In this learning pathway you will be introduced to the two most commonly-used methods of conducting research in psychology–correlational research and experimental research–along with a discussion of ethics in psychological research. The issues and procedures discussed are highly practical and you will derive the most benefit from this learning pathway if you start by thinking of a specific research question in psychology that interests you and considering how these methods and issues apply to your chosen question.



Rajiv Jhangiani provides a brief orientation to this learning pathway on psychological research methods.



By the end of this learning pathway you should be able to:

  • Define the terms correlation coefficient and illusory correlation
  • Explain why a correlation does not indicate a cause-and-effect relationship between variables
  • Explain random sampling and random assignment of participants into experimental and control groups
  • Discuss how experimenter or participant bias could affect the results of an experiment
  • Identify independent and dependent variables in a research design
  • Define the concepts of reliability and validity
  • Discuss how research involving human subjects is regulated
  • Summarize the processes of informed consent and debriefing