Psychological research methods (2014/2015)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
4S02437
Credits
9
Coordinator
Margherita Pasini
Academic sector
M-PSI/03 - PSYCHOMETRICS
Language of instruction
English
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Lezione 6 Sem. IA, Sem. IB Margherita Pasini
Esercitazione 3 Sem. IB Margherita Pasini

Lesson timetable

Sem. IA
Activity Day Time Type Place Note
Lezione Tuesday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.2 from Nov 11, 2014  to Nov 16, 2014
Lezione Wednesday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.2 from Nov 11, 2014  to Nov 16, 2014
Lezione Thursday 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5 from Nov 11, 2014  to Nov 16, 2014
Sem. IB
Activity Day Time Type Place Note
Lezione Thursday 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5  
Esercitazione Tuesday 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Laboratory Aula Informatica WIN  
Esercitazione Wednesday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Laboratory Aula Informatica WIN  

Learning outcomes

THE COURSE AIMS TO:

- 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
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

Syllabus

- The Science of Psychology. Science in Context: historical, social-cultural, and moral contexts; Thinking Like a Researcher: Evaluating Research Findings Reported in the Media, Getting Started Doing Research.
- The Scientific Method: Scientific and Everyday Approaches to Knowledge; Goals of the Scientific Method (description, prediction, explanation, application); Scientific Theory Construction and Testing.
- Ethical Issues in the Conduct of Psychological Research. Ethical Issues to Consider Before Beginning Research; The Risk/Benefit Ratio; Informed Consent; Deception in Psychological Research; Debriefing; Research with Animals; Reporting of Psychological Research; Steps for Ethical Compliance; the AIP ethical chart) Ethical Issues in the Conduct of Psychological Research (Ethical Issues to Consider Before Beginning Research; The Risk/Benefit Ratio; Informed Consent; Deception in Psychological Research; Debriefing; Research with Animals; Reporting of Psychological Research; Steps for Ethical Compliance; the AIP ethical chart.
- Observation. Sampling Behavior; Observational Methods (Direct Observational Methods; Indirect Observational Methods); Recording Behavior; Analysis of Observational Data; Thinking Critically about Observational Research.
- Survey Research. Uses of Surveys; Characteristics of Surveys; Sampling in Survey Research; Survey Methods; Survey-Research Designs; Questionnaires; Thinking Critically About Correlational Research.
- Independent Groups Designs. Why Psychologists Conduct Experiments; Logic of Experimental Research; Random Groups Design. Analysis and Interpretation of Experimental Findings; Establishing the External Validity of Experimental Findings; Matched Groups Design; Natural Groups Design.
- Repeated Measures Designs. Why Researchers Use Repeated Measures Designs; The Role of Practice Effects in Repeated Measures Designs; Data Analysis of Repeated Measures Designs; The Problem of Differential Transfer.
- Complex Designs. Describing Effects in a Complex Design (Main Effects and Interaction Effects); Analysis of Complex Designs (Analysis Plan with an Interaction Effect; Analysis Plan with No Interaction Effect); interpreting Interaction Effects.
- Quasi-Experimental Designs and Program Evaluation. True Experiments; Quasi-Experiments; Program Evaluation."
- Qualitative methods in scientific research. 1.1. The debate between qualitative and quantitative methodologies in the development of scientific knowledge. 1.2. The specificity and utility of qualitative methodologies.
- Qualitative methods for data collection. 2.1. Observation, 2.2. Individual and groups interviews. 2.3. Other strategies for qualitative data collection.
- Qualitative methods of data analysis. 3.1. Content analysis. 3.2. The grounded theory analysis
- Quality in qualitative studies in psychology. 4.1. Ethics in qualitative research in psychology. 4.2. Critical analysis of the quality of qualitative studies Presentation of results and publication of qualitative studies.

Workshop activities
- Library Research Methods in Psychology.
- Managing a scientific paper.
- Data collection and Computer-Assisted Data Entry. How to manage a dataset.
- Computer-Assisted Data Analysis, Illustration: Data Analysis for an Experiment Comparing Means; Stage 1: Getting to Know the Data, Stage 2: Summarizing the Data, Stage 3: Using Confidence Intervals to Confirm What the Data Reveal
- Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST); Comparing Two Means.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is in two stages. Part I is a written multiple choice examination, and Part II is a written examination with threes open ended questions, only for the students who pass Part I.

