Empirical Research Methods and Experiment Design


This course provides a systematic overview of the scientific method as it underlies psychological research. Topics include prominent methods used in studying human behavior, the logic of causal analysis, experimental and non-experimental designs, issues in internal and external validity, pragmatics of careful research, and technical writing of research reports.

Learning Goals

Students understand the variety of research methods used in psychology and evaluate correctly the conclusions drawn from psychological research. In particular they:

  • Know how different research designs address different kinds of research questions
  • Understand the strengths and limitations of different research methods
  • Distinguish the features of designs that permit causal inferences from features of those that do not permit these inferences
  • Understand internal and external validity
  • Interpret statistical results
  • Distinguish between statistical significance and practical significance
  • Understand the APA ethics code regarding the treatment of human and nonhuman animals

Academic Assessment

To be eligible to do the written exam, students need to prove/complete

  1. Attendance in practicals, 25% absence are allowed;
  2. Active participation in experimental studies with a total duration of 10 hours more info.
  3. Oral presentation (not graded).

The course ends with a written exam with a duration of 60 minutes. The grading results to 100% from the written exam.