PYIR 450: Community Based Research in Psychology


Instructor: John Dennis - Ph.D.
Credits: 3
Course/Lab Fee: TBA
Prerequisite: None
Cross-Listing: Community-Based Courses, Faculty-Directed Research Programs, Psychology

Course Description

In this course students will collaborate with community partners using field research methods to understand and evaluate an area in need of improvement and test possible solutions for that area. Field research projects involve actively going out into the community. This involves talking with partners to identify an area in need of improvement, coming up with a method to understand and evaluate the are in need of improvement (or test possible solutions), collecting and analyzing data (with the professor’s help), interpreting the results and presenting the results to the community partner, collaborators, and the science community at large.

 

This course helps students broaden their cultural perspectives by seeing what is/is not universal across cultures in a concrete way. In this process, students will understand that research can be of value to academics as well as non-academics. The end goal is to have a positive impact on the community while doing sound research. Some examples of positive impact include things like improving our understanding of how community service can have a positive impact on our moral understanding of ourselves and others; how children can develop better creative skills via ownership; how to increase recycling behaviors via social norming; and how productive generosity can lead to enhanced goal striving.

 

 

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will have:

  • A heightened awareness of cultural differences;
    • Learned the value of productive generosity;
    • Gained new knowledge of aligned fields like psychology, philosophy, linguistics, decision-making, and marketing;
    • Taken initiative to develop a set of collaborative research projects with community partners;
    • Integrated theory with practice, appreciating how research can help us understand and influence people’s lives;
    • Gained career relevant experiences in research, collaborative work, and community engagement.

Community Engagement


Students will collaborate with community partners using field research methods to understand and evaluate an area in need of improvement and test possible solutions for that area.

 

Course Materials

Weekly handouts provided by the instructor.