The Importance of Research in Psychology

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Research is a necessary skill in the Psychology field because it is the key to observing, diagnosing, and treating clients with psychological problems. “Among the health care professions clinical psychology is one of few to provide extensive research training.” (Howes, 1996) Clinical Psychologist uses the scientific method as the procedure for research. Psychology is the only mental health discipline that has its roots in academic research rather than in practice. “Research is the foundation of all Clinical Psychology activities.” (Plante, 2005) Observation is essential for psychologists to get to know their clients. Examination consists of learning and understanding the way the client acts and thinks. While observing it is important to take mental notes and be aware of body language to see how the client reacts to certain questions and situations. There are many ways to do this, including case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation. The case study examines an individual in depth, but often is in need for further study. “We must ask questions and look for answers within several different research methods.” (Plante, 2005) The survey looks at cases in less depth, but is used to estimate outcomes from a group of people. Naturalistic observation notes behavior in a natural environment, yet it does not explain behavior, it describes it. While observing, it is helpful to look for patterns and sequences because as Heffner stated “Order can be found in even the most random data.” (2001) Nevertheless, observation is important because before psychologists can explain what people do, they must first observe what it is that they do. Assessment is a core component in research. Clinical Psychologists use various types of assessments ... ... middle of paper ... ...ion, assessment, and treatment .Using research helps to understand human behavior but also to develop assessment techniques and treatment strategies. “Psychologists are not just practitioners who conduct psychotherapy but investigators who conduct research.” (Plante, 2005) REFERENCE PAGE Coaley, K. (2010). An Introduction to Psychological Assessment and Psychometrics. London: SAGE. Dozois, D. A. (2013). Psychological treatments: Putting evidence into practice and practice into evidence. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 54(1), 1-11. doi:10.1037/a0031125 Heffner, C. L. (2001). Psychology 101. Plante, T. G. (2005). Contemporary Clinical Psychology. New York: Wiley. Vallis, T., & Howes, J. L. (1996). The field of clinical psychology: Arriving at a definition. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 37(2), 120-127. doi:10.1037/0708-5591.37.2.120
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