Quantitative Methods

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Beschrijving

About this course: Discover the principles of solid scientific methods in the behavioral and social sciences. Join us and learn to separate sloppy science from solid research! This course will cover the fundamental principles of science, some history and philosophy of science, research designs, measurement, sampling and ethics. The course is comparable to a university level introductory course on quantitative research methods in the social sciences, but has a strong focus on research integrity. We will use examples from sociology, political sciences, educational sciences, communication sciences and psychology.

Created by:  University of Amsterdam
  • Taught by:  Annemarie Za…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Discover the principles of solid scientific methods in the behavioral and social sciences. Join us and learn to separate sloppy science from solid research! This course will cover the fundamental principles of science, some history and philosophy of science, research designs, measurement, sampling and ethics. The course is comparable to a university level introductory course on quantitative research methods in the social sciences, but has a strong focus on research integrity. We will use examples from sociology, political sciences, educational sciences, communication sciences and psychology.

Created by:  University of Amsterdam
  • Taught by:  Annemarie Zand Scholten, Assistant Professor

    Economics and Business
Basic Info Course 1 of 5 in the Methods and Statistics in Social Sciences Specialization Commitment 8 weeks, 4-5 hours/week Language English, Subtitles: Chinese (Simplified) How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.7 stars Average User Rating 4.7See what learners said Coursework

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University of Amsterdam A modern university with a rich history, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) traces its roots back to 1632, when the Golden Age school Athenaeum Illustre was established to train students in trade and philosophy. Today, with more than 30,000 students, 5,000 staff and 285 study programmes (Bachelor's and Master's), many of which are taught in English, and a budget of more than 600 million euros, it is one of the largest comprehensive universities in Europe. It is a member of the League of European Research Universities and also maintains intensive contact with other leading research universities around the world.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Before we get started...



In this first module we'll consider the basic principles of the scientific method, its history and its philosophies. But before we start talking methods, I'll give you a broad sense of what the course is about and how it's organized. Are you new to Coursera or still deciding whether this is the course for you? Then make sure to check out the 'Introduction' and 'What to expect' section below, so you'll have the essential information you need to decide and to do well in this course! If you have any questions about the course format, deadlines or grading, you'll probably find the answers here. Are you a Coursera veteran and anxious to get started? Then you might want to skip ahead to the first course topic: the Origins of the Scientific Method. You can always check the general information later. Veterans and newbies alike: Don't forget to introduce yourself in the 'meet and greet' forum!


2 videos, 9 readings expand


  1. Reading: Hi there!
  2. Video: Undecided? See why you should join!
  3. Video: Welcome to quantitative methods!
  4. Reading: How to navigate this course
  5. Reading: How to contribute
  6. Reading: General info - What will I learn in this course?
  7. Reading: Course format - How is this course structured?
  8. Reading: Requirements - What resources do I need?
  9. Reading: Grading - How do I pass this course?
  10. Reading: Contact - How do I stay informed?
  11. Reading: Team - Who created this course?


Origins of the scientific method



Science is all about gaining knowledge, coming up with the best possible explanations of the world around us. So how do we decide which explanation is the best one? How do we make sure our explanations are accurate? How do we determine we actually know something? In science we try to resolve these questions by using a set of principles and procedures called the scientific method. You need to know its historical and philosophical 'origin story' to really understand the scientific method and to fully appreciate how hard it is to apply the scientific method in the social and behavioral sciences!


14 videos, 9 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: What makes knowledge scientific?
  2. Video: 1.01 Non-scientific Methods
  3. Reading: What are the essential qualities of a systematic method?
  4. Video: 1.02 Scientific Method
  5. Reading: What's the difference between a hypothesis and a theory?
  6. Video: 1.03 Scientific Claims
  7. Reading: Who developed the scientific method and when?
  8. Video: 1.04 Classical Period
  9. Video: 1.05 Enlightenment
  10. Video: 1.06 Modern Science
  11. Reading: What is your philosophy of science?
  12. Video: 1.07 Epistemology
  13. Reading: Do you prefer your science hard or soft?
  14. Video: 1.08 Ontology
  15. Video: 1.09 Approaches
  16. Video: 1.10 Goals
  17. Reading: Honor Code - Integrity in this course
  18. Practice Quiz: Origins
  19. Peer Review: Origins - OPTIONAL Writing Assignment (Evaluative)
  20. Reading: Transcripts: Origins
  21. Reading: About the interview
  22. Video: Origins - Interview - Gerben Moerman (Part 1 of 4)
  23. Video: Origins - Interview - Gerben Moerman (Part 2 of 4)
  24. Video: Origins - Interview - Gerben Moerman (Part 3 of 4)
  25. Video: Origins - Interview - Gerben Moerman (Part 4 of 4)


WEEK 2


The Scientific Method



In the first module we discussed how the scientific method developed, general philosophical approaches and the types of knowledge science aims to find. In this second module we'll make these abstract principles and concepts a little more concrete by discussing the empirical cycle and causality in more detail. We’ll see how, and in what order these concepts are implemented when we conduct a research study. We'll also consider the main criteria for evaluating the methodological quality of a research study: Validity and reliability. The focus will be on internal validity and how internal validity can be threatened.


