Role of Pscyhology and Theory Based Research

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Discuss the role of theory in psychology and how theoretical research is based on hypotheses and methods

Psychology, like any discipline of science, must adhere itself to reputable standards so that a valid conclusion can come into play. Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn and Hammer (2009), emphasised psychology, as a science, is committed to empiricism. Thus psychological research must be conducted using scientific methods to achieve its goal of “describing, explaining, predicting and controlling behaviour” (Gerrig et al., 2009, p. 4). The role of theory in psychology serves as a function, to provide a first step towards a scientific account of any phenomenon. These general explanations indicate where to look next and aide the development of understanding human behaviour. Theories enable us as researchers to interpret information in certain ways, linking facts together and to further expand upon the current views.

Theoretical research is founded on providing accurate and reliable information than just casual speculation (Weiten, 2009). A hypothesis that can be objectively tested to support a theory is thus crucial and methods of observation based on experimental research such as manipulating independent and dependant variables or observing based on naturalistic observation, observing without interfering. Data collated can provide conclusions and form theories.

Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P.G., Campbell, A. J., Cumming, S. R., & Wilkes, F. J. (2009). Psychology and life. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education. Weiten, W., Lloyd, M.A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing us
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