nl en

Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics (IBP)


Students of the Dutch bachelor’s programme, see Inleiding in de Methoden en Technieken

Entry requirements



Topics discussed in this course include: empirical reasoning; deriving a verifiable research idea; selecting data collection methods; determining reliability and validity; using descriptive statistics; standard normal distribution, relationships between variables; experimental control, experimental designs; describing and explaining variance.

Course objectives

  • Acquiring knowledge of core concepts and basic principles of the methodology of psychological research and the way these are interrelated.

  • Acquiring knowledge about and skills of working with descriptive statistics.

  • Acquiring the necessary skills in working with the SPSS statistical package for descriptive statistics.
    Note: A detailed list of course objectives will be available on Blackboard.


For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme.
Psychology timetables



First year students are automatically enrolled for courses, but do need to register themselves for the exam.

Other students do not only need to register for exams themselves, but also for lectures and work group sessions. For information on registration periods consult the bachelor course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.

Consult the first year guide in the info for first year students International Bachelor in Psychology

Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour lectures, 8 2-hour mandatory work group sessions and 7 additional work group sessions.

The lectures
Each course week begins with a lecture to introduce and explain course material. The lectures also cover additional and new topics that are included in the examination. As preparation for the lectures students are required to study the chapters assigned for that week.

The work group sessions
The day after the lecture there is a work group session. These sessions focus on applying the acquired knowledge in practice. Students also learn to work with SPSS, a software package for statistical data analysis. The material covered in these work group sessions is also included in the examination. Students are required to bring the exercise book to every session. Attendance is mandatory for all work group sessions.

The additional work group sessions
In the additional work group sessions at the end of the week students are offered the opportunity to get some further practice in statistical calculations, by hand or using SPSS. All students who would benefit from this extra support are free to attend these sessions.

Assessment method

The assessment consists of two components:

  • A written examination consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions, each with 4 alternatives, covering both theory and statistical calculations from the literature, the work group sessions, and the lectures.

  • An SPSS skills test covering the various aspects of students’ skills in working with SPSS as well as in describing and interpreting statistical output.
    The final grade is a weighted average of the examination grade (0.7) and the grade for the SPSS skills test (0.3). To obtain the course credits students must have final grade of 5.5 or higher, and both the examination and skills test grade must be 5.0 or higher. Within 30 days of the final examination results students will have the opportunity to attend a review session of the examination and/or the SPSS skills test.

Regulations on grade calculation.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

  • Leary, M.L. (2012) Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods (6th edition). Boston: Pearson.

  • Howell, D.C. (2014). Statistical Methods for Psychology (Leiden edition). Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.

  • Pallant, J. (2013). SPSS Survival Manual (5th edition). Berkshire: McGraw-Hill.

  • IBM SPSS 23 Statistics for Windows. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp., [].

  • Workbook Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics

  • Lecture slides Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics

Contact information