The University of Southampton

PSYC1010 Research Methods and Data Analysis I

Module Overview

Psychology is a science that involves experimental work and data analysis. The module will provide the fundamental information required to progress to more complex statistical techniques taught in Semester 2 and Year 2. Learning about research methods and data analysis will enable you to be able to evaluate the research of other psychologists, and design and execute your own research throughout your degree.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide an introduction to the methods used by experimental psychologists in conducting research and in the techniques used to analyse data.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the basic concepts of research methods and statistics within the context of experimental psychology.
  • Conduct and interpret results from basic statistical techniques and analyses.
  • Present data and perform basic analyses, by hand, using the computer spreadsheet Excel, and using the statistics package SPSS.


• Experimental Questions: Hypothesis formation, the null hypothesis, variables (independent, dependent, discrete, continuous). Measurement scales (nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio) • Research Methods: Experimental vs. non-experimental, case studies, correlation, laboratory vs. field, independent samples, repeated measures, mixed factorial designs, control groups, random allocation, sampling methods (random, stratified, snow-ball, convenience, etc.), reliability, validity, controlling for participants' expectations and experimenter effects. • Descriptive Statistics: Means, modes, medians, percentiles, variance, standard deviation, interquartile range. • Presenting Data: Tables, frequency plots, cumulative frequency plots, histograms, stem & leaf plots, box & whisker plots, scatter plots, bar charts, applied to simple and factorial designs, including interactions. • Samples & population distributions: skew, kurtosis, bimodal distributions, transforming data, normal distribution, z-scores, sampling distribution of the mean, Central Limit Theorem, standard error, confidence intervals. • Statistical Tests: z-test and one-sample t-test.

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study110
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics. 

Howitt, D & Cramer, D. (2014). Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessment Formative assessment: Answers and feedback will be provided for the on-line exercises to give you the chance to monitor your own progress. Summative assessment: Students will be assessed by two exams: the first, mid-semester exam will be a multiple-choice test (30%); the second, end-of-semester exam will consist of multiple-choice (32.5%) and short answer questions (35%). Participation in the Research Participation Scheme provides 2.5% of module marks. Feedback Given that there is no coursework for this course, the primary source of feedback on your progress will come from the on-line exercises and their explanations. General feedback on the mid-semester exam is provided during the lecture in Week 10. Example past exam questions will be provided, together with model answers and information required to generate the answers. There will be a revision session in the last lecture. Should you have any concerns about your progress on the course, or understanding of a particular area, please come to see the teaching assistants during the optional drop-in sessions or the lecturer during office hours.


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 67.5%
Exam  (1 hours) 30%
Research Participation Scheme 2.5%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Purchase of the SPSS book by Andy Field and the calculator.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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