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In this subject, students will be introduced to advanced research skills and methods to critically investigate, measure and assess research topics involving human behaviour, interactions, and thought in a variety of contexts. In addition, students will acquire an understanding of fundamental principles in psychological assessment of individual traits and dispositions, in particular, how to evaluate the reliability and validity of psychological assessments. Emphasis will be placed on how the skills and techniques being taught are tools for gathering evidence relating to real-world problems typically encountered in the behavioural sciences, but not limited to this area, for which meaningful inferences can be generalised beyond the particular sample data available. Topics to be covered may include research design, implementation, and evaluation; techniques for measuring human behaviour, emotions, and interactions; the application of quantitative models to data in order to identify differences and associations, make predictions, and assert possible causation.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should demonstrate knowledge of:
- The translation of research questions into appropriate methods of investigation.
- The application of different types of quantitative methods to real-world problems.
- The fundamental principles of individual and group-based psychological assessment.
- The role of threats to valid inferences in designing, undertaking, and reporting research.
On completion of this subject students should have developed skills to:
- Translate complex problems into measurable questions, hypotheses, methods for analysis, findings and answers.
- Use research designs to discount pertinent threats to valid inferences in research.
- Evaluate evidence from quantitative methods to support answers to, and inferences about, complex research problems.
- Identify specific kinds of limitations when using quantitative methods.
- Evaluate the reliability and validity of common psychological tests and other approaches to psychological assessment.
Application of knowledge and skills
On completion of this subject students should be able to apply their knowledge and skills to:
- Investigations that are directly relevant to psychological sciences and to other areas of social inquiry.
- The critical assessment of research in scientific publications and of the reporting of such research more generally.
On completion of this subject students should be able to:
- Think critically and coherently about complex problems;
- Translate aims and objectives for investigating complex problems into measurable questions, hypotheses, findings, and answers;
- Evaluate both various kinds of evidence to support answers to, and inferences about, complex problems;
- Synthesise and present evidence in meaningful and interpretable ways for others to comprehend;
- Critically recognise and articulate various limitations when investigating complex problems;
Last updated: 17 January 2020