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Psyched for Research


Lesson 8:

Activity Description/Rationale                                                       

Now that students have a working knowledge of research methods, statistics, and have been exposed to some of psychology’s most popular fields, students must understand that there are limits to what we can do as scientists. Although it should have been discussed in the “Introduction to Research Methods” lesson, teachers should reiterate the importance of the IRB and IACUC in conducting research. 

NYS Standards: Content Knowledge & Inquiry, Analysis, and Design

This lesson expands upon research methods to demonstrate the importance of ethical research.

Common Core Learning Standards

As always, Common Core speaking, listening, and language standards will be thoroughly tested throughout this lesson, as students will be required to partake in general class discussions, as well as present their individual background research, methods, and results of their aerodynamics/paper airplane project. Students will use feedback they receive from their peers and mentors to continuously improve their presentation and writing skills. This is a common theme throughout the entire course and applies to all lessons and activities.

Goals: Process Skills (Basic & Integrated) and Attitudes/ (Enduring Understandings & Essential Questions)

Students are taught how to conduct ethical research.

Universal Design for Learning/Differentiation

Students will be instructed to think about how they can conduct their experiment while remaining ethical and safe.


A textbook that discusses ethics; your research methods textbook may suffice. Additionally, finding articles/famous case studies to discuss will help you apply the lesson to reality.

Estimated Length of Activity:

This activity should span approximately three 40-minute class periods to ensure ample lesson and class discussion time.


The “Introduction to Research Methods” lesson.

Activity Instructions:

Teachers can choose to use a PowerPoint for this lesson. The main point is to show students the importance of ethical research, so using famous case studies is a good way to get fundamental points across. You could even create a role-playing situation, in which each student plays the role of a person involved in research, and the entire class is to act out a scenario and then discuss the ethical concerns. For example, several students could play research assistants, while one student can play the principle investigator (PI) who is conducting research on obesity related to fast food chains. This PI is attempting to have a large fast-food chain shut down based on their unhealthy menu. How might this be unethical?


Students should be encouraged to begin thinking about how these methods apply to their projects, and how they can ethically perform their research.

Assessment and Reflection

Student progress will be monitored over the course of the ARM via individual meetings with the teacher to discuss their project and design idea. Students should create consent forms to go along with their research.

Instructor’s Notes:

Teachers may add or delete material as they feel necessary.


Click here to go back to the “Psyched for Research” Introduction page!