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Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

PS114-18 Research Methods in Psychology

Department
Psychology
Level
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Hester Duffy
Credit value
18
Module duration
24 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The module provides skills and knowledge necessary for understanding the nature of empirical work in psychology.

Module web page

Module aims

The module provides skills and knowledge necessary for designing, implementing, analysing, and reporting the student's own empirical investigations. The module provides valuable preparation for the second and third year projects.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Scientific writing for psychology: Structure and purpose of an article, content of title, abstract, introduction, method (and subsections of method), results, discussions and reference section, and citations and referencing formats

Structure and components of experimental and non-experimental research designs

Types of data collection techniques

Application of statistical hypotheses to research, and selection of statistical tests for analysing data

Statistical calculation using software (SPSS) of t-tests, chi-square (goodness-of-fit and contingency table) tests, correlation and simple regression, one-way ANOVAs, factorial ANOVAs and repeated-measures ANOVAs

Reporting of statistical evidence in scientific reporting for psychology

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • the ability to understand, implement and discuss the principles of psychological research;
  • the ability to understand the principles of experimental, observational and questionnaire methods;
  • the ability to understand the principles of qualitative methods in psychology;
  • the ability to understand ethical issues in psychological research.
  • the ability to design studies to collect, analyse and interpret data, and to apply these skills to write reports of empirical investigations that conform to the standard American Psychological Association format.
Indicative reading list

Howell, D. C. (2008). Fundamental statistics for the behavioural sciences (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. (or a more recent edition of this text)
Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). London: Sage. (or a more recent edition of this text)

Howell, D. & Cramer, D. (2014). Introduction to SPSS in Psychology (6th ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson.

Research element

Research Project Report
Design, run and orally present (in groups of c4 students) and write up (independently) a replication study, using one of several suggested studies as a starting point:
(i) Obtain ethical approval (does not directly contribute to the grade, but if late, late penalties will be applied to the write-up, and if absent, no marks will be awarded for the write-up);
(ii) Write a 2500-word APA-format manuscript based upon it.
Students are advised that the project write-up must be passed for the module to be passed, as well as the weighted average needing to be above the pass mark.

Subject specific skills

critical analysis, formulation and testing of hypotheses
write reports of empirical investigations that conform to the standard American Psychological Association format; this includes, but is not limited to, article structure and referencing conventions.
understand ethical issues in psychological research.

Transferable skills

written and oral communication skills;
use of SPSS;
group work.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 15 sessions of 1 hour (8%)
Project supervision 6 sessions of 2 hours (7%)
Practical classes 15 sessions of 2 hours (17%)
Private study 123 hours (68%)
Total 180 hours
Private study description

Guided Private Study

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A3
Weighting Study time
Online Test 25%

Online test taken in week 9 or 10.

Oral Presentation of Project 5%

5 minute presentation

Research Experience 10%

Research experience contributes to both PS114 & PS113

1st Practical Report 5%

1500-word APA-format manuscripts (practical reports) on set topic

2nd Practical Report 5%

1500-word APA-format manuscripts (practical reports) on set topic

3rd Practical Report 5%

1500-word APA-format manuscripts (practical reports) on set topic

Project Report 45%

Research Project Report
Design, run and orally present (in groups of c4 students) and write up (independently) a replication study, using one of several suggested studies as a starting point:
(i) Obtain ethical approval (does not directly contribute to the grade, but if late, late penalties will be applied to the write-up, and if absent, no marks will be awarded for the write-up);
(ii) Write a 2500-word APA-format manuscript based upon it.
Students are advised that the project write-up must be passed for the module to be passed, as well as the weighted average needing to be above the pass mark.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on practical reports and project report takes the form of 1) a printed form giving selected standard comments (corresponding to amount of credit given) on each assessed sub-element of the report (e.g., each student receives seven selected comments about the Abstract of which one could be "The abstract included a clear, accurate, concise statement of the dependent variable." or "The dependent variable was not stated in the abstract" or an alternative about the same topic would be included); plus 2) additional disambiguating comments from the marker, as needed.\r\n\r\nFeedback on project presentation takes the form of marks on the department scheme for oral presentations plus written comments from the marker.\r\n\r\nOther components treated as summative only.\r\n

Post-requisite modules

If you pass this module, you can take:

  • PS215-15 Further Methods in Psychology

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UPSA-C800 Undergraduate Psychology
  • Year 1 of UPSA-C804 Undergraduate Psychology with Education Studies
  • Year 1 of UPSA-C802 Undergraduate Psychology with Linguistics