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PSY 351 – Research Methods in Psychology

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Senior Lecturer
Ian Stephen
Contact via ian.stephen@mq.edu.au
C3B 612
By appointment
Lecturer
Eugene Chekaluk
Contact via eugene.chekaluk@mq.edu.au
C3A 527
By appointment
Lecturer
Julia Irwin
Contact via julia.irwin@mq.edu.au
C3A 506
By appointment
Lecturer
Trevor Case
Contact via trevor.case@mq.edu.au
C3B 614
By appointment
Tutor
Tim Marsh
Contact via timothy.marsh@mq.edu.au
By appointment
Tutor
Dan Sturman
Contact via daniel.sturman@mq.edu.au
By appointment
Novello Alday
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to BPsych(Hons and 18cp in PSY units at 200 level) or (18cp from (PSY234 and PSY235 and PSY236 and PSY246 and PSY247 and PSY248) including 9cp(Cr) from (PSY234 or PSY235 or PSY236 or PSY246 or PSY247 or PSY248))
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit is an introduction to research methods used in psychology and related disciplines. Psychology uses the scientist-practitioner model as its basis. Successful completion of this unit gives students an understanding of the range of methods that psychologists use to answer their research questions, their strengths and weakness and the historical antecedents of the science of psychology. One of the learning objectives of this unit is to provide insight into the process of doing research: devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data, and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. Students learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  2. You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.
  3. Developing problem solving and research capabilities and drawing connections across fields of knowledge.

General Assessment Information

Assessment information

Note: Further information regarding assessment will be provided throughout the course. If you have questions about specific course components (e.g., specific lectures or workshops) then please contact the relevant teaching staff involved.

Week 7 Quiz

There are 35 multiple choice test questions (worth 10%) covering the material presented in the lectures and workshops in the first six weeks. Assessable materials include the textbook readings. The test is 50 minutes long.

Some practice questions will be made available before the test.

Final Exam:

The exam will be 2 hours long with 10 minutes reading time.

Exam structure

There will be 28 multiple choice questions and 4 short-answer questions to complete. One of the short-answer questions will be compulsory and worth 10 marks. The remaining 3 short-answer questions can be selected from a pool of 7 other questions to choose from. Each will be worth 4 marks.

Note: Given that this is a research methods course, ALL material covered in the course (week 1-13) that is relevant to critical scientific reasoning is potentially assessable.

Multiple choice questions: The material from week 6 onwards will be examinable and there will be roughly 2 multiple choice questions per lecture and per workshop (weeks 7-13).

Short-answer questions: The questions will be primarily based on material from week 6 onwards. However, note that material relevant to earlier lectures/workshops has also been covered in these later workshops (e.g., general principles of research) and may also be potentially examinable. In particular, good scientific reasoning (including being able to compare, contrast and apply different designs) is relevant to the entire course. You should, for instance, be able to apply critical scientific thinking to constructing an appropriate design/methodology for a hypothetical research question.

Some example short-answer questions:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of conducting a research study with a single individual instead of a group of participants?

Briefly explain how order effects can be a confounding variable in a within-subjects design.

Discuss the strengths and weakness of qualitative research.

[There also may be hypothetical research scenarios to evaluate/discuss. etc.]

Example questions and responses will be provided before the exam.

 

  • The mid-session quiz will contain multiple choice questions and the end of semester exam will contain both multiple choice and short answer questions. In the short answer questions you may be asked to evaluate real or fictional experimental designs, compare and contrast different methodologies, and draw conclusions from data. You may also be asked to design studies to answer research questions.
  • The assignment will be a report based on data collected by the students in PSY351. You will have responsibility for collecting, organising and analysing data. More details about the assignment will be given in week 2-5.
  • The report must be submitted to Turnitin (via iLearn). You will be required to submit your assignment to Turnitin plagiarism detection software via the Internet.  Your assignment will be automatically compared to work of other students in this unit, previous students in this unit and at other universities, and material available on the Internet in subscription-based journal format or otherwise freely accessible information.  The results of the analysis will be sent only to the unit chair and tutoring staff on PSY351, who will analyse the results in reference to the University’s standard policy on plagiarism https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/academic-honesty 
  • Marked reports will be returned to students within three weeks of submission.

A copy of the assignment must be kept as proof that the assignment was completed and submitted.

