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Course Detail

Course Name Research Methodology I: Introduction to Research Methods
Course Code 24CLT505
Program M. Sc. Cognitive Sciences, Learning and Technology
Semester I
Credits 3
Campus Amritapuri


Unit I

Unit I – Scientific Method and Role of Research in Cognitive Sciences

  • Scientific research in the natural vs social sciences
  • Relevance of scientific research in the field of cognitive sciences
  • Features of the scientific method
  • Induction vs deduction
  • Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research
  • Code of ethics for research with human subjects
Unit II

Unit II – Problem Formulation

  • Finding researchable problems
  • Conducting a literature review
  • Formulating the research question
  • Stating the research objectives
Unit III

Unit III – Theories and Variables

  • Concepts and conceptualization
  • Operationalization of concepts (constructs) as variables
    Types of variables
  • Nature and role of theories in social science research
  • Formulation of hypotheses
Unit IV

Unit IV – Research Designs, Sampling, Tools

  • Units of analysis
  • Research designs for quantitative and qualitative research
    Sampling methods
  • Tools of data collection in quantitative research (observation methods, standardized questionnaires, rating scales, schedules) and qualitative research
    (unstructured/semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, participant observation)
  • Psychometric properties of quantitative research tools (validity, reliability, practicality)
  • Increasing the trustworthiness of qualitative studies
Unit V

Unit V – Analyzing and Interpreting Results of Quantitative Studies

  • Definition of data
  • Levels of measurement (nominal, ordinal, scale, ratio)
  • Measures of central tendency (mode, median, mean)
  • Measures of dispersion (range, standard deviation, variance)
  • Descriptive statistics (charts and frequency tables)
  • Inferential statistics (exploring differences between groups and exploring relationships between variables)
  • Significance level p ≤ 0.05
  • Communicating results by publishing a paper

Course Objectives and Outcomes

Course Objectives:

  1. To teach students a basic understanding of research methodology and its relevance for studying the human mind and brain
  2. To lead students step-by-step through the different phases of the research process: identifying a researchable problem, formulating the research question, creating the research design, recruiting the sample, using research tools for data collection, analyzing and interpreting the data, and communicating the results
  3. To teach students how to conduct research studies in an ethical way
  4. To deepen students’ critical thinking skills by using deductive logic and by thinking in a scientific way

Course Outcomes:

  • CO1: Understand the scientific method, as well as the role of scientific research in the field of cognitive sciences
  • CO2: Gain the skills to define a researchable problem and formulate a research question CO3: Gain the ability to formulate research hypotheses in order to test theories, which include at least one independent and one dependent variable
  • CO4: Develop an understanding of the different research designs, including experimental designs for evaluation research, and gain the ability to recruit a sample and to apply different research tools in the field
  • CO5: Know how to summarize and present data as charts and frequencies in descriptive research, as well as to compare groups and find relationships between variables in inferential research
  • CO6: Gain the knowledge of how to conduct a research study in an ethical way


  • Scientific thinking
  • Define a researchable problem and formulate a research question
  • Formulate research hypotheses to test theories
  • Design a research study that has high internal validity
  • Recruit a random sample
  • Summarize data as charts and tables
  • Follow ethical guidelines while doing research

CO-PO Mappings

Program outcome PO – Course Outcomes CO Mapping


Evaluation Pattern:

Assessment Internal External
Midterm Exam 30
*Continuous Assessment


End Semester 50

*CA – Can be Quizzes, Assignment, Projects, and Reports, and Seminar


  • Bhattacherjee, A. (2012). Social science research: Principles, methods, and practices. Textbooks Collection. Book 3.
  • Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods (4th edition). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
  • Kumar, R. (2011). Research methodology. A step-by-step guide for beginners (3rd edition). Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Retrieved from Step-by- Step_G.pdf

Reference Books

  • Bacon-Shone, J. H. (2013). Introduction to quantitative research methods. Hong Kong: Graduate School, The University of Hong Kong. Retrieved from
  • Bryman, A. (2016): Social research methods (5th edition). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Goode, W. J. & Hatt, P. K. (2017). Methods in social research. Hyderabad, India: Asia Law House.
  • Kothari, C.R. (2004). Research methodology. Methods and techniques (2nd revised edition). New Delhi, India: New Age International Publishers. Retrieved from
  • Krishnaswamy, O. R. & Ranganatham, M. (2013). Methodology of research in social sciences (2nd edition). New Delhi, India: Himalaya Publishing House.
  • Neuman, W. L. (2014). Social research methods. Qualitative and quantitative approaches (7th edition). Pearson Education India.
  • Nick, T. G. (2007). Descriptive statistics. In W. T. Ambrosius (Ed.), Topics in biostatistics (p. 33-52) (Series: Methods in Molecular Biology). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press. Retrieved from s_Models/links/57e560bf08ae9227da964db4.pdf#page=42
  • Patel, P. (2009). Introduction to quantitative methods. Retrieved from ds-practical/2647139?origin=null

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