How Is Research Used in Psychology

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How is Research used in Psychology?
* Research in Psychology as in all fields of science has two focuses of interest. * Basic Research = is concern with the quest for knowledge regardless of whether it has immediate practical value. * Applied Research = seeks to improve the human condition by discovering something that can be put to practical used. * When the scientist work, strive to find relationships between observable variables. For example, Robert Boyle found a direct relationship between the temperature of a gas and its volume under certain conditions. * By knowing one, the other can be predicted

* By manipulating one, the other can be controlled.
* But psychologists use several methods of relating variables to predict, control, and understand behavior. How do psychologist work? What methods do they use
* As with all science, psychology is interested in discovering a new information that can be verified by other researchers. The methods that psychologists use include: experimental method, observational, survey, test method and case histories. * Experimental Method = is the most widely used of scientific ways of getting information. The method can be used outside the Laboratory as well as inside under controlled conditions. * The experimental method is a matter of Logic, not of location * However, most of the experimentation takes place in “special laboratories” chiefly because * The control conditions commonly require special equipment that is best housed and used in one place. * Variable = one of the varying factors being studied in experimental or other research * Independent variable = this is the factor under experimental control to which the changes being studied are related because we change it independently * Dependent variable =depends on these changes under investigation. * The experimenter, before making any actual observation defines and analyzes the problem under consideration in what he calls experimental design. 1. A formal definition of the problem.

2. The experimenter works out the conditions under which observations and measurements are to be made 3.The phase of securing the apparatus or instruments to be used in the study is done. 4. The experimenter outlines the procedure he will follow in dealing with the results obtained. In stating the problem, the experimenter follows one of two approaches or sometimes both. 1. He may begin by saying in effect: “Lets try this and see what happens.” 2. He may set up certain hypotheses: “If I do this and so, this is what will happen.” The test of a theory or hypothesis is what happens to the independent variable. If the changes in the predicted manner, then the hypothesis is accepted. If the prediction fails, the hypothesis is rejected. Experiments is the collection and arrangement of tentative explanatory theories and testing of theories by trial under controlled conditions. They usually involve comparisons between the behavior of a controlled group and that of an experimental group. Observation Method

* Is a visual and oral method of examining, describing and interpreting the reactions of individuals and groups in a laboratory, classroom, or out-of-school situations. * The investigators go into the field with question or set of questions and make observation. They are recorded accurately in order to avoid projecting their own wishes or biases onto what they report. Kinds of Observation

Uncontrolled Observation –this method of observation does not follow any particular scope of behavior to be observed. It is a casual and the psychologist is free to observe any activity that comes his way without any formal recording of such behavior. Naturalistic Observation- An observation of things as they naturally happen. Other investigators call this as a field study method. Here critical observations are made of nature “in the raw”. Controlled Observation or Formal Observation- follows certain...
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