 

AFTER AN ASSIGNMENT IS SUBMITTED:

Penalties will be levied for late submission of assignment and for exceeding the word limit:

  • Written work that exceeds the word count will be penalised 5% for every 100 words over. For example, the report is worth 40% of the overall assessment for the Unit and if the word length is exceeded by 100 words, then 5% x 40 = 2.
  • Work that is submitted late (and without extension) will receive a 5% penalty for every day late. For example, the report is worth 40% of the overall assessment for the Unit and if one day late, then 5% x 40 = 2.

 

Request for Extensions for Assignments are granted by the Student Centre

Ordinarily, no extensions of time for submission of written work will be granted since ample time for preparation will have been given.  If an extension is required for medical or other extenuating circumstances, students may request this in writing through ask.mq.edu.au with supporting documentary evidence (such as medical certificate, counsellor note, or similar).   The staff in the Student Centre will make all decisions regarding extensions.  Neither individual tutors nor the course convenor will grant extensions

All requests for extensions must be made prior to the due date for the assignment.

If an extension is granted, the approval must be uploaded together with the assignment.  

 

MID-SESSION EXAMS

All students must attend the mid-semester exam (short quiz) during the Lecture time (11th September, Wk 7). Students who do not think they can attend this exam time due to work or other commitments should consider taking an alternate course. There is no separate arrangement available for evening students to sit this exam.

Students who are unable to sit the mid-session exam at the specified time must submit a Disruption to Studies notification via ask.mq.edu.au and submit appropriate supporting documents. This should be done within five (5) working days from the day of the examination.  The unit chair(s) will determine eligibility for a late mid-session exam and eligible students will be notified via email about the time and location of the exam.  There will only be one time.

FINAL EXAMS

The University Examination period in Session 2, is from 13th November to 1st December 2017.

You are expected to present yourself for examination at the time and place designated in the University Examination Timetable. The timetable will be available in Draft form approximately eight weeks before the commencement of the examinations and in Final form approximately four weeks before the commencement of the examinations.

https://students.mq.edu.au/study/exams-and-results

The only exception to not sitting an examination at the designated time is because of documented illness or unavoidable disruption. In these circumstances you may wish to consider applying for Special Consideration.  Information about unavoidable disruption and the special consideration process is available at https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration/disruption-to-studies 

If a Supplementary Examination is granted as a result of the Special Consideration process, the examination will be scheduled after the conclusion of the official examination period. The format of a supplementary examination is at each unit convener’s discretion and is subject to change from the original final examination.

Supplementary Exams are only offered to students who have satisfactorily completed all other assessments for the unit and were unable to sit the final exam because of documented illness or unavoidable disruption.

Instructions on applying for sitting of a supplementary exam are available from the website, https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration/disruption-to-studies.  It is the student’s responsibility to follow the steps outlined in this website. An email will be sent to the student advising them of the outcome of their request for a supplementary exam. If a supplementary exam has been granted, information relating to the date and location of the supplementary exam will be sent via email by the Student Centre. Students who are granted to sit for a supplementary exam must make themselves available to sit for the supplementary exam on the specified date. There will only be one time. It is the student’s responsibility to email Student Centre to confirm attendance at the supplementary exam.

You are advised that it is Macquarie University policy not to set early examinations for individuals or groups of students. All students are expected to ensure that they are available until the end of the teaching session, which is the final day of the official examination period.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Mid-session quiz 10% 11th September 2017
Research report 40% 13th October 2016
Final exam 50% Exam period.

Mid-session quiz

Due: 11th September 2017
Weighting: 10%

A 35 question multiple choice test (10%) in Week 7 (during the lecture time) covering the material presented in the lectures and workshops in the first six weeks.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • Developing problem solving and research capabilities and drawing connections across fields of knowledge.

Research report

Due: 13th October 2016
Weighting: 40%

2000 word research report based upon a study conducted in the course.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.
  • Developing problem solving and research capabilities and drawing connections across fields of knowledge.

Final exam

Due: Exam period.
Weighting: 50%

Exam including both multiple-choice and short answer questions.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.
  • Developing problem solving and research capabilities and drawing connections across fields of knowledge.

Delivery and Resources

Required textbook:

  • Gravetter, F.J., & Forzano, L-A. B. (2015). Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences (5th ed.). Belmont, C.A: Wadsworth.

Recommended (especially for report writing):

  • Bell, P. & Staines, P. (2001). Logical psych: Reasoning, explanation and writing in psychology. Sydney, NSW: UNSW Press. [especially Chapters 9 & 11]

Assessable textbooks reading:

Gravetter, F.J., & Forzano, L-A. B. (2012). Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences (4th ed.). Belmont, C.A: Wadsworth.

