Psychologist employs varied research methods for any aspect being investigated. Any method used has its own merits and demerits depending on the situations available on the basis of either suitable or unsuitable. In correlational and descriptive research approaches different events can be described, behaviors, as well as experiences or even, relate them. The researcher is locked to determining behavior causes. Scientific research involves six basic steps which fulfilled for research to be scientific. The researcher formulates a research question and then conducts a wide study on the question in an attempt to find a valid answer to the research question, analyze the obtained, draw conclusions on the research question and finally publish the research work in a scientific journal. Since a research literature review is a primary source of the question under, the process involved in psychological research can be viewed as a cycle. This is due to the fact that each research conducted has resultant questions which lead to further research on the topic. It can also be indicated that any research question outside the cycle maybe with an observation or maybe with a practical issue which needs scientific answers. With all the above procedures, the researcher always has to start with literature review in order to confirm whether the research question had been looked into in the past event, if yes, the researcher tries to refine it in order to suit the required expectations.
Making an Observation, a study topic is defined before any progressive research starts. Once the study topic has been established, a thorough literature review is conducted on the existing study subject. The report is meant to provide any critical information needed for the study as well as what has been covered so far. The area on which the research hypothesis is supposed to cover is then highlighted. Academic journals and books from the past are used to generate a valid review. The researcher states this information generated during the final results as an introductory section. The knowledge of the background information generated helps a researcher in hypothesis formulation. A flaw occurs when the researcher makes a false observation maybe not considering other fields of not confirming the validity of the observations made. this may affect the research project in general hence ruining another research field which may lead to failure of publication to the scientific journal.
Empirical research, evaluating various topics within the scope of the study can help collect important background information needed before the research is conducted on a certain aspect. It is depended on the observations made earlier on phenomenon measures and draws information from real-life experience rather than bare theory or just. A study is considered empirical if it contains key features which answer specific questions, population definition, and phenomenon being studied as well as behaviors. Description processes in population study which includes testing instruments, controls, and selection criteria.
Ask a question, once enough knowledge has been gathered in the previous steps, the user develops a research question. The researcher formulates a hypothesis, for proper hypothesis formulation, an in-depth analysis of various issues associated with a particular study topic. Ensure you put into consideration how multiple causes should be investigated. Any valid hypothesis should contain falsifiability section. There a must exists a scientific way of proving that a particular theory is false for any legitimate, invalid suggestion. Questions obtained should be within the scope of observation. Failure to base your hypothesis on the correct study scope may lead to unstructured data collection and subsequent steps. Unclear or mixed up hypothesis portray incompetency and may result in failure of the publication into a scientific journal.
Testing hypothesis and collecting data, once the valid hypothesis has been established, put your collected data in a practical test. The main methods which are employed in investigating the theory depend on the study question. A researcher can use either experimental research or detailed research. In the descriptive analysis, it is applicable when it is impossible to alter certain variables in the question. Research examples include correlations and naturalistic. In correlational studies, they don't leave room to determining causal effects. It focuses on relationships existing between variables. On the other hand, experimental research focuses on the relationship between several variables. When the poor test is conducted on the data, this may lead to poor research outcomes which may fail publication.
Examination of Results, once data has been collected, and study has been, there is a need to examine the information and make proper conclusions about the data found. Data is summarized; results analyzed, and make conclusions regarding the evidence obtained. Results obtained should be significant statistically. The researcher should determine the meaning of the results based on the observations. Experiments conducted should be supportive of the hypothesis questions generated. Some cases are unsupportive to the hypothesis. If the research results do not support the theory stated, then the research study may not be published in a scientific journal. Instead, it will be used in the generation of new research questions. After making conclusions, the results are shared with the scientific community for publication.
Formulating a report, this step involves reporting scientific findings. A descriptive study is written down and later published in a professional, scientific journal. A structured journal is generated following the American Psychological Association (APA). The researcher provides a brief history related to the previous history, present the hypothesis, identification of the research participant, provide an operational variable definition, describe the various procedures and measures used for data collection, explanation on how the collected data was analyzed and a brief discussion of results mean. The research paper must be presented using the APA format by using the following format. 1) title page- this presents the title of the article, author name, and affiliations. 2) abstract- involves a brief summary of the content covered. It gives an overview of what the researcher has covered. 3) introduction- gives a brief description of earlier research and the reason for the current research. Method- gives a description of how the study was done. 5) results- enumerate the various outcomes of the study. 6) discussion- gives a summary of the study by indicating the study implications. References- give all the cited sources.
Smith, J. A. (Ed.). (2015). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Sage.
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