PSMA016 Psychology Constructs: Theory and Methodology

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2021
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Taught online.
prof. PhDr. Marek Blatný, DrSc. (lecturer)
doc. Mgr. Sylvie Graf, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Martin Jelínek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Vojtěch Juřík, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Helena Klimusová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Katarína Millová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Katarína Šafárová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
prof. PhDr. Tomáš Urbánek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
PhDr. Martin Jelínek, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jarmila Valchářová
Supplier department: Department of Psychology - Faculty of Arts
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course involves a discussion of a number of advanced contemporary theories and constructs and their methodological backgrounds. The main objective is to illustrate, from a critical perspective, how methodological approaches are associated with the nature and validity of psychological constructs and how new methodological developments shape scientific thinking. At the end of the course, apart from obtaining a general overview of new theories in psychology, the students should be able to perceive the inseparability of theory and research methodology, and the importance of considering methodological background when evaluating the relevance and applicability of psychological constructs.
Learning outcomes
Students will be able: to understand how methodological approaches are associated with the nature and validity of psychological constructs and how new methodological developments shape scientific thinking; to perceive the inseparability of theory and research methodology; to focus on methodological background when evaluating the relevance and applicability of psychological constructs; to write a summary of their bachelor thesis in the form of a scientific journal article.
  • Selected topics:
  • New concepts of analysis in modern psychological research: network analysis as an alternative to latent trait analysis.
  • Longitudinal research as a modern approach for studying human lifespan development.
  • Intensive longitudinal sampling. Preview of famous longitudinal studies: their benefits and pitfalls.
  • Introduction to modern equipment in cognitive psychology: eye tracker, wearables and other promising technologies.
  • Emotional and behavioural priming – construct and controversy: Consideration of moderation effects in psychological research. Aggregate statistical effects v. well-grounded theory. The issue of reproducible science.
  • Ego depletion – construct and controversy: Measurement of self-regulation at multiple levels – neuroimaging, cognitive tasks, experimental manipulation, and questionnaires – is it all one and the same construct? Muscle metaphor as a substitute for a theory.
  • Kelly's constructive alternativism - constructivist approach of personal construct psychology as a unity of fundamental postulate: Theoretical corollaries and unique methods (Repertory grid technique and Self-characterization sketch).
  • Theory of cognitive orientation - Kreitlers' theory of cognitive orientation. Resolving discrepancy between attitudes and behaviour.
  • Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of intelligence as a leading contemporary psychometric approach to intelligence assessment.
  • Spatial perception and reasoning. The understanding of spatial relations as an integral part of intelligence. Measurement approaches to spatial reasoning.
    recommended literature
  • GOODWIN, C. James. Research in psychology : methods and design. 6th ed. Hoboken: Wiley & Sons, 2010. xxiii, 600. ISBN 9780470522783. info
  • Meltzoff, J. (1997). Critical thinking about research: Psychology and related fields. American Psychological Association.
  • GIRDEN, Ellen R. and Robert KABACOFF. Evaluating research articles : from start to finish. Third edition. Los Angeles: Sage, 2011. xvi, 399. ISBN 9781412974462. info
  • Neuroskeptic. (2012). The nine circles of scientific hell. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(6), 643-644.
  • Kerr, N. L. (1998). HARKing: Hypothesizing after the results are known. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2(3), 196-217.
  • Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychological Science, 22(11), 1359-1366.
  • Ferguson, C. J., & Heene, M. (2012). A vast graveyard of undead theories: Publication bias and psychological science’s aversion to the null. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(6), 555-561.
  • Rosenthal, R. (1979). The file drawer problem and tolerance for null results. Psychological Bulletin, 86(3), 638-641.
  • Nickerson, R. S. (2000). Null hypothesis significance testing: A review of an old and continuing controversy. Psychological Methods, 5(2), 241-301. doi: I0.1037//1082-989X.S.2.241
  • Understanding priming effects in social psychology. (2014). Supplement of Social Cognition, Vol. 32.
