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Research Methods and Tools

Code: 43403 ECTS Credits: 9
Degree Type Year Semester
4314947 Strategic Planning in Advertising and Public Relations OB 0 1


Josep Maria Blanco Pont

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Alfonso Gonzalez Quesada
Albert Vinyals Ros


There are no prerequisites for taking the course.

Objectives and Contextualisation

- To provide students with the conceptual and methodological instruments essential to develop scientific research, both from the perspective of commercial and applied research as well as basic research.

- To familiarize students with the three major methodological perspectives (qualitative, quantitative and experimental) of the social sciences.

- To support students in the theoretical and methodological approach to their end-of-master projects.



  • Be able to evaluate inequalities for reasons of sex or gender to design solutions.
  • Demonstrate systemic, scientific thought, oriented to results.
  • Design and carry out market research.
  • Display familiarity with the literature and adapt available results in order to address new or little-known problems, making innovative proposals.
  • Identify research problems and apply the most suitable qualitative and quantitative methodologies and tools in studies on communicative phenomena in advertising and PR.
  • Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply creative solutions to research problems in advertising and PR.
  2. Between the different techniques to measure consumer behaviour chose the most appropriate for the research in question.
  3. Decide on the best research methodology for each case according to the research objectives set out.
  4. Decide whether to try out new approaches and methods of analysis on the basis of the literature on the discipline of strategic communication.
  5. Identify and classify the new specific techniques for market research.
  6. Identify the contributions of gender study to the research topic.
  7. Know and use the contributions of women and gender studies in the discipline.
  8. Know how to collect, systematise, conserve and disseminate information about women, works written by women, documents referring to the laws and policies of equality and those generated by research into gender studies, evaluating gender bias which may be included in existing searches and descriptors.
  9. Know how to create and use qualitative and quantitative indicators including statistics to gain a better understanding of gender inequalities and differences in the needs, conditions, values and aspirations of women and men.
  10. Know how to distinguish in theoretical and empirical analyses the effects of sex and gender variables.
  11. Know how to identify the intersection of gender inequality with other inequalities (age, class, race, sexuality and identity/gender expression, functional diversity etc.).
  12. Know how to undertake research with a gender perspective.
  13. Know how to use inclusive and non-sexist language.
  14. Learn to make visible the contributions made by women in all areas of society and consider their experience as a documentary source of primary importance.
  15. Relate different perspectives and methodological approaches in the course of a research project.
  16. Subject theories and research findings to methods of verification or comparison.
  17. Successfully carry out a research project.


1. The scientific method in advertising and public relations research (Prof. Josep Maria Blanco)

1.1. Basic characteristics of the scientific method.

1.2. From the knowledge problem to the sample.

1.3. Definition as a scientific tool.

1.4. The paradigm as an instrument of scientific organisation.

1.5. Hypothesis and contrastability.

1.6. Research designs: qualitative, quantitative and experimental.

1.7. The variables.

1.8. Analysis and measurement instruments.


2. Applications of neuromarketing in strategic planning (Prof. Albert Vinyals)

2.1 Eye tracking software.

2.2. Sensory marketing: smell, hearing, taste, touch and sight.

2.3. Biometric methods for measuring the consumer's emotional response. EEG and fMRI.

2.4. Contributions of market research companies in the study of consumer behavior.


3. Bibliographic and information resources for strategic planning research. (Prof. Alfons González)

3.1 The process of searching for information within the framework of scientific and applied research.

3.2 Bibliographic resources.

3.3 Tools to know the quality and impact of scientific production.


The course includes master classes, guided theoretical activities, supervised individual and group activities, así́ as a set of autonomous activities to achieve the objectives of the module.  Each of the sections in which the content is organised is taught by a specialist teacher.
The students will be organised in groups and each of these groups will work on a research case.  Throughout the course, the groups will develop a set of exercises aimed at applying the knowledge proposed in class to their respective cases. The result of the exercises, which will be developed from the autonomous work (individual and team) of the students, should lead to a research project that will be the embryo of the TFM.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Theoretical sessions and case studies 45 1.8 1, 14, 7, 4, 17, 5, 3, 6, 15, 12, 10, 13, 11, 8, 9, 16, 2
Type: Supervised      
Tutorials 10 0.4 1, 4, 17, 5, 15, 16
Type: Autonomous      
Drafting and reviewing the work 70 2.8 1, 14, 7, 4, 17, 5, 3, 6, 15, 12, 10, 13, 11, 8, 9, 16, 2
Reading and exercise development 60 2.4 1, 7, 4, 17, 5, 3, 6, 15, 12, 10, 8, 16, 2


