PSYC11012 - Foundations of Psychological Research
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for PSYC11012 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

This is an introductory unit designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required throughout their studies in psychology and the social sciences. Students will cover study, learning, organisational and writing skills in relation to psychology, an introduction to critical evaluation of research and evaluating creditability of sources, as well as ethics in research. Students will learn the skills required to succeed throughout their study of psychology including constructing empirical arguments, conducting literature reviews, preparing research reports and essays, as well as referencing and formatting in APA style.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Adelaide
  • Bundaberg
  • Distance
  • Rockhampton

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Written Assessment 20%
3. Online Quiz(zes) 10%
4. Written Assessment 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
Greater student involvement in the research report Self-evaluation The research report should be more embedded across all topics of this unit as a way to demonstrate the research process. Providing students the opportunity to select the research topic, help develop the questionnaire, and analyse results will foster greater engagement and understanding of the research process.
Greater development of research skills in preparation for the written research report Student-evaluations Students should have the opportunity to develop critical thinking and research skills prior to submitting their assignments
Students appreciated assessment feedback that was practical and could be used beyond PSYC11012 Student-evaulations Students are likely to appreciate greater opportunities to receive feedback as the quizzes and exams provide only a numerical grade. Alternative assessment items that provide students with more opportunities to receive formative feedback that contributes to life long learning is likely to be well received.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Plan and construct written arguments within a logical, flowing, coherent structure.
  2. Synthesize ideas and extract themes from current psychological literature.
  3. Communicate ideas effectively in writing and in adherence with APA style.
  4. Apply basic concepts of research design and statistics to problems in relevant fields of psychology.
  5. Articulate the key values, ethics and principles of psychology and the study of human behaviour.
  6. Apply the philosophy of science to problems relevant to the field of psychology and the social sciences.
  7. Interpret data with consideration to diverse populations and individual differences.
  8. Apply the principles of effective learning to their own study as the basis for successful lifelong learning.


Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment          
2 - Written Assessment    
3 - Online Quiz(zes)            
4 - Written Assessment  

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Communication        
2. Problem Solving            
3. Critical Thinking      
4. Information Literacy          
5. Team Work                
6. Information Technology Competence              
7. Cross Cultural Competence        
8. Ethical practice          

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment          
2 - Written Assessment          
3 - Online Quiz(zes)          
4 - Written Assessment      

Prescribed Textbooks

The Practical Researcher: A student guide to conducting psychological research
Author/s: Dunn, D. S. Year: 2013
Edition: 3rd Publisher: Wiley
City: Hoboken State: NJ
Country: USA
An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology
Author/s: Burton, L. Year: 2010
Edition: 3rd Publisher: Wiley
City: Milton State: QLD
Country: Australia
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop
Note:

Please note, both books (hard copies) are available packaged together at a reduced cost through the CQU Bookstore, ISBN 9780730308324.

The books are able to be purchased as E-Texts (electronic copies) direct from the publisher.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • CQUniversity Student Email
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorBradley Smith - smithpb (b.p.smith@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Science and psychology

Dunn- Chapter 1

Burton- Chapter 1

Decide upon the research topic from a short list of ideas.

Week 2 13-03-2017

Research approaches and generating research questions

Dunn- Chapter 2

Participate in the online survey + get 5 people to complete the survey.

Week 3 20-03-2017

Conducting experimental research

Dunn- Chapter 6

Week 4 27-03-2017

Conducting ethical research

Dunn- Chapter 5

Week 5 03-04-2017

Applied research and field research

Dunn- Chapter 7

Written Assessment (Ethics Personal Reflection) Due Friday (07 Apr 17) 05:00 PM AEST
Vacation Week 10-04-2017

No lecture (vacation week)

Week 6 17-04-2017

Searching psychological literature

Dunn- Chapter 3

Burton- Chapter 1

Week 7 24-04-2017

Critically evaluating research evidence

Dunn- Chapter 3

Burton- Chapter 3

Week 8 01-05-2017

Writing in psychology 1 (overview)

Dunn- Chapter 4

Burton (Chapters 1 and 5)

Written Assessment (Critical Evaluation Task) Due Friday (05 May 17) 05:00 PM AEST
Week 9 08-05-2017

Writing in psychology 2 (reports)

Burton- Chapter 5

Week 10 15-05-2017

Writing in APA style

Dunn- Chapter 9

Burton- Chapters 2 and 7

Online Quiz (APA referencing style) Due Friday (19 May 17) 05:00 PM AEST
Week 11 22-05-2017

Data analysis

Dunn- Chapter 8

Week 12 29-05-2017

The research process in action

Dunn- Chapter 9

Written Assessment (Research Report) Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 05:00 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Written Assessment (Ethics Personal Reflection)
Task Description

A list of psychological experiments will be provided. This assessment requires you to (a) select and research one of the ten listed psychological experiments in detail, and (b) provide a 500 word (+/- 10%) personal reflection.

This assignment is your chance to add your thoughts and analysis to what you have read and experienced. This piece of writing is meant to illustrate your understanding of the experiment (for example, why and how it was done, the ethical implications), and how it affects your ideas and possible practice in future.

You are required to submit ONE personal reflection (worth 20%). Responses should be posted on the appropriate Moodle forum. Information relating to the list of psychological experiments to be reviewed will be made available after the lecture in Week 1, and remain open until Friday Week 5.

Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (07-Apr-2017) 05:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 7 Friday (28-Apr-2017)
Assignments will be returned within two weeks of submission
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria

This assessment will be graded out of 20 marks. Marks will be allocated to each of the following questions:

1) An understanding of the issues and ethics of the particular experiment are demonstrated (5 marks).

2) Reference to personal experiences, situations, events or new information is made (5 marks).

