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Research Methods in R

Research Methods in R

2019 Edition.

Research Methods in R is a set of guides on how to use R as your central research methods tool. The target audience is psychology undergraduate students. Research Methods in R is Creative Commons, so you are free to reuse these materials and adapt them as you wish, as long as you attribute them to their authors, and as long as your modifications have a Creative Commons licence.

The advantages of R over other software packages are discussed here. Many psychology degree programmes have switched to R over the last few years, here is a partial list.

List of guides

  1. Absolute Beginners’ Guide to R

  2. Putting R to Work

  3. A Very Brief Guide to R

  4. Research Methods in Practice (Quantitative section)

  5. Intermediate Guide to R

  6. Going further with R (work in progress)

1. Absolute Beginners’ Guide to R

A series of worksheets on using R for data analysis in psychology. No previous knowledge of R, or of psychology, is assumed.

2. Putting R to work

These are mainly further practice in the skills learned in Absolute Beginners’. Where the exercises contain completely new skills, these are shown in bold. Where the excercises extend a skill you’ve already been taught, these are shown in italics. The exercises become somewhat more difficult as you go down the list.

If you are a current undergraduate student at Plymouth University, you should complete the accompanying Psych:EL (Psychology: Experiential Learning) activity first, in order to generate your own set of data. If you’re not, you can download sample data files here.

3. A Very Brief Guide to R

The Absolute Beginners’ Guide to R and Putting R to Work provide, between them, about 20 hours of introductory material. For those in a hurry, the Very Brief Guide to R covers the most critical material from those two courses in about four hours.

4. Research Methods in Practice (Quantitative section)

These are intermediate-level materials, designed to follow on from An Absolute Beginners’ Guide to R and Putting R to work (or from A Very Brief Guide to R, if you’re in a hurry). They are maintained by Ben Whalley on a separate site, but have been designed to fit in here in this sequence of materials. Only the quantitative section of Ben’s site contains information concerning the usage of R.

5. Intermediate Guide to R

These are intermediate-level materials, designed to follow on from An Absolute Beginners’ Guide to R and Putting R to work (or from A Very Brief Guide to R, if you’re in a hurry). They provide analysis methods for conducting realistic, high-quality studies in psychology. They are aimed at a second-year undergraduate audience.

6. Going further with R

These are slightly more advanced materials, aimed at a final-year undergraduate psychology audience.

The following materials are currently being developed, so on clicking these links, you may find just notes, or incomplete worksheets.


Source code

These teaching materials were generated using a combination of Markdown and RMarkdown. The full source code is available on github.


Licence

This material is distributed under a Creative Commons licence. CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Parts of this material have been adpated from these other Creative Commons materials:


Acknowledgements

Thanks to the following people for their feedback and advice on these materials:

Jackie Andrade, Eleanor Andrade May, Martyn Atkins, Patric Bach, Dale Barr, Chris Berry, Laura Charlton, Lisa DeBruine, Charlotte Edmunds, Emily Filewood, Giorgio Ganis, Phil Gee, Michaela Gummerum, Yaniv Hanoch, Cathryn Harries, Courtney Hooton, Angus Inkster, Jasmin Jones, Peter Jones, Laith Kahn, Chris Longmore, Jon May, Anthony Mee, Chris Mitchell, Millie Monks, Karol Nedza, Alyson Norman, Charlie Reynolds, Matt Roser, Paul Sharpe, Alastair Smith, Julian Stander, Sylvia Terbeck, Michael Verde, Clare Walsh, Ben Whalley.