Research Field Practice in Cognitive/Affective Psychology

Type of instruction


Part of degree program
Typically offered in

Autumn/spring semester

Course description

Aim of the course:
Basic aims of the field practice:

  • Familiarization with the work of the research laboratory that provides the practice
  • Attaining practical knowledge on preparing the research plan, conducting data collection and analysis, and documenting and disseminating of the results
  • Implementing theoretical knowledge on research methodology and ethics in practice
  • Active participation in delivering and solving specific sub-tasks of a specific research project
  • Summarizing the experiences and the results in a written paper

Learning outcome, competences

  • The student who fulfils the course will learn the research methods and paradigms in specific areas of general psychology (e.g., sensation, perception, cognition, consciousness, emotions, motivation, pain, sexuality, motion, human interactions)
  • Through participation in a specific research project the student will attain the procedures of planning and carrying out research (e.g., identifying the relevant literature; formulating research questions and hypotheses; recruiting and informing subjects; documenting informed consent; data collection and registration; selecting and applying appropriate statistical methods; data analysis; formulating and publishing the results)
  • The student will learn the criticisms about the given research paradigms, will be able to recognise the shortcomings of the given paradigms, and to formulate proposals for completion or correction of these
  • The student will learn the specific ethical principles and rules in the given area


  • The student who fulfils the course recognises her or his competency limits, and if any unexpected case occurs during the practice, she or he makes a detailed documentation and immediately informs the practice supervisor about it
  • The student respects and protects the dignity and the integrity of the subjects, and recognises the time and effort the subjects dedicated to participate in the research project (independently of their remuneration)
  • The student strives to carry out high quality, innovative, exigent and precise research work
  • The student analyses the previous empirical work carried out in the given area from a critical point of view; strives to a continuous development of the research and analysis methods in the field


  • The student is able to co-operate and to carry out the sub-tasks specified by the practice supervisor individually or in groups
  • The student is able to plan and carry out the specified research sub-tasks

Topics of the course
According to the given research and to the instructions of the practice supervisor

  • Literature search; learning the main methods/paradigms within the given area; reading and elaborating the classical and most up-to-date references on the given method
  • Writing a literature review; identifying the shortcomings or niches within the given area; formulating adequate research questions and hypotheses
  • Recruiting and informing subjects; documenting informed consent
  • Data collection and registration; appropriate documentation of the investigation (experimental protocols, database, and their safe storage)
  • Presenting and discussing the findings (contrasting them to previous results in the literature and to the research questions/hypotheses)
  • Publication of the research (term paper, thesis, conference paper, conference poster, paper in peer-reviewed journal, public lecture, workshop)

Learning activities, learning methods

  • Classroom sessions (lectures or seminars) aimed to present the given research method and project
  • Participation in organisation and carrying out specific sub-tasks of the given research, according to the instructions of the practice supervisor
  • Documenting and publishing the observations made in the research practice

Compulsory reading list

 American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
 Boynton, P. M. (2005). The Research Companion: A practical guide for the social and health sciences.
Hove, UK: Psychology Press.
 Dienes, Z. (2008). Understanding Psychology as a Science: An Introduction to Scientific and
Statistical Inference. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
 Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S. (2015). Research Methods in Psychology
(10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
 Sternberg, R. J., & Sternberg, K. (2010). The Psychologist’s Companion: A Guide to Writing Scientific
Papers for Students and Researchers (5th ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.
 Other readings specified by the practice supervisor

Recommended reading list

 Cooper, H. (2012). APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology. Washington, DC:
American Psychological Association.
 Leary, M. R. (2011) Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods (6th ed.). Needham Heights, MA:
Allyn and Bacon.
 Selye, H. (1964). From Dream to Discovery: On Being a Sientist. New York: McGraw-Hill.
 Other readings specified by the practice supervisor