Psychology Reseach Methology

Essay by hondacivicex3College, UndergraduateA+, September 2004

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Research Methodology

*Mosso table


*Ex of drunk driving

What is Scientific Inquiry?

*Scientific method: an objective examination of the natural world

*Four goals:

-What happened?

-When it happened?

-What causes it to happen?

-Why it happens?

*First goal: description = observation *Second goal: prediction = when it occurs *Third goal: causal control = systematically varying the situation *Fourth goal: explanation = understanding why it happens

Scientific questions can be objectively answered *Empirical questions: questions that can be answered by observing and measuring the world around us. *Ex:

*Scientific questions: can be tested and either confirmed or shown to be false *Doesn't matter what the scientists think or believes

*Replication: other researchers repeat and confirm the results of earlier studies

The empirical process depends on theories, hypotheses, & research *3 essential elements: *1. Theory: is an idea, or model of how something in the world works *2. Hypothesis: which is a specific prediction of what should be observed if the theory under consideration is correct.

*3. Research: involves the systematic and careful collection of data or objective information, to examine or test whether the given hypothesis is indeed tenable *Good research reflects cyclical interaction between theses three elements

Theory: Alcohol intoxication impairs driving skills. Data: Measures seconds a person can stand on one leg after drinking alcohol Hypothesis: People who are intoxicated will show less motor coordination

Theories should generate hypotheses *Good theory: testable hypotheses, simplicity *Ex: Jean Piaget: infant child development * Sigmund Freud: Interpretation of Dreams

*Law of parsimony: when 2 competing theories exist to explain the same phenomenon, the simpler of the 2 theories is generally preferred