Textbooks for Part I:
- John J. Shaughnessy, Eugene B. Zechmeister, Jeanne S. Zechmeister (edizione italiana a cura di Margherita Lanz, Giuido Amoretti, Semira Tagliabue) (2012). Metodologia della ricerca in psicologia (Edizione 1, McGraw-Hill (Milano), no capitoli 3 e 10.
- Lucidi, F., Alivernini, F., Pedon, A. (2008) Metodologia della ricerca qualitativa (capitoli: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6).

The written part with open ended questions (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 = 3
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.

Chapters 12 and 13 are suggested for Written Part II and for practical training session.

Reference books
Activity Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Lezione John J. Shaughnessy, Eugene B. Zechmeister, Jeanne S. Zechmeister (edizione italiana a cura di Margherita Lanz, Giuido Amoretti, Semira Tagliabue) Metodologia della ricerca in psicologia McGraw-Hill (Milano) 2012 9788838664946 Lo stesso testo è disponibile in inglese (versione originale) e nella sua versione italiana a cura di M. Lanz et al. The same handbook is available in English (original version) and in Italian (edit by M. Lanz et al.) E' dunque sufficiente scegliere uno dei due testi. You can decide which of the two versions is better for you.
Lezione Fabio Lucidi, Fabio Alivernini, Arrigo Pedon Metodologia della ricerca qualitativa Il Mulino (Bologna) 2008 978-88-15-12620-7 Capitoli 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
Lezione John J. Shaughnessy, Eugene B. Zechmeister, Jeanne S. Zechmeister Research Methods in Psychology (Edizione 10) McGraw-Hill Higher Education 2015 0077825365
Teaching aids
Title Format (Language, Size, Publication date)
Chapter 1  pdfpdf (it, 516 KB, 21/11/14)
Chapter 2  pdfpdf (it, 512 KB, 21/11/14)
Chapter 3  pdfpdf (it, 451 KB, 21/11/14)
Chapter 4  pdfpdf (it, 977 KB, 21/11/14)
chapter 6  pdfpdf (it, 384 KB, 04/12/14)
Esempin MRP 18_12_2014  xslxxslx (it, 22 KB, 18/12/14)
Syllabus  pdfpdf (it, 49 KB, 15/01/15)
text 3: Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research  pdfpdf (it, 2693 KB, 22/10/14)
appunti 16_12_2014  docxdocx (it, 233 KB, 16/12/14)
appunti 17_12_2014  docxdocx (it, 1055 KB, 17/12/14)
appunti turno A 18-19 nov 2014  pdfpdf (it, 319 KB, 24/11/14)
appunti Turno A 2/12/2014  docxdocx (it, 236 KB, 02/12/14)
appunti Turno A 3/12/2014  docxdocx (it, 1509 KB, 03/12/14)
benessere  vnd.ms-excelvnd.ms-excel (it, 154 KB, 14/01/15)
Capitan Libeccio  xslxxslx (it, 25 KB, 02/12/14)
dataset 8 gennaio 2015 in R  octet-streamoctet-stream (it, 9 KB, 08/01/15)
dataset lab MRP 17_12_2014  vnd.ms-excelvnd.ms-excel (it, 290 KB, 17/12/14)
dataset lab MRP ods  octet-streamoctet-stream (it, 31 KB, 10/12/14)
dataset lab MRP xls  vnd.ms-excelvnd.ms-excel (it, 99 KB, 10/12/14)
dataset MRP 16_12_2014  vnd.ms-excelvnd.ms-excel (it, 287 KB, 16/12/14)
Dataset_SPSS  octet-streamoctet-stream (it, 32 KB, 08/01/15)
Dataset Turno A 3/12/2014  xslxxslx (it, 71 KB, 03/12/14)
Dataset Turno B ods  octet-streamoctet-stream (it, 21 KB, 09/12/14)
Dataset Turno B ods 7_1_2015  vnd.ms-excelvnd.ms-excel (it, 415 KB, 07/01/15)
Dataset Turno B xls  vnd.ms-excelvnd.ms-excel (it, 75 KB, 09/12/14)
Dataset Turno B xls 7_1_2015  vnd.ms-excelvnd.ms-excel (it, 415 KB, 07/01/15)
dataset vuoto  xslxxslx (it, 10 KB, 09/12/14)
Scaricare R  docxdocx (it, 8802 KB, 07/01/15)