test your knowledge of social psychology, not whether you happen to have access to a file of previous tests. You are more than welcome to come look over your exam in office hours, but you won't be able to take an actual copy of the exam home with you. Also, keep in mind that the final is not cumulative, so you won't need to access to the midterm questions in order to prepare for the final. [return to top]

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