Bridging the Gap Between Students’ Lived Experiences and Understanding of Psychological Research

Yuthika Girme

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Yuthika Girme, Department of Psychology

Project team: Jose Mari del Casal, research assistant

Timeframe: July 2017 to May 2020

Funding: $5900

Course addressed: PSYC 362 – Close Relationships

Description: Students enrolled in upcoming PSYC 362 Close Relationships courses will be invited to take part in a series of surveys (a baseline survey, a daily diary about their social relationship experiences every day for 2 weeks, and a follow-up survey at the end of the course). Collated and anonymized class data from the baseline and daily diary surveys will be provided to students, and they will choose variables they are interested in to write up an assignment. Thus, this project is a novel and interactive teaching tool that will allow students to apply psychological theories to results provided by students’ own daily experiences.

Jose Mari del Casa

Questions addressed:

  • Do students perceive that research about their own lived experiences enhances their understanding about psychological theories learnt in the course?
  • Does students’ understanding of psychological theories improve in course sessions in which they research their own lived experiences?
  • Does students’ participation in research about their own lived experiences help students better understand how psychological research is conducted?
  • Does students’ participation in research about their own lived experiences boost students’ broader wellbeing across the semester?
  • How does the automated version of the data collection and analysis compare to the non-automated version?

Knowledge sharing: Within the Psychology Department, there might be several opportunities to disseminate the project findings, including:

  • Social Area Seminars
  • Faculty Meeting
  • Department of Psychology Colloquium