Research Methods A

Topics covered may include:

  • Why do we need to do research?
  • Approaches to research in psychology
  • Basic concepts in research methodology
  • Ethics in psychological research
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Distributions, correlations
  • Testing statistical significance
  • Good and bad examples of research
  • Using the library
  • How to read a research paper
  • How to write for a scientific audience
  • Computer Tutorials
  • E-mail and communication in the School
  • Accessing the internet and CANVAS
  • Using the library catalogue
  • Conducting a literature search (Web of Science)
  • Presenting references
  • Word-processing, PowerPoint
  • Presenting graphs and tables
  • On-line support for Statistics
  • Using SPSS to carry out statistical analyses
  • Practical psychology
  • Two simple psychological studies: How to write up an experimental design
  • Research participation.

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Describe the different approaches that are taken by research psychologists
  • Describe the scientific method of knowledge acquisition and its advantage over common sense
  • Apply simple statistical concepts and methods and use SPSS to carry out simple analyses
  • Describe the need for principled ethical research in psychology
  • Conduct (with guidance) simple research studies and summarise the processes involved
  • Critically read and interpret a research paper
  • Think logically and critically about your own and other people’s work
  • Use physical and electronic facilities for communication, knowledge acquisition, and presentation of work
  • Use reflective self-assessment to revise your own writing
  • Write essays and reports that are clear, well-organised and persuasive.

As part of the module, students are also required to participate in research (or, at their discretion, complete an alternative activity instead).