PS219 Research Methods in Psychology Assignment Sample NUI Galway Ireland
PS219 Research Methods in Psychology course is an introduction to research design and methodology in psychology. The course covers various research methods used in psychological studies, including surveys, experiments, and observational techniques. In addition, the course covers the ethical considerations involved in conducting psychological research. Finally, the course discusses the interpretation of research findings and their implications for real-world applications.
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In this section, we are describing some assigned tasks. These are:
Assignment Task 1: To provide a good overview of the core statistical methods used in psychological research.
There are three main classes of statistical methods used in psychological research:
- Descriptive statistics: This involves summarizing data in a meaningful way, usually with the use of graphs and tables. This can help researchers understand the basic features of their data, such as how much variation there is in different measures and whether any patterns or relationships emerge.
- Inferential statistics: This involves using calculations to determine the likelihood that observed results occurred by chance, rather than being due to the effects of some factor being tested. Inferential statistics can be used to test hypotheses about how different factors influence behaviour or mental processes.
- Structural equation modelling: This is a more complex type of statistical analysis that can be used to examine the relationships between several variables simultaneously. This can be useful for understanding how different factors combine to influence behaviour or mental processes.
These three types of statistical methods are used in different ways in psychological research, depending on the specific question being investigated. In some cases, only descriptive statistics may be needed to answer the research question. In other cases, inferential or structural equation modelling may be required.
When choosing which statistical methods to use in their research, psychologists must consider the type of data they have collected and the specific question they are trying to answer. They must also ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out the chosen statistical analyses.
Assignment Task 2: To outline the key research methods used in psychological research.
The main research methods used in psychology are:
- Experiments: In an experiment, researchers manipulate one or more variables (such as the type of information presented to participants) and measure the effect this has on another variable (such as memory performance). Experiments allow researchers to establish cause-and-effect relationships between different variables.
- Observational studies: In an observational study, researchers observe and record the behaviour of people or animals in naturalistic settings. This type of research is useful for studying behaviour that cannot be safely or ethically studied using experiments.
- Surveys: In a survey, researchers ask people questions about their opinions, beliefs, or behaviours. Surveys are often used to study attitudes and beliefs, as well as to collect demographic information.
- Case studies: In a case study, researchers investigate an individual or small group of individuals in great detail. Case studies are often used to study rare or atypical behaviours or to investigate the unique experiences of particular groups of people.
Each of these research methods has its strengths and weaknesses, and so researchers must choose the most appropriate method for their specific question.
Assignment Task 3: To clarify the link between the various research techniques and the appropriate statistical methods used to analyze data.
The type of data collected in a study will determine the appropriate statistical methods to use for data analysis. For example, if a study collects data on people’s opinions, the researchers may use inferential statistics to test hypotheses about how different factors influence people’s opinions. If a study observes behaviour in naturalistic settings, the researchers may use descriptive statistics to describe the behaviour of interest.
The specific question being investigated will also influence the choice of statistical methods. For example, if a researcher is interested in testing a hypothesis about how two different variables are related, they may use correlation or regression analyses. If a researcher is interested in examining the relationships between several variables simultaneously, they may use structural equation modelling.
When choosing statistical methods, psychologists must consider both the type of data they have collected and the specific question they are trying to answer. They must also ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out the chosen statistical analyses.
Assignment Task 4: To familiarise students with the APA (American Psychological Association) style of reporting the results of research.
When reporting the results of their research, psychologists generally follow the guidelines set out by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA Style Guide for Writing Scientific Papers provides detailed guidance on how to report research findings clearly and concisely.
Some of the key elements of the APA style are:
- Title page: The title page should include the title of the paper, the name of the author(s), and the institutional affiliation (i.e., the university or other organization where the research was conducted).
- Abstract: The abstract is a summary of the paper, typically ranging from 150 to 250 words. The abstract should provide a clear overview of the study, including the research question, methodology, results, and conclusion.
- Introduction: The introduction should provide a brief overview of the research problem being investigated. It should also describe the specific goals or objectives of the study, as well as any hypotheses that were tested.
- Method: The method section should provide a detailed description of the procedures used in the study. This includes the participants, materials, and design of the study.
- Results: The results section should present the findings of the study clearly and concisely. Any statistical analyses that were conducted should be described, and the results of these analyses should be reported.
- Discussion: The discussion section should interpret the findings of the study in light of the research question. It should also discuss the implications of the findings, as well as any limitations of the study.
- References: The reference list should include all of the sources that were used in the paper. This includes both primary and secondary sources.
When writing a research paper, psychologists must follow the APA style guidelines. These guidelines provide a standardized format for writing scientific papers.
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