Research and psychological study begin with the formulations of questions which are converted to hypotheses. For instance, a question like, ` do smart parents have smart children?’ can be changed into a hypothesis like ` parents who score high on intelligence texts have children who obtain high score’. A study is designed to test the hypothesis in such a way that confounds or factors that are not directly addressed by the study and the hypothesis determined the type of research design to be used. There are various forms of research designs relating to descriptive, correlational studies and experimental research. Descriptive studies gather data to give a complete picture of a subject and in most cases employ the use of a case study. They form the basis for correlational or experimental research and a good example is Phineas Gage, a foreman in a railway construction in the 19th century whose head was damaged and resulted in a change in behavior. Correlational studies show the relationship between two or more variables which are measurable. This relationship is represented by the Pearson correlation coefficient whose range is between -1 to 1. A correlation between 0 and 1 is positive and implies that one variable increases proportionally to the other, while -1 and 0 is a negative correlation. An example is age and memory function which are negatively correlated because the ability to remember issues reduces as one age. Correlation is however not causation. Experimental research determines the cause by employing the use of dependent and independent variables. By varying the independent variables, psychologists observe the change in the dependent factor like in measuring the performance against gender which is the independent variable. It is however not possible and practical to manipulate all the variables in which psychologists are interested in and the method is highly unethical.
Psychology Video Summary [Video File]. Retrieved from
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