Each section of the course will be evaluated by the specialist teacher who teaches it.
Single evaluation

Students who opt for the single evaluation, the following activities must be carried out:

1- Elaboration of a research project: theoretical and methodological approach (60%)
2- Theoretical test (20%)
3-Bibliographic research exercise (20%)
Interested parties will be informed sufficiently in advance of the places, days and deadlines for the completion of the project, the theoretical test and the bibliographical research exercise.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Bibliographic search work (Theme 3) 20% 10 0.4 14, 7, 4, 17, 6, 15, 8, 16
Exam (Item 2) 20% 5 0.2 7, 17, 5, 15, 10, 11, 2
Research project: theoretical and methodological approach (class exercises and final work) 60% 25 1 1, 7, 4, 17, 5, 3, 15, 12, 10, 13, 11, 9, 16, 2


    • Ariely, Dan (2008): Las Trampas del deseo: cómo controlar los impulsos irracionales que nos llevan a error. Ariel.
    • Berganza Conde, M.R. y Ruiz San Román, J.A. (2005): Investigar en comunicación. Mc Graw Hill. Madrid.
    • Bunge, Mario (1989): La investigación científica, Ariel, Barcelona.
    • Cacioppo, J. T., Berntson, G. G., Larsen, J. T., Poehlmann, K. M., & Ito, T. A. (2000). «The psychophysiology of emotion.» Handbook of emotions, 2, 173-191.
    • Damasio, A. R. (1994). El error de Descartes: la razón de las emociones. Andrés Bello.
    • Dooley, Roger: Brainfluence (2015): 100 formas de convencer y persuadir a través del neuromarketing. Empresa Activa.
    • Gracia Roldan, J.L. (1995): Cómo elaborar un proyecto de investigación, Universidad de Alicante, Secretaría de publicaciones.
    • Hernandez Sampieri, R. Fernandez Collado, C y Baptista Lucio, P. (2003): Metodología de la Investigación. McGraw-Hill Interamericana. (3ª edición). México DF.
    • Igartua, J.J. y Humanes, M.L. (2004): Teoría e investigación en comunicación social. Editorial Síntesis. Madrid.
    • Igartua, J.J. (2006): Métodos cuantitativos de investigación en comunicación. Ed Bosch SA.
    • Kahneman, D. (2012). Pensar rápido, pensar despacio. Debate.
    • Laramée, A et Valée, B. (1991): La recherche en communication. Élements de méthodologie. Presses de l’Universite du Quebeq.
    • Lindström, Martin (2010): Buyology : verdades y mentiras de por qué compramos.Gestión 2000.
    • Lipovetsky, G. “La felicidad paradójica: Ensayo sobre la sociedad de hiperconsumo”, Ed. Anagrama: Barcelona, 2008

    • Martínez, J. L., Garrido, E. y Valdunquillo, I. (2012). Análisis de laemoción en el discurso político a partir de un nuevo sistema de registro psicofisiológico y su aplicación a las ciencias políticas. Universidad de Salamanca, Departamento de psicología evolutiva, http://gredos.usal.es/jspui/bitstream/10366/22533/1/DPEE_analisisdelaatencion.pdf
    • Reeve, J., & Reeve, J. (2001). Understanding motivation and emotion. New York: Wiley.
    • Santesmases, Miguel (2012): Marketing. Conceptos y estrategias. Madrid, Ediciones Pirámide.
    • Sierra Bravo, R. (1991): Técnicas de investigación social. Teoría y ejercicios. Madrid, Editorial Paraninfo S.A.
    • Spence, Ch. & Gallace,A. (2011) Multisensory Design: Reaching Out to Touch the Consumer. Psychology & Marketing, Vol. 28(3): 267–308.
    • Thaler, R. H. (2016). Todo lo que he aprendido con la psicología económica. Barcelona, Deusto.

    • Verd, Joan M.; Lozares, C. (2016) Introducción a la investigación cualitativa. Fases, métodos y técnicas.  Editorial Sintesis S. A.
    • Vinyals, A. (2019). El consumidor tarado. Barcelona: Amazon.
    • Wimmer R.D. y Dominick,J.R.: La investigación científica de los medios de comunicación, Barcelona, Bosch Casa Editorial S.A., 1996.


    La investigación científica de los medios de comunicación, Barcelona, Bosch Casa Editorial S.A., 1996.


No specific software is used.