  • Special section on behavioral priming and its replication. (2014). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9(1).
  • Vohs, K. D., & Baumeister, R. F. (eds.) (2017). HANDBOOK OF SELF-REGULATION: RESEARCH, THEORY, AND APPLICATIONS (3rd ed.). Guilford Press.
  • Gendolla, G. H. E., Tops, M., & Koole, S. L. (eds.) (2015). Handbook of biobehavioral approaches to self-regulation. New York: Springer.
  • Friese, M., Loschelder, D. D., Gieseler, K., Frankenbach, J., & Inzlicht, M. (2019). Is Ego Depletion Real? An Analysis of Arguments. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 23(2), 107–131.
  • Eysenck, H. J. (ed.) (1973). The measurement of intelligence. Lancaster: Medical and Technical Publishing Co.
  • Holahan, C. K., & Sears, R. R. (1995). The gifted group in later maturity: The fifth volume in Terman Study. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Schneider, W. J., & McGrew, K. S. (2012). The Cattell-Horn-Carroll model of intelligence. In D. P. Flanagan & P. L. Harrison (Eds.), Contemporary intellectual assessment: Theories, tests, and issues (pp. 99-144). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
  • McGrew, K. S. (2005). The Cattell–Horn–Carroll theory of cognitive abilities. In D. P. Flanagan & P. L. Harrison (Eds.) Contemporary intellectual assessment: Theories, tests, and issues (2nd ed., pp. 136–181). New York: Guilford Press.
  • CARROLL, John Bissell. Human cognitive abilities : a survey of factor-analytic studies. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. ix, 819. ISBN 0521387124. info
  • Belzung, C., de Villemeur, E. B., Lemoine, M., & Camus, V. (2010). Latent variables and the network perspective. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(2-3), 150–151.
  • Goekoop, R., Goekoop, J. G., & Scholte, H. S. (2012). The network structure of human personality according to the NEO-PI-R: Matching network community structure to factor structure. PLoS ONE, 7(12), e51558.
  • The Development of the Person: The Minnesota Study of Risk and Adaptation from Birth to Adulthood. A Sroufe, B Egeland, E Carlson, A Collins , The Guilford Press : New York. 2005.
  • Poulton, R., Moffit, T. E., & Silva, P. A. (2015). The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study: Overview of the first 40 years, with an eye to the future. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50, 679-693.
  • ELDER, Glen H. Children of the Great depression : social change in life experience. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1974. xxiii, 400. ISBN 0226202658. info
  • Bamberger KT. The Application of Intensive Longitudinal Methods to Investigate Change: Stimulating the Field of Applied Family Research. Clinical child and family psychology review. 2016;19(1):21-38. doi:10.1007/s10567-015-0194-6.
  • BOLGER, Niall and Jean-Philippe LAURENCEAU. Intensive longitudinal methods : an introduction to diary and experience sampling research. Edited by David A. Kenny. New York: The Guilford Press, 2013. xv, 256. ISBN 9781462506781. info
  • Kreitler, H., & Kreitler, S. (1976). Cognitive orientation and behavior. Springer Publishing Company.
  • Kelly, G. A. (1955). Psychology of personal constructs. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc.
  • Kreitler, S. (2013). Cognition and motivation: Forging an interdisciplinary perspective. Cambridge University Press.
  • Shepard, R., & Cooper, L. (1982): Mental images and their transformations. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • PAIVIO, Allan. Mental representations : a dual coding approach. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990. x, 322. ISBN 019503936X. info
Teaching methods
Lectures, homework, reading
Assessment methods
Students are required to write a summary of their bachelor thesis in the form of a scientific journal article. The evaluation of the articles will put emphasis on the structure of the paper (preferably in IMRAD format), reflecting the process of scientific thinking and the interconnection of the theory and utilized research design and methods.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every week.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2019, Autumn 2020.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2021, recent)
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