3) Response is of sufficient length (5 marks).

4) Written with good spelling and grammar (5 marks).

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

2. Synthesize ideas and extract themes from current psychological literature.

3. Communicate ideas effectively in writing and in adherence with APA style.

5. Articulate the key values, ethics and principles of psychology and the study of human behaviour.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

4. Information Literacy

8. Ethical practice



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Written Assessment (Critical Evaluation Task)
Task Description

This task is designed to help you apply critical thinking principles when reviewing research articles. You must apply critical evaluation skills and write a critique of a research paper that will be provided to you. When writing the review, you must use/answer the following questions (adapted from Dunn).

  1. What is the "problem" or issue being addressed?
  2. Is the problem/issue worth investigating? (why/why not?).
  3. What is the main argument/hypotheses presented in this text?
  4. Think about the authors of this text – are they authoritative/expert, do they have a biased agenda or perspective, is the text up to date? (did they declare a conflict of interest, and how might this impact the study or its findings?)
  5. Have the key terms been properly defined? (can a lay audience understand it?)
  6. Are the key arguments based on sound theory? (and what are the theories?)
  7. Have testable hypotheses been proposed? (and what are they?)
  8. Have alternative sides of the arguments been addressed? (and how did they deal with them)
  9. Can you identify any fallacies in the arguments? (are the arguments believable?)
  10. Is the methodology ethically sound? (what might some of the ethical issues be?)
  11. Was the research methodology appropriate? (e.g. does the study design match enable the research question to be adequately tested?)
  12. Have you identified who the participants were and how they were recruited? (and how might this influence the findings)
  13. Do the participants form a representative sample (can the results be generalised to the target population with confidence?)
  14. Have the appropriate analyses been used?
  15. Are the results presented clearly? (e.g. are all data provided and easy to follow?)
  16. What are the major findings?
  17. Do the results support the hypotheses?
  18. Have you ruled out any alternative explanations for the results? (what might some be?)
  19. Are the conclusions based on logical reasoning? (are you convinced by the author's conclusions?)
  20. Has the study made an important contribution to the research topic? (and what is it?)
Assessment Due Date Week 8 Friday (05-May-2017) 05:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 10 Friday (19-May-2017)
Students will receive feedback within two weeks of submission
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria

This assessment will be graded out of 20. One (1) mark is allocated to each of the twenty (20) questions. There is no word limit for this assessment, however, responses to each item must be given in at least one or two sentences. One word responses will not be accepted.

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Plan and construct written arguments within a logical, flowing, coherent structure.

2. Synthesize ideas and extract themes from current psychological literature.

3. Communicate ideas effectively in writing and in adherence with APA style.

6. Apply the philosophy of science to problems relevant to the field of psychology and the social sciences.

7. Interpret data with consideration to diverse populations and individual differences.

8. Apply the principles of effective learning to their own study as the basis for successful lifelong learning.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy



3 Online Quiz(zes)

Assessment Title Online Quiz (APA referencing style)
Task Description

The quiz will consist of 10 multiple choice questions. Questions will be related to the use of the APA referencing style. The quiz will remain open from Monday Week 6 until Friday Week 10. You will only be given one opportunity to complete the quiz.

Number of Quizzes 1
Assessment Due Date Week 10 Friday (19-May-2017) 05:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Feedback provided upon completion of the quiz
Weighting 10%
Assessment Criteria

One (1) mark will be given for each correct response. You will only be given one opportunity to complete the quiz.

Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

3. Communicate ideas effectively in writing and in adherence with APA style.

8. Apply the principles of effective learning to their own study as the basis for successful lifelong learning.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence



4 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Written Assessment (Research Report)
Task Description

The aim of this assessment is to enable you to practice writing and preparing a research report. You should be able to demonstrate that you can critically evaluate the literature, communicate a research aim, construct a hypothesis and discuss research findings. You will be required to complete a survey provided by the course coordinator over the first two weeks of the term. Results of the experiment will be made available in Week 4. You will be required to write a 1500-2000 word research report on this data including an abstract, introduction and literature review (brief), a methods and procedure section, a results section, a discussion section, and a reference list. No statistical analysis will be required (this will be provided to you). However, some general descriptive data may need to be calculated (e.g. demographic data, and basic means and standard deviations for some variables). For the literature review (5 references will be provided, but 5 more must be found and referred to in your report). The report must be written in APA format.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 05:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Exam Week Friday (16-Jun-2017)
Reports will be returned within two weeks of submission
Weighting 50%
Assessment Criteria

The report will be graded out of 50 marks, and is worth. 50% of the overall unit. Marks are divided according to the following criteria:

  • Title: 2 marks
  • Abstract (summary of research and findings): 5 marks
  • Introduction (discussion of research problem, aims, hypotheses): 10 marks
  • Methods (subjects, methodology, procedure): 6 marks
  • Results (clarity of reporting, inclusion of graphs/tables, summary of findings): 6 marks
  • Discussion (summary of findings, implications, criticisms, future directions): 10 marks
  • References (using APA style, and including 5 additional references): 6 marks
  • General (formatting, style, spelling etc): 5 marks

More detail (and marking rubric) will be provided on the Moodle site.

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Plan and construct written arguments within a logical, flowing, coherent structure.

2. Synthesize ideas and extract themes from current psychological literature.

3. Communicate ideas effectively in writing and in adherence with APA style.

4. Apply basic concepts of research design and statistics to problems in relevant fields of psychology.

6. Apply the philosophy of science to problems relevant to the field of psychology and the social sciences.

7. Interpret data with consideration to diverse populations and individual differences.

8. Apply the principles of effective learning to their own study as the basis for successful lifelong learning.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

6. Information Technology Competence

8. Ethical practice




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