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PSYC 2111: Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology

Students are introduced to the procedures and designs used in psychological research and the critical evaluation of research. Topics include the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to research, including non-experimental, experimental, and quasi-experimental designs; research ethics; measurement; validity of methods; control of extraneous influences; and the drawing of valid conclusions from empirical evidence.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the scientific approach to the study of behaviour.
  • Apply the ethical principles that govern research in psychology.
  • Conduct a literature search using peer-reviewed sources.
  • Design a research proposal.
  • Discuss the key concepts in research design including operational definitions, variables, reliability, validity, and sampling procedures.
  • Explain the strengths and limitations of research designs used in psychology, including experimental and non-experimental designs.
  • Identify potential flaws in research design.
  • Collect and analyze data based on an instructor-approved research proposal.
  • Construct and analyze graphical representations of data.
  • Describe basic descriptive statistics including measures of central tendency and variability.
  • Explain the purpose and appropriateness of inferential statistics such as t-tests and anova.
  • Draw valid conclusions from empirical evidence with an awareness of the limits of various research methods.

Course topics

PSYC 2111: Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology includes the following five units that are divided into various topics:

Unit 1: Introduction to Research in Psychology

Unit 2: Theories and Measurement

Unit 3: Non-experimental Research Methods

Unit 4: Experimental Research Methods

Unit 5: Data Analysis and Reporting

Required text and materials

The following open textbook is required for this course:

  1. Price, P. C., & Jhangiani, R. (2015). Research methods in psychology (2nd Canadian ed.). Victoria, BC: BCcampus Open Ed. Retrieved from

This textbook is available to you online for free at BC Campus Open Textbooks. You may also choose to download it in a variety of digital formats, including for your desktop computer, tablet, or the most popular e-readers.

You may choose to purchase a hard copy of the textbook by going to the Print-On-Demand page at BC Campus Open Textbooks.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

In order to successfully complete this course, you must obtain at least 50% on the final examination and 50% overall. You may write the final exam even if you have not completed all the assignments; however, you will receive a zero grade for each assignment that you do not submit.

Assignment 1: Introduction to Research 13%
Assignment 2: Correlational Research 13%
Assignment 3: Research Proposal 13%
Assignment 4: Research Report 21%
Final Exam (mandatory) 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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