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Semester 1

Big Data and Psychological Science (PSYL10178)







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Visiting students must be studying Psychology as their degree major, and have completed at least 3 Psychology courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. There are limited spaces available for visiting students on 3rd/4th year Psychology courses, so please email the CAHSS Visiting Student Office to request your preferred courses and students cannot be guaranteed enrolment on ANY Psychology courses (unless you are nominated to study with us on a Psychology exchange programme, including a Psychology-specific Erasmus exchange). **Please note that all Psychology courses are very high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces. **This course cannot be taken alongside Psychology 2A or 2B**

Course Summary

Psychologists are now using "big data" with the aim of testing hypotheses about the mind in less artificial contexts at scale. Psycholinguists have tested their computational models using natural language corpora, behavioural economists have used online product reviews to understand decision-making, and social psychologists have used social media data to study the effects of networks on beliefs and behaviour. How do we collect this sort of data and what is its value for understanding the mind and behaviour? This course covers how to use and evaluate psychological research that uses big data.

Course Description

In the first weeks of the course, we will cover introductory material to topics such as the motivation to use big data to study psychological questions and introductory material on programming in R to scrape and analyse social media data. The course will then cover influential studies which relied on big data to examine psychological questions (e.g., the examination of personality from blog posts or the spread or reduction of misinformation on Twitter), critical analysis of the merits and limitations of these studies, along with the ethical implications of using open datasets.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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All course information obtained from this visiting student course finder should be regarded as provisional. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. For more information, please see the visiting student disclaimer:

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