Week 1: Sections 1.3, 1.4, 6.1

Weeks 2 & 3: Chapters 7, 8 & 9.

Week 4: Sections 3.3, 3.4, 13.3

Week 5: Section 13.4

Weeks 6 & 9: Sections 3.3, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4.

Week 10: Section 13.2.

Week 11: Chapters 7 & 12.

Week 12: Kraut et al (2004) [available via iLearn].

Week 13: Sections 4.1, 4.2

Unit Schedule

Teaching will consist of weekly lectures and workshops. The schedule for these is as follows. These schedules may change as necessary.

LECTURE PROGRAMME (held in Y3A T1): Monday 1-2pm

1

Introduction to research methods

Dr Ian Stephen

31st Jul

2

Experimental research 1

Dr Ian Stephen

7th Aug

3

Experimental research 2

Dr Ian Stephen

14th Aug

4

Survey methods

Dr Ian Stephen

21st Aug

5

Qualitative research and mixed methods

Dr Ian Stephen

28th Aug

6

Validity, reliability and measurement

Dr Eugene Chekaluk

4th Sep

7

Mid-Session Exam

Dr Ian Stephen

11th Sep

8

PUBLIC HOLIDAY

 

2nd Oct

9

Statistics for research

Dr Eugene Chekaluk

9th Oct

10

Observational research

Dr Julia Irwin

16th Oct

11

Comparing research strategies

Dr Ian Stephen

23rd Oct

12

Research and the internet

Dr Ian Stephen

30th Oct

13

Ethics

Dr Trevor Case

6th Nov

 

WORKSHOP PROGRAM (held in C5A 316; see times below)

Note that there are no workshops in weeks 1, 8 or 9.

Week

Lecture Topic

Lecturer

2

Welcome, critical thinking and report

Responsibility – Ian Stephen

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

3

Experimental research 1

Responsibility – Ian Stephen

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

4

Experimental research 2

Responsibility – Ian Stephen

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

5

Survey methods

Responsibility – Ian Stephen

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

6

Qualitative research and mixed methods

Responsibility – Ian Stephen

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

7

Validity, reliability and measurement

Responsibility – Eugene Chekaluk

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

10

Statistics for research

Responsibility – Eugene Chekaluk

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

11

Observational research

Responsibility – Julia Irwin

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

12

Bringing it all together

Responsibility – Ian Stephen

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

13

Ethics

Responsibility – Trevor Case

Delivery – Tim Marsh and Daniel Sturman

 

Workshop times & locations

NOTE: Classes are space-limited so please attend your scheduled time. However, if you unavoidably miss your scheduled workshop then you can attend another. Please let the relevant workshop convenor know.

ALL WORKSHOPS ARE HELD IN C5A 316

Wed 4-6pm

Thu 12-2pm

Thu 4-6pm

Fri 12-2pm

Fri 2-4pm

Fri 4-6pm

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.

Assessment tasks

  • Mid-session quiz
  • Research report
  • Final exam

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.
  • Developing problem solving and research capabilities and drawing connections across fields of knowledge.

Assessment tasks

  • Research report
  • Final exam

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.
  • Developing problem solving and research capabilities and drawing connections across fields of knowledge.

Assessment tasks

  • Research report
  • Final exam

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.
  • Developing problem solving and research capabilities and drawing connections across fields of knowledge.

Assessment tasks

  • Research report
  • Final exam

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.

Assessment tasks

  • Research report
  • Final exam

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.

Assessment tasks

  • Research report
  • Final exam

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.
  • Developing problem solving and research capabilities and drawing connections across fields of knowledge.

Assessment tasks

  • Research report
  • Final exam

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Providing insight into the process of doing research: from devising the question, selecting a research strategy, conducting the study, evaluating the data and reporting and interpreting the results, as well as practical experience in doing research. You will learn important research terminology, sampling strategies, measurement strategies, and how to write a research report.
  • You will learn knowledge of research ethics and the course fosters critical thinking and reflection on scientific practice.
  • Developing problem solving and research capabilities and drawing connections across fields of knowledge.

Assessment task

  • Research report

Changes since First Published

Date Description
09/08/2017 Corrected email address
03/08/2017 Corrections made to update information on supplementary exam, as requested by Carmela.