department of psychology

306 Chafee Hall, 142 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881

uripsymajor@gmail.com401.874.2193 (p); 401.874.2157 (f)

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Research Methodology Focus Area


The Research Methodology Area has existed informally for over 30 years as an area of specialization for doctoral study. We are listed as a training program in the APA Division 5 (Statistics) guide to Graduate Study. Our students and faculty have published in every major journal in the area, and research methodology has long been a nationally recognized area of strength for within the Department of Psychology. This focus area concentration is now formally structured and the current description provides our goals and more detailed information.


The major goal is to encourage expertise in behavioral research methodology at the University of Rhode.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Provide foundational training in experimental design, multivariate methods, and research design.
  • Encourage advanced expertise in one or more methodological areas (see course content, below).
  • Enhance understanding in applying statistical methodology to relevant research issues.
  • Foster a methodological network of faculty and students involved with grants and other research.

Graduates who complete focus area requirements, in conjunction with program requirements, would be qualified to serve in numerous capacities, including: academics, applied statistical research, biostatistics, evaluation research, methodological research (e.g., research center), the private sector (e.g., drug companies, pro change), and statistical service (e.g., data analyst), to name a few. Moreover, students with research methodology expertise and experience are more likely to get job opportunities before and after graduating, than those without these skills.

Student Preparation

The typical student who focuses on Research Methodology will be expected to have the following courses prior to graduate school: introductory statistics, psychological testing, and introductory research methods. It would also be helpful to have background in some or all of the following topics in previous or concurrent coursework: matrix algebra, analysis of variance, and multiple regression.

Students preparing for their comprehensive exams, should focus on at least one methodology question.

Further, students who focus on Research Methodology are expected to have several research experiences prior to and subsequent to enrolling in a graduate program. These could include: working with faculty on their research, presenting papers at conferences, honor’s or other student-directed research, collaborating on research publications, working on research grants, and other related research involvement.

Program of Study

Faculty and students interested in affiliating with the Research Methodology focus area will typically have an interest in one or more methods, such as: analysis of variance, computing, factor analysis, longitudinal methods, measurement development, mediation analysis, meta-analysis, multivariate methods, population health methods, power analysis, principal components analysis, research design, structural equation modeling, survey research, or time series analysis, among others.

Along with one or more statistical method interests, affiliates of this focus area will also tend to conduct research within a major content area, such as but not limited to the following: antiracism, behavior change, cancer prevention, clinical psychology, community psychology, decision making, developmental psychology, education, epidemiology, gender issues, health promotion, multicultural psychology, neuropsychology, peace and non-violence, population health, poverty & malnutrition, primary prevention, public health, quality of life, reading & literacy, school psychology, smoking cessation, social psychology, substance use, undergraduate studies or women’s health.

All doctoral students are required to take the three-core methodology course:

PSY (STA) 532 Experimental Design
PSY 533 Advanced Quantitative Methods (Multivariate Methods)
PSY 611 Methods of Psychological Research

Students who concentrate in research methodology would take 4 additional methodology courses, drawing from within and possibly outside of psychology (see suggested options, below):

Advanced psychology courses listed in the catalogue:

PSY (STA) 517 Small N Designs (time series analysis)
PSY (STA) 610 Parsimony Methods (components/factor analysis & cluster analysis)
PSY (STA) 612 Structural Equation Modeling
PSY 614 Evaluation Research

Courses taught occasionally in psychology but not in catalogue with a separate title:

PSY 690 Power Analysis and Meta-analysis
PSY 690 Mediation Analysis
PSY 690 Longitudinal Analysis
PSY 690 Multicultural Methodology
PSY 692/693 Latent Growth Modeling
PSY 692/693 R or other Computing
PSY 692/693 Research Facilitation

Courses taught by other departments:

CSC 592 Big Data Visualization & High Performance Computing
NUR 651 Advanced (Qualitative) Methods in Nursing Research
NUR 660 Philosophical Foundations for Health Care Research
PHP 540 & 640 Epidemiologic Methods
STA 501 Analysis of Variance and Variance Components
STA 502 Applied Regression Analysis
STA 520 Fundamentals of Sampling and Applications
STA 535 Statistical Methodology in Clinical Trials
STA 536 Applied Longitudinal Analysis
STA 541 Applied Multivariate Analysis
STA 542 Categorical Data Analysis Methods
STA 545 Bayesian Statistics
STA 550 Ecological Statistics
STA 592 Statistical Analysis of Network Data

In addition, students are encouraged to take other PSY 692/693 Directed Readings in Research Methods.


Focus Area Coordinator

Dr. Lisa Harlow (multivariate, structural modeling, increasing interest & diversity in quantitative methods)

Research Methodology Faculty in Psychology

Dr. Su Boatright (undergraduate research)
Dr. Jerry Cohen (analysis of variance, social psychology research)
Dr. Charles Collyer (analysis of variance, research methods, peace & non-violence)
Dr. Robert Laforge (public health methods, R computing, regression, survey research)
Andrea Paiva, Ph.D. (behavioral statistics, methodology)
Dr. Colleen Redding (health psychology research, methodology)
Dr. Joseph Rossi (power analysis, research methods, meta-analysis, multivariate, health psychology)
Dr. Wayne Velicer (parsimonious methods, small n design, population health methodology and research)
Dr. Ted Walls (intensive longitudinal methods, developmental psychology)
Dr. Grant Willis (introductory statistics, testing & measurement, neuropsychology, school psychology)

Other Affiliated Research Methodology Faculty

Bryan Blissmer, Exercise Science (latent growth modeling & other health-based statistics)
Patricia Burbank, Nursing (philosophy of science, theory and foundations of research)
Liliana Gonzalez, Computer Science & Statistics (categorical statistics, analysis of variance components)
Nina Kajiji, Computer Science & Statistics (statistics and computing)
Natallia Katenka, Computer Science & Statistics (multivariate statistics, clinical trials statistics)
Joan Peckham, Chair of Computer Science & Statistics (big data, high performance computing)
Gavino Puggioni, Computer Science & Statistics (Bayesian statistics, differential equations modeling)
Minsuk Shim, Education (hierarchical linear modeling, methodology and research)
Cynthia Willey Temkin, Pharmacy (epidemiology, logistic regression, survival analysis)

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