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PSY8145 Research Skills in Psychology for Teachers

Semester 2, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Wellbeing
Student contribution band : Professional Pathway Psych
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 2 July 2022


Examiner: Erich Fein


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: GCSC or BSED


The discipline of psychology is built upon the scientist-practitioner model, where assessment and treatment are informed by a substantial evidence base. As a science, psychology values and relies upon the scientific method as a means of gathering and evaluating the evidence base that supports the discipline. This course is designed to both provide an understanding of the role of scientific inquiry in the discipline, and to develop the skills required to design, collect, analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological evidence.

The course starts by introducing the scientific method, the language of psychological research, and the two basic research designs that underpin most psychological research. Along with these conceptual elements, the course aims to develop practical research. To this end, course participants will be asked to design a psychological experiment in which one or more research questions are asked, to ethically recruit a number of participants for that project, to conduct the experiment, and then to score and analyse the results of that experiment. We will introduce you to the Microsoft Excel program as the preferred software to enter data, manipulate data, and produce Tables and Figures that summarise the results in a way that is consistent with the experimental design. The course will also deal with the appropriate statistical techniques that can be applied to answer the research question that has been posed.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate a range of information in order to identify a research question.
  2. Distinguish between theoretical and operational variables, independent and dependent variables, research questions and hypotheses, and experimental and quasi-experimental designs from text, graphs and tables.
  3. Apply the scientific method to design an experiment that appropriately investigates a research question.
  4. Apply ethical practices to recruit, gain informed consent, and debrief participants consistent with the APS Code of Ethics.
  5. Apply standardised procedures to assign participants, collect data, form data files, screen data for violations, and conduct statistical analyses appropriate to the research question.
  6. Identify relations between variables and organising principles in the statistical analyses to interpret the outcome and evaluate its support for the research question.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to the scientific method as the basis for psychological inquiry 10.00
2. Generating research questions: Theoretical independent variables, dependent variables and hypotheses – Operational independent variables, dependent variables, and hypotheses 15.00
3. Experimental Versus Correlational Designs 10.00
4. Experimental Project: Designing the project – Research question – IV’s, DV’s, Hypotheses 10.00
5. Experimental Project: Collecting the Data – recruitment, testing, recording, scoring 10.00
6. Experimental Project: Preliminary Analyses – assessing the quality of the data, data manipulation, Tables, Graphs 10.00
7. Statistics as a tool – what stats, what stats when 10.00
8. Experimental Project – Statistical Analysis of the data, answering the research question 15.00
9. Experimental Project – Evaluating the outcomes – reliability, sampling, procedure, replication 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

There are no texts assigned for this course. All necessary materials will be provided in class and through the course StudyDesk.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz 1 No 25 1,2,3,4,5,6
Assignments Written Quiz 2 No 25 1,2,3,5,6
Assignments Written Research (project) No 50 1,2,3,4,5,6
Date printed 2 July 2022