13 videos, 8 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: What would be your 'recipe' for the scientific method?
  2. Video: 2.01 Empirical Cycle
  3. Reading: What will it take for you to accept a hypothesis?
  4. Video: 2.02 (Dis)confirmation
  5. Reading: What do you look for in a good research study?
  6. Video: 2.03 Criteria
  7. Reading: How do you identify what caused an effect?
  8. Video: 2.04 Causality
  9. Reading: What makes a causal explanation less likely?
  10. Video: 2.05 Internal Validity Threats: Participants
  11. Video: 2.06 Internal Validity Threats: Instruments
  12. Video: 2.07 Internal Validity Threats: Artificiality
  13. Video: 2.08 Internal Validity Threats: Research setup
  14. Reading: What different relations and roles can variables have?
  15. Video: 2.09 Variables of Interest
  16. Video: 2.10 Variables of Disinterest
  17. Practice Quiz: Informed Consent Form
  18. Reading: Transcripts: Scientific Method
  19. Reading: About the interview
  20. Video: Scientific Method - Interview - Marjan Bakker (Part 1 of 3)
  21. Video: Scientific Method - Interview - Marjan Bakker (Part 2 of 3)
  22. Video: Scientific Method - Interview - Marjan Bakker (Part 3 of 3)

Graded: Scientific Method
Graded: Scientific Method - Writing Assignment (Creative)

WEEK 3


Research Designs



In the previous module we discussed the empirical cycle, causality and the criteria for methodological quality, focusing on threats to internal validity. In this module we'll consider the most frequently used research designs and we'll see how they address threats to internal validity. We'll look at experimental, quasi-experimental and correlational designs, as well as some other designs you should be familiar with. To understand and appreciate these designs we will discuss some general concepts such as randomization and matching in a little more detail.


15 videos, 8 readings expand


  1. Reading: What are the essential features of a true experiment?
  2. Video: 3.01 True Experiments
  3. Reading: What are other ways of comparing?
  4. Video: 3.02 Factorial Designs
  5. Video: 3.03 Repeated Measures
  6. Reading: How do manipulation and control work (in the lab vs the field)?
  7. Video: 3.04 Manipulation
  8. Video: 3.05 Lab vs. Field
  9. Video: 3.06 Randomization
  10. Reading: What experimental designs can you think of?
  11. Video: 3.07 Experimental Designs
  12. Reading: What if you cannot assign randomly?
  13. Video: 3.08 Matching
  14. Video: 3.09 Quasi-Experimental Designs
  15. Reading: What if you can't manipulate either?
  16. Video: 3.10 Correlational Designs
  17. Video: 3.11 Other Designs
  18. Reading: Transcripts: Research Designs
  19. Reading: About the interview
  20. Video: Research Designs - Interview - Maarten Bos (Part 1 of 4)
  21. Video: Research Designs - Interview - Maarten Bos (Part 2 of 4)
  22. Video: Research Designs - Interview - Maarten Bos (Part 3 of 4)
  23. Video: Research Designs - Interview - Maarten Bos (Part 4 of 4)

Graded: Research Designs
Graded: Research Designs - Writing Assignment (Evaluative)

WEEK 4


Measurement



Choosing a design is only the first step in the deduction phase (remember the empirical cycle?). The second step is deciding on specific ways to measure the variables of interest and disinterest. This step is extremely important, because even if we are able to perform a true double-blind experiment, if our measurement and manipulation method are of poor quality, then internal validity will still be compromised! In this module we'll look at what measurement is exactly and what the criteria for evaluating measurement are. We will also look more in-depth at self-report measures, including survey, questionnaires and tests. These methods are among the most frequently used measurement instruments in the social and behavioral sciences.


14 videos, 6 readings expand


  1. Reading: How do you measure something?
  2. Video: 4.01 Operationalization
  3. Reading: What is measurement exactly?
  4. Video: 4.02 Measurement Structure
  5. Video: 4.03 Measurement Levels
  6. Video: 4.04 Variable Types
  7. Reading: How do you know whether you have used the right instrument?
  8. Video: 4.05 Measurement Validity
  9. Video: 4.06 Measurement Reliability
  10. Reading: How are measures constructed and what are their features?
  11. Video: 4.07 Survey, Questionnaire, Test
  12. Video: 4.08 Scales and Response Options
  13. Video: 4.09 Response and Rater Bias
  14. Video: 4.10 Other Measurement Types
  15. Reading: Transcripts: Measurement
  16. Reading: About the interview
  17. Video: Measurement - Interview - Andries van der Ark (Part 1 of 4)
  18. Video: Measurement - Interview - Andries van der Ark (Part 2 of 4)
  19. Video: Measurement - Interview - Andries van der Ark (Part 3 of 4)
  20. Video: Measurement - Interview - Andries van der Ark (Part 4 of 4)

Graded: Measurement
Graded: Measurement - Writing Assignment (Creative)

WEEK 5


Sampling



In the previous two modules we discussed research designs and methods to measure and manipulate our variables of interest and disinterest. Before a researcher can move on to the testing phase and can actually collect data, there is just one more procedure that needs to be decided on: Sampling. Researchers need to determine who potential participants are and how they will be selected and recruited.


