Psychological research methods (2020/2021)

Course code
Margherita Pasini
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Lezione 6 Sem. 1A Margherita Pasini

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Esercitazione 3 Sem. 1B Margherita Brondino

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Learning outcomes

General aims: The general aims of this course are mainly connected with two aims of the entire degree course: 1. To develop knowledge and understanding of research methods and measurement issues in psychology, considering psychological phenomena at individual and group level. 2. To develop skills concerning psychological assessment, mainly oriented to the assessment of individual needs for lifelong education and training, also in an organizational and community perspective. Specific learning objectives: This course aims: * To develop some fundamental concepts and critical knowledge concerning the research process on psychological sciences. Research methods will be discussed, both considering a qualitative and quantitative approach. * To help students in developing skills useful to critically examine and evaluate the scientific communication in psychology, with a focus on organizational research. * To allow students to carry out a simple research project


Contents will be delivered through both lectures and laboratory practicals.

- The Science of Psychology: qualitative and quantitative methods.
- The Scientific Method.
- Ethical Issues in the Conduct of Psychological Research.
- Descriptive Methods (Observation; Survey Research).
- Experimental Methods (Independent Groups Designs, Repeated Measures Designs, Complex Designs).
- Quasi-Experimental Designs.
- Validity in psychological research.
- Data description and data analysis in qualitative and quantitative approach.
- How to read and how to communicate research results.

- 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, descriptive statistics. Illustrate and summarize the data.
- Correlational analysis, Regression analysis.
- Computer-Assisted Data Analysis, inferential statistics. Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST); Comparing Two Means; univariate ANOVA.

Assessment methods and criteria

The same examination will be applied to students who attend or not attend the lessons. The exam comprises two parts: Part 1, a multiple-choice test, with 32 questions, and Part 2, with 3 open-ended questions.
Part 1: Basic knowledge. This part comprises 32 closed-ended questions, designed to assess the student's understanding of theoretical contents in Psychological Research Methods. Items found on this exam all the topics described in the program. To address this part it will be useful to study the suggested handbooks (or other similar ones).
Part 2: Applied knowledge. This part comprises three open-ended questions (very short answers required), designed to assess student’s competence concerning some technical and methodological issues of the discipline, even statistical ones. The starting point will be a scientific communication in the field of psychology (generally a short report, in English language, describing a psychological research). The questions will concern method, data analysis, communication of results. It will be required to be able to read numeric tables, figures and graphs.
Exam evaluation
Maximum evaluation for each part will be 32 over 30, and each part will be evaluated separately. For Part 1, scoring will be: correct answer=1; missing answer=0, wrong answer=-0.2. Total score will be the sum of each single item scoring. For Part 2, scoring will be max 10 for each question, with 2 additional points, for an excellent overall performance. Final scoring depends on the two evaluations, with different weights: 4 for Part 1 and 1 for Part 2. Final grade will be computed as following: Final grade ={[(Part 1 scoring x 4) + (Part 2 scoring x 1)] / (30 x 5)} x 30. Single part’s scoring cannot be used separately: finale grade is one. Scoring in the lab final test (see lab part of the program) will be added to the written examination score (only for evaluations more than 18 over 30), to reach the final grade. Lab test will be proposed only once in the year, at the end of the lab lessons. This part is not mandatory.
At the end of the practical training session a test could be performed, with an evaluation of min 0 max 3 scores, that will be added to the final evaluation. No more than one test will be proposed for the class.

Rules can change, du to contingent situations.

Reference books
Activity Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Lezione John J. Shaughnessy, Eugene B. Zechmeister, Jeanne S. Zechmeister Metodologia della ricerca in psicologia McGraw-Hill 2016 8838615454 Dalla verifica conclusiva sono esclusi i contenuti presentati dal capitolo "Studio di un caso e disegni sperimentali su singolo soggetto" Capitolo 10 nell'edizione 2016). Il testo può essere sostituito con altri testi che dispongano degli stessi contenuti.
Lezione Dennis Howitt, Duncan Cramer Metodologia della ricerca in psicologia Pearson Education Italia 2020
Lezione Fabio Lucidi, Fabio Alivernini, Arrigo Pedon Metodologia della ricerca qualitativa Il Mulino (Bologna) 2008 978-88-15-12620-7 Solo i seguenti 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
Esercitazione John J. Shaughnessy, Eugene B. Zechmeister, Jeanne S. Zechmeister Metodologia della ricerca in psicologia McGraw-Hill 2016 8838615454
Esercitazione Dennis Howitt, Duncan Cramer Metodologia della ricerca in psicologia Pearson Education Italia 2020