Topics discussed in this course include: empirical reasoning; deriving a verifiable research idea; selecting data collection methods; determining reliability and validity; using descriptive statistics; standard normal distribution, relationships between variables; experimental control, experimental designs; describing and explaining variance.
Acquiring knowledge of core concepts and basic principles of the methodology of psychological research and the way these are interrelated.
Acquiring knowledge about and skills of working with descriptive statistics.
Acquiring the necessary skills in working with the SPSS statistical package for descriptive statistics.
Note: A detailed list of course objectives will be available in the Exercise Book.
For the timetables of your lectures, work group sessions, and exams, select your study programme. Psychology timetables
The Student Services Centre enrolls first-year students in lectures and work groups. However, students must register themselves in exams.
After the first year, students must register themselves in the first year course component they need to repeat: lectures, work groups and exams. A second (or higher) year student who needs only to repeat the SPSS skills test is required to attend the four SPSS work group meetings again. As such, he/she must also register again for these SPSS work groups. Enrolling for workgroups
Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the exam date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. Registering for exams
Mode of instruction
8 2-hour lectures, 8 2-hour mandatory tutorial sessions and 7 optional extra tutorial sessions. The lectures will be made available as Weblectures.
Each course week begins with a lecture to introduce and explain course material. The lectures also cover additional and new topics that are included in the examination. As preparation for the lectures students are required to study the chapters assigned for that week. The lectures primarily focus on course objectives 1 and 2.
The day after the lecture there is a tutorial session. In preparation for these sessions students have to complete a number of mandatory homework assignments, that will be checked by the teacher at the start. These sessions focus on applying the acquired knowledge in practice. Students also learn to work with SPSS, a software package for statistical data analysis. The material covered in these work group sessions is also included in the examination. Students are required to bring the exercise book to every session. Attendance is mandatory. The tutorials focus on course objectives 1, 2, and 3.
The extra tutorials
In the extra work group sessions at the end of the week students are offered the opportunity to get some further practice in statistical calculations, by hand or using SPSS. All students who would benefit from this extra support are free to attend these sessions.
The assessment consists of two components:
1. A written examination consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions, each with 4 alternatives, covering both theory and statistical calculations from the literature, the work group sessions, and the lectures (Course objectives 1 and 2).
2. An SPSS skills test covering the various aspects of students’ skills in working with SPSS as well as in describing and interpreting statistical output (Course objective 3).
The final grade is a weighted average of the examination grade (70%) and the grade for the SPSS skills test (30%).
The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.
Leary, M.L. (2012) Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods (6th edition). Boston: Pearson. ISBN 978-1-29202-027-3
Howell, D.C. (2014). Statistical Methods for Psychology (Leiden edition). Wadsworth: Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1-4737-2028-2
Pallant, J. (2016). SPSS Survival Manual (6th edition). Berkshire: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-3352-6154-3
IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows (version 25). Released 1012. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.
Exercise book Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics
Additional materials provided via Blackboard (lecture slides, assignments, errata, further instructions and explanations etc.).