Scientificness of Psychological Research

Essay by ChristeRaeHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.7

Downloaded 222 times

Psychological research is scientific because of the procedures that take place. First of all, you need to start with a theory, an organized system of assumptions and principles that purports to explain a specified set of phenomena and their interrelationships. From a theory, a hypothesis develops which is a statement that predicts or accounts for a set of phenomena. Then a hypothesis lead to predictions about a situation. Operational definitions are precise words used in the hypothesis to describe the being. For example, anxiety. Also, a researcher must be skeptic when treating conclusions but should have an open mind. A researcher must also rely their ideas on empirical evidence meaning everything needs to be backed up. Researchers must be willing to take a risk. The principle of falsifiability states that a scientific theory must make predictions that are specific enough to expose the theory to the possibility of disconfirmation. The theory must predict what will and will not happen.

Researchers must be willing to be open about where they got their ideas, how they tested them and what the results were. Sometimes a replication can show that there was a fluke in the experiment.

A case study is a detailed description of a particular individual, based on careful observation or on former psychological testing. It may include information about the person's childhood, dreams, fantasies, experiences, relationships, and hopes. Case studies are most common among clinicians. They illustrate psychological principles in a way that abstract generalizations or statistics never can. They also produce a more detailed picture of the individual than other methods do. Case studies do have some drawbacks. First of all, vital information may be missing. Second, case studies depend on people's memories and their memories may be distorted or selective. And finally, case studies have a limited usefulness...