Behavioral research is a way to examine and understand individual and social behavior through measurement and interpretation. This course investigates the theoretical principles that underlie behavioral research and the application of current research techniques. The course forms the foundation for practical application of behavioral science and continued study in the human behavior and is essential to completing the capstone course in the program (Integrative Project in Human Behavior, HUB 680).
- Investigate the nature of scientific observation and measurement (quantitative and qualitative) and the relevance to social and behavioral research.
- Analyze different research systems, paradigms, and models. Synthesize these perspectives into an understanding of the nature of social and behavioral theory (description, explanation, causation, hypothesis testing, construct development, etc.).
- Explore various research designs (e.g., controlled experiments, field studies, case studies, qualitative research), including the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.
- Examine various research methods, including discussions of sampling theory, measurement theory, and item development.
- Study basic data exploration and analysis techniques ranging from elementary descriptive statistics to advanced multivariate techniques. The emphasis is on understanding the logic and application of statistics, rather than mathematical theory and computation.
- Demonstrate the use of the computer as an aid to data management and analysis.
- Review and practice library search strategies and guidelines for scholarly writing according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Use these skills to write a research proposal suitable for further investigation in the Integrative Project in Human Behavior (HUB680).
- Evaluate the ethical and political constraints imposed on social and behavioral research in the real world.
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