Participant Research Pool Alternative Assignments
Psychology Program Participant Pool 
Summer 2021
Dr. Kevin O'Neil, participant pool coordinator
Office hours:  Whitaker 114 by appointment
Email Address:

Although the Psychology Program encourages our students to participate firsthand in research, we also offer our students the opportunity to complete alternative assignments in lieu of participating in research.  Your instructor has set a certain number of hours or credits that can be earned by participating in research, or this research alternative. You also may choose to do as much research as you please, or as many alternative assignments as you please to complete the required number of units your course requires or allows.  Each alternative assignment is worth TWO credits, the same as most individual studies listed on the Research Pool web site (

The alternative assignments are listed on the bottom of this Web page.  There are 5 of them.  The deadline for turning in alternative assignments to get credit toward Summer A 2021 classes is 11:59PM on Saturday, June 26th. No late assignments will be given credit.  Written assignments should be submitted electronically to the research pool coordinator (NOT your course instructor) at as an email attachment in Microsoft Word. 

By now you should have already used the Participant Pool Web Site at to sign up for what is called “Research Alternative Assignment.” If you have not yet signed up for that study, please do so now. Satisfactory alternative assignments are awarded 2 credits per paper.  You may complete any combination of experiments and alternative assignments to earn the full amount of units required by your class.  You may do all five alternative assignments if you do so choose.  Assignments can be completed in any order.  Remember, if you use outside sources, you need to cite them.  These papers will be run through Turn-It-In, so make sure that the ideas are yours and are in your own words. Turn-It-In is a software program through the university that enables the grader to run the completed work from the student through a nationwide database to check for plagiarism. So please do not copy anyone else’s work.  If you do, you may be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students. 

The research pool coordinator will award credit for the alternative assignment which will occur no later than one week after you email the participant pool coordinator the assignment.  If you think you’ve turned in an assignment but it hasn’t been graded after that one week, please email .

Papers must be emailed to with the alternative assignment number in the subject line. If you signed up for the Research Alternative Assignment at then you’re done.

If you complete a second alternative assignment, email it to the same address, but you do not have to sign up again.

Each article below counts as a separate research alternative.  Reading one article and writing one short paper = two credits.  To complete the assignment, first read the whole article.  Then, write a short paper (not less than 2 paragraphs long).  First, in at least one paragraph, summarize the article.  Remember to include a description of the study's purpose, the method (as best you understand it), and the most important results and real-world implications of the study.  Second, in at least one paragraph, describe how the article you read relates to something that you learned in one of your psychology courses.  It can be a current class, or one from previous semesters.  Describe how the research in the article you read is similar to, or different from, something else that you learned.

Papers must be typed in Microsoft Word, size 11 or 12 font. They must be double spaced with one inch borders.  Papers must be in complete sentences, must have used proper grammatical syntax and must be thoroughly proofread. Papers must be well organized, and display that the student has structured the content of the paper well.  Papers must answer all parts of the question thoroughly and demonstrate serious thought about the topic. In addition, the student must show knowledge of the assigned reading.  Direct quotes from the article should not be used excessively. Papers must not be shorter than 1 complete double spaced page. Please do not write more than 2 pages either. (A couple of lines either way is okay, but don't turn in a paper that is less than a half page).  Please submit each paper as a separate Word file.

Article #1: Watch out for the visual cliff! (Gibson & Walk, 1960)

Article #2: The power of conformity (Asch, 1955)

Article #3: See aggression . . . do aggression! (Bandura, Ross & Ross, 1961)

Article #4: You're getting defensive again (Freud, 1946)

Article #5: I can see it all over your face! (Ekman & Friesen, 1971)