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Introduction to Research Methods


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

Module description

This module introduces 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, and 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.