Independent Study

Psychology majors are encouraged to develop an I.S. topic that stems from one of the various courses that they have taken over their first three years. Each laboratory course requires research proposals that can spark an idea for an I.S. topic. At the end of the junior year, each student is asked to write a short summary that outlines the project that they will pursue for I.S.

In the senior year, students work with a faculty mentor to plan and execute the research project that involves data gathering and is grounded in studies from the comparative, cognitive, educational, personality, developmental, social, clinical, perception, or neuroscience literature. In the past two years, students have investigated a wide range of topics, including eyewitness testimony, musical pitch discrimination, strategies for reading comprehension, the effect of stereotypes on willingness to help others, rodent models of social learning behavior, and attitudes of zoo visitors.

Many seniors have presented papers on their I.S. projects at professional meetings such as Ohio Academy of Sciences, the Association for Psychological Science, the Midwestern Psychological Association, the Ohio Undergraduate Research Conference, and the Auditory Perception, Cognition, and Action Meeting. Others have had papers based on their I.S. research accepted for publication in psychological journals.

General Research

Reading, reviewing, and referrring to the following forms may be very helpful when designing, drafting, and finalizing a written copy of your Independent Study.

  • I.S. Handbook (.pdf): The College of Wooster Psychology Department Independent Study Handbook (Updated: February 28, 2007).
  • I.S. Format Guide (.pdf): A format guide for the title page, table of contents, and acknowledgements pages of a Psychology Independent Study.
  • I.S. Rubric and Guide (.pdf): A rubric to guide the drafting of certain areas of a Psychology Independent Study.

Research Involving the Use of Human Subjects

The College of Wooster’s Human Subjects Research Committee (HSRC), or “Institutional Review Board (IRB)” for federal purposes, is a specially constituted review body established or designated to protect the welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in research studies or assessment projects.

Any member of the College of Wooster community planning to conduct research using human participants must have that research reviewed and approved by the HSRC. Student projects such as Independent Study and other research projects involving human participants must also be reviewed by the committee.

Research Involving the Use of Mammalian Subjects