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PSYC421 Advanced Research Methods

Development of critical reading, writing and thinking skills necessary for designing research and assessing the usefulness of the research of others.

This paper investigates issues in the design, analysis and reporting of experimental and naturalistic studies in psychology. It is designed to develop a wide range of analytical skills used in psychological research. The aim is to provide training in skills required for carrying out a research project in any area of psychology (or in the biological and social sciences, more generally) - from literature search and data analysis, to the ability to critically appraise published research. Recommended for postgraduate students interested in advanced research skills.

Paper title Advanced Research Methods
Paper code PSYC421
Subject Psychology
EFTS 0.0833
Points 10 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $704.22
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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PSYC 461

Entry into Psychology 400-level normally requires a major in Psychology, a B+ average or higher in Psychology 300-level papers, and a pass in PSYC 311 Quantitative Methods. We highly recommend that students have completed PSYC 310. Students from other universities must show evidence of an equivalent level of competence.


Dr Narun Pat -

Teaching staff

Dr Narun Pat

Paper Structure

This paper will introduce students to practical research skills and some of the problems faced by psychological researchers. Students will be given experience in data analysis using modern technologies, such as coding their analyses in R programming language. They will also learn to critically review research articles and to present information. The information will be presented in lecture format, reading assignments, practical assignments for data analyses, and discussion. There is no exam component to this paper. Students are expected to analyse data, prepare and present talk on their dissertation/thesis topic. They are also expected to constructively comment on the presentations of their fellow students and contribute to class discussions. The main assignment will be presenting research design, analysing data and reporting the findings. Detailed guidelines regarding assessments will be provided on the syllabus at the start of the course.


There is no textbook for this paper. Class readings will be provided.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  1. Independently write up a formal research grant application
  2. Understand the basics of good experimental design
  3. Critically read and analyse published research from within, and without the field
  4. Present information effectively to others in a seminar format

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 11:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41