Maricopa Community Colleges  PSY290AC   20012-99999 

Official Course Description:  MCCCD Approval:  12-12-00

PSY290AC  2001 Spring – 2009 Summer II


3 Credit(s)
1 Credit(s)

3 Period(s)
2 Period(s)

Research Methods

Planning, execution, analysis, and written reporting of psychological research. Surveys the literature, procedures, and instruments in representative areas of psychological research.

Prerequisites: ENG101, ENG107 or equivalent. Prerequisites or Corequisites: PSY230 (or equivalent) with a grade of "C" or better, or permission of Instructor.


Course Attribute(s):

General Education Designation: Literacy and Critical Inquiry - [L]

General Education Designation: Natural Sciences (General) - [SG]


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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


PSY290AC  2001 Spring – 2009 Summer II

Research Methods



List the basic assumptions of science. (I)


Develop an operationally defined hypothesis. (II)


Identify and classify research methods (observational, correlational, experimental, or quasi-experimental). (III)


Identify independent and dependent variables. (IIIE)


Identify confounding variables (sources of secondary variance). (IIIE)


Design and analyze a basic research project and communicate the study's results in a scientific report. (IV)


Read and summarize a basic scientific report. (V)


Critically analyze scientific reports and suggest rival hypotheses (explanation). (V)


Recognize ethical concerns associated with research. (VI)


Recognize that citizens are continuously consumers of scientific information. (I-VI)

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MCCCD Official Course Outline:


PSY290AC  2001 Spring – 2009 Summer II

Research Methods


I. Scientific Method

A. Basic Assumptions of Science

B. Theoretical vs. Applied Science

C. Scope of Science

D. Limits of Science

II. Formulation of the Hypothesis

A. Operational Definitions

B. Inductive and Deductive Models

C. Organization of Hypotheses--Theories

III. Methods of Research

A. Observational Studies

1. Natural Environment

a. Obtrusive

b. Unobtrusive

2. Contrived Environmental Studies--Simulations

B. Surveys

C. Case Studies

D. Correlational Studies

1. Concepts of Correlation

2. Necessities of Causation

E. The Experiment

1. Independent Variables

2. Dependent Variables

3. Control Variables

4. Sampling

5. Extraneous Variables (Confounding Variables)

a. Subject Bias

b. Observer/Experimenter Bias

c. Controlling Extraneous Variables

IV. Research Designs

A. Between Subjects (Independent Samples) Designs

B. Within Subjects Designs

1. Repeated Measures

2. Matched Subjects

C. Factorial Designs

D. Single Subject (N = 1) Designs

E. Quasi-Experimental Designs

V. Writing Research Reports

A. Locating Journals/Resources in the Library

B. Looking at and Summarizing Scientific Articles

C. Literature Review of Topic or Researcher

D. Writing in a Scientific Style

E. Major Sections of a Report

F. Evaluating Journal or Scientific Material

VI. Research Ethics



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