07103 - Methodology of Psychological Research

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student a) has sufficient knowledge of the methodology and scientific research procedures; b) is able to project and realize a scientific research; c) knows and can critically use the psychological measure instruments.

Course contents

The course will take place during the second semester (from February to May) at the Cesena Campus of the School of Psychology and Education (address: piazza A. Moro, 90).

The contents will be:

1. Scientific methods and False Hypothesis Significance Testing

  • Science: between demonstrative and descriptive concept
  • The Popper’s critical rationalism

2. Measure in Psychology

  • From the constructs to the variables
  • Quantitative and qualitative measures
  • Scales of measurement

3. Measure evaluation

  • Validity of psychological measure
  • Reliability of psychological measure

4. Experimental, non experimental and quasi-experimental research design

  • Correlational relationship and a causal relationship
  • Experimental methods and descriptive methods

5. Research methods

  • Hypothesis of research
  • Experimental design
  • Data collection
  • Statistical analysis and results interpretation
  • Communication of results

6. Ethic in research

  • Ethic code and research implications

7. Sampling methods

  • Probability and nonprobability sampling
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Systematic sampling

8. Validity in research

  • Internal validity
  • External validity
  • Content validity
  • Construct validity
  • Statistical validity
  • Ecological validity

7. How to control the bias in psychological research

  • Bias in psychological research
  • Bias control strategies

8. Research designs

  • Independent sample design
  • Repeated measure design
  • Factorial design

9. Advanced statistical techniques

  • Factorial Analysis
  • Meta-analysis
  • Discriminant Analysis and ROC curve


Howitt D. Cramer D. (2016) Research Methods in Psychology, 5/E. Pearson Education INc.

(Optional) Howitt D and Cramer D (2014) Introduction to Statistics in Psychology Pearson Education INc.


Teaching methods

Online lectures in Teams platform

Assessment methods

The test exam is aimed to verify the achievement of the following learning objectives:

-Knowledge of the methodologies and the procedures of scientific research;

- Knowledge of the concepts of validity and reliability of measure and of research;

-The ability to design and to implement a scientific research;

-Critical knowledge and ability to use the psychological measured instruments.

Due to the current emergency situation, until new updates, the examination modality for the 2019-2020 Academic Year is illustrated as follows:

the exam is conducted orally and online through the Teams platform.

During the oral exam, the acquisition of the course objectives and the contents learned will be verified. All the topics of the course must be examined and all of them have the same weight. To assign the mark whose maximum is 30 with honors, the completeness of the answers, reasoning skills on learned contents and the clarity of the presentation will be evaluated. For each question, each of these aspects will be assigned a mark whose maximum is 30 cum laude. The overall mark will be assigned as an average between the different aspects evaluated in each question.

During the exam it is forbidden to use books, notes and electronic devices.

During the exam, aids and supports are allowed for students with Specific Learning Disorder certification and for students with disabilities.

The student is required to complete the online registration within the terms in order to be admitted to the exam. In the case of technical problems the student is required to contact the docent by e-mail. The docent will consider the request and decide about the admission.

Teaching tools

The online lectures in Teams platform are supported by materials available online iol.unibo.it:

scientific articlesPc and materials provided by the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Sara Giovagnoli