Psychological Research Methods

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Introduction Methods and General Principles of Psychological Research Psychology is the science of human behavior and mental processes, in the purpose of helping people by getting facts rather than opinions. Psychologists ask the questions “what?” and “why?” and to obtain the results to a certain conclusion, psychologists use scientific research methods, which is a standardized way of making observations, gathering data, forming theories, testing predictions and interpreting results (SparkNotes Editors, 2005). There are four types of research methods; survey, observation, experiment, and case study. Researches use these four scientific research methods to measure the data obtained and turn the variables into numbers. There are certain steps to conduct a research method. To even begin a research, a topic of study must be chosen. When a topic is chosen, defining a question and formulating a hypothesis is the first step. Once the hypothesis is formed, researchers will collect data and further study the given information. After devising a study regarding the topic and a conclusion is reached, researchers report the research so that other people can replicate it. In order for a research to be valid it must be replicable, falsifiable, precise, and parsimonious. It is important for a research to be replicable so that others may be able to recreate the same research and see whether the same results will be obtained on not. Being falsifiable means that it has to be able to be proven right or wrong. For example, some people theorize that there are limitless dimensions that co-exist with our dimension in which this theory is not falsifiable because researches cannot prove whether this theory is right or wrong. To ensure that a research is p... ... middle of paper ... ...s highly replicable and can be used on a longitudinal basis (Gerard, K., n.d.) When there is an advantage, there is a disadvantage. A poorly constructed survey can ruin the validity of the results, which is why any research method needs to be standardized. Response rates from random sampling can bias the result of the survey (Cherry, n.d.). Also, when using a close-ended question, participants may have an acquiescence response; where people tend to say “yes” or agree to the things that don't really affect them. Case study Unlike survey, where the study only scratches the surface, a case study is an in-depth study of an individual or a group of individuals (Hale, 2011). The subjects of case studies may be an individual alone, a group, an organization, and event. Case studies provide rich qualitative data and have high levels of ecological validity (McLeod, 2007).
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