PY0790 - Quantitative Research Methods

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn how knowledge in psychology is developed through research. You will learn how to design and carry out research studies using a range of quantitative methodologies. The skills in writing reports in line with current conventions in the psychological literature will be developed through practice and detailed formative and summative feedback. The importance of ethical considerations will be constant theme throughout the module and the completion of documentation required for ethical research will be covered in depth.
In parallel, you will acquire an understanding of the following basic principles in statistics: levels of measurement; standardised effect size measures; sample distributions, standard errors and confidence intervals; meta-analysis; statistical significance testing, publication bias, and the problems they cause. From this knowledge base, you will independently read advanced literature on statistics to further your understanding. You will also learn when and how to use a range of frequently used data analysis techniques (e.g. estimation of standardised effect sizes; meta-analysis; ANOVA and ANCOVA; multiple regression; and chi2 to analyse proportions) in order to inform your critical judgement about your own research and that of others. Finally, you will learn about the limitations of statistical inference in some important real-world settings.

How will I learn on this module?

During teaching weeks, you will have two 3-hour sessions per week that comprises interactive lecture, seminar, and practical research exercise components. Here you will acquire basic knowledge about syllabus topics, critically apply this new knowledge in group work and discussions, and gain hands-on experience in data collection and analysis. You will be provided with regular exercises to do on your own time to further develop your understanding and skills. Independent reading on the module topics is highly recommended. Discussions around the design and implementation of studies will be based on practical, ethical and data analytical issues. Consideration of example reports and peer reviewed publications will facilitate further your writing skills in line with the requirements of the discipline. Directed learning will lead you to consider key research approaches and methodologies in psychology, and independent study will give you the opportunity to further reflect on how you might approach your own research, ethical considerations and practical issues that can then be discussed in class or in tutorial sessions. Online discussion groups encourage all students to form an interactive learning community. Individual tutorials will be available to discuss your learning or to help you if you get stuck.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module tutors will support you by making a variety of resources linked to the sessions and assessments available on the e-learning portal (e.g. PowerPoint slides, testing materials, ethics documents, lectures handouts and key research papers) along with links to resources to encourage further exploration of specific topics. Regular exercises with worked answers and other materials for guided learning will be available. A discussion board on the e-learning portal will be available for students to pose and respond to questions among peers and to the tutors. This enhances collegiality and also means that support is available to all students. Technology enabled learning will be implemented through the use of computerised testing and data handling, online submission and marking of the formative and summative assessments. The AllPsych pages on Blackboard will also provide details on university wide services to support your academic study, Student Wellbeing, University Assessment Regulations (ARTA), Library, Careers, etc.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MK&U1: You will be expected to demonstrate critical understanding of a range of approaches to research in psychology by writing research reports.

• MK&U2: You will be expected to collect, analyse and interpret data in a framework of current knowledge in the discipline.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MIPSA1: You will conceptualise, plan and undertake guided research projects demonstrating awareness of ethical principles
• MIPSA3: By the end of the module you will be able to appropriately apply the techniques for data analysis outlined in the syllabus, report their results in an adequate way, and use these results to critically evaluate your own research and that of others.
• MIPSA5: You will have the opportunity, through the Poster Assignment to disseminate your research proposal to other students.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:
Will be made through the writing of a research report in line with current conventions. (MK&U1, MK&U2)
You will also be regularly provided with statistics exercises to do on your own. As these come with worked solutions, you can use these exercises for formative assessment.
Summative Assessments:
A research poster presentation. (MK&U1, MK&U2, MIPSA1, MIPSA3, MIPSA5)
A full research report (3000 words), (MK&U1, MK&U2, MIPSA1, MIPSA3)
A statistics assignment (1500 word essay) which addresses fundamental concepts and principles in statistics. (MK&U1, MIPSA3)
Feedback:
Detailed individual feedback will be provided on the electronic submission of all assessed work.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

This module will allow you to explore theoretical aspects of psychology in a practical research focussed way. You will have the opportunity to engage with quantitative methodologies to answer questions that you will develop yourself under supervision. Relevant data typically derive from measurements and are then in the form of numbers; quantitative analysis or statistics is the key to linking the data with the ideas that inspired the research and will comprise half of the module content. Specialist tests, equipment and software will be available for you to use in mini research projects to develop data collection techniques and consolidate statistical skills. Your report writing skills will be practiced and honed to fully prepare you for the thesis that is the capstone of the programme. All of this will be achieved in tandem with discussion and application of ethical principles and practices.

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn how knowledge in psychology is developed through research. You will learn how to design and carry out research studies using a range of quantitative methodologies. The skills in writing reports in line with current conventions in the psychological literature will be developed through practice and detailed formative and summative feedback. The importance of ethical considerations will be constant theme throughout the module and the completion of documentation required for ethical research will be covered in depth.
In parallel, you will acquire an understanding of the following basic principles in statistics: levels of measurement; standardised effect size measures; sample distributions, standard errors and confidence intervals; meta-analysis; statistical significance testing, publication bias, and the problems they cause. From this knowledge base, you will independently read advanced literature on statistics to further your understanding. You will also learn when and how to use a range of frequently used data analysis techniques (e.g. estimation of standardised effect sizes; meta-analysis; ANOVA and ANCOVA; multiple regression; and chi2 to analyse proportions) in order to inform your critical judgement about your own research and that of others. Finally, you will learn about the limitations of statistical inference in some important real-world settings.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time
2 other options available

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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