Research Method in Psychology

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Research Methods in Psychology: Their strengths and weaknesses

Research Methods in Psychology: Their strengths and weaknesses
There are two main and important research methods in psychology. They are the experimental designs which are controlled by intervention and corelational designs which observe associations. In the experimental design the researcher is in full control over all research variables whereas the corelational designs observe and records relationship between the two variables.
Experimental designs are held in a controlled environment with all the variables being tightly controlled by the researcher. There is very little doubt for ambiguity and if the experiments are done properly, causal statements can be made. In this way, psychologist could safely predict repeated specific behavioural outcomes in the future. The experimental method clearly shows the reason why behaviour occurs and this is the methods main advantage. Randomly assigning subjects is crucial as it means subjects are solely by chance. If not researchers are unable in a tightly controlled environment to see the differences in behaviour between a preexisting factor and a reaction from the independent variable (Taylor, Peplau & Sears, 2006).
The research is replicable giving refined results, establishing additional confidence to the hypothesis and due to its tight controls the experimental method also shows if any one of the hypothesis is worth studying in the first place. This method also allows for multi-level test. The experimental method has its drawbacks too. Some researchers claim that being held in a controlled environment is in it self artificial, intrusive and lacking validity as respondents tend to react differently than they would normally, if it was a real-life situation. Also the experimental method rigidly centers on structured data and test the hypothesis in a certain restricted fashion. It does not show the



References: Banyard, P., Grayson, A. (2000). Introducing Psychological Research, Seventy Studies that Shape Psychology 2nd Edition. Palgrave. Goodwin, J. C., (2005). Research in Psychology, Methods and Design 4th Edition. Wiley International Edition. Martin, D. W., (2000). Doing Psychology experiments 5th Edition. Wadsworth/Thomson Learning. Taylor, S. E., Peplau, L. A., Sears, D. O., (2006). Social Psychology 12th Edition. Prentice Hall.

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