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Research Methodology 1 2017/2018

  • 7 ECTS
  • Taught in Portuguese
  • Continuous Assessment

Objectives

After completing the course, the student will be able to:
• Identify and take ownership of the style and form of scientific writing in psychology, following APA standards (6th ed.);
• Identify the contents and structure of a systematic literature review and meta-analysis;
• Know how to conduct a (systematic) literature review;
• Identify research questions in clinical and health psychology;
• Identify and elaborate research goals and hypothesis in research in clinical and health psychology;
• Identify relationships between constructs, variables and assessment measures in studies in clinical and health psychology;
• Understand the importance of the sampling procedures quality for the validity of results;
• Identify and reflect about the ethical conditions for research in clinical and health psychology;
• Develop autonomy in the critical examination of the planning and interpretation of research in clinical and health psychology.

Recommended Prerequisites

The students should present basic knowledge acquired in the 1st cycle courses associated with statistics, data analysis, research methodology and fundaments of psychological assessment. Students should also be familiar with the use of bibliographic research resources, whether using physical means (libraries, interlibrary loans, etc.) or using electronic databases. Students should also have English language skills.

Teaching Metodology

The focus will be placed on active and participatory methodologies, with some use of expository and demonstrative methods. Teaching will be supported on the exploration of scientific articles, chapters, and databases. The students will be invited to carry out practical activities individually and in small groups, namely in the application of norms and procedures of scientific writing in psychology, literature review, and reflection and discussion about the quality and applicability of research methodologies in clinical and health psychology. These practical activities will seek the active resolution of research problems in psychology. The teacher will provide continuous feedback, facilitating exploration and the emergence of competence in the students through tutorial guidance.

Body of Work

1. The role of research in clinical and health psychology.
2. The research report in psychology
2.1 Types of research reports
2.2 Content and formatting of research reports
3. The literature review
3.1 Data bases, procedures, and information coding
3.2 The meta-analysis and the systematic review of literature
4. Identification of research questions in clinical and health psychology
4.1 Research topics in clinical and health psychology
4.2 Identification of research needs and aims
5. Objectives and research hypotheses
6 Constructs, variables, and measures
7. Problems of generalization and decision-making in research. Sampling.
8. Ethics in research in Clinical and Health Psychology.

Recommended Bibliography

American Psychological Association (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Barker, C., Pistrang, N., & Elliott, R. (2016). Research methods in clinical psychology. Chichester: Wiley.
Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). London: Sage Publications Ltd.
Howittt, D., & Cramer, D. (2011). Introduction to research methods in psychology (3rd. ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited.
Perestelo-Pérez, L. (2013). Standards on how to develop and report systematic reviews in Psychology and Health. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 13, 49-57.

Complementary Bibliography

Almeida, L. S. & Freire, T. (2010). Metodologia da investigação em psicologia e educação (5ª edição). Braga: Psiquilíbrios.
Coutinho, C. P. (2011). Metodologia de investigação em ciências sociais e humanas: Teoria e prática. Coimbra: Livraria Almedina.
Forrester, M. (Ed.) (2010). Doing qualitative research: A pratical guide.. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Marôco, J. (2014). Análise estatística com o SPSS Statistics (6ª ed.). Pêro Pinheiro: Report Number.
Martins, C. (2011). Manual de análise de dados quantitativos com recurso ao IBM SPSS: Saber decidir, fazer, interpretar e redigir. Braga: Psiquilíbrios.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Wilkinson, D. & Birmingham, P. (2003). Using research instruments: A guide for researchers. London: Routledge.

Weekly Planning

Week 1 - Presentation. The role of research in clinical and health psychology. Critical analysis of the quality of research.
Week 2 - The research report in psychology. Types of research reports. Content and formatting of research reports.
Week 3 - The literature review as the basis of research in psychology: databases, procedures, and information coding.
Week 4 - The literature review as a type of study in psychology: meta-analysis, systematic literature review, and scoping review. Procedures for carrying out a systematic review of the literature. Tutorial guidance of group assignments.
Week 5 - Procedures in the conduction of the systematic literature review (continuation). Review of APA standards applied to literature review studies. Tutorial guidance of group assignments.
Week 6 - Identification of research questions in clinical and health psychology. Procedures in the conduction of systematic the literature review (continuation). Tutorial guidance of group assignments.
Week 7 - Group assignments; tutorial guidance of group assignments.
Week 8 - Presentation of group assignments.
Week 9 - Research goals and hypotheses.
Week 10 - Constructs, variables, and measures.
Week 11 - Constructs, variables, and measures.
Week 12 - Problems in generalization and decision making in research. Sampling.
Week 13 - Samples in clinical psychology and health studies. Tutorial guidance of individual assignments.
Week 14 - Seminars of applied research in clinical and health psychology. Tutorial guidance of individual assignments.
Week 15 - Ethics in research in Clinical and Health Psychology - further issues. Test. Applied research seminars in clinical and health psychology.

Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

The identification and appropriation of the style and format of scientific writing and reporting in psychology, following APA standards, will be supported on contents regarding the research report in psychology and its norms. The identification of the content and structure of a literature review and the development of competencies for conducting a literature review will be supported by programmatic contents centered on the literature review, its objectives, supports, and procedures. The development of competencies to identify research questions in clinical and health psychology, research objectives and methods, as well as the development of autonomy skills in critical thinking about the planning and interpretation of research in clinical and health psychology will be supported on contents about themes and research needs in this field, hypotheses, variables, and measures, samples, and ethical conditions for conducting studies in psychology.

Demonstration of the teaching methodologies coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

The use of expository methods allows the transmission and analysis of new contents regarding research methods in psychology. These methods support the acquisition of advanced knowledge in the field by the students. The use of methodologies that involve the active participation of the students, individually or in groups, is done through exercises of the application of writing and research standards in psychology, exploration of literature review articles, and conducting a systematic review of the literature, and the analysis and interpretation of sections of methods and results of research reports. This appropriation also resorts to the resolution of problems applied to research, namely in the planning of research and critical evaluation of the used methods. The completion of individual and group assignments will contribute to the acquisition of literature review skills and of research planning, as well as the use of research methods and results. The combination of these different methodologies will allow, in this way, the pursuit of the objectives proposed for the Curricular Unit.

relevant generic skillimproved?assessed?
Achieving practical application of theoretical knowledgeYesYes
Adapting to new situationsYesYes
Analytical and synthetic skillsYesYes
Balanced decision makingYesYes
Bargaining abilityYesYes
Commitment to effectivenessYesYes
Commitment to qualityYesYes
CreativityYesYes
Cultural awareness  
Ethical and responsible behaviourYesYes
Event organization, planning and managementYesYes
Foreign language proficiencyYes 
Information and learning managementYesYes
Initiative and entrepreneurship capabilityYes 
IT and technology proficiencyYesYes
LeadershipYes 
Problem Analysis and AssessmentYesYes
Problem-solvingYesYes
Relating to othersYesYes
Research skillsYesYes
Self-assessmentYes 
TeamworkYesYes
Understanding multiculturalism and valuing diversity  
Working in international contextYes 
Written and verbal communications skillsYesYes
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