Module PRP-1002:
Research Methods II

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Michael Beverley

Overall aims and purpose

This module continues your introduction to the research methods and statistics that are used within psychology.

Course content

Topics to be covered include: parametric and non-parametric tests of association and tests of difference, reporting research and interpreting findings. There are two components to your module. Each week during the semester there will be a two hour lecture to introduce a topic. To support this lecture, there will be a two hour seminar every other week where you will gain hands-on experience of research in psychology. The sessions involve discussions about a range of issues in experimental methods and statistics along with the opportunity to collect and manipulate data. Some of the activities will include considering ethical issues in research, devising research studies on selected themes, undertaking data collection and analyses, using electronic tools and hand calculations to describe and analyse data. You will also learn how to communicate the results of research in written reports. Each student should expect to complete 200 hours of work for this module across the semester (including scheduled classes, independent research, and completing assignments).

For reading list, please refer the BlackBoard site for this module.

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+

Satisfactory C- to C+

Satisfactory presentation of knowledge about research methods and psychological theories in a relatively clear manner, but with a few inaccuracies.

Satisfactory understanding of the advantages and disadvantages associated with different research methods. Satisfactory use of evidence to support the points made.

Satisfactory development of critical arguments in written assignments, however the arguments presented lacked coherence.Very little evidence of additional reading.

Satisfactory presentation of interesting and relevant research questions, demonstrating some understanding of research methods and psychological theory, and a satisfactory evaluation of the theoretical and practical applications of the field.

threshold

Threshold D- to D+

Knowledge of key principles only. Many errors and weaknesses in terms of presentation and accuracy.

A little understanding of the advantages and disadvantages associated with different research methods. Little use of evidence to support the points made.

Arguments were presented in written assignments, but they did not flow, and there was no evidence of original interpretation nor critical thinking. Very little use of evidence to support the points made, and little evidence of additional reading.

Relatively interesting and relevant research questions were presented, but lacked a firm understanding of research methods or psychological theory. No evaluation of the theoretical and practical applications of the field.

good

Good B- to B+

Good presentation of strong knowledge about research methods and psychological theory in a clear, concise, and accurate manner.

Good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages associated with different research methods. Good use of evidence to support the points made.

Good and logical development of critical arguments in written assignments, evidence of additional reading, and original interpretation. Good use of additional research, to support the points made.

Good presentation of interesting and relevant research questions, demonstrating a true understanding of research methods, and a good evaluation of the theoretical and practical applications of the field.

excellent

Excellent A- to A**

Excellent presentation of comprehensive knowledge about research methods and psychological theory in a clear, concise, and accurate manner.

Excellent understanding of the advantages and disadvantages associated with different research methods. Excellent use of evidence to support the points made.

Excellent and logical development of critical arguments in written assignments, evidence of additional reading, and original interpretation. Excellent use of additional research to support the points made.

Excellent presentation of interesting and relevant research questions, demonstrating a true understanding of research methods, and an excellent evaluation of the theoretical and practical applications of the field.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of statistics as used in psychological research

  2. Differentiate between the different experimental designs available for empirical research in psychology

  3. Become proficient in using the statistical package SPSS: correctly inputting data, running the appropriate statistical analysis, and interpreting the output.

  4. Produce a well written research report that follows the guidelines of the APA

  5. Experience data collection and manipulation with a variety of experimental techniques.

  6. Conduct a literature review

  7. Calculate and interpret descriptive statistical analysis

  8. Participate in discussions of research issues and findings

  9. Demonstrate a basic understanding of measurement, observation and experimental design as methodological techniques in psychology

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Weekly Homework 20
Practical Report 35
Final Exam 40
SONA 1 2.5
SONA 2 2.5

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
 

One-hour module drop ins. Module organiser will be in the Wheldon PC lab for one hour every week to answer questions about the material covered in the module.

11
Lecture 20
Private study 159
Workshop 10

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Carry out empirical studies by operationalizing research questions, generating hypotheses, collecting data using a variety of methods, analysing data using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and present and evaluate research findings (under appropriate supervision).
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • Use a range of statistical methods with confidence.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
  • Use a variety of psychological tools, including specialist software, laboratory equipment and psychometric instruments.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.

Resources

Reading list

Title: Starting Out in Methods and Statistics for Psychology: A Hands-on Guide to Doing Research

Author: Victoria Bourne

ISBN: 9780198753339

Cost: £26.99

Below is a web code which will give anyone purchasing books through this website a flat 20% discount.

https://global.oup.com/academic/?cc=gb&lang=en

The code is: WEBXSTU98

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: