Research and Statistics in the field of Psychology.
Research and Statistics in the field of Psychology.
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Date Created: 11/13/15
R e s e a r c h , S t a t i s t i c s a n d p s y c h o l o g y P a g e | 1 Research and Statistics in the field of Psychology. PSY/315 Katherine Sainz University of Phoenix R e s e a r c h , S t a t i s t i c s a n d p s y c h o l o g y P a g e | 2 The goals of psychological studies are to explain, describe, predict, and perhaps influence mental processes or behavior. Like all other Natural Sciences, Psychology relies on the scientific method, and science is evidently a process based on observation and experimentation. We need to have the validity of our statement and theories proved through experimental evidence and it's that evidence which is organized in the form of research and statistics. We make observations in order to come up with critical conclusions and conclude practical results. All sciences require results and are oriented towards the pursuit of ideas that are practical with predictable results. In order to understand the effect that research has had on the field of psychology it is important to fully comprehend what research is and how it is used within the academic field. “Research is a hunt for the truth. It is getting to know a subject by reading up on it, reflecting, playing with the ideas, choosing the areas that interest you and following up on them. Research is the way you educate yourself (Online Library Learning Center, p.3, 2010).” The Scientific Method is one of the most commonly used methods of research. It consists of a series of steps that must be performed to either prove or eliminate a proposed hypothesis. A hypothesis is a detailed, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in your study. Whether or not a hypothesis turns out to be true or a nullhypothesis is not known until the rest of the Scientific Method is applied. After developing the hypothesis, experimentation should be conducted towards either proving or eliminating the proposed hypothesis. Once the experiment has been accomplished there should be a sufficient amount of information to either support or reject the hypothesis. The research data and findings are listed under the title of results. Results are the gathering and listing of all the R e s e a r c h , S t a t i s t i c s a n d p s y c h o l o g y P a g e | 3 research outcomes relating to your hypothesis. This may include graphs, raw data, charts, equations, or more specific statistical tests such as an ANOVA which is the most commonly used inferential statistics test in the analysis of psychology experiments .It helps reveal whether or not your data reveals a significant result or relationship between two or more factors. The final step is where you get to comment on whether or not your findings matched your initial hypothesis and why. It can also be discussing why you did not find the results you expected, what possible factors might have led to this unexpected result and what recommendations do you have for future research. In research there are several kinds of data that can be collected. Primary data, which is the data found during the researcher’s application of the Scientific Method is obtained directly from the person observing or experiencing it and consist of information collected for the specific purpose at hand. Secondary data consist of information already in existence somewhere, having been collected for another purpose. It may be used to reevaluate the current study, compare results, and to formulate the initial concepts behind the research hypothesis of the current research. "Secondary data is neither better nor worse than primary data; it is simply different. The source of the data is not as important as its quality and its relevance for your particular purpose. The major advantages of using secondary data are economic: using secondary data is less costly and timeconsuming than collecting primary data. Its disadvantages relate not only to the availability of sufficient secondary data but also to the quality of the data that is available. Never use any data before you have evaluated its appropriateness for the intended purpose." (Mifflin 2008) R e s e a r c h , S t a t i s t i c s a n d p s y c h o l o g y P a g e | 4 Statistics is the science of analysis collection, interpretation or explanation, and demonstration of data. It has extensive usage in the field of research. All the data collection and analysis techniques used in research are part of statistics. It generates the use of descriptive statistics for the collection of data and inferential statistics for drawing inferences from this set of data. “Statistics is a branch of mathematics that focuses on the organization, analysis, and interpretation of a group of numbers (Aron, Aron, & Coups, p.2, 2009).” The importance of statistics in research is crucial because the statistical information provides dimensions, contrasts, and additional information that could prove useful when seeking a conclusion to a hypothesis or question. It is statistical analysis that allows the data gathered to offer up conclusions and ideas for further research and learning. Research, data, and statistics are an essential part of the advancements that have been made in the development of psychology. Without research the field of psychology would be filled of unanswered questions and hypotheses. While many researchers choose to follow the scientific method, any method of research is beneficial if the information is gathered and verified appropriately. R e s e a r c h , S t a t i s t i c s a n d p s y c h o l o g y P a g e | 5 Refrences Aron, A., Aron, E., & Coups, E. (2009). Statistics for Psychology (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall Online Library Learning Center. (2010). What is Research? Retrieved April 25, 2011 from http://www.usg.edu/galileo/skills/unit01/infoage01_03.phtml Houghton, Mifflin. (2008) . Fundamentals of Contemporary Business Communication (Student Achievement Series). From http://grammar.about.com/od/rs/g/secsourceterm.htm
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