Course Title: Advanced Research Methods 1
Part A: Course Overview
Course ID: 010938
Course Title: Advanced Research Methods 1
Credit Points: 10
150H Health Sciences
Sem 1 2006
Course Coordinator: Dr John Reece
Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7512
Course Coordinator Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Coordinator Location: 201.3.7
Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities
This course is a postgraduate-level course in quantitative research design and data analysis, with a focus on the use of the SPSS data analysis package. As such, it is assumed that (a) students have completed an Honours-level degree or equivalent in applied science, (b) that their degree has incorporated undergraduate training in quantitative research design and data analysis, and (c) that they have some familiarity with the SPSS data analysis package.
This unit builds on the material presented in the Honours-level research methods and data analysis course offered by the Division of Psychology. However, because students will be entering this program from a variety of backgrounds (i.e., fourth year programs at other institutions & from disciplines other than psychology & disability studies) the unit incorporates some remediation of basic design, analysis, and methodological concepts. The fundamental aim of the unit is to provide higher degree students - both research and coursework - with the methodological skills necessary for them to carry out independent research. Throughout the year, methodological and design considerations are integrated with statistical techniques. Statistical theory is not emphasised; instead, students are trained to be consumers and users of statistics. Applied linkages are developed through the extensive use of the SPSS data analysis package. Although the majority of students enrolled in the course are postgraduate psychology students, the course is applicable to any student carrying out applied human research that involves quantitative design and analysis. Examples are drawn from a range of discipline areas.
Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development
Upon completion of this course, students will be expected to be able to:
1. Describe the important methodological and design issues underlying applied human research.
2. Carry out independent research using a range of research designs and methods.
3. Enter, analyse, and interpret the results of data using SPSS for Windows.
4. Describe the essential features of a range of advanced statistical techniques.
Through lectures, students acquire a framework for and understanding of the theoretical and conceptual bases of the unit. Further, this material is reinforced through students’ practical, applied out-of-class data analysis exercises, involving problem solving aided by computer-based statistical analysis software. As well as engaging students in critical thinking, this enables responsibility for drawing conclusions from, applying, and disseminating the knowledge acquired from data analysis.
Overview of Learning Activities
Advanced Research Methods 1 can be divided into four components. The unit begins with a discussion of broad and basic methodological issues, such as research design, differences between non-experimental, quasi-experimental, and experimental research, internal and external validity, statistical significance, effect size, and power, N = 1, designs, clinical significance, and so on. The next section of the unit presents the basics of using SPSS for Windows. Following this, exploratory data analysis, data screening, and basic descriptive and inferential statistical procedures are covered, using SPSS. The remainder of the semester involves an in-depth consideration of the analysis of various research designs within an analysis of variance/modelling framework.
Overview of Learning Resources
Coakes, S. J., Steed, L., & Dzidic, P. (2006). SPSS: Analysis without anguish—Version 13.0 for Windows. Brisbane: John Wiley & Sons.
