Computer Science (Human Computer Interaction) (3 Years) [BSc]

Research Methods & Statistics


Unit code: PSYC10100
Credit Rating: 20
Unit level: Level 1
Teaching period(s): Full year
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit?: N

Requisites

None

Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce you to quantitative and qualitative research approaches used in psychological research. It will outline and examine the components of research designs and methodologies, and explore the fundamental principles and techniques of statistical analysis.

You will gain experience in conducting statistical analyses during PC-based practical classes and will have the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge of research methodology in lab classes linked to other course units. More generally, the course aims to promote the development of critical thinking skills, enabling you to objectively evaluate psychological research.

 

Overview

This course will introduce students to core principles and techniques in Research Methods and Statistics. 

Teaching and learning methods

The course will include 46 hours of lectures, and 12 x 1-hour statistics examples classes.

E-learning provision through Blackboard: Moderated discussion boards for both Research Methods and Statistics; webcasts covering topics students commonly find difficult; regular MCQ quizzes with formative feedback; an Excel assignment

 

Knowledge and understanding

Employ key terminology and outline concepts of research methods and statistics

Interpret the results of statistical analyses in the context of the research design

Discuss ethical considerations relating to research with human participants

Intellectual skills

Identify and evaluate the methodological elements of published research in psychological science

Explain the limitations imposed by particular design decisions

Practical skills

Design a methodology which is appropriate for a given research question

Choose appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics for different research hypotheses

Undertake basic statistical calculations using Excel

Analyse quantitative and qualitative data and present the results accurately, clearly, and concisely in tables, plots and text

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Use Excel to organise, explore and conduct basic statistical tests on data

Demonstrate confidence in handling and analysis of research data

Assessment Further Information

Semester 1: Final Examination (multiple choice questions) 90 minutes in length worth 40% of unit. 2 x Open Book Blackboard Quizzes 2 x 45 mins in length worth 2.5% each. 

Semester 2: Final Examination (multiple choice questions) 90 mins in length worth 40% of unit. 2 x Open Book Blackboard Quizzes 2 x 45 mins in length worth 2.5% each. 

 

Syllabus

1 Testing for differences between 2 means

2 Independent groups t-test

3 Correlation - Pearson's r and variance explained

4 Non-parametric starts 1 - association

5 Non-parametics starts 2 - correlation Spearmans rho

   Non-parametrics starts 3 - differences between means

6 Questionnaires

7 Ethics in Psychology

8 Introduction to qualitative and mixed methods research

9 Qualitatives methods of data collection

10 Qualitative data analysis

11 Critical evaluations of qualitative research

12 Revision

 

Recommended reading

You will be provided with the core text for this course:

Warren, P., Fisher, A. & Edge, D. (2013). Statistics and Research Methods (3rd ed.). Harlow: Pearson.

This custom text was developed specifically for this course and the 2nd year Statistics unit by the course leaders.  It combines selected, essential reading from:

  1.  Dancey, C. P., & Reidy, J. (2011). Statistics without maths for Psychology (5th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.   
  1. Langdridge, D. & Hagger-Johnson, G. (2009). Introduction to research methods and data analysis in Psychology (2nd ed). Harlow: Prentice Hall.
  1. Howitt, D. & Cramer, D. (2007). Introduction to research methods in psychology (3rd ed.). Harlow: Prentice Hall.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Howell, D. C. (2009) Statistical methods for Psychology, International edition (7th Edition). Wadsworth.

If you like mathematics then this is the statistics text of choice. Authoritative and interesting to read there is little if anything you will come across in Psychology that isn’t given a lucid treatment in this book. It may, however, be scary for those who don’t like maths. Note this book is recommended as an additional text, it is not essential and it is secondary to the essential reading text.

Feedback methods

Separate online discussion boards will be set up for the Quantitative Research Methods, Qualitative Research Methods and Statistics components of the course. Students are encouraged to make use of these for further support and staff will monitor them regularly. Teaching Assistants will be available during the Statistics Practical classes to provide hands-on support. Online assessments will be marked and graded within 2 weeks of the submission deadline and students will have an opportunity to review their grades and the correct answers to questions. In addition, a revision quiz will be made available in the lead up to the exam and an exam revision session will be held in Week 12.

 

Study hours

  • Lectures - 46 hours
  • Practical classes & workshops - 100 hours
  • Independent study hours - 54 hours

Teaching staff

Paul Warren - Unit coordinator

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