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Research Methods And General Principles Of Psychological Research

2936 words - 12 pages

Methods and General Principles in Psychological Research
Kavitha Kathleen Devaser
Raffles Institute of Higher Education


In psychology, research is vital for the progression and further understanding of this field. Psychological research includes the study of behavior for use in a scientific or academic setting. There are two types of research, qualitative research and quantitative research. To conduct research, there are numerous general principles of psychology and methods in which has to be considered for research to be good with strong supporting evidence. General principles of psychology include operational definitions, population samples and eliminating the influence of ...view middle of the document...

Like all other scientific fields, in depth psychological research is fundamental for the advancement of the social science, Psychology. Psychological research is conducted in broad accord with scientific method to produce and assess explanatory hypotheses, drawn from a theory, in regard of psychological phenomena.

A well-formed theory is falsifiable, it is able to be proven false and can be tested, as well as parsimonious, a relatively simple explanation for data collected. Academic psychologists might emphasize purely on research and psychological theory, working toward a psychological understanding in a one specific area, whereas other psychologists may work in applied psychology to utilize such knowledge for immediate and practical benefit even though research psychology is contrasting to applied psychology. These studies must draw replicable results, which are the results obtained that are approximately the same when carrying out the same procedures (Kalat, 2011).

There are two types of psychological research, quantitative research and qualitative research. With quantitative research “the data is collected and presented in the form of numbers – average scores for different groups on some tasks, percentages of people who do one thing or another, and so on” (Goodwin, 2007). In qualitative research, techniques are often drawn from other sciences like sociology and anthropology. Researchers often present their findings in analytic narratives that summarize the project instead of statistical summaries. This type of research is not easily classified, often comprise of studies that collect detailed interview information that has no numerical value and are either from individuals or “focus groups”; “occasionally involving detailed case studies or carefully designed observational studies” (Goodwin, 2007).

However, in psychological to conduct research, there are several general principles of psychology and methods in which has to be considered for research to be good with strong supporting evidence. General principles of psychology include operational definitions, population samples and eliminating the influence of expectations. There are numerous research methods used in psychological research, such as experiments, naturalistic observation, surveys, case histories, and correlational studies as well as ethical considerations in research. Sometimes researchers, to explore and better understand the same aspect use multiple methods of research. This has proven to be more effective as well as increase credibility.

To evaluate research, a few general principles should be taken into account. Variables should be operationally defined, a definition that states the operations used to produce or measure something, normally a way to give a numerical value. An operational definition unlike a dictionary definition has to be defined and specified by the researcher himself in context to the study, the terminology of science must be totally...

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