Forschung, Karl Landsteiner Privatuniversität

Bachelor's programme Psychology

Bachelor's programme Psychology

This course is about teaching statistical and methodological basics from the fields of descriptive statistics, probability theory as well as planning and conducting scientific studies. Students are introduced to important statistical and methodological concepts, with particular attention being paid to their practical significance in psychology and to the terminology commonly used in psychology. Statistical parameters and their meaning in terms of content (e.g. standard and norm values, scaling types, measures of location and dispersion) are taught as well as statistical procedures (e.g. frequency distributions, correlations and regressions, estimation of population parameters) and basic methodological knowledge (e.g. formulation of scientific hypotheses, operationalisation of questions). In addition, procedures for the pictorial representation of empirical data are dealt with and explained (e.g. tables and graphs such as box plots or scatter diagrams). For a better understanding, all statistical procedures and methods will be explained using examples in the context of psychological questions.

In this course, students are introduced to inferential statistics. The students get to know both parametric and non-parametric statistical tests. Advantages and disadvantages of these tests are taught as well as the framework conditions for their application (statistical prerequisites of the application). The application of the tests will be illustrated with practical examples from psychological research. Problems of classical null hypothesis testing using statistical tests are discussed as well as possible solutions (effect sizes, power analyses).

Building on or accompanying the lecture Statistics and Methodology I, the students are to carry out the procedures presented in the lecture both together and independently with the help of computers. In doing so, they will be introduced to common statistics software. Students learn how to carry out descriptive statistical procedures and how to write simple scripts. The use of statistical software is to be integrated into the planning and implementation of investigations.

The students will learn the applications of parametric and non-parametric inferential statistical methods presented in the lecture with the help of exercises, both together and independently. They calculate and interpret characteristic values and inferential statistical results in the context of psychological questions. They deepen their understanding of effect sizes and learn to recognise the necessity of power analyses within scientific psychology. The use of statistical software is to be integrated into the planning and implementation of investigations.

In the Empirical-Experimental Practical Course I, students practise investigating a psychological research question and going through all the phases of a research process: First, theory-based hypotheses are developed. Then these are transferred into empirically testable study designs, and the study is planned, organised and carried out. The study data must be analysed and the results interpreted in relation to the research question and psychological theory. The following topics will be taught in a practical way: Experimental control; validity and replicability of empirical results; relationship between theory, hypothesis and study design; experimental design and optimal design choice; introduction to the design of computer-assisted laboratory experiments; guidelines for the presentation of statistical results.

Similar to the empirical-experimental practical course I, a psychological empirical study is to be carried out. This should no longer be mainly prescribed and guided by the course instructor, but should be carried out independently for the most part (formulating a research question, creating a survey instrument, etc.). This serves as a step-by-step preparation for the Bachelor's thesis. The use of statistical software is to be practised in depth as well as the presentation of results in the form of an evaluation presentation and a written thesis.

Students are introduced to scientific theory formation and the basic research methods of psychology. They are taught initial methodological skills for planning and critically evaluating psychological investigations. Students will learn which criteria distinguish psychology as an empirical science from everyday psychology. Furthermore, they are introduced to the basics of all those complex competences and formal knowledge they need to be able to work and write scientifically. This includes basic scientific terms, rules of citation (APA), basic knowledge of literature and database research, characteristics of scientific projects or the formulation of questions and hypotheses. Possible difficulties in scientific writing and ethical guidelines for text creation (avoidance of plagiarism) will also be dealt with.

The aim of this exercise is to introduce students to conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The aim is to convey the understanding that single studies are a necessary but not sufficient condition for the longer-term cumulative acquisition of knowledge. Students should learn to conduct systematic reviews as well as meta-analyses. The skills of literature research, literature acquisition, interpretation of data and results are repeated (also as preparation for the bachelor thesis). Advantages and disadvantages of meta-analyses are discussed and software for calculating them is introduced.

The course covers the basics of classical test theory as well as item response theory. The process of test construction and evaluation is discussed and taught in detail. Furthermore, the main and secondary quality criteria of psychological tests are discussed and methods for their examination (e.g. correlations, multi-trait multi-method approach) are dealt with. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis are used as methods for investigating dimensionality.