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The University of Southampton

RESM6011 Applied Research Methods (ARM): Correlational Methods

Module Overview

Topics to be covered will include: • the strengths and weaknesses of correlational designs, • how to construct a questionnaire, • psychometrics in classical test theory (including reliability, validity, sensitivity, specificity, principal components analysis and exploratory factor analysis), • correlation analysis, • linear regression (OLS; simple and multiple) and logistic regression (binary and multinomial), • extensions to regression using mediation and moderation. Sessions will be structured to enable an understanding of the appropriate use of and assumptions relating to analyses, the recommended sample size to ensure sufficient power for a given effect size, a step-by-step guide to carrying out analyses in SPSS, interpreting SPSS output, and how to report results. Alignment with Research Development Framework (RDF) Sub domain A1 (Knowledge base): Transferable skills acquired (RDF employability lens): Knowledge of: •The methods and techniques appropriate for research design •Literacy and numeracy skills and language abilities appropriate for research Behaviour: •Identifies, applies and develops methods and techniques appropriate for research projects Alignment with Research Development Framework (RDF) Sub domain A2 (Cognitive abilities): Transferable skills acquired (RDF employability lens): Behaviour: •Analyses and evaluates findings using appropriate methods •Recognises and validates problems; formulates and applies solutions to a range of research problems One of the pre-requisites for PSYC8042. The module assumes a level of prior knowledge of statistical methods and SPSS equivalent to that provided during an undergraduate degree in Psychology.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of correlational research designs.
  • evaluate whether the use of correlational techniques is appropriate.
  • apply relevant factors in operationalising variables and designing questionnaires.
  • demonstrate practical skills in psychometric evaluation of the reliability and validity of questionnaire data
  • apply and report correlational techniques appropriately, with specific reference to: Applying parametric assumptions and data checking requirements, sample size calculations, carrying out relevant analyses using SPSS, Interpreting and communicating results of analyses at a professional level


1. Correlational designs and questionnaire development 2. Bivariate correlation, partial correlation, and non-parametric correlation. 3. Principal component analysis and exploratory factor analysis 4. Linear (OLS) Regression (simple and multiple) & Logistic regression (binary and multinomial) 5. Interactions in regression: Moderation analysis 6. Simple path analysis using regression: Mediation analysis

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This is a 10 CATS (5 ECTS) module, which translates into a total study time of 100 hours. These 100 hours are split into 18 teaching hours and 82 hours of independent study. The 18 teaching hours will consist of six sessions, each lasting 3 hours. Sessions will comprise a lecture directly followed by a computer workshop during which you will be able to gain hands-on experience using the techniques described in the lecture, and give you the opportunity to reinforce your learning from lectures and independent study. Where possible, the lectures will follow an interactive format through the use of zappers. During the computer workshops you will complete tasks on blackboard using SPSS. Tasks can be completed in collaboration with your peers, and with support from teaching assistants.

Completion of assessment task24
Wider reading or practice46
Practical classes and workshops6
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Blackboard. A variety of relevant e-learning resources will be available on Blackboard. These will include lecture slides and additional materials, computer workshop tasks, datasets for analysis, reading lists, links to journal articles, and links to useful websites.

APA (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 

Howitt D. & Cramer D. (2014). An introduction to statistics in psychology. 

Clark-Carter, D (2010). Quantitative Psychological Research. 

Marks, D. F. & Yardley, L. (2004). Research methods for clinical and health psychology. 

Hayes A F (2013). Introduction to Mediation, Moderation, and Conditional Process Analysis: A Regression-Based Approach. 

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

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

Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. 

Tabachnick, B.G. & Fidell L.S. (2014). Using Multivariate Statistics. 

Mayers, A (2013). Introduction to statistics and SPSS in Psychology. 

SPSS. You will require access to SPSS, which is available on the University’s computer workstations and can be downloaded to your own computer for use during your studies. This is available through iSolutions:



Blackboard tasks


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assignment  (1500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 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:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Students are expected to fund their own printing and photocopying costs, if any.


Core texts should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. The library will also have at least one copy of textbooks listed as additional background reading , or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies.

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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