Understanding the Research Process

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Understanding the Research Process

Resources: Ch. 1, 2, and & 7 of Psychology

This required Portfolio assignment will provide you with the opportunity to practice and hone your research skills. It has been designed to help you think scientifically about real world problems and issues and to apply your knowledge of the research process to various topics in Psychology. This assignment accomplishes that goal by challenging you to:

• Differentiate between the common use of the word research and the use of the word research in the social and behavioral sciences
• Identify the major steps in the research process using a classic study in Psychology as an example.

Part I: Defining Research
The word research is used in many different ways. Consider the following examples:
• Your friend tells you that he intends to research different hair products before deciding on one to buy.
• A real estate agent advises you to research home values in your neighborhood before putting your house on the market.
• A police officer reports that she is doing ‘some research’ on possible motives for a crime that was committed.
• A writer states that he does ‘extensive research’ before beginning his fictional works.

Answer the questions below:

1. How is research defined in the social and behavioral sciences?

Research in social and behavioral sciences are defined by a theory and a theory helps to generate a hypothesis.

2. What makes scientific research different from the examples provided above? In your response, be sure to address the characteristics of ‘good’ psychological research.

Scientific research is different from the examples above because scientific research would not rely exclusively on any single method to lay a solid empirical foundation for a theory. Good psychological research contains theoretical framework, a standardized procedure, generalizability, and objective measurement.

Part II: Understanding the

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