Psychological Research Methods
The methods used in psychological research include observational studies, field experiments, and case studies. Listed below are some common methods used by psychologists. To learn more, see the article "Psychological Research Methods."
Methods used by psychologists
The basic method in psychology is observation, which can be described as a scientific experiment. Early psychologists observed human behaviour and attempted to identify patterns to explain why individuals behaved a certain way. The early psychologists used natural observation, which involves observing the same behaviors repeatedly over time. This helped them formulate general laws and explain why certain behaviors are more or less likely to be observed in certain conditions. Today, psychologists use a combination of these two methods to better understand human behavior.
In order to determine the best way to conduct psychological research, psychologists must first define their methods. Generally, these methods involve setting up conditions to stimulate a response and then observing the behavior of subjects. Repeated observation is necessary to make generalisations and to improve future research. For example, a psychologist who studies groups will be involved in each group and observe the behavior of the participants. The findings from this type of research will then be validated through other methods.
In order to ensure a uniform outcome, psychologists must ensure that experimental conditions are equal for all participants. In addition to this, they must also exercise controls. While most psychological experiments face difficulties with controls, psychologists have devised a variety of techniques to ensure that their experiments are fair. These methods may include conducting the same experiment on a group of subjects or repeating it on the same individual. There is also a need to repeat the experiment to determine whether or not the results are consistent.
Introspection was the oldest method in psychology. Introspection refers to looking inward. Introspection involved the subject reporting his or her experiences to the experimenter. However, this method was not accurate, as the subject's report may differ from another person's. Therefore, comparisons would be erroneous. For this reason, many experimental psychologists prefer the method of survey. They also prefer to use samples that are representative of the entire population.
Whether a psychological experiment is unbiased or not depends on several factors. Random assignment helps to produce unbiased results because the results are not affected by extraneous factors. Furthermore, it reduces the chance of biases that could affect subject behavior. A common example of a field experiment is the Piliavin experiment, which tested the propensity of strangers to assist blood-covered 'victims'. The Piliavin experiment, however, is now frowned upon because of the informed consent policy.
There are several problems associated with social pressure experiments. First, they violate the principles of respect for persons, informed consent, and individual autonomy. The experimenters manipulate people without their consent and influence the outcome of an election without their approval or consent. Secondly, the subjects do not receive debriefing. Furthermore, more than half of the subjects would oppose the experiment, which is not ethically acceptable. The study could also affect the health of participants.
A major drawback of field experiments is their unreliability. Compared to laboratory experiments, field experiments are harder to duplicate the exact conditions that the subjects experience. Therefore, it is more likely to contain sample bias because the participants are not randomly allocated to treatment or control groups. However, the results are still reliable compared to laboratory experiments. There are some advantages and disadvantages of each. It's important to know which one to choose based on the context of your study.
Other problems with social science field experiments are that they are difficult to conduct and pose risks to peripheral subjects. In particular, they are difficult to conduct in underdeveloped countries, which are prone to corruption. One group of experimenters in Ghana raised salaries in an attempt to lower bribe demands, but it ended up causing the opposite effect. In addition, the study negatively affected the public. There were also other studies in which researchers rigged up false businesses or agencies to test the effect of social change on people.
In recent decades, political science has been more open to field experimentation. In the Gerber and Green (2000) study, nonpartisan campaign communications can mobilize voters, while voter mobilization campaigns targeting different ethnic groups or electoral contexts have been examined by scholars. Experimentation has also spread to subfields. For example, Hyde (2006) used a field experiment to study election fraud. These studies are all examples of experimental methods that are widely accepted in social science.
The term 'case study' originated in the early 20th century. Its definition is derived from the concept of a case history in the medical field. Sociologists have expanded this concept into the social sciences, forming the Grounded theory in 1967. The purpose of a case study is to learn more about a specific instance and explore its implications for similar situations. To conduct a case study, it is important to follow proper APA format.
A case study is a study of a specific individual or group, with a description of their experience. These studies typically follow the same APA format as other psychological writing. Like other types of research, case studies have their advantages and disadvantages, so researchers must carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. They may be an effective method for investigating a phenomenon that is unique to itself and can also provide an opportunity to explore additional study questions.
Some researchers disagree on whether case studies are relevant. Because case studies are based on single cases, it is impossible to generalise the results from one case study to another. Because they are limited by a small sample, there is a risk of bias from the researcher and the participants. Moreover, it is expensive and time consuming to gather such information. Nevertheless, if you are considering a case study, be sure to discuss its strengths and limitations with a mental health professional before you start writing.
While there are various types of case studies, all must provide significant results. Case studies are designed to examine more than one person to gain insights into a specific situation. Case studies can investigate the effects of upbringing, identity, and other factors on individual behavior. They can also reveal the effects of forces of nature on an individual. A case study, then, is a type of psychological research that involves an individual, a group, or an organization.
Case studies can also help researchers understand how brains work. For example, they may be used to investigate the effects of brain damage and dysfunction on memory. In one study, a patient named KF underwent a motorcycle accident that left him with impaired short-term memory, but otherwise had a completely normal long-term memory. Researchers could make a number of discoveries from this case, which was eventually turned into a movie, Eve.
Observational studies are used in many areas of psychology, including marketing, social sciences, and human behavior. While they are an important method in many research projects, they also have their disadvantages. The primary drawback to observational research is that no variables are created. A natural observational study is simply recorded what is directly in front of the researcher. This could include watching an animal in the wild or observing a group of people. Another approach is participant observation, which involves interviewing subjects and taking notes, taking photographs, or other types of records.
Observational studies, also known as field research, are non-experimental, and do not manipulate variables to determine the effects of a certain treatment. However, they do require the participation of a subject, but are not intended to reach causal conclusions. The data collected in observational studies may be qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Below are three main types of observational studies. For further information, please read on:
Observational studies are not as invasive as naturalistic studies. They do not involve altering a child's life in any way. In fact, the methods used are often highly developed, especially when studying children. In such studies, researchers try not to directly influence the children's lives, which would raise ethical concerns if such experiments were carried out. Observational studies can help scientists find out more about the psychology of children and adults.
Observational studies involve observing people in their natural environment. Researchers often become part of the group to observe their behavior. Interviews are conducted with the participants, and documentation is collected for later analysis. A participant observation study can also involve documents and photographs. It is important to note that participant observation differs from naturalistic observation because the researcher is not a passive observer. A person can influence their own behaviour by watching others.
Observational studies are not commonly published as journal articles. They are usually published as books. A methodological profile will be created from the primary articles and should be based on the type of data collected. This analysis will depend on whether the study is naturalistic or structured. It is important to note that studies using observational design do have more statistical validity than naturalistic observation. An analysis of observational studies can also be used in a laboratory environment.