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Psychology 217

Transfer Credit: SFU and UVic (PSYC 201) and UBC (PSYC 217)

Prerequisites: 12 credits, PSYC 110 and 120.

Corequisite: English 100


Course Objectives

The fundamental objectives of this course are to introduce the principles and procedures through which psychologists design and conduct experiments, and critically evaluate experimental methodology and research findings. PSYC217 is designed to cover the basic knowledge, principles, and methods used in psychological research for testing psychological hypotheses, analyzing the research data, and reporting the findings.  This course will equip students with the knowledge and experience to identify and critically examine the main ethical considerations of psychological research. This course would enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of the scientific knowledge reported in psychological journals.


Course Description

PSYC217 requires 4 hours of lecture a week for the theoretical components, five 2-hour lab meetings for the coverage of hands-on practical components of the research, and one 2-hour ‘field experience’.  PSYC217 covers a wide range of topics including introduction to research in psychology, exploring research literature (e.g., literature searches, databases, peer review), non-experimental approaches (e.g., naturalistic observation, case studies, and surveys), correlational research, regression lines, and correlation coefficients), experimentation in psychology (e.g., variables, causal versus predictive relationships, common sources of confounding, between-subjects designs), evaluating research in psychology (e.g., validity and reliability), quasi-experimentation research (e.g., quasi-experiments, cross-sectional studies and longitudinal studies) and writing a research report.


Evaluation Plan

The grade breakdown for this course will be as follows:

Attendance and participation 10%;
Lab assignments Ethics Tutorial 25%;
Poster production and presentation 15%
Mid-term Exam 20%
Final Exam 30% (A mixed format will be used for the exams)

Required Reading:

Cozby, P. C. (2009). Methods in Behavioral Research. (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.


Recommended Readings

Cuttler, C. (2010). Research Methods in Psychology. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

McBurney, D. H. & White, T. L. (2010). Research methods (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/ Thompson.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). (2010). Washington: American Psychological Association.

Stanovich, K. E. (2009). How to Think Straight about Psychology (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.


Chapter Topics
1 Scientific Understanding of Behaviour
2 Where to Start
3 Research Ethics
4 Studying Behaviour
5 Measurement Concepts
6 Observing Behaviour
7 Survey Research
8 Experimental Design
9 Complex Experimental Designs
10 Conducting Experiments
11 Quasi-Experimental Research
12 Description & Correlation in Research
13 Statistical Inference