University of Phoenix Material Understanding the Research Process

Resources: Ch. 1, 2, and & 7 of Psychology

This required Portfolio assignment will provide you with the opportunity to practice and hone your research skills. It has been designed to help you think scientifically about real world problems and issues and to apply your knowledge of the research process to various topics in Psychology. This assignment accomplishes that goal by challenging you to: • Differentiate between the common use of the word research and the use of the word research in the social and behavioral sciences • Identify the major steps in the research process using a classic study in Psychology as an example. Part I: Defining Research The word research is used in many different ways. Consider the following examples: • Your friend tells you that he intends to research different hair products before deciding on one to buy. • A real estate agent advises you to research home values in your neighborhood before putting your house on the market. • A police officer reports that she is doing ‘some research’ on possible motives for a crime that was committed. • A writer states that he does ‘extensive research’ before beginning his fictional works.

Answer the questions below:

1. How is research defined in the social and behavioral sciences?

Social science researches an knowledgement of how individuals relate with society; studies the human society and individual relationships in the interior and to society. Social science has a close relationship with many different areas of research and studies including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and history. Several different scientific methods use research to test hypotheses and theories to observe relationships between different variables. Correlational

When the research measures data of the results and the accuracy of his or her prediction he or she can apply the results to practical questions such as how employers can maximize an employee’s productivity. analyzing data. “The behaviorists (or behavioral) perspective also called behaviorism. taking two subjects (rats) putting each rat in the same environment except on environment contains food and observing result of how fast it takes each rat to reach a point. designing studies. The word research has a similar meaning in a certain aspect except scientific data deals with different systematical facts. When a study is complete procedures and conclusions display results in a scientific journal which allows other researcher to replicate or refute through his or her findings when he or she performs a study of his or her own. and psychology. 2. The experimenter will manipulate levels of independent variables within the group and measure the effects because he or she can control the independent variables to find the causal relationships between the variables. In psychology theories organize and predict behavior and mental processes using general guidelines such as formulating problems. be sure to address the characteristics of ‘good’ psychological research. • The researcher is using a behavioral science method to research two animals’ actions and reactions to two different environments. Behavioral science uses . What makes scientific research different from the examples provided above? In your response. focuses on the way objects or events in the environment (stimuli) come to control behavior through learning. Behavioral science has a close relationship with different areas of research and studies such as sociology. Two sentence examples: • The researcher is conducting a research study to determine the relationship between aggression and media violence. For example. collecting data. and drawing conclusions from the data he or she collects. The primary metaphor of behavioral research is humans and animals are similar to machines. This experimental method uses a setting within the laboratory to test the hypothesis or prediction. Thus. Correlational research will not allow researchers to distinguish if a variable cause a change in another variable. A control group participant undergoes no treatments he or she serves as a baseline. An experimental research uncovers key causal relationships between variables researchers selectively assign a participant to one of two groups such as the control group or the experimental group.” Behavioral science studies human and animal actions and reactions through observational and experimental methods. Systematic facts arrange and show operation through collection of data to answer and solve problems by producing theories to predict event(s) or answer a question(s) using scientific discipline. 2011). the behaviorist perspective focuses on the relation between external (environmental) events and observable behaviors (Kowalski & Westen. An experimenter can systematically modify a situation and observing reoccurring results. anthropology. For example.research uses the method to view relationships between variables such as viewing a relationship between aggression and media violence. pushing a button triggers an automatic response for an appliance such as a microwave to start. A primary method of behavioral research is experimental it frames a hypothesis or prediction on the way certain environmental events affect behavior.

observations and recording responses on how one’s mind functions using methods and data of psychodynamic perspectives. The other segment shows medallists on the podium. The researchers’ hypotheses: the bronze medallist appearance was significantly more satisfying than the silver medallists even when the medallists were objectively worse off. The prediction on the counterfactual thinking “imagine what was going through the heads of the silver and bronze medallists (Kowalski & Westen. Then go to Chapter 7 in your textbook and read the following section: Research In-Depth: Counterfactuals and “If Only…” Thinking. using Medvec & colleagues’ first study as an example: 1. Answer the questions below. tests the hypothesis or prediction. The college students take instructions to evaluate the athlete’s happiness on appearance using a scale (10-point scale) with ranges of the lowest point agony to the highest point ecstasy.” Behavioral science uses a framing process for his or her hypothesis or prediction to determine the way certain a environment affects one’s behavior. or fears. 2011). 2011)” one has the ability to think of alternate . To test the hypothesis of the “near miss” phenomenon “that the ease of generating counterfactuals could lead some individuals with more positive objective outcomes to actually feel worse about their situation compared to some whose objective situation was actually worse (Kowalski & Westen. generalize data. How did the researchers operationalize (test or measure) affective response upon winning a bronze or silver medal? The researchers produce a study to provide an affect of reaction. Researcher’s focuses his or her attention on the way objects or events in one’s environment come to control one’s behavior through learning. The researcher observes reoccurring results. Responses were average across providing an overall index of the satisfaction of the appearance of the athletes.” 2. What hypothesis did Medvec & colleagues set out to test in their first study of the ‘near miss’ phenomenon? Describe the theory associated with this hypothesis. 2011).” A tendency to imagine an alternate outcome known as counterfactual thinking is the ability to think of alternative outcomes. Identify the variables in the study and describe how they were measured. they create two video’s the first video includes a segment displaying silver and bronze medallists at the moment of the winning announcement. and makes a conclusion or prediction. The two variables. To test the thoughts of human mind to see if it produces an emotional reaction such as taking the alternate route home and having an accident “If only I had taken the usual route home. Carefully read Chapter 2 of your textbook. then this wouldn’t of happened (Kowalski & Westen. behavioral neuroscientists (some of whom are physicians or biologists rather than psychologists) investigate the electrical and chemical processes in the nervous system that underlie these mental events (Kowalski & Westen. Part II: Understanding the research process Researchers in Psychology follow a systematic process of investigation. “Instead of studying thoughts. researchers show to a group of college students. 2011). paying special attention to the section on Experimental Research. feelings.

The researchers use a 10-point scale to measure the evaluations given by each of the college students. & Westen. R. If you were to design a follow-up experiment on this subject. Describe the data that was collected and analyzed. The college students contribute to the generalizability of a study conclusion. Inc . The study helps researchers determine the validity of his or her findings. John Wiley & Sons. Describe the results of the study.” 6. 4. “The researchers hypotheses bronze medallist appeared significantly more satisfied than silver medallist (even thought objectively they were worse off) (Kowalski & Westen. Who were the participants in the study and what did they do? The college students are known as representatives of the population they are a whole group. D. what might it be? A follow-up experiment on this subject would be known as a multiple measures or converging operations.” Reference Kowalski. The scale ranges from the lowest agony to the highest ecstasy.outcomes. 2011). Psychology. What did the researchers conclude? The conclusion of the test was “average across the participants overall index shows how satisfied each of the athletes appeared (Kowalski & Westen. samples. 5. 2011). “Multiple measures therefore provide a safety net for catching errors (Kowalski & Westen. A experiment should consist of the following to find validity results: • Theoretical framework • Standardized procedures • Generalizability • Objective measurement 3. (2011). 2011). (6th ed).

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