Postgraduate Course: Research Methods in Social Psychology (PSYL11089)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This semester-long course is taught using a combination of lab and lecture sessions and is suitable for students following any Masters programme in Psychology, but particularly for students taking the MSc in Social Psychology. The aim of this course is to help students master the particular techniques and tools needed to conduct research in social psychology, including conducting social psychological experiments, working in the field and cross-culturally, and collecting quantitative and qualitative data.
This course will teach students how to obtain, process, and analyse high-quality social research data, and how to deal effectively with the challenge of doing social psychological research.
We will cover:
- the particular challenges of conducting social psychological research;
- research ethics;
- how to design and conduct social psychological experiments in the laboratory and in the field;
- how to design questionnaires, on- and offline;
- collecting qualitative data to address social psychological questions;
- observational data;
- using mixed methods;
- working with different populations in the field and cross-culturally;
- best practice for data storage and data processing (e.g., git, OSF, dplyr);
- techniques for analysing experimental and questionnaire data, and using big data sets.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 10,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Participation 10%, Coursework 90%
Students will complete and submit regular short exercises throughout the course, related to the topics covered in the lectures and tutorials. They will not be marked, but students will be awarded 2% for submitting each exercise (amounting to a total of 10%. They will also submit three coursework assignments that allow them to demonstrate what they have learned in the course.
||The lectures and tutorial sessions are interactive; as such, feedback will be given regularly throughout the course.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- understand the key components of the range of research methods used in social psychology, and their ethical implications.
- understand how to create and analyse social psychological experiments.
- appreciate and address the peculiar challenges of conducting social psychological research.
- understand the differences between and use of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in social psychology, and the possibilities and limitations of using mixed methods.
Gelman, A. & Hill, J. (2006). Data analysis using regression and multilevel/hierarchical models. Cambridge University Press.
Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (2007). Essentials of behavioral research: Methods and data analysis (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill.
Frank, M. C., & Saxe, R. (2012). Teaching replication. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 600-604.
Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychological Science, 22, 1359-1366.
Simonsohn, U., Nelson, L. D., & Simmons, J. P. (2014). P-curve: a key to the file-drawer. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 534-547.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Research and enquiry skills (e.g., analytical and critical thinking; knowledge integration across academic disciplines; understanding of interplay between research and real-world settings; understanding of interplay between theoretical and methodological approaches).
Personal and intellectual autonomy (e.g., independent thinking; developing higher-order thinking and sound reasoning; self-awareness and reflection).
Personal effectiveness (e.g., acquiring skills for leading a group discussion; giving and receiving feedback in a way that maintains and builds relationships within a team).
Communication skills (e.g., engaging effectively in discussions; oral and written presentation skills, including the ability to convey the key points concisely).
|Course organiser||Dr Sarah Stanton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8387
|Course secretary||Miss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188