The Methods of Psychology
The experiment is the most useful of all scientific methods because most of the basic facts in psychology are supplied by the results of experimental studies. This method is generally done in a laboratory setting involving many controlled variables. They are particularly effective in proving hypotheses about cause and effect relationships between variables. A hypothesis is a prediction of how one variable relates to another. There are two types of hypotheses, null and directional. The null is a prediction that there will not be any change in the dependent variable when the researcher changes the independent variable. The directional hypothesis states that the change in the independent variable will induce a change in the dependent variable. Socio-experiment; mostly used studies related to social Psychology. This is an experiment that is conducted in the natural environment instead of a laboratory.
This is the most common method. There are two tools a researcher can use in a survey method; questionnaire and interview. The questionnaire is best used when study requires many respondents. This saves you more time. The interview is used when the number of respondents is just small. Interview is also used when respondents cannot read or write.
Case studies are used when an intensive investigation about a certain case is needed. This method is drawn upon by researchers to expose a factor that is important for understanding behaviour. The researcher has to dig into all sorts of records about the subject including hospital, educational, family background and all other necessary data.
There are two kinds of Observation method
The observer participates in on going activities taking on the role being studied in order to gather deeper and more intensive data, i.e. the observer is a "player" in the action, either living in a commune or becoming a fire fighter.
The researcher is just a plain observer. Oftentimes, the subjects do not know that they are under study in its natural setting while attempting to avoid influencing or controlling it. The observations are done in a naturalistic setting without any preparation or participation of the researcher. Therefore, the behaviour is observed in public places, streets, homes, and schools. Observing people from other cultures response in the same setting is a way to provide information for cross-cultural research.
This method of statistical analysis shows the relationship between two variables. For example, research has shown that alcohol dependence correlates with depression. That is to say, the more alcohol people consume the more depressed they become. On the other hand, it could be the other way around as well: the more depressed people become, the more likely they are to consume alcohol.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGS OF RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY
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