Methods of Research (Clinical Psychology, Clinical Psychology Specialization Only)   [Archived Catalog]
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook

RES 1105 - Methods of Research (Clinical Psychology, Clinical Psychology Specialization Only)

This course introduces clinical students to the theory and practice of scientific psychological research; it is a companion course to Statistics 1110. Both quantitative research (positivist, statistical and measurement-based) and qualitative (descriptive, interpretive, interview and observation-based) paradigms are legitimate approaches to studying psychological phenomena. However, since the quantitative paradigm is dominant in contemporary society, science is usually envisioned exclusively in terms of measurement and causality. This course is intended to introduce students to both paradigms and their shared history and differing assumptions and methods. Qualitative research is an alternate vision of psychological science, which, while not antagonistic to empiricism, invites students to carefully examine their own unexamined assumptions about what constitutes "science" and to awaken to a radically different way of understanding psychical phenomena. Students will be introduced to the history of psychology, to the debates concerning what "psychological science" means, and will begin to learn to articulate their own areas of interest for future research. They will learn to articulate a psychological research question, conduct a preliminary literature review to investigate and summarize the existing quantitative and qualitative research concerning that question, and will be introduced to ethical issues in conducting psychological research. In addition to an overview of quantitative design, students will be introduced to three examples of qualitative approaches to psychological research-grounded theory, phenomenology, and narrative inquiry-to give students a sense of how such research is conducted. 3 credit(s)