Category Archives: Guidance

SPSS and research methods help

Struggling with SPSS? At a loss with research methods?  As a first step please check out these films to help entering data, coding variables and carrying out statistical tests. You might need to enter your university login and password.

If these don’t help, Joe and Martina, the psychology technicians, are happy to offer  one-to-one drop in sessions, or a larger group session if you and some classmates are stuck the same topic and would to work as a group. Please contact a technician to book a slot.

Just to stress – if you are struggling with research methods or SPSS it is so much better to get help early on rather than waiting till exam/data analysis time, letting all the questions mount up, getting more and more confused – and finally realising you’ve got a mountain to climb and no more time. No question is too silly for the drop-ins! Often the questions you think are the silliest are the most useful ones to get clear in your head early on.

Want SPSS on your own computer?

Thinking about what dissertation to do?

Don’t worry if you’re stuck! I’ll be posting some guides before term starts about what the psychology lab can offer you in terms of dissertation support (stats support, equipment and facilities) which will also aim to give you an idea of the types of dissertations this will help you to think up.

In the meantime one suggestion I’d make if you’re stuck for inspiration is to go over the BPS Research Digest with a fine tooth comb, and subscribe to the newsletter! This is a really excellent resource with interesting cutting-edge research which you could think about developing further or taking in a new direction. If you scroll to the bottom of the screen in the BPS Research Digest, the categories allow you to select your area of interest. There are also links to more blogs with lots of ideas. Good luck!

Do you want to present a psychology experiment on a computer?

Do you want to present images, text or video to participants, and measure their responses and reaction times accurately,  easily and automatically? If so you need to check out the Psychology lab’s SuperLab software, which is installed on the computers in the lab’s soundproof testing booths. We also have a number of response pads, which can be easily configured to allow participants to quickly and easily interact with your experiments.

You can create whatever experiments you desire. This page contains a number of pre-programmed experiments based on classic psychology papers relating to perception and attention, memory, perceptual representation, representation of meaning and reasoning. You’ll find the Stroop task, dichotic listening experiments (examining the “cocktail party effect”), experiments exploring episodic memory and many more, which can be used freely. We also have an Implicit Association Task you can use with your own stimuli.

If you are interested in running any of these pre-programmed experiments, creating your own experiment, or just having a look at what SuperLab entails please speak to the psychology technicians. If you would like to have a read about SuperLab and how easy it is to present an experiment, please take a look at the SuperLab manual.

Happy Experimenting!

Which free online survey should I use?

Third Year Dissertation students are strongly encouraged to use SONA to create their surveys for free, as this also gives a lot of help with recruitment. If you are not using SONA, there are other options. Most people have heard about Surveymonkey, but what about Qualtrics or SogoSurvey? As a student, you really do not have to pay for online survey software. You may find that the free version of Surveymonkey is too limited for your needs – if you do please click the link below for a round-up of some better free options!

Comparison of free survey tools

If you have any questions after reading this, please speak to Joe the psychology technician.

Free survey tools

I’m putting together a document comparing the free online survey tools, which I hope will be useful to students thinking about using them. I’ll post it here when it is complete. Although most people have probably come across SurveyMonkey for one reason or another, there are a lot of other free options out there, which depending on your needs may be better for you than SurveyMonkey.

Watch this space..

Hello there! This is the blog of the School of Applied and Social Sciences psychology lab at the University of Brighton. I’m going to blog on all sorts of topics relevant to students and staff. I’ll blog on resources and facilities, new equipment/services, in particular new psychological questionnaires and breaking news on psychological technology. I’ll put guidance here on research methods, study design etc and also post on interesting psychology studies. As I’m new here it will probably take some time to get fully started, please bear with me!

Best wishes,

Joe the psychology technician.