Curricular Unit:Code:
Experimental Psychology1138PEXP
2UndergraduatePsychology6 ects
Learning Period:Language of Instruction:Total Hours:
Spring SemesterPortuguese/English78
Learning Outcomes of the Curricular Unit:
LO1. Demonstrate familiarity with concepts, methods and techniques of experimental psychology
LO2. Design a well-controlled scientific study on a central theme of Cognitive Psychology
LO3. Formulate and state hypotheses which can be tested empirically
LO4. Select experimental design appropriate to study purpose
LO5. Master and apply the different procedures for manipulation, control and recording of experimental variables
LO6. Select appropriate data analysis methods based on the experimental design adopted
LO7. Analyze the data obtained using SPSS, a statistical software package
LO8. Describe the data obtained using descriptive and inferential statistical analyses
LO9. Make valid inferences from these analyses and draw conclusions which are warranted
LO10. Write a research report in the form which is used for publishing psychological research
LO11. Develop a critical and self-critical attitude and adopt ethical and deontological values
CP1. An introduction to experimental psychology_1.1. Historical roots; 1.2. Experimental psychology and the scientific method; 1.3. Alternatives to experimentation; 1.4. Experimental research ethics.
CP2. Method_2.1. The basics of experimentation; 2.2. Experimental designs; 2.3. Controlling. extraneous variables
CP3. Results_3.1. The role of inferential statistics; 3.2. Experimental designs and statistical tests selection.
CP4. Discussion
4.1. Results interpretation and drawing conclusions; 4.2. Writing the research report; 4.3. APA editorial style.
Demonstration of the Syllabus Coherence with the Curricular Unit's Objectives:
This course was designed with reference to the development of basic knowledge and skills in the field of psychology. Structured in 4 unites of study (S), the syllabus contents were defined from the 11 learning outcomes (LO) previously established, and aims to introduce to experimental methods employed in the study of cognitive and social determinants. The 4 unites of study were selected in order to allow students gain experience in the conduct of research, including: design selection and method planning, the analysis of behavioral data, considerations of validity, reliability, and research ethics; and preparation of written reports. There is, thus, a total coherence and correspondence between the syllabus and the learning outcomes, namely:
S1 – LO1, LO2 e LO11;
S2 – LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 e LO11;
S3 – LO1, LO2, LO6, LO7, LO8 e LO11;
S4 – LO1, LO2, LO8, LO9, LO10 e LO11.
Teaching Methodologies (Including Evaluation):
During contact hours, the following teaching methodologies will be used: expository, participatory and active. Non-contact hours are dedicated to student’s autonomous work.
The evaluation can be continuous or final (end-of-semester, supplementary and special exams periods). In continuous evaluation, student must guarantee the minimum attendance defined in UFP Academic Standards, and must be approved in the following elements: written test (50%), active participation during classes (10%) and preparation of an experiment with SuperLab software, data collection and analysis and report writing (40%). Students who fail the continuous evaluation can apply to a final written exam (100%). In order to obtain the ECTS credits of this curricular unit, student must successfully achieve the learning outcomes and skills defined for it, and get a final average of at least 9.5.
Demonstration of the Coherence between the Teaching Methodologies and the Learning Outcomes:
The adopted teaching methodologies are aligned with the learning outcomes (LO) defined for this curricular unit, aiming at allowing the student to know and to explore the foundation of experimental psychology and to facilitate critical thinking when engaging in and evaluating experimental science research, in order to apply and build knowledge in this area of action (reproductive and productive skills, respectively). In this context, the articulation of expository methodology, that will allow the theoretical presentation and the development of the syllabus, with more practical methodologies and applied in a laboratory setting, that will foster critical discussion of the issues, empirical paper studies analysis and exercises and activities requiring the realization of experiments in SuperLab, will be promoted. This articulation will encourage active learning in order to allow a deeper understanding of the topics under study, as well as the integration of theory with practice, providing a comprehensive framework of the terminology, concepts and basic methods of experimental research. In particular, the expository methodology, through the presentation and systematization of the topics, will allow conceptual and theoretical development; the participatory methodology, through critical analysis of scientific papers and the promotion of guided exercises, and the active methodology, through the conduction of individual and small groups assignments under supervision (including conception of experiments in SuperLab, data collection and analysis, and writing research reports), will enable the development of skills regarding designing a quantitative research study including: identifying a research idea, critically reviewing relevant literature, formulating testable hypotheses, identifying the sample population, choosing an appropriate research design, outlining the methods and proposed analyses, conducting applied statistical analysis, drawing conclusions and writing a research report. The non-contact hours will be devoted to autonomous work of the student, in which the reading of the recommended bibliography and the conduction of proposed activities are expected as a mean to consolidate and apply the knowledge and to develop skills and competencies in this field. The combination of these different methodologies will allow the student to achieve the LO proposed for this curricular unit, that articulate knowledge, skills and competencies. This consistency between the LO and the teaching methodologies (and evaluation) adopted is achieved as follows: for all LO (1 to 11), student will be exposed first to the expository method, followed by the participatory (with exercises resolution) and active (individual and group assignments) methods.
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McGuigan, F. (1997). Experimental Psychology Methods of Research (7.ª ed.) New York: Prentice Hall.
Myers, A. & Hansen, C. (2012). Experimental psychology (7ª ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth.