Research Methods in Psychology

research methods in psychology

There are several methods, measurements and approaches which are applied in the psychology. The psychologists use different types of tools and techniques for the research methods. These researches and experiments can be simple to complicate. For a student of psychology, it is mandatory to know and understand some fundamental procedures to carry out psychological researches. The research in psychology ranges from infants developments to social behaviors. Psychologists use mostly scientific methods for these purposes.

Scientific Research Methods in Psychology

Psychological researches are conducted on the basis of scientific approach. A basic method is asking question, study design, data collection, result analysis, targeting the conclusions and findings. The scientific approach mainly focuses on the observations, data, theories, and prediction testing and result interpretations. Behavior measurement and done on this basis. After conducting several researches, psychologists come to a conclusion in the form of a theory. A theory is known as the description of information organized in separate pieces. Before reaching to the final conclusion one must be sure that the research is replicable, precise, falsifiable etc.

Example 1.  People have their own theories related to aliens, vampires, Bigfoot exist in this universe and even they hide themselves in undiscovered rocks and caves. The theory is not falsifiable. As the researchers can never find the evidence of their existence as well as these undiscovered rocks and caves.

Example 2.  Lora is in ninth grade. Whenever she attends her literature calls, she falls asleep. She may interpret this problem in a different manner. If she doesn’t have a scientific technique to analyze the situation she may find that literature is boring for her while in reality Jason, who sits next to his chair, sprays sleeping gas on her seat secretly.

The process of scientific goes like following

Hypothesis, observations, refines theory, develop theory.

Experiments Research Methods in Psychology:

In experimental research, the psychologists manipulate the variables, controls and measure the change in other variables. This approach involves independent variable manipulation under some controlled circumstances or conditions such as in experiments conducted in laboratory are performed under controlled conditions.  This is done to come up to a final conclusion.  This method is one of the most common methods use all types of sciences. A famous approach to these experiments is lab experiments where psychologists can make desired control over the variables. Yes there are some limitations of lab experiments. One major limitation is that what is done in the lab is not always as similar as the real world is.


Correlational Research Methods in Psychology:

The simple meaning of correlation is association. It defines that how two variables can show the extant of relations with each other.  There are various types of these variable correlations. Positive correlation tells if an increase in one variable tends to be associated with other. For example, the height and weight of human. A taller person tends to be heavier.  If increase of a variable is due to decrease in other variable then this type of correlation is known as negative correlation. Example of negative correlation is when we climb the mountain, we experience cold (height increased, temperature decreased).  When the variables show no response of relationship with each other, this type of correlation is known as zero correlation. For example there is no relation between amount of juice drunk and beautiful handwriting.

Other research methodologies includes lab experiments, field experiments, case study, interviews (structured and unstructured), questionnaire, content analysis, pilot study etc.

Research is conducted in every aspect of the life. In our everyday life, we do analytical research to make logical decisions. In others domains such as business, law, case study, finance, marketing etc everywhere research is conducted.