Advanced Research: Quantitative Research & Analysis – PSYC 815

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

The value of quantitative research in understanding human behavior is examined with an emphasis on various advanced quantitative methodologies and their theoretical foundations. The course builds on students' understanding of basic inferential theory and linear regression and familiarizes them with new statistical techniques and advanced quantitative methods.

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


The purpose of this course is to develop an advanced understanding of the major concepts, applications, methodologies and practices in quantitative research. This course will take on a more applied approach addressing empirical findings of contemporary issues in psychology with the goal of moving students toward a dissertation topic and proposed research strategy. The course will also help students develop the skills necessary to understand and critique research in the field of psychology as well as propose innovative research ideas.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings, lecture presentations, articles, and websites

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a discussion thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each discussion thread must respond and fully address the prompt, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and include at least the required scholarly sources, not including the course text and/or Bible (unless otherwise specified). Discussions format for this course include video presentations following the guidelines in the instructions.  In addition to the discussion thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be at least 300 words and must provide a critical analysis and substantive feedback. (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E, F)

This assignment is designed to help you develop your skills in designing a research project that answers three important questions in any research design. These questions are the WHAT, WHY, and HOW questions. These questions coincide with various components in the dissertation formula. In this assignment, you will begin to conceptualize these questions and components as you formulate an idea and begin to develop your mock proposal for this course.

Note that the topic you choose for this course does not have to be what you plan to research in your dissertation (though it can be related if you so choose). This course is about learning the process and analysis, and is not directly a part of your dissertation development. (CLOs: B, D, E)

Research Paper: Literature Review and Problem Statement Assignment

Continuing with the development of your research proposal and the WHAT, WHY, and HOW questions, you will conduct a more thorough literature review to provide a good foundation and background for the development of your problem statement, and eventually your research questions and hypotheses. A literature review is the process of reading and critically analyzing a number of original research articles and reports, while the background to your study is the section of your paper where the literature review is utilized and summarized into a well-written summary. Sometimes, the introduction to a study, the literature review, and the background to the study are used interchangeably but they are actually separate items. Your introduction introduces the topic and the need for the topic to your reader. The literature review is the process of reviewing the literature, and the background to your study is the writing that takes place from the literature review to lay the foundation for your study. All of these, in some way, hinge upon a good literature review. While different journals (and different Universities for dissertations), will label these in different ways, the process is essentially the same. In the Liberty dissertation process, the background leads into your problem statement. Keep in mind that you cannot write a good problem statement without a good literature review/background.  (CLOs: B, C, F)

Research Paper: Research Proposal Assignment

For your final paper, you will write a journal article style research proposal, similar to what you might present to a grant funding organization or a research/University, in order to gain approval and/or funding to continue with your research.

Researchers who outline their project well before writing their narrative, usually produce a much better proposal, with improved clarity, and the process is much easier. This assignment will build upon the work you have done throughout the course so far, editing any aspects that have changed or need to be revised based on previous feedback, to produce an outline of your research design and methodology. In many ways, your methodology is the most important part of your research proposal. Without a well-written methodology, your proposal is simply an idea, vision, or dream.

A proposal should be a plan. It ties together the details of what you are doing, why, and how. It especially focuses on answering the question “how” to yourself and your reader. The high standard of a well-written methodology is that another researcher in your field should be able to take your paper as written, and go conduct your research without asking you any questions (with perhaps few exceptions). The methodology for your final paper should be written with this in mind, and this assignment outlining your project and methodology will be very helpful for assuring that you are able to do that. While this paper will not follow the exact process and outline to be used in chapter 1 of your dissertation, it will reflect many of the required elements used there and which have been developed throughout this course. Therefore, you will find this assignment helpful to make the connection between what you have learned in this course, and what you will do in the future as you develop your dissertation. (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E, F)

SPSS Output ANCOVA Assignment

This assignment will help you develop and demonstrate your proficiency in using SPSS to analyze and interpret data.  It will help you better understand the process of answering the “how” question in research. Additionally, it will provide another opportunity to develop and demonstrate your ability to think logically through a research problem and develop appropriate solutions regarding how to design, measure, and interpret them. This assignment also requires you to appropriately present research information in a professional (journal style) manner.  (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E)

Quiz: CITI Human Subjects Training (SBE)

Students are required to complete the CITI course in Social-Behavioral-Educational (SBE) Basic. The SBE Basic course provides an introduction to social-behavioral-educational research with a focus on the protection of human subjects. It offers historic and current information on regulatory and ethical issues important to the conduct of research involving human subjects. Case studies are used within the modules to present key concepts. This course has been updated to reflect the 2018 Requirements of the Common Rule.  The student will be required to upload their transcript/scoring sheet.  Points will be assigned as earned CITI Score (out of 100 points). (CLOs: E, F)

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Course link:

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the modules prior to its due date. in some cases, this may include building upon what you have learned in previous modules. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10–25 questions, and allow up to 3 hours to complete. Several of the questions will be problem sets requiring statistical analysis using excel, SPSS, or G-power. Some questions in some quizzes require you to present a narrative/essay type answer to address the scenario given. You should have thoroughly read the Learn materials, and ideally have practiced working through the examples in the textbook, prior to taking the quizzes. Additionally, it is helpful to download the data files provided for many of the quizzes in advance of taking the quiz (located in the applicable quiz start page), and use those to practice and better familiarize yourself with the analysis included in the corresponding quiz. (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E, F)