Fall 2020 - PSYC 457 D100

Behavioral Neuroscience Undergraduate Honours Thesis Proposal (3)

Class Number: 3232

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    90 units, including PSYC 301 with a minimum grade of B and permission of the Chair of Behavioral Neuroscience Coordinating Committee.



Directed study and research leading to an Honours thesis proposal (PSYC 459/KIN 459). Students with credit for KIN 457 may not take this course for further credit.


Psyc 457/490
This course will focus on developing your written and verbal communication skills in psychology. Depending on the stage of your honours project, you may prepare a proposal or you may prepare part of a manuscript including introduction, methods, and results; you will also develop presentation skills for academic and lay audiences. You will create a community and practice of writing. We will also discuss important issues related to research in psychology such as ethical principals, diversity, the replication crisis, and methods.


• Communicate about psychological research effectively through different mediums and to diverse audiences.
• Understand and critically evaluate issues relevant to research practice (e.g., ethical issues, replication and transparency, diversity)
• Demonstrate critical understanding of the theoretical, data analytic, and practical aspects of psychological research in the area of the honours project
• Develop a writing practice and the skills necessary to complete the honours thesis
• Present your research, academic, and volunteer experiences effectively in graduate school applications


  • Participation: 10-25%
  • Projects: 30-50%
  • Thesis proposal and ethics: 25-45%
  • Graduate school materials: 6%
  • Plagiarism tutorial: 2%
  • totalling: 100%


You will be required to complete a CV, personal statement, and the plagiarism tutorial; you will have a choice of projects, a choice of thesis components, and a choice of participation activities to complete. You will also choose what percent of your grade to allocate to the projects, thesis, and participation grade within a specified range.

Research issues (e.g., replication crisis, ethics, research design, pre-registration), writing for diverse audiences, presenting to diverse audiences, preparing for graduate school, creating a writing community and practice.

Our seminar class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10.30-12.20. We will meet synchronously on Zoom in all weeks for the full class time except for the week of October 12; there will be no classes on October 13 or 15, 2020.


To participate in this class you must have reliable internet and a computing device with a webcam. We will be using canvas, google docs, google slides, and Zoom. Having video and audio on during class discussions is required; you may change your name or use a virtual background. Please contact me ahead of the class start date if you have concerns.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).