Research Methods for Human Inquiry

Subject PSYC30013 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment for this subject is 170 hours


No prerequisites are required for this subject


No corequisites are required for this subject

Recommended Background Knowledge:

Prior coursework in at least two Level 2 psychology subjects is recommended. Level 2 psychology subjects includes Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Personality & Social Psychology. Students are recommended to have previous experience with statistical analysis software, preferably SPSS.

Non Allowed Subjects:

512320 Research Methods 3

512302 Research Methods for Human Inquiry

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards of Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit Website:


Dr Paul Dudgeon


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

12th floor Redmond Barry Building (Building 115 Map)

Telephone: + 61 3 8344 6377



Subject Overview:

In this subject, students will aquire research skills and methods to critically investigate, measure and assess research topics involving human behaviour, interactions, and thought in a variety of contexts. In addition, students will aquire an understanding of fundamental principles in psychological assessment of individual traits and dispositions, in particular, how to evaluate the reliability and validity of psychological assessments. Emphasis will be placed on how the skills and techniques being taught are tools for gathering evidence relating to real-world problems typically encountered in the behavioural sciences, but not limited to this area, for which meaningful inferences can be generalised beyond the particular sample data available. Topics to be covered may include research design, implementation, and evaluation; techniques for measuring human behaviour, emotions, and interactions; the application of relatively simple quantitative models to data in order to identify differences and associations, make predictions, and possibly assert causation.

Learning Outcomes:

The subject aims to:

  • develop skills in the design and assessment of methods to investigate complex problems
  • learn how to apply quantitative models to data concerning real-world problems
  • develop student understanding of, and capacity to, translate research questions into meaningful and appropriate methods of investigation
  • understand fundamental principles for the evaluation of individual and group based psychological assessments
  • 1500 word assignment, due mid semester (35%)
  • 3 hour exam, at end of semester (65%)

Hurdle requirements:

  • Each piece of assessment must be completed
  • Attendance of at least 80% of laboratory classes.

In case of failure to meet the hurdle requirement, additional work will be required before a passing grade can be awarded.

Prescribed Texts:

No prescribed texts.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students will be given appropriate opportunity and educational support to develop skills to:

  • think critically and coherently about how to identify and investigate complex problems
  • translate aims and objectives for investigating complex problems into measureable questions, hypotheses, findings and answers
  • evaluate various forms of evidence to support answers to, and inferences about, complex problems
  • synthesise and present evidence in meaningful and interpretable ways for others to comprehend
  • critically recognize and articulate specific kinds of limitations when investigating complex problems
  • evaluate the reliability and validity of common psychological tests and other approaches to psychological assessment
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Psychology
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED

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