Psychological research methods (2013/2014)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Margherita Pasini
Margherita Pasini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem IA, Sem IB

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes


- develop in students a body of knowledge and critical understanding of the research process in psychology, in particular with regard to research methodology and various quantitative and qualitative research methods;
- equip students with a range of secondary research skills required to critically examine and appraise published research articles, especially concerning training processes;
- enable students to plan, conduct, present and critically evaluate a Research Project meeting the standards of professional research.

Practical training sessions will be provided, in order to help students to develop computer skills in order to manage a simple research process in psychology. These practical training sessions will follow the steps:
- bibliographical research
- data gathering and data entry
- data analysis (descriptive and inferential statistics), base level.

Open-source and/or very common packages will be used.

At the end of the practical training session a test could be performed, with an evaluation of max 3 scores, that will be added to the final evaluation


From theories to hypotheses: the birth of a research; the experimental model; the experimental designs and the question of the control; alternative strategies to experimental methods; the validity of a psychological research; measurement in psychology and psychological testing; the data collection; the data analysis; from laboratory to field, from quantity to quality; the communication of the results; research in organizational psychology.

Textbooks for the examination
1. Di Nuovo S., Hichy Z. (2007) Metodologia della ricerca psicosociale, Il Mulino, Bologna.
2. Lucidi, F., Alivernini, F., Pedon, A. (2008) Metodologia della ricerca qualitativa (chapters: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6).

For oral examination, it's useful the last chapter of the textbook "Metodologia della ricerca psicosociale", and one of the following proposals which will be commented during the course (see attached files):

1. Poncheri, R., Lindberg, J. T., Thompson, L. F., & Surface, E. A. (2008). A comment on employee surveys: Negativity bias in open-ended responses. Organizational Research Methods,11, 614-630.

2. Rousseau C; Benoit M; Gauthier M; Lacroix L; Alain N; Rojas MV; Moran A; Bourassa D. (2007), Classroom Drama Therapy Program for Immigrant and Refugee Adolescents: A Pilot Study, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 12, 451-465.

3. Probst, T.M. (2004). Safety and insecurity: Exploring the moderating effect of organizational safety climate. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 9, 3–10.

4. Rousseau, V., Salek, S., Aubé, C. et Morin, E.M. (2009). Distributive justice, procedural justice, and psychological distress: The moderating effect of coworker support and work autonomy. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14, 305-317.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is in two stages. Part I is a written multiple choice examination, and Part II is an oral examination, only for the students who pass Part I.

Textbooks for Part I:
- Di Nuovo S., Hichy Z. (2007) Metodologia della ricerca psicosociale, Il Mulino, Bologna.
- Lucidi, F., Alivernini, F., Pedon, A. (2008) Metodologia della ricerca qualitativa (chapters: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)

The oral part (Part II) will deal with the analysis of a psichological scientific report, randomly chosen during the exam. COmpetences concerning Methods and Data Analysis will be assessed.

Part I will be weighten more than Part II:
Weight of Part I = 4
Weight of Part II = 1

Maximum 3 points can be added to the final evaluation (Part I + Part II), given the result of the practical training session test.

Teaching aids