Psychology Department

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Learning Outside the Classroom (LOC)

In addition to their regular coursework, students enrolled in PSY 101 (Introductory Psychology) have "Learning Outside the Classroom" (LOC) requirements which involve research (LOC-R) and attending a psychologically relevant presentation on campus (LOC-P).

Beginning Fall 2010, most other psychology students now have an LOC-R requirement in each of their classes. Read the below for more details.

LOC-Research (LOC-R)

What is the requirement?

Research is the foundation of the information you learn in class and being an active participant in this arena allows you to better understand the field of psychology. Therefore, the Psychology Department has adopted a policy for its courses that requires students to interact with psychological research inside and outside of the classroom. You may satisfy the research requirement for this course in one of two ways:

(a) Give back to the research community by signing up to participate in studies being conducted by psychology peers and faculty members. Note, your actual participation - even after you show up for a study - is voluntary. 


(b) Students who do not wish to participate in studies or are unable to find studies with sign-up times that match their schedules, may complete an alternative research assignment (click here for details).

If you choose to participate in research studies, the number required varies by course. This table provides a summary:

 Course # of studies required   Notes
PSY 101 4 Intro students must also fill out the LOC-R Assignment Form for each study they do.
PSY 103 3  
PSY 104 3  
All other PSY courses 2 Two studies per class. Excludes 270, 960, 970 and the Advanced Labs
Advanced Lab 2 Adv Lab students will participate in studies conducted by PSY 104 students. PSY 104 students will recruit by bringing sign-up sheets to your classes instead of posting to the LOC website.

DEPARTMENTAL DUE DATE for all LOC-R credits:  2 weeks before the last day of classes.

Where and when do I sign up?

You can find studies which qualify for this requirement by accessing the Muhlenberg LOC Studies Website. Most studies are posted beginning mid-semester and ending about 3 weeks before the last day of classes. Before you can access the LOC studies website, you will need to create an account. You will receive instructions to your Muhlenberg email address on how to create your account near the start of each semester; for more on account creation, click HERE.

How do I get credit for my participation?

After signing up and completing your participation in each study, you will be granted LOC credit through the online research website. You can log-on to the research site to check your current credit status. If you are enrolled in multiple psychology classes, please note that a single study can only count toward the research requirement for one class. You should plan to complete your LOC study participation by the due date which is typically 2 weeks before the last day of classes.

PSY 101 students: PSY 101 students must also complete the LOC-R Assignment Form posted on the Psychology Department web page. This assignment will help beginning students reflect on the study and understand its place within the larger context of psychological research. Complete one assignment form for each study. We recommend that you complete the form immediately after the study is over in order to answer the questions while the study is fresh in your mind. PSY 101 students will not receive credit for a completed study without completing this assignment.

What is the alternative to signing-up for studies?

Students who do not wish to sign-up for studies, or who are unable to find studies with sign-up times that match their schedules, may complete an alternative LOC-Research assignment.

For PSY 101 students, the alternative assignment involves reading articles about famous psychological studies, and producing 2 page (typed, double-spaced) summaries and critical reflections on the studies. The articles you can choose from are in a book called 40 Studies that Changed Psychology. This book is on permanent reserve in Trexler Library, listed for the Psychology Department and/or Introductory Psychology - all sections. You will receive one research credit for each article summary. If your professor is using the 40 Studies reader as part of your course, then you must choose articles that are not already assigned to you.

Students in all other psychology classes should check with their instructor for information about the alternative LOC-R assignment.

LOC -Presentation Requirement for PSY 101 Students

Psychology Day features presentations by Research Methods, Advanced Lab, Independent Study and Internship students. The results of many of the studies that PSY 101 students participated in during the semester will be reported during Psychology Day. For the LOC-P requirement, PSY 101 students need to attend the keynote speaker presentation, at least two of the poster presentations (held during Common Hour) and at least two of the paper (oral) presentations. Psychology Day is held on the Tuesday of the final week of the semester, and typically begins with the posters during Common Hour, and the keynote speaker and paper presentations starting about 5:00pm and ending about 7:00pm.

To get credit for this requirement, you should fill out one LOC-P form for each of 2 poster presentations, and 2 talks. You should look over the forms before Psychology Day so you are prepared to gather the appropriate information.

If you have a schedule conflict and are unable to attend Psychology Day, you must discuss the conflict with your instructor at the beginning of the semester. Your instructor will provide you with an alternative assignment. If you miss the event without an approved excuse, you will not be given an alternative assignment and will not receive LOC-P credit.