Research Methods in Psychology
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Research Methods in Psychology
Course level: Graduate
This course is an overview of the fundamentals of research methods applicable to the broad field of psychology. Topics include research design, quantitative and qualitative forms of analysis, ethical issues in research, and appropriate documentation of research processes and outcomes. Students will learn to critically read and evaluate psychological studies and apply their knowledge of research design and methodology to a variety of problems and issues in the field of psychology. This graduate course is 8 weeks. This course has a prerequisite. Please see details in the Prerequisite section below. PLEASE NOTE: Attendance and participation are mandatory in all university courses, and specific requirements may differ by course. If attendance requirements are not met, a student may be removed from the course. Please review the Course Attendance Policy in the Catalog for more information.
This graduate level course requires proof of completion of a Bachelor's degree. Be prepared to provide documentation during the checkout process.
What you'll learn
Course skills and outcomes
- Explain the importance of research in the behavioral sciences.
- Apply the scientific method to evaluate behavioral science research.
- Define key concepts of behavioral sciences research.
- Articulate the relationships among theory, practice, and research in the behavioral sciences
- Identify key ethical issues in research.
- Identify appropriate sources of research articles, including peer-reviewed journals and library databases.
- Explain the function of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).
- Explain how variables are operationally defined in research.
- Describe different relationships between variables.
- Distinguish between correlation and causation.
- Differentiate between construct validity, internal and external validity.
- Define key measurement concepts.
- Describe the problem of reactivity in measurement.
- Contrast qualitative and quantitative methods.
- Define survey research and discuss when it is most appropriate.
- Identify important issues of survey construction.
- Describe different survey administration methods.
- Contrast probability and non-probability sampling techniques.
- Describe the relationship between sample size and survey results.
- Describe how interviewer bias may influence results.
- Contrast independent and dependent variables.
- Define key concepts related to experimental design.
- Contrast experimental research designs.
- Identify different types of variables used in experimental research and ways in which variables are manipulated.
- Explain the effects of experimenter bias on outcomes.
- Distinguish between main effects and interactions.
- Define the key features of a factorial design.
- Explain the role of moderator variables on results.
- Define single-case designs.
- Examine the implications of confounding variables.
- Describe the limitations of one-group posttest and one-group pretest only designs.
- Explain the differences between longitudinal, cross-sectional, and sequential research designs.
- Contrast the different types of evaluations related to program evaluation research.
- Explain methods used to describe and summarize research results.
- Explain how measures of central tendency and variability are used to evaluate data.
- Determine statistics used to describe relationships and strength of association between variables.
- Describe the purpose of the multiple regression analysis.
- Explain the use of multiple correlation techniques in prediction models.
- Explain how effect size is used to determine interpret results.
- Describe how inferential statistics are used to draw conclusions about populations.
- Review the differences between the null and the alternative/research hypothesis.
- Define probability and discuss how it relates to the concept of statistical significance.
- Differentiate between Type I error and Type II error.
- Explain the concept of power as it relates to statistical tests.
- Describe the general criteria used by researchers to select appropriate statistical tests for a given purpose.
- Describe the concept of 'generalizability'.
- Examine the importance of replication in research and the role of selection and assignment methods.
- Discuss potential problems related to generalization of results to different cultures or ethnic groups.
- Define meta-analyses and how they are used by practitioners and scholars.
- Summarize the main points of the course, emphasizing the importance of research to the profession of psychology.