Skip to main content

Introduction to Research Methods


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Dr Marie Smith
  • Assessment: two lab reports of 2000-2500 and 2500-3000 words (20% each) and two 1.5-hour online examinations (30% each)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to basic statistical tests and common research designs employed in psychological experimentation. There is particular emphasis on:

  • the execution and reporting of experiments
  • understanding and interpreting the output of descriptive and inferential statistical tests
  • how to use the statistical computer software package SPSS.

Learning objectives

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

  • understand basic quantitative and qualitative research method approaches
  • define basic statistical terms (e.g. mean, standard deviation, Ζ-score)
  • define basic experimental terms (e.g. dependent variable, repeated measures design)
  • summarise and describe data using appropriate graphs and tables
  • use SPSS to perform, interpret and report the outcome of the following statistical tests: Chi-square test of association, Mann-Whitney/Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test, Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks test, Sign Test, One- sample t test, Related t test, Unrelated t test and one way ANOVA
  • compute, interpret and report the following tests by hand: Chi-square test, Ζ- test, one-sample t test, Related t test and one-way ANOVA
  • select the appropriate statistical test to analyse a dataset
  • design or select an appropriate experimental design to test a univariate hypothesis
  • write a scientific report that conforms to American Psychological Association (APA) standards.