PY1PR-Psychological Research

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Lesley Tranter


Summary module description:
Psychological Research
Module Convenor: Dr Lesley Tranter (UoR)
Module Lead: Dr Andreas Kalckert (UoRM)

The aims of the module are that the student should appreciate the purpose and value of the experimental method in Psychology; learn how psychological experiments are implemented and reported; and learn some techniques for presenting experimental data and making statistical comparisons between conditions. In the second part of the module students should become familiar with some non-experimental methods in Psychology, their interpretation and how they differ from experiments; continue to develop skills in reporting, analysing and discussing research; design and execute an experiment with a small group of other students; and learn statistical techniques for analysing associations and correlations.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student will be able to:
• Write reports on laboratory class experiments; explain their aims and design; and present, analyse and discuss the data
• Work together with a small group of students, with guidance from staff, to design, execute and report on a short experimental project (micro-project)
• Show a required standard of knowledge about experimental design and the choice of an appropriate statistical technique for analysing a provided set of data
• Use a statistical package to compute the descriptive and inferential statistics that have been taught, and generate graphs and tables

Additional outcomes:
Students will participate in research studies being conducted in the School, and thereby enhance their knowledge of experimental methodology and enable them to apply their knowledge of experimental design and procedure to real examples. The small group microproject will give experience of project teamwork.

Outline content:
The module includes the following:
- Experimental and non-experimental research methods in Psychology and their interpretation.
- Principles of experimental design, between- and within-subject designs, control procedures.
- Descriptive statistics, measures of central tendency and variability.
- Inferential statistical procedures for comparing two treatments.
- Non-experimental research methods in Psychology and their interpretation.
- Descriptive and inferential statistical procedures for studying associations, correlations and comparisons among conditions.
- Use of a special-purpose statistical package (SPSS) to present and analyse data.
- Laboratory class experiments exemplifying the design and analysis techniques that have been taught in lectures.
- A small-group experimental microproject.
- Analysis and interpretation of data collected in a non-experimental or field setting.
- Participation in research studies.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

(a) Lectures and workshops (including use of the SPSS statistical package), covering the basic theoretical and technical content, each accompanied by practice exercises, which students undertake with help from demonstrators. In one workshop, students will collect data from themselves and analyse it . (b) Laboratory practical classes where students will take part (as experimenters and/or participants) in pre-planned experiments. In the final class of Spring term, which will comprise 2 sessions (1 lecture and 1 statistics support), small groups of students will design, execute and analyse their own short experiment (micro project). Each student will submit an individual written report on this. (c) Statistics workshops, where small groups of students apply methods and techniques from lectures (d) Participation in research studies, selected from those available, followed by debriefing, and answering questions on each (e) Statistics support drop-in sessions where students can receive help with any topics relating to statistics they have found difficult in lectures, workshops or laboratory classes. Students who have an approved reason for non-participation will be given an alternative assignment of equivalent value. NB The contact hours in the table below are indicative of the contact hours for students studying this module in the UK, and may vary for students taking this module at branch campuses.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 9 7
Demonstration 5 5
Practicals classes and workshops 50 52
Guided independent study 36 36
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 45
Set exercise 15
Class test administered by School 40

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is assessed by coursework (60% of the marks for the module) and in-house tests (40% of the marks).

Coursework, making up 60% of the total assessment:
Three quantitative, and one qualitative, lab reports will each constitute 7.5% of the mark, for a total of 30%.
The report on the microproject will constitute 15% of the mark.
Eight workshop exercises will make up 10% of the module mark.
Completion of the required hours of research participation will contribute 5% of the module mark.

Tests, making up 40% of the total assessment:
Two, one and a quarter hour, open-book tests on research design, data analysis and interpretation are held at the end of Autumn and Spring Terms. Each test contributes 20% of the total assessment for the module.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Open-book examination on research design, data analysis and interpretation.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th Ed). Sage: London, UK. ISBN: 978-1-4462-4917-8. Costs £43.99 from publisher (correct at March 2016). 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Printing and binding: 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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