Methods and Statistics in Psychology III

Module titleMethods and Statistics in Psychology III
Module codePSY3402
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Andrew Livingstone (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Undertaking scientific research in psychology requires the ability to analyse quantitative data and to communicate the results of data analysis in a scientific format. The aim of this module is to introduce you to the processes involved in handling your own data, enhance your range of statistical techniques, and to improve your understanding of the ethics involved in data analysis and in the communication of science. The statistical techniques covered in this module are widely used within Psychology, but also within other disciplines, such as Business, Biosciences, Geography and Sports Science.

In this module, you will learn about and become competent in the initial stages of data analysis (e.g., data checking, factor analysis) as well as more advanced regression-based techniques (e.g., moderation, mediation). You will gain an appreciation of how to use statistics to answer research questions, as well as how to evaluate the techniques and reporting methods of other researchers. Finally, you will also learn how to report and communicate the results of data analysis.

This module builds upon the material covered in PSY1205 and PSY2206; hence it is important that you have an understanding of the concepts covered in these modules.

Module aims - intentions of the module

In this module you will develop the skills to analyse relevant datasets using statistical software to carry out and interpret factor analysis and advanced regression techniques, allowing you to then report your findings using relevant reporting conventions. You will also develop the skills to manage your own data sets in an ethical and responsible manner, and the skills to evaluate the use of analysis techniques in published research. These are important transferable skills that will increase your employability after graduation but are also key skills for your final year research project.

Through attending the weekly lectures and practical sessions, and through completing the assessments, you will work towards developing the following academic and professional skills:

  • problem solving (linking theory to practice, being able to respond to novel and unfamiliar problems, handling large amounts of diverse data critically)
  • managing structure (identifying key demands of the task, reviewing and adapting your strategies and progress)
  • time management (managing time effectively individually and within a group)
  • collaboration (taking initiative and leading others, supporting others in their work)
  • self and peer review (taking responsibility for own learning, using feedback from multiple sources), and
  • audience awareness (presenting ideas effectively in multiple formats, taking responsibility for acting in a professional and ethical manner).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe the conceptual basis and the purpose of factor analysis and advanced regression techniques
  • 2. Carry out data checking procedures, factor analysis, and advanced regression techniques quickly and without error using the most widely available computer statistical software, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
  • 3. Interpret the results of data analysis correctly and report the results using journal conventions
  • 4. Decide when it is appropriate to use these techniques for purposes of analysing data for any projects they are planning and collect data in an appropriate form so that the analysis can be used properly
  • 5. Demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues associated with the analysis and reporting of psychological research

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Learn quickly how to use new or more advanced forms of analysis should the need arise
  • 7. Understand and apply knowledge of essential principles in designing novel research, and critically evaluate and analyse empirical evidence, and assess the reliability of empirical evidence using a range of defined techniques at an advanced level
  • 8. Illustrate the wider ethical issues relating to the subject and its application at an advanced level

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Use and interpret statistical data with a scope extending well beyond the coverage of the module itself
  • 10. Master a sophisticated software package on a largely self-taught basis (including use of Help facility provided with the software)
  • 11. Manage your own learning using the full range of resources of the discipline and with minimum guidance
  • 12. Interact effectively and supportively within a learning group

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Over the course of 11 weeks of lectures and 11 hands-on practical classes, you will cover the following topics:

  • Designing research to test hypotheses.
  • The initial stages in data analysis (e.g., data checking and screening, data reduction techniques, including factor analysis, preparing your data for analysis).
  • Advanced regression techniques (e.g., hierarchical regression, moderated regression, mediation, path analysis).
  • Reporting data and communicating results (e.g., ethics in data management, reporting conventions in psychology, evaluating the analyses of reported research).

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Practical classes
Guided Independent Study10Weekly exercises
Guided Independent Study10On-line quizzes
Guided Independent Study40Preparation for lectures and practicals
Guided Independent Study34Preparation for the practical exam
Guided Independent Study34Preparation for the final exam


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly exercises1 hour per weekAllDuring practical classes
On-line quizzes30 minutes per week1-11Automatic feedback on correct and incorrect answers

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
SPSS examination502 hours1-10
Final examination502 hours1-10


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
SPSS examinationSPSS examination1-10August Ref/Def
Final examinationFinal examination1-10August Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/deferred in either examination you will have the opportunity to take a second examination in the August/September re-assessment period. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%; deferred marks are not capped.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core reading:

  • Field, A, (2009) Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (3rd Edition) London: Sage.
  • Pallant, J. (2005) SPSS survival manual (2nd Edition) Maidenhead, Berks.: OUP.

Recommended reading:

  • Harris, P. (2002) Designing and Reporting Experiments in Psychology (2nd Edition) Buckingham: OUP.
  • Howell, D. C. (1997). Statistical Methods for Psychology (4th Edition) Belmont, Calif.: Duxbury Press. (Earlier editions also include most of what you need, as does Howell’s book on: “Fundamental statistics for the behavioral sciences”).
  • Howell, D.C. (1995). Fundamental Statistics for the Behavioural Sciences (3rd Edition). Duxbury.
  • Howitt, D. and Cramer, D. (2008) Introduction to Statistics in Psychology (4th Edition) Harlow, Essex: Prentice-Hall.
  • Kirk, P.E. (1968). Experimental Design. Procedures for the Behavioural Sciences. Brooks/Cole.
  • Kline, P. (1994). An Easy Guide to Factor Analysis. Routledge: London.
  • Myers, J.L. (1972). Fundamentals of Experimental Design. Second Edition. Allyn and Bacon.
  • Myers, J.L, and Well, A.D. (1991) Research Design and Statistical Analysis. HarperCollins: New York.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Statistics and Computing Helpdesk in the computer room (220 WSL) is available for help and advice.

Key words search

Psychology, research methods, statistics, regression, data analysis

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

PSY2206 Methods and Statistics in Psychology II or equivalent

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date