Unit Information Management System

Research Methods in Applied Settings (PSYC5513, SEM-1, 2015, Crawley)

Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education

Psychological Science

Unit Outline

Research Methods in Applied Settings


SEM-1, 2015

Campus: Crawley

Unit Coordinator: Dr Patrick Dunlop

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Unit details

Unit title Research Methods in Applied Settings
Unit code PSYC5513 Credit points 6
Availability SEM-1, 2015 (23/02/2015 - 20/06/2015)
Location Crawley Mode Face to face

Contact details

Faculty Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education
School Psychological Science
School website http://www.psy.uwa.edu.au/
Unit coordinator Dr Patrick Dunlop
Email patrick.dunlop@uwa.edu.au
Telephone 6488 3958
Consultation hours by appointment
Tutors/ Demonstrators/ Facilitators
Unit contact hours

Lectures: 13 x 3 hrs

Online handbook http://handbooks.uwa.edu.au/units/unitdetails?code=PSYC5513
Unit website

Unit rules

Prerequisites Enrolment in the Master of Industrial and Organisational Psychology (coursework and dissertation) (53580) or the Master of Psychology (coursework and dissertation) (50560) or the combined Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Industrial and Organisational Psychology (01880/54580) or the combined Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Psychology (00890/51590)
Advisable prior study
Approved quota

Unit description

The training in all aspects of applied psychology at this University has developed with a strong emphasis on the relevance of scientific approaches to real-world problems. An important premise of such a model is that one's practice be guided by research findings. Scientific advances, evolving professional standards, shifting community needs, pressures from diminishing budgets, and uncertainties associated with relative distribution of resources, all make it imperative that students are not only trained to meet the standards of today's professional practice, but that they also have the generic skills that make them capable of evaluating, adapting and contributing to the development of new knowledge.

By choosing to undertake your degree at the University of Western Australia, you are part of an institution that takes considerable pride in undertaking and producing high-quality research.  The School of Psychology, in particular, has an excellent record of accomplishment in maintaining a high quality research output, as evidenced by its rating of 5 out of 5 in the 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia review.  The research output of this University within the Industrial and Organisational Psychology and Organisational Behaviour domains is also world class, as evidenced by the number of staff from this University that sit on the review boards of the top-tier journals in the field. 

Being part of this institution, the highly regarded research output of this university should also be a source of pride for you.  Indeed, your exposure to the research environment adds ‘currency’ to your degree and gives you a competitive edge over others who may possess similar qualifications from other institutions.  The primary goal of this unit is therefore to equip you with the research skills that will enable you to undertake high quality research of your own in organisational settings.  The skills you learn in this unit are likely to supplement the skills you develop when you undertake your research thesis later in your course, and they will enable you to tackle research questions as they arise in your future careers.

To summarise, this unit is designed to help you:

i)              understand the value of research undertaken in organisational settings;

ii)             develop an understanding of four key organisational research methods;

iii)            learn how to present research in organisational settings; and

iv)           learn how to build research partnerships with Universities during your future career as an I/O Psychologist.

Learning outcomes

Students are able to (1) be familiar with advanced methodologies and statistical techniques important for designing and evaluating research in applied psychology; (2) gain knowledge about methodological and practical issues important for implementing these techniques and how they might be applied to their own research; and (3) identify the critical relevance of appropriate designs and statistical analysis for evidence-based practice.

Unit structure



Class 1:

February 27

Introduction to the unit: The scientist-practitioner model, and its relevance to research in I/O Psychology. 

Introduction to survey research in organisations: Forming research questions and testable hypotheses, survey design, implementation, sampling, collecting data.

Information about the assessments will be provided during this class.

Class 2:

March 6

Theme 1: Correlational research in organisations (part 1), Research questions. Analytical methods: Regression - mediation, moderation, polynomial.

Class 3:

March 13

Theme 1: Correlational research in organisations (part 2), Research questions. Analytical methods: HLM.

Class 4:

March 20

Theme 2: Quasi-experimental research in organisations (part 1)
Research questions, study design, sampling. 

Class 5:

March 27

Theme 2: Quasi-experimental research in organisations (part 2)
Analytical techniques: Reliability-corrected ANCOVA, MANOVA

April 3

No class (Good Friday)

April 10

No class (Non-teaching break)      (Proposal Due)

Class 6:

April 17

In-class assessment: Research Proposal Presentations

Class 7: Wednesday April 22 2-5pm


Theme 3: Longitudinal research methods (part 1)
Introduction to longitudinal research, data sets, and data analysis. 

Class 8:
Wednesday April 29 2-5pm


Theme 3: Longitudinal research methods (part 2)
Standard longitudinal data analysis techniques.

Class 9:

May 8

Theme 3: Longitudinal research methods (part 3)
Advanced longitudinal data analysis techniques.

Class 10:

May 15

Theme 4: Systematic reviews (Systematic literature review and Meta-analysis)

Class 11:

May 22

Communicating your own research, and
Critically reviewing the research of others (Tech Report Due)

Class 12:

May 29

Continuing research after you graduate: Building research partnerships with universities   (Executive Report Due)

(See Timetable)

Unit schedule

Teaching and learning responsibilities

Teaching and learning strategies

Charter of student rights and responsibilities

Student Guild contact details

Uses of student feedback


Information for students with disabilities


Assessment overview

Typically this unit is assessed in the following way(s): (1) assignments; (2) presentation; and (3) in-class attendance. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Assessment mechanism

#WeightDue Date
Organisational Research Proposal25April 10, 2015
Organisational Research Presentation15April 17, 2015
Organisational Research Technical Report40May 22, 2015
Organisational Executive Report 20May 29, 2015

Assessment items

Item TitleDescriptionSubmission Procedure for Assignments
Organisational Research Proposal2000 words (group assignment)Submit via LMS
Organisational Research Presentation15 mins +
5-10 min Q & A
Present in class
Organisational Research Technical Report1500 words (individual)Submit via LMS
Organisational Executive Report 1000 words (individual)Submit via LMS

Academic literacy and academic misconduct

Appeals against academic assessment

Textbooks and resources

Recommended texts

There is no core textbook for this unit

Suggested alternate texts

Part of the skill set in being an effective researcher is knowing how to independently find the information that you need. You may therefore find some of these online resources to be helpful, not just during this unit, but also down the track as you undertake your career in I/O Psychology.

‘R’ - A free, open-source statistics package http://www.r-project.org/
Additional Statistical Lecturing Resources http://carma.wayne.edu/
Using Mplus http://www.statmodel.com/ (check out the discussion forum for advice on this package, which is useful for complex latent variable and multi-level modelling)
Social Methods Database http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/
Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com
Systematic Reviews http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/pdf/Systematic_Reviews.pdf
Meta-Analysis http://www.meta-analysis.com/

Useful Journals
 Organizational Research Methods
 Psychological Methods
 Survey Research Methods
 Journal of Applied Psychology
 Journal of Organizational Behaviour
 Journal of Management
 Academy of Management Journal
 Academy of Management Review

Useful References
Brewerton, P., & Millward, L. (2001). Organizational Research Methods. London, UK: Sage Publications Limited.
Rogelberg, S. G. (Ed.). (2002). Handbook of Research Methods in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Maldern, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Schwab, D. P. (2005). Research methods for organizational studies. Mahwah, NJ: Elbaum Associates.

Additional texts

Technical requirements

Software requirements

Additional resources and reading

Other important information