Research methods in Psychology.

Essay by faisal314College, Undergraduate October 2005

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Research Methodology.

Research involves two steps: Generating scientific hypothesis & testing hypohtesis.

Generating Hypothesis:

Hypothesis: a statement that can be tested - about the topic of interest

Eg: Adolescents tend to be more moodier than children or adults

How to generate hypothesis: by general observation

It also helps to be very familiar with the relevant scientific literature

Research Methodology:

Literature: previously published books and articles about the topic of interest

Often the most imp source of SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES, is SCIENTIFIC THEORY - an interrelated set of propositions about a particular phenomenon

Example of hypothesis

Hypothesis: sexual orientation may depend on GENETIC PREDISPOSITION toward heterosexuality or homosexuality

This leads to testable scientific hypothesis that Pairs of Identical twins who have identical genes- should be more likely to have same sexual orientation than pairs of Fraternal twins, who share only about HALF their genes

A competing theory emphasizes CHILDHOOD EVENTS as the source of individual's sexual orientation.....

....and generate a competing set of hypotheses that can also be tested

Competing hypothesis is important to advance our scientific knowledge

Scientific methods

Scientific means "the research METHOD used to collect the data are:

* Unbiased (do not favor one hypothesis over another)

* Reliable (other qualified people can repeat the observation and obtain the same result).

We discuss two methods Quantitative and Qualitative.


Most powerful scientific method:

They provide the strongest tests of hypotheses about CAUSE & EFFECTS

The investigator carefully CONTROLS conditions - often in a laboratory - and takes MEASUREMENTS in order to discover CASUAL RELATIONSHIPS among VARIABLES

For Eg: the hypothesis is that individuals perform better on a math performance if they are offered more money for good performance

The experimenter might randomly assign participants to one of the three conditions: Group A: $10, Group B:$5 Group C:...