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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Research Methods in Social Psychology (PSYL11089)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis semester-long course is taught using a combination of lab and lecture sessions and is suitable for students following any Masters programme in 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.
Course description 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)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
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 two coursework assignments that allow them to demonstrate what they have learned in the course.
Feedback The lectures and tutorial sessions are interactive; as such, feedback will be given regularly throughout the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand the key components of the range of research methods used in social psychology, and their ethical implications.
  2. understand how to create and analyse social psychological experiments.
  3. appreciate and address the peculiar challenges of conducting social psychological research.
  4. understand the differences between and use of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in social psychology, and the possibilities and limitations of using mixed methods.
Reading List
Example books:

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.

Example readings:

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.
Additional Information
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).
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sarah Stanton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8387
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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