QUANTITATIVE METHODS

OVERVIEW

The Quantitative Methods Area of the Department of Psychology at UBC offers graduate study leading to both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. The mission of the quantitative psychology graduate program is twofold: To train students in the theory and application of quantitative methods for psychological research and to contribute to the development of new knowledge in the field of quantitative psychology. With regard to training, we seek to develop a foundational knowledge for graduate students of all areas and to provide state-of-the-art training for graduate students seeking a Ph.D. in this field. The graduate program provides a rigorous curriculum, opportunities for experience in teaching, and extensive training and experience in research. Our mission also involves the conduct of research that will make valuable contributions to the growth in knowledge regarding the theory and use of quantitative methods in psychological research. In addition, we contribute to the advancement of knowledge in substantive areas through the careful and proper use of sophisticated quantitative methods.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

The field of quantitative methods covers a broad spectrum of topics ranging from the mathematical modeling of psychological processes and phenomena (mathematical psychology) to the theory and techniques of mental measurement, individual differences, statistics, and data analysis techniques generally. Largely because of the interests of the faculty members in the Psychometrics Area at UBC, the emphasis of the graduate program is on measurement and data analysis, rather than the mathematical psychology side of the field. Opportunities do exist, nonetheless, for some exposure to the latter.

The underlying philosophy in the Quantitative Area is that students are best served by an interdisciplinary program embracing the mathematical-theoretical underpinnings of the field as well as the applied techniques and substantive ideas that have emanated from them. Students, therefore, will take courses in mathematical statistics and allied topics from the Statistics and Mathematics Departments, as well as courses in applied topics given by other departments. Within the Psychology Department, students will take courses in such areas as analysis of variance, multiple regression analysis, multivariate analysis, structural equation modeling, hierarchical linear modeling, factor analysis, psychometric theory, and assessment techniques in psychology.

In addition to taking coursework in quantitative topics, students will be expected to gain some expertise ― through graduate course work ― in at least two substantive areas in psychology. At UBC, these areas include Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Science, Developmental, Health, and Social-Personality Psychology.

In addition to their coursework, students will be expected to become involved in research in the field. This research might entail joint activities with faculty members associated with the program, or research initiated by the students themselves. Broad research areas currently represented by faculty members of the area include the development and testing - via Monte Carlo methods - of new statistical procedures, the investigation of sampling properties of some established statistics using computer-simulation methods and analytical asymptotic derivations, mathematical models of personality structure and person perception, and applied assessment techniques.

The specialization in Quantitative Methods is seen as requiring a 4- to 5-year post-baccalaureate program of study. It is anticipated that students will complete their M.A. degree requirements in 2 years, and the Ph.D. requirements in an additional 2 to 3.

FACILITIES

Good computing facilities are important both for study and research in quantitative methodology. UBC's computing environment continues to evolve to meet the challenges of developments in distributed, networked computing. Current facilities available through UBC ITServices are centred around SUN Solaris (Unix) servers. A site-licensing program managed by ITServices provides students with access to low-cost statistics and mathematics software. A detailed description of ITServices offerings for students is available on the Web.

Every office, lab and teaching space within the Kenny Building has 100 Megabit per second switched Ethernet connectivity available with a 1 Gigabit per second building link to the UBC campus. In addition, we are served by 25 wireless access points supporting wireless connectivity at data rates up to 54 Megabits per second. LCD projectors are located in many classrooms across campus and may be borrowed from the Department for activities related to your work here.

The Department has three full-time staff dedicated to departmental computing support. The Network Manager oversees the network and computing facilities which include all 100 Mbps network switching infrastructure, six high-performance network servers, electronic mail, backup, dial-up and web servers. In addition, our Web Manager maintains the department website and provides students and faculty with advice on web-based course development and design. Our Systems Support staff member assists users with the selection of computing system hardware, printers and peripherals and handles complex desktop system troubleshooting issues.

Research rooms are available throughout the department for the collection and storage of data in substantive studies. Laboratory facilities are available for any research requiring specialized equipment.

CORE FACULTY

Jeremy Biesanz (Assistant Professor), Ph.D. Arizona State University, 1999

A. Ralph Hakstian (Professor Emeritus), Ph.D. University of Colorado, 1969

Victoria Savalei (Assistant Professor), Ph.D. UCLA, 2006

ASSOCIATE FACULTY

Stanley Coren (Professor Emeritus), FRSC, Ph.D. Stanford University, 1968

Delroy Paulhus (Professor), Ph.D. Columbia University, 1980

Lawrence Ward (Professor), Ph.D. Duke University, 1971

Beth Haverkamp (Associate Professor), Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Sandra Robinson (Distinguished University Scholar & Professor), Ph.D., Northwestern University

Daniel Skarlicki (Kaiser Chair of Organizational Behaviour & Associate Professor), Ph.D. University of Toronto

Bruno Zumbo (Professor), Ph.D. Carleton University

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