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Psychology is an empirical and STEM discipline which relies on data to answer questions about the brain, mind, and behavior. We encourage all of our majors to get involved in the wonders of research and the generation of new knowledge. To fully explore your interests in psychology, the Department of Psychology at ASU has a number of activities that are specifically designed to encourage and support honors students in Barrett.
Currently available research opportunities can be found online. If you don't see a research lab that quite matches your interests, visit our Research Lab pages, and don't hesitate to directly contact the faculty member who directs the lab's research projects. Course credit (PSY 399, 499) is available for students who serve as research assistants in various psychology labs and many labs accept volunteer research assistants.
All students preparing to do a Psychology Honors Thesis (PSY 492/493) are expected to have completed a supervised research experience in PSY 399 before beginning your thesis project.
Any Barrett student who is considering majoring or minoring in Psychology should contact the lead FHA.
Additional information about the Honors program in Psychology can be found online.
Psychology is a scientific discipline that studies behavior and mental activity. In this it is a very broad field, which overlaps with many other disciplines in the university. Psychology is also an empirical science and our faculty feel that the honors thesis should have an empirical component rather than being a solely theoretical review paper. We encourage all our majors to get actively involved in research at all levels and feel that such research should be part of the thesis experience as well.
Thus, the honors thesis in psychology is a project of original scholarship which includes an empirical component and which the student undertakes under the guidance of a faculty member. The specific research question that the thesis engages and the details of the project are determined by the student and faculty member. Students work with faculty in developing research questions for their theses and in designing and executing studies to inform us about those research questions.
Thesis projects may involve the collection of new data or may use existing data sets to answer to new research questions. Because of the complexity of projects in psychology and the need in many cases to collect data from people or animals as subjects of study, there is a great deal of planning involved and projects are thus scheduled to require two semesters of academic work.
The thesis serves as a capstone experience for our majors. The experience is aimed at students who are our best students in terms of their capability and in terms of their engagement with the major. Before beginning a thesis, we expect students will have substantial progress in the major and already had some experience in research endeavors usually as a supervised research experience via a PSY 399 course.
Requirements for the Psychology Honors Sequence include a minimum GPA of 3.4 for the following courses (Introduction to Psychology, Intro to Statistics, Research Methods), 6 credits of upper-division psychology content coursework with a 3.5 GPA, and empirical research beyond PSY 290 with a Department of Psychology faculty member.
Honors sequence courses include:
PSY 330: Statistical Methods
PSY 492: Directed Independent Honors Study
PSY 493: Psychology Honors Thesis
PSY 497: Honors Thesis Seminar
The year-long sequence is spring and fall semesters. Thus, it is held in a calendar year, rather than an academic year. Students begin the sequence in spring semester of their junior year and complete the sequence and defend their honors thesis in the fall of their senior year.
The department offers a small number of sections of some courses that are designed for honors students. These are smaller, separate seminar courses that are limited to honors students or by instructor permission (footnote 19 courses). When available, we particularly recommend that you seek out an honors section of Statistics (PSY 231 instead of PSY 230), as well as enrollment in the honors section of PSY 351 (Social Psychology) which is periodically offered.