(the former being the most likely) you must establish and maintain a clearly definedfocus throughout your investigation.Unless you intend to conduct exploratory or emergent research, wheretheoretically/philosophically you do not envisage issues and questions arising until theinvestigation is underway; it is extremely important that you establish your focus atthe beginning of the research process.I can't emphasize this point enough because not only will it make the whole researchprocess much more manageable but it will also make it much more likely that youreceive a very good grade when your psychology project is assessed.The main reason for this is that it will provide the foundation for what is known as the
i.e., the major concept within your research that influences every stageof the research process; and as such, can be seen developing within each section of your project write-up.To give you some idea of the thought processes involved in establishing a focus, thefollowing example relates to a psychology project I supervised a couple of years ago.The student I was supervising wanted to examine whether any of the techniques usedin criminal profiling could be adopted or adapted to investigate financial fraud. Inorder to develop a focus within this general area of interest, between us we exploredthe following questions and issues:
The profiling techniques the student was particularly interested in.
Eliciting the profiling perspectives that these techniques reside within e.g. classic
psychodynamic FBI type profiling and the more ‘scientific’ approaches e.g.
Could a theoretical link be established between profiling and employee/financialfraud? The most obvious link might be that it may tell us something about thepersonality of the offender.