Principles of Psychological Research

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Principles of Psychological Research

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    PSYC 111 and PSYC 112

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Develops an understanding of the methods, procedures and logic used in psychological research and the ability to think critically about research design and outcomes in Psychology.

    This paper aims to familiarise students with psychological theory, standard designs, measures and analyses used in psychological research and with the underlying rationale and evidence used to interpret effects from experiments, correlational studies and qualitative investigations. Students will learn about the techniques used for the measurement of behaviours, abilities, attitudes and psychophysiological states, primarily in humans, but also in some animal models.

    Course Structure
    This course involves laboratories and lectures. Topics covered include:
    -Measurement and analysis of psychological variables
    -Performance measures
    -Measures of ability and individual differences
    -Measuring attitude and attitude change
    -Psychophysiological measures
    -Ethical principles of psychological research
    -Interviewing individuals and groups
    -Using photographs and media as qualitative data
    -Methods of measuring brain activity

    Laboratory Work: Psychology is an empirical subject, and laboratory work is an important part of it. Topics in the laboratory programme are related to those covered in the lectures.

    -Eight homework assignments worth 3% each 24%
    -Test 26%
    -Final examination 50%

    Learning Outcomes
    -Students will have the ability to think critically about research design and outcomes in psychology
    -Demonstrated ability to choose an appropriate method for investigating a psychological issue, to justify that choice and to interpret the results obtained

    Recommended Readings: Goodwin, C. J. (2013). Research in psychology: Methods and design (7th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

    For Prof Franz's lectures, suggestions for supplementary readings will be given in class and notes, but there is no required or recommended text book.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.