Class Fundamentals of Research in Psychology

  • Presentation


    In psychology, knowledge is obtained through the scientific method. This curricular unit introduces scientific thinking in general and the research process in this specific area. It is relevant that students grasp this process since the beginning of their university training, as it is shared by all disciplines within psychology. Additionally, knowledge of the scientific method allows students to critically assess scientific claims and to identify pseudoscientific claims.

  • Code


  • Syllabus


    1. The scientific status of psychology

    1.1. ways of obtaining knowledge.

    1.2. scientific and pseudoscientific practices.

    1.3. psychology as a science and its study purpose

    1.4. types of research methodologies;

    1.5. research objectives in Psychology; 

    1.6. basic and applied psychology.

    2. Research in Psychology

    2.1. types of research questions and hypotheses;

    2.2. types of variables: independent, dependent, mediating and moderating; 

    2.3. types of scientific statements and their validity: construct, external and internal; 

    2.4. observational research (descriptive, correlational) and experimental research

    2.5. ethical conduct in psychology research.

  • Objectives


    The main goal of this curricular unit is to sensitize students to psychology as a science of human behavior and cognitive processes, providing students with basic skills in research in this thematic area. At the end of the semester, students should be able to: 

    LO1 - discuss in an informed way the merits of scientific research, namely distinguishing science from pseudoscience

    LO2 - recognize the relevance of research in Psychology, identifying its object of study and objectives

    LO3 - distinguish and formulate different types of research questions and hypotheses; 

    LO4 - distinguish different types of variables; 

    LO5 - list and compare sampling methods;

    LO6 - evaluate scientific claims for construct, external and internal validity; 

    LO7 - acquire basic skills in planning experimental and descriptive studies; 

    LO8 - know the basic ethical principles governing research in Psychology.

  • Teaching methodologies and assessment

    Teaching methodologies and assessment

    There are differente teaching methodologies used in this Curricular Unit. Given the introductory nature of this UC, the teaching methodology for the presentation of the contents is expository supported by the use of slides. Student participation in class is promoted through interrogative teaching methodologies that also promote dialog and debate among students.  The active methodology is reflected in the development of application exercises, enabling the acquisition of basic knowledge inherent to the use of different scientific methodologies in Psychology. The hybrid methodology is present in the use of moodle for the distribution of materials, as well as the promotion of online research tasks that constitute activities in which technology is used in the acquisition of knowledge.  In addition, tutoring activities are planned for the realization of the students' assessment work.

  • References


    Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2017). Research methods in psychology (5.ª ed.). Harlow: Pearson.

    Stanovich, K. E. (2018). How to think straight about psychology (11.ª ed.). Harlow: Pearson.

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