• Companion website: http://www.johnwiley.com.au/highered/spssv13/
Field, A. (2005). Discovering statistics using SPSS for Windows (2nd ed.). London: Sage.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.sagepub.co.uk/book.aspx?pid=106326
• Companion website: http://www.sagepub.co.uk/field/
Green, S. B., & Salkind, N. J. (2005). Using SPSS for Windows and Macintosh: Analyzing and understanding data (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
• Publisher’s website: http://vig.prenhall.com/catalog/academic/product/0,1144,013146597X,00.html
Norusis, M.J. (2006). SPSS 13.0 guide to data analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
• Publisher’s website: http://vig.prenhall.com/catalog/academic/product/0,1144,0131865358,00.html
Norusis, M.J. (2006). SPSS 13.0 statistical procedures companion. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
• Publisher’s website: http://vig.prenhall.com/catalog/academic/product/0,1144,0131865390,00.html
Norusis, M.J. (2006). SPSS 13.0 advanced statistical procedures companion. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
• Publisher’s website: http://vig.prenhall.com/catalog/academic/product/0,1144,0131865404,00.html
Introductory General Statistics Texts
Aron, A., Aron, E.N., & Coups, E. (2006). Statistics for psychology (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
• Publisher’s website: http://vig.prenhall.com/catalog/academic/product/0,1144,0131931679,00.html
• Companion website: http://wps.prenhall.com/hss_aron_statistics_4
Gravetter, F.J., & Wallnau, L.B. (2004). Statistics for the behavioral sciences (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M2b&product_isbn_issn=0534602460&discipline_number=24
• Companion website: http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M20b&product_isbn_issn=0534602460&discipline_number=24
Advanced Statistics Texts
Howell, D.C. (2002). Statistical methods for psychology (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M2b&product_isbn_issn=053437770X&discipline_number=24
• Companion website: http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M20b&product_isbn_issn=053437770X&discipline_number=24
Tabachnick, B.G., & Fidell, L.S. (2001). Computer assisted research design and analysis.. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
• Companion website: http://www.ablongman.com/tabachnick/card/index.html
Multivariate Statistics Texts
Tabachnick, B.G., & Fidell, L.S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.ablongman.com/catalog/academic/product/0,1144,0321056779,00.html
• Companion website: http://www.ablongman.com/tabachnick/stats/index.html
Grimm, L.G., & Yarnold, P.R. (1995). Reading and understanding multivariate statistics. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.apa.org/books/4316510.html
Grimm, L.G., & Yarnold, P.R. (2000). Reading and understanding more multivariate statistics. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.apa.org/books/431643A.html
General Methodology Texts
Salkind, N. J. (2006). Exploring research (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
• Publisher’s website: http://vig.prenhall.com/catalog/academic/product/0,1144,0131937839,00.html
• Companion website: http://wps.prenhall.com/hss_salkind_exploring_6
Kazdin, A.E. (Ed.) (1992). Methodological issues and strategies in clinical research. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Kazdin, A.E. (Ed.) (1998). Methodological issues and strategies in clinical research (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.apa.org/books/431603A.html
Kazdin, A.E. (Ed.) (2003). Methodological issues and strategies in clinical research (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.apa.org/books/431693A.html
Jalongo, M.R., Gerlach, G.J., & Yan, W. (2001). Annual editions: Research methods 01/02. Guilford, CO: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.dushkin.com/text-data/catalog/007240437x.mhtml
Kline, R. B. (2004). Beyond significance testing: Reforming data analysis methods in behavioural research. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
• Publisher’s website: http://www.apa.org/books/4316031.html
• Companion website: http://www.apa.org/books/resources/kline/
Useful Websites (will be discussed in class):
The Google sub-directory for SPSS:
The University of California SPSS support site. Heaps of useful stuff:
SPSS’s technical support site:
The SPSS support site from Central Michigan University. The movie-based tutorials are great:
An SPSS training and support site from Texas A & M University. Excellent Windows Media Player tutorials.
An online stats text from New Zealand. Excellent material on effect size measures:
A research methods support site from Cornell University:
The homepage of Bruce Thompson, one of the gurus of effect sizes:
David Howell’s website. David is the author of one of the most commonly adopted stats text for psychology students:
An online stats text from David Lane, who has written several important pieces of statistical software:
Rice University’s online stats lab. Very well put together:
The companion website for the software package, Statistica. An excellent resource:
The website for the Durham effect size calculator.
The website for the G-Power program:
The website for Mike Smithson’s software for calculating effect sizes and confidence intervals around them:
Overview of Assessment
1. A three-hour multiple-choice test will be held in the University exam period. (70%)
2. Assessment tasks and the percentage value of each task.
At the beginning of the semester, each student will be given a unique data sheet. Throughout the semester, students will be required to analyse this data and submit print-outs of the results. Two analyses will be required. (1 x 10% [exercise 1] + 1 x 20% [exercise 2] = 30%)
3. Gradings available
HD High Distinction 80 - 100
DI Distinction 70 - 79
CR Credit 60 - 69
PA Pass 50 - 59
PX Pass No higher grade available
NN Fail 0 - 49