Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE PSY2628

 
TITLE Quantitative Research Methods and Data Analysis

 
LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Psychology

 
DESCRIPTION This is an introductory study-unit in quantitative research methods and data analysis for psychologists designed to provide students with the basic concepts of data analysis and statistical computing. This course provides a basic review of descriptive and inferential statistics and how these techniques are used with research methods appropriate for psychology. Students will become proficient in computer analysis of data sets, designing and evaluating data analytic strategies, and having the skills to understand primary research in psychology.

Study- Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to provide a solid basis in research methods in psychology and quantitative statistical analysis. The students will be provided with pragmatic tools for assessing statistical claims and conducting their own statistical analyses. Topics will include data entry and management, variables and their types, the concept of probability and hypothesis testing, descriptive and inferential statistics.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge and understanding
At the end of this study-unit, students should be able to:

a) Explain how basic statistical tests are used in psychology to answer research questions;
b) Recognize pitfalls and limitations in using statistical methodology;
c) Make valid generalizations from sample data;
d) Be able to describe the principles behind the use of correlation coefficients, ANOVA, linear and multiple regressions;
e) Critically evaluate methodological aspects in different types of studies in psychology and detect possible threats to validity.

2. Skills
At the end of this study-unit students should be able to:

f) Formulate quantitative research questions and generate hypotheses;
g) Use SPSS and Excel to conduct data management and statistical analysis;
h) Choose adequate research methods and statistical instruments based on the research problem;
i) Apply, in practice, quantitative reasoning and data visualization.

3. Attitudes
By the end of the study-unit students should develop:

j) Critical attitudes towards data-based information;
k) Greater appreciation for the importance of statistical literacy in today’s data rich world.

Tentative Study-unit Outline:

Research methods in psychology
Quantitative research and the use of statistics
Variables, Populations, & Sampling
Descriptive statistics
Measures of Variability
Describing Relationships
Probability
Hypothesis Testing
Analysis of Variance
Nonparametric Measures
Linear Regression
SPSS
For the purposes of hands-on instruction, the class cohort will be split into smaller groups.

Required Texts:

- Heiman, G. (2010). Basic statistics for the behavioral sciences (6th revised edition). Broadman & Holman.
- Bryman, A., & Cramer, D. Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS 14, 15 and 16: A guide for social scientists. Routledge.
- Field, A. (2009). Discovering Statistics using SPSS. London: Sage.

 
RULES/CONDITIONS Before TAKING THIS UNIT YOU ARE ADVISED TO TAKE PSY1315 OR TAKE PSY1612

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Classwork SEM1 No 30%
Multiple Choice Questions Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 70%

 
LECTURER/S

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.

https://www.um.edu.mt/course/studyunit