Independent Minds, Working Together

Independent Study

In the senior year, students complete two semesters of Independent Study. With the assistance of a faculty   mentor, they plan and execute a research project that involves data-gathering and is based on the previous course work and research experiences that students have experienced. The project culminates in a required oral defense.

In previous years, students have investigated a wide range of topics, including, for example, young adults' attitudes toward the normal aging process, facial maturity and its effects on judicial decisions, group identity among African Americans, the use of imagery as an aid in higher levels of dream recall, transitivity and numerosity in Cebus apella monkeys, visualization ability as a predictor of effectiveness in relaxation therapy, voice identificatio, and musical pitch perception. In recent years, several seniors have presented papers on their I.S. projects at meetings of the Ohio Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Primatologists, and the Ohio Undergraduate Research Conference.

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