Discovering the Scientist Within: Research Methods in Psychology

Deborah C. Escalante

Discovering the Scientist Within: Research Methods in Psychology
Discovering the Scientist Within: Research Methods in Psychology

For those who are looking to delve deeper into the world of psychology, it’s important to understand the various research methods that are used to gain insights into human behavior and mental processes. From basic research to applied research, each method has its own strengths, weaknesses, and unique characteristics that make it valuable in its own way.

Basic Research Methods

Basic research methods are designed to test theoretical ideas and to add to the general body of knowledge within a particular field. Some common basic research methods in psychology include:

Experimental Research

Experimental research involves the manipulation of one or more variables in order to determine the effect on another variable. For example, a researcher may manipulate the amount of time a person spends studying to see how it affects their test scores.

Correlational Research

Correlational research involves the observation and measurement of two or more variables to determine if a relationship exists between them. For example, a researcher may observe if there is a relationship between the amount of time spent on social media and feelings of loneliness.

Observational Research

Observational research involves the systematic observation of behaviors and events in order to gain insights into human behavior. This method is useful for studying behaviors that cannot be manipulated easily. For example, a researcher may observe the interactions between classmates in a classroom setting.

Applied Research Methods

Applied research methods are designed to solve specific problems or answer practical questions. Some common applied research methods in psychology include:

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Case Studies

Case studies are in-depth examinations of a particular individual or group and are often used to understand rare or unusual behavioral phenomena. For example, a psychologist may study in detail the behavior of a person with a rare psychological disorder.

Survey Research

Survey research involves the gathering of information through questionnaires, which are used to gather information from a large number of people in a short amount of time. For example, a researcher may conduct a survey to understand the attitudes of a specific group of people.

Field Research

Field research involves the observation and study of behavior in natural settings, such as schools, workplaces, or community centers. For example, a researcher may study the behavior of children in a school setting to better understand the effects of stress on academic performance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, research methods in psychology are essential for gaining insights into human behavior and mental processes. From basic to applied research methods, each has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. By understanding these methods, researchers can better design studies and answer crucial questions about human behavior. If you are interested in psychology, it’s important to familiarize yourself with these research methods and their applications in the field.

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