95697 - Research Methods in Cognitive Science (1) (Lm)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Claudia Scorolli

  • Credits 6

  • SSD M-PSI/01

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Semiotics (cod. 8886)


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

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The learning objective of the course is to provide students with an overview of the research methods currently applied in cognitive science, detailing their advantages and disadvantages. Particular attention will be paid to the specificity of the different methods in relation to both the investigation field and the research question

Course contents

The aim for this course is to provide students with the necessary foundation to think critically about research in cognitive science. The course reviews the scientific method and considers the strengths and weaknesses of a range of approaches, such as laboratory experimentation and neuroscience methods. Students will be also introduced to principles for the ethical conduct of research.

Upon successful completion of the course, students will:

- Evaluate a broad range of methods in cognitive science and consider how they suit various research questions;

- Understand basic principles of experimental design and how to move from a general idea to a specific research question;

- Conduct simple statistical analyses;

- Consider ethical questions;

- Come up with research questions and effectively communicate them;

- Find appropriate background literature suitable to particular research questions.


The list of documents may be subject to change: do not purchase them before the beginning of the course. For attending students, more specific literature can be discussed with the professor.


- Psychology Research Methods, L.J. Burton, C.J. Goodwin, K. A. Goodwin, P.E. Jose, J. Reece, J. Gullifer, A. Lambros, M. Mussa, & A. Lamont-Mills. WILEY, 2021, 1st Edition.

- or: Research Methods in Psychology for Dummies, Dempster M., & Hanna, D. WILEY, 2015.


Otherwise, for students who have already passed an exam on research methods in psychology:

The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project, Zina O’Leary. SAGE Publishing, 2021, 4th Edition.

- A scientific paper (see the section Scientific Papers in Virtuale)


> For attending students all materials will be uploaded in Virtuale.

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons with power point presentations, group works, critical discussions, simulations of experiments.

Assessment methods

The exam will be aimed at verifying the achievement of a critical view of the topics covered during the course through two questions (one hour):

- brief description of a specific Method with a concise example of its application;

- production of an original and structured Research Proposal.


Evaluation criteria:

Excellence for

  • excellent knowledge of the acquired contents;
  • critical remarks on those contents;
  • congruity of the used terminology;
  • acquisition of a consistent-organic vision;
  • ability to orientate between different theoretical and methodological views.

Average for

  • a mnemonic knowledge of the subject;
  • synthesis and analysis articulated with a correct language, but not always appropriate.

Insufficient in case of

  • knowledge gaps and / or inappropriate language;
  • poor mastering of bibliographic materials provided during the course.

Teaching tools

Power point presentations.

Office hours

See the website of Claudia Scorolli