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PSY3111 Research Methods in Psychology B

Semester 2, 2019 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Research Methods Psychology B
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090701 - Psychology
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Hong Eng Goh


Pre-requisite: PSY2100


The discipline of psychology is based on a solid foundation of scientific research. Researchers use a variety of conceptual, logical and mathematical tools to reduce uncertainty in the state of psychological knowledge. This course introduces more advanced research methodologies and statistical techniques.


This course builds upon the basic methods and tools of psychological research, extending the range and complexity of questions which can be addressed. A variety of research designs are introduced including survey design, quasi-experimental designs and single-subject and small-n designs as ways of answering specific questions and dealing with potential confounds. The statistical and analytic tools associated with these techniques are also explored including factorial analysis of variance, and multiple regression. Students will need access to the SPSS software package throughout this course and will also need to access the internet for participation in a research project.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. identify the ethical guidelines researchers must follow and describe how researchers implement these guidelines in actual studies;
  2. describe different research designs, identify when it is appropriate to use them, and the various factors that contribute to internal and external validity;
  3. identify the theoretical concepts used in a study, the variables used to operationalise these concepts, and the control techniques used;
  4. propose research questions and hypotheses to test psychological concepts and theories and select the most appropriate analytic technique;
  5. apply conceptual understanding of analysis of variance to more advanced statistical analyses such as factorial analysis of variance, and multiple regression and be able to calculate effect sizes for these analysis;
  6. analyse psychological research data and be able to interpret the output of each test as well as measures of effect size;
  7. write an extended research report in APA style focusing on the link between the research question, the rationale for the analytic technique used, the results of the analyses and the importance and meaning of the results.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Ethical issues in research 10.00
2. Survey Design and Issues 15.00
3. Quasi-experimental Designs and Issues 15.00
4. Single case and small-n Designs and Issues 15.00
5. Elements of a research report 5.00
6. One-Way ANOVA and Factorial ANOVA 20.00
7. Simple and Multiple Regression 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

American Psychological Association 2010, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edn, American Psychological Association, Washington DC.
(Recommended, if students have not obtained it for PSY2100.)
Field, A 2018, Discovering Statistics Using SPSS, 5th edn, Sage, Los Angeles, CA.
(Note: It will be challenging to use the 4th edition because the chapters in the 4th and 5th are not the same due to two new chapters. In addition to the two new chapters, there is new content. Please note that students are responsible for finding the relevant pages in the 4th edition.)
Shaughnessy, JJ, Zechmeister, EB & Zechmeister, JS 2015, Research methods in psychology, 10th edn, McGraw Hill, New York.
(Note: The 9th edition is acceptable as the chapters in the 9th and 10th are the same. Please note that students are responsible for finding the relevant pages.)
SPSS. If you intend to work on SPSS at home, the minimum requirement is the latest version of SPSS Base Pack (previously known as Student version) (earlier student versions of SPSS are acceptable).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Information about reference and additional materials is on study desk.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 26.00
Directed Study 33.00
Laboratory or Practical Classes 24.00
Lectures 24.00
Private Study 67.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 10 5 01 Aug 2019
Collaborative Tasks 30 15 15 Aug 2019
ONLINE QUIZ 1 40 20 09 Sep 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 80 40 14 Oct 2019
ONLINE QUIZ 2 40 20 28 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the student's responsibility to participate actively in all course activities and to study all course materials, so as to be informed of all course academic and administrative actions and policies, and to maximize his/her chance of meeting the objectives of the course.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle). Note that the Conceded Pass is not available in this course due to APAC accreditation standard 2.1.9.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks/grades obtained of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Not Applicable.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not Applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must have internet access and regularly access the USQ Study Desk throughout the course. Students will be required to participate and to monitor the discussion group and course home page where all important announcements are posted.

  2. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must log the assignment in the submission system set up by the examiner. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date/submission, if requested by the Examiner.

  3. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner.

  4. The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  5. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDM (Incomplete - Deferred Make-up).

  6. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains electronic assessment and submission elements. In order to avoid internet issues, on-campus students should attempt the Quiz in the student computer laboratories and upload their assignments using the same computer laboratories.