PSYC08024 2017 Research methods for psychology
Recognising the methodologically diversity of current psychological research this module takes a broad approach exploring the key theoretically assumptions which underpin the positivist, or, quantitative method of inquiry and the interpretative, or, qualitative method. Exploring the advantages and disadvantages of the respective methodological paradigms, the application of mixed methods as a pragmatic way of using both approaches will be discussed. The topics of research design, sampling, data collection, problem definition, analysis, inference issues and validity within both the quantitative and qualitative paradigms will be examined and debated. Throughout the course emphasis will be placed on students’ acquiring the methodologically skills to successfully design their own research project. Through participation in research practice based workshops and laboratory work students will acquire the competency and practical skills, to analysis both qualitative and quantitative data with appropriate computer software.
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
Understand the key theoretical assumptions which underpin positivist and interpretative methods of enquiry.
Discuss the methodologically weaknesses and strengths of qualitative and quantitative methods of enquiry in the field of psychology.
Demonstrate an understanding of key issues as they relate to research design in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research project.
Demonstrate a competency in analysing quantitative and qualitative research data.
Discuss the ethical dilemmas that may be involved when undertaking research in the field of psychology.
Design and present a research proposal to the required professional standard.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Material will be covered through lecturing and class-based discussion. Through participation in research practice based workshops and laboratory work, students will acquire the competency and practical skills, to analysis both qualitative and quantitative data with appropriate computer software.
Module Assessment Strategies
Group Project: Critiquing Methodological Methods
Critique a methodological research article from the European Journal of Social Psychology and outline the key epistemological assumptions made within the study and the related strengths and weakness of the data design, analysis and validity. Suggest alternative ways which the research question could be explored. (30%).
Individual Project: Developing a Research Proposal
Incorporating theoretical insights gained from other modules within the course, develop a research question and clearly outline the following research strategy:
- How you are operationalising the research question and measurement variable
- The study population and your sampling method
- Data collection methods (including draft research instruments, such a survey or interview schedule)
- Data processing and data analysis techniques to be used (70%)
As per Department guidelines. Repeat requirements will be dependent on failed components.
- Principles and origins of positivist and interpretive research.
- Ethical considerations in psychology research.
- Research design in psychological studies: Sampling, data collection, problem definition, analysis, inference and validity.
- Working with quantitative data: Descriptive and inferential statistics, parametric and non-parametric test, confidence intervals, analysis of variance, linear regression and factor analysis.
- Working with qualitative data: Case study, observation, ethnography, inductive and deductive qualitative interviewing. Thematic analysis, grounded theory, narrative analysis, discourse analysis and interpretative phenomenological approaches.
- Mixed methods research: Methodological and analytical issues.
- Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data with computer software.
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Assessmenet||Continuous Assessment||Assessment||100 %||Week 12||1,2,3,4,5,6|
Full Time Mode Workload
|Laboratory Practical||Not Specified||Practicals||2||Weekly||2.00|
Breakwell, G. M., Smith, J. A. and Wright, D. B. (Eds): (2012). Research Methods in Psychology. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Creswell, J. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches.Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Cresswell, J. (2014). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design. (3rd Edition) London, Sage.
Evans, J. (2007) Your Psychology Project. The Essential Guide. London: Sage
Miles M., and Huberman, M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Mulhern, G. and Greer, B.(2011). Making Sense of Data and Statistics in Psychology, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillian.
Robson, C. (2002). Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner-Researchers(Second ed.). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Smith, J. A. (2008) Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods. London: Sage.
Tashakkori, A. & Teddlie, C. (2003). Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social & Behavioral Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.