ERIC Number: ED224394
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug-25
Reference Count: 0
Undergraduate Research: Assumptions and Expectations.
Carsrud, Alan L.
Assumptions that many academic psychologists have concerning the undergraduate research experience are reviewed, and comparisons are made to the educational process in the physical and natural sciences. In addition, the development of undergraduate research conferences is discussed in terms of some general assumptions about science education in psychology. The assumption that a few good methods courses in the undergraduate psychology curricula are sufficient is challenged. It is suggested that the usual course offerings in psychology provide little direct experience with the majority of the techniques and methods, and that the nature of the techniques taught in the research methods courses are biased by the research interests of the instructor. A second assumption is that the goal of the undergraduate curriculum is to prepare students for the demands of graduate education. It is noted that the majority of baccalaureate graduates never go on for advanced degrees in psychology. The University of Texas, Austin, encourages students considering graduate school to undertake additional research courses. A third assumption challenged is that teaching undergraduates to do research will not be helpful in attaining tenure. Although it is the faculty member's own research efforts that are typically rewarded, an undergraduate researcher might be integrated into the established research programs of the faculty. Finally, the assumption that it is better to have undergraduates do a mediocre study than no study at all is acknowledged, since it is important to increase the awareness of research techniques for all undergraduate majors, while at the same time encouraging good and potentially original research. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Washington, DC, August 25, 1982).