SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMC811518
Module Leader Paul McCarthy
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module will introduce students to advanced techniques for interrogating and understanding psychological data. It is intended to enhance the assessment and evaluation of research via an understanding of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Specific methodologies and issues of relevance to specific research areas are addressed. In addition to enabling students to address questins through sound empirical research and appropriate forms of analysis, this module will assist in the appraisal of published research. A facility in the use of information technology will also be encouraged.


Session 1: Introduction: Basic statistical concepts. Session 2: Correlation and partial correlation: the nature of r2. Session 3: Qualitative methodology: theory. Session 4: Qualitative methodology: applications. Session 5: Multiple regression and R2. Session 6: Topics in regression: dummy coding, interactions, curve components. Session 7: Statistical power analysis. Session 8: Interpretative phenomenological analysis: theory. Session 9: Interpretative phenomenological analysis: workshop. Session 10: Factor analysis. Session 11: Practice exam. Session 12: Review.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:- evaluate the methodology in published psychological research- interrogate a computerised database using complex multivariate techniques, and answer specific research questions based on that analysis- apply multivariate statistical techniques to complex scientific questions- understand the epistemological and ontological underpinnings of qualitative methodologies- describe some key approaches to qualitative analysis- demonstrate familiarity with standard computer data-analysis packages, primarily StatView SE and/or SPSS 10

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Primarily based on workshop sessions located in the computer laboratories.

Indicative Reading

On advice from the librarian, instead of providing unstable individual URL links to help you access material, the follwoing generic approach will work for all modules and all journals. For all modules, books on the indicative reading lists have been 'tagged' by the library so the easiest way to access them is to go to the library home page and then the catalogue search, type in the module code (MMC811518) and select the 'reading list keyword' option. You will then be able to access all the key books linked to each course. In order to accaess the journal articles references, you should again go to the library website and then select the journal search option and search using the name of the journal, then following the link to the volume, issues and article you want. You may have to enter your Athens username and password at some point. If so, and you cannot remember it, you can access this by linking onto 'My Caledonian' selecting the 'Athens' tab (top right) and using the information given there. Brocki, J. M., & Wearden, A. J. (2006). A critical evaluation of the use of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) in health psychology. Psychology and Health, 21, 87-108. Cohen, J. (1990). Things I have learned (so far). American Psychologist, 45, 1304-1312. Cohen, J. (1994). The Earth is round (p < .05). American Psychologist, 49, 997-1003. Cramer, D. (2003). Advanced quantitative data analysis. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Elliot, R., Fischer, C., & Rennie, D. (1999). Evolving guidelines for publication of qualitative research studies in psychology and related fields. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 38, 215-229. Murphy, K. R., & Myors, B. (1998). Statistical power analysis: A simple and general model for traditional and modern hypothesis tests. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Reid, K., Flowers, P., & Larkin, M. (2005). Exploring lived experience. The Psychologist, 18, 20-23. Smith, J. A., & Osborn, M. (2003). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. In Smith, J. A. (ed.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. London: Sage. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson International Edition. Walters, G. D. (2007). Methodological and statistical advances in correctional and forensic psychology. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34, 1533-1535. Willig, C. (2001). Introducing qualitative research in psychology: Adventures in theory and method. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Transferrable Skills

Students will gain an understanding of complex analytical methods in psychological research.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (PT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (PT) 106.00
Assessment (PT) 20.00
Practicals (PT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FT) 106.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (School) 3.00 100.00 50% open book