13 videos, 7 readings expand


  1. Reading: How are samples used for generalization?
  2. Video: 5.01 External Validity Threats
  3. Video: 5.02 Sampling Concepts
  4. Reading: Why would you use probability sampling?
  5. Video: 5.03 Probability Sampling
  6. Video: 5.04 Probability Sampling - Simple
  7. Video: 5.05 Probability Sampling - Complex
  8. Reading: Why would you use non-probability sampling?
  9. Video: 5.06 Non-Probability Sampling
  10. Reading: To what extent does a sample reflect the population?
  11. Video: 5.07 Sampling Error
  12. Video: 5.08 Non-Sampling Error
  13. Reading: How large should your sample be?
  14. Video: 5.09 Sample Size
  15. Reading: Transcripts: Sampling
  16. Reading: About the interview
  17. Video: Sampling - Interview - Armén Hakhverdian (Part 1 of 4)
  18. Video: Sampling - Interview - Armén Hakhverdian (Part 2 of 4)
  19. Video: Sampling - Interview - Armén Hakhverdian (Part 3 of 4)
  20. Video: Sampling - Interview - Armén Hakhverdian (Part 4 of 4)

Graded: Sampling
Graded: Sampling - Writing assignment (Evaluative)

WEEK 6


Practice, Ethics & Integrity



In this last content module we will focus on the part of the research process that follows data collection. The specifics of storing data and using statistics form a course topic in their own right (see the specialization courses on Basic and Inferential Statistics). For now we will focus on more general issues to do with data, interpretation and dissemination of results that relate to ethics and integrity. Some of the concepts that we discuss here will be familiar if you watched the interviews of the past modules. It might be interesting to (re-)watch these if you have the time!


13 videos, 6 readings expand


  1. Reading: How would you manage and store your data?
  2. Video: 6.01 Documentation
  3. Video: 6.02 Data Management
  4. Reading: How do we make sure participants are treated ethically?
  5. Video: 6.03 Unethical Studies
  6. Video: 6.04 Ethics Towards Participants
  7. Reading: How do we make sure researchers behave ethically and with integrity?
  8. Video: 6.05 Research Integrity
  9. Video: 6.06 Questionable Research Practices
  10. Reading: What about ethics in the publication process?
  11. Video: 6.07 Peer Review Process
  12. Video: 6.08 Dissemination Problems
  13. Peer Review: Practice, Ethics & Integrity - OPTIONAL Writing assignment (Evaluative)
  14. Video: 6.extra Milgram's Obedience Study (see OPTIONAL assignment)
  15. Reading: Transcripts: Practice, Ethics & Integrity
  16. Reading: About the interview
  17. Video: Interview - Practice, Ethics & Integrity - Jelte Wicherts (Part 1 of 4)
  18. Video: Interview - Practice, Ethics & Integrity - Jelte Wicherts (Part 2 of 4)
  19. Video: Interview - Practice, Ethics & Integrity - Jelte Wicherts (Part 3 of 4)
  20. Video: Interview - Practice, Ethics & Integrity - Jelte Wicherts (Part 4 of 4)

Graded: Practice, Ethics & Integrity
Graded: Practice, Ethics & Integrity - Writing assignment (Creative)

WEEK 7


Catch Up



In this module there's no new material to study. The only requirement in this module is that you finish up the final peer review assignment. We also advise you to take some extra time to review the material from the previous modules and to practice for the final exam. We've provided two practice exams that you can take as many times as you like. In the first one, feedback for each answer will be provided right after taking the test. We've also created some screencast videos that explain the right answers to the second practice exam in more detail.


3 videos, 1 reading, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Practice Quiz: Practice Exam 1 - immediate feedback
  2. Practice Quiz: Practice Exam 2 - feedback in screencasts
  3. Video: Screencast Practice Exam 2 - Questions 1-10
  4. Video: Screencast Practice Exam 2 - Questions 11-20
  5. Video: Screencast Practice Exam 2 - Questions 21-30
  6. Reading: Transcripts: All modules

Graded: Final Writing Assignment - (Evaluative)

WEEK 8


Exam Time!



This is the final module, where you can apply everything you've learned until now in the final exam. The final exam is structured exactly like the practice exam, so you know what to expect. Please note that you can only take the final exam once a month, so make sure you are fully prepared to take the test. Please follow the honor code and do not communicate or confer with others taking this exam. Good luck! Once you've taken the exam why not check out the bonus material - a series of presentations on research integrity in the social sciences, presented at a special symposium at the University of Amsterdam in 2014.


1 reading expand


  1. Reading: Bonus material - presentations on research integrity

Graded: Final Exam

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