PSY115 An Introduction to Research, Ethics and Reasoning (8)

This subject introduces the principle of ethics, the process of logical reasoning, research methods and the ways of describing and displaying data. Students will explore the basic principles of ethics and how they apply to research with human and animal participants. Different ways of thinking in relation to research are examined. Students will learn about logical reasoning and reflexivity and the importance of these processes for research. Quantitative and qualitative research methods and how these are applied to specific research questions will be examined. The subject will examine the basic methods researchers use to describe and display quantitative data, and some of the methods used to analyse qualitative data. Students will also be introduced to data analysis packages including SPSS and NVivo.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Bathurst Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY115. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Psychology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • demonstrate an understanding of the general principles of ethics as they apply to research;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the different ways of thinking in relation to research;
  • discuss why logical reasoning and reflexivity are important in research;
  • demonstrate critical evaluation skills;
  • identify the method, quantitative or qualitative, required to answer specific research questions;
  • describe and display quantitative data; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of some of the methods researchers use to analyse qualitative data.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The importance of ethics in research
  • Principles of ethics
  • APS Code of Ethics, the National Statement of Ethical Conduct in Human Research and the Australian Code for the Care and use of Animals for Scientific Purposes
  • The role of ethics committees and boards
  • different ways of thinking in research (for example, empiricism, rationalism etc.)D
  • Critical evaluation
  • Logical development of an argument
  • Reflexivity in professional practice and research
  • Different types of research questions, analysis and interpretation (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Displaying and interpreting descriptive data (graphs and tables)
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Different types of qualitative data, data collection methods and analyses

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.