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Psychology Research Methods 2

  • Module code: PS5001
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 5
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: PS4001 Research Methods 1
  • Co-requisites: N/A

Summary

This module builds on the introduction to research methods and inferential statistics offered in PS4001 Research Methods 1. It will cover more advanced research designs — involving multiple independent variables — and more advanced inferential statistics such as analysis of variance, regression analysis and factor analysis. It will also introduce students to qualitative research methods and data analysis. Students will learn to develop and implement multifactorial experimental designs through practical research exercises and a project. Students' scientific writing skills will be further developed on the basis of a series of lab reports.

Aims

  • To introduce the use of advanced inferential statistics, multifactorial experimental designs and qualitative data analysis;
  • To develop advanced data management and data analysis skills using programmes such as Excel and SPSS;
  • To develop a critical approach to the design and evaluation of research methodology employed in psychological science.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Conduct advanced inferential statistics and qualitative data analyses using data management and analysis software packages;
  • Use multifactorial experimental designs;
  • Reflect critically on research methodology employed in psychological science;
  • Develop science writing skills.

Curriculum content

  • The nature of the experimental method
  • Hypothesis testing and inferential statistics
  • Multifactorial experimental designs
  • Regression and data compression
  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Designing and running psychological experiments
  • Writing laboratory reports

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be delivered through 22 two-hour weekly keynote lectures followed by 22 two-hour workshops (laboratory) during which data analysis and research design skills are developed and exercised. The first semester will concentrate on the teaching of computer and research skills, and the teaching of more advanced inferential statistical analyses. The second semester will introduce students to qualitative research methods and data analysis. During the second semester, the focus will be on the students' ability to apply their knowledge in the development of a research project.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures 44
Scheduled learning and teaching Workshops 44
Guided independent study Independent study 212
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Students' knowledge of inferential statistics and research methods will be assessed on the basis of four 1/2-hour in-class tests (40%) and two 1,500-word lab reports (60%). The exercises completed in the workshops will help students prepare for the tests throughout the year. Students' critical reflection and experimental design skills as well as their science writing abilities will be assessed on the basis of the lab reports. There will be formative lab reports discussed during the workshops. The comments on these lab reports, as well as the workshop experience will feedforward, helping students write the first longer lab report. As part of the second summative lab report students will have to demonstrate how they have used the feedback from the first summative report to improve their second.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Conduct advanced inferential statistics and qualitative data analyses using data management and analysis software packages Formatively through workshop exercises and summatively through in-class tests and lab report
Use multifactorial experimental designs Summatively through lab report
Reflect critically on research methodology employed in psychological science Formatively through workshop exercises and summatively through in-class tests and lab report
Develop science writing skills Formatively through workshop exercises and summatively through lab report

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
PRC In-Class Test 40
CWK Lab Report One 30
CWK Lab Report Two 30
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Recommended Textbooks

Dancey, C. P., & Reidy, J. G. (2011). Statistics without maths for psychology (5th edition). Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2008). Introduction to statistics in psychology (4thedition). Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

SPSS

Pallant, J. (2010). SPSS survival manual (4th edition). Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education.

Research Methods

Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2008). Introduction to research methods in psychology (2nd edition). Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

Howell, D.C. (2007). Fundamental statistics for the behavioural sciences (6th edition). London, Thomson-Brooks.

Qualitative Methods

Silverman, D. (2005). Doing qualitative research: A practical handbook. London: Sage Publications.

Smith, J.A. (Ed). (2008). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. London: Sage Publications.

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