Department of Psychology

University of Mississippi

Dr. Carrie Smith and Dr. Carey Dowling Publish Paper on Teaching Demonstration

Dr. Carrie Smith and Dr. Carey Dowling publish paper on teaching demonstration.

Along with co-authors Dr. Joseph Swope (Northwest High School, Maryland) and Dr. Benjamin Hadden (Purdue University), Dr. Smith and Dr. Dowling have had their paper accepted for publication in the APA journal, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology.

Title: Testing a Brief Interactive Teaching Demonstration to Explain Experimentation in Psychology

Abstract: Having a firm grasp of psychological research methodology is a central goal for undergraduate training, yet effectively teaching methodology can be challenging in classes that are not primarily methodology classes. The present research describes a brief classroom demonstration—The Substitute Professor Opinion Survey (SPOS)—that serves as an interactive tool to explain the basics of experimentation. Across two studies, we provide evidence from 11 classroom samples collected in a variety of courses and institutions. Results show reliability and robustness of the SPOS teaching demonstration, replicating in all 11 samples. Additionally, students’ reported the SPOS teaching demonstration enhanced their learning and was enjoyable (Study 1). Furthermore, Study 2 results indicated that students who experienced the SPOS demonstration as an integrated component of the class coverage of research methods performed significantly better on a post-test of their knowledge of experimentation than students who did not experience it. The present research offers psychology instructors a versatile tool to explain the basics of experimentation.