Solid Science: Research Methods

Discover the principles of solid scientific methods in the behavioral and social sciences. Join us and learn to separate sloppy science from solid research!

About The Course

Can we still put our trust in the social and behavioural sciences? Cases of social scientists exposed as frauds keep turning up and many disciplines are under fire for their failure to replicate key results. No wonder the integrity of our field is being questioned; sloppy science is starting to seem the norm rather than the exception!

As social scientist Daniel Kahneman suggests, it is time for the social sciences to clean house. We will try to answer his call with a series of courses that explain the scientific principles of research and how methodology and statistics can help to ensure that research is solid. We will explain the basics and put them into context by showing you how things can go horribly wrong when methods and statistics are abused. And we will teach you how to recognize these questionable research practices - after the fact - in published articles.

This first course, Solid Science: Research Methods (in the Social and Behavioral Sciences), will cover the fundamental principles of science, some history and philosophy of science, research designs, measurement, sampling and ethics. This basic material will lay the groundwork for the more technical stuff in subsequent courses. 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.

Please note that this course will focus on quantitative methods, qualitative methods will be treated in a separate course.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

What resources will I need for this class?
All you need is an Internet connection, some time and motivation. We'll do everything in our power to help you meet the last requirement, the first two are up to you!

Recommended Background

No previous knowledge is required. If you’re interested in methodology and research integrity in the social sciences, join this course and help us clean house!