Katalin Balázs: Research methods in psychology

1. Content and aims

In psychology, large variety of research methods are applied, all of which are differing in several respects. Researchers have the responsibility to choose a method which serves best the purpose of the study, suits the studied construct and the investigated subjects available, and eventually reflects the applied psychological approach. The decision must be cautious and scientifically confirmed, as all methods imply not only advantages, but limitations and downfalls.
The aim of this course is to establish, enrich and encourage scientific thinking regarding psychological studies, and psychological problems. Students completed the course must be able to analyze psychological research in terms of research method, variables, design and identify the corresponding special advantages and disadvantages. The course enables students to plan research studies in a scientifically established manner regarding conceptualization and operational planning in detail. A special emphasis is made on experimental research, namely on planning of experiments, experimental designs and special problems of experimental studies. In general, the course develops critical thinking regarding research.
Course activity includes collective discussion; analyzing several hypothetical and historical psychological experiments; and research activities. The course book is C. James Goodwin (2005). Research in psychology (Fourth edition). Hoboken, NY: Wiley. Supplemental materials as tests and exercises are applied with the formal permission of WileyEurope Higher Education.