Survey Research Methods – PSYC 865

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 02/11/2022

Course Description

In this course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of the process of survey research methods, including research design and the construction, implementation, analysis, and validation of survey instruments.  Focus is given to critical analysis of survey-based research in both academic and non-academic settings.  Additional emphasis is placed on development of practical and technical skills involved in designing high-quality surveys and analyzing and interpreting survey data.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The course is designed to provide advanced exploration of the major issues associated with survey research methods and to prepare students with the essential skills necessary to design and conduct survey research projects, including: survey research design, survey construction and evaluation, scientific sampling, and communication within the scientific community. This course emphasizes the practical process of developing, administering, and evaluating an original survey instrument.  Finally, this course will allow students the opportunity to integrate scientific theory and practice with a Biblical perspective and a Christ-centered approach to the role of researcher in professional psychology.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced understanding of the process of developing, administering and evaluating survey instruments.
  2. Evaluate survey-based methods and research used in both academic and non-academic settings.
  3. Develop the practical and technical skills required to design and conduct original survey research and to communicate in the scientific community.
  4. Appraise survey research methodology in light of a biblical worldview.

Course Assignment

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview. 

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to post an original thread of at least 750 to 1,000 words using course-related knowledge to address the assigned topic as well as to post replies of at least 350 words to two other classmates’ threads.  (MLO’s A - D)

Throughout the course, the student will complete 6 cumulative assignments that are designed to guide him/her in developing and evaluating a survey instrument that measures a psychological variable/construct of his/her choosing.  The 6 elements of the Survey Project must adhere to current APA formatting guidelines, and are described below. (MLO’s A – C)

1. Variable Selection and Test Identification

The student will write a current APA-formatted assignment that provides a general overview of the psychological variable/construct that he/she intends to measure with the survey instrument that he/she designs.  Additionally, the student will identify two other published instruments that have been designed to measure this same construct and provide a summary of the psychometric properties of each.

2. Draft Survey and List of References

The student will write a draft of their survey questions.  The student also will provide a current APA-formatted working references page that contains the bibliographic information for 5-8 potential peer-reviewed, scholarly sources that directly address the proposed variable/construct being assessed by the draft survey.

3. Survey Administration and Data Entry

The student will administer his/her survey and another already-published survey designed to measure the same latent construct in a field test to a pilot sample of at least 20 participants, and then enter the data into and SPSS Data file.  The student also will write an APA-formatted Method section describing the participants, apparatus/materials, and procedure of their field test.

4. Reliability and Validity Analysis

The student will conduct a reliability and validity analysis of his/her survey using SPSS.  Then the student will write an APA-formatted summary of that analysis.

5. Empirical Report

The student will write an original Empirical Report that describes the variable/ construct being measured, summarizes the sampling method, participants, and administration method of the data collection process, presents the survey data, and summarizes the psychometric properties of the survey.  All elements of the Empirical Report must adhere to current APA formatting guidelines.

6. Discussion: Virtual Conference Presentation

The student will create a narrated PowerPoint presentation that provides a comprehensive overview of the survey construction and assessment process.  Next, the student will post his/her presentation as a Discussion for the professor and his/her classmates to view.  Finally, each student will view his/her classmates’ presentations, and post replies of at least 350 words to two other classmates’ presentation threads that address the prompts identified in the assignment instructions. The presentation will be graded based on its content, aesthetics, and adherence to current APA formatting guidelines.  The replies will be graded based on the criteria delineated in the associated grading rubric (MLO’s A – D)