Methods of Psychology
1 The experimental method of research is used in psychology to find out about the mind and behavior using scientific methods. When using the method one has to identify the different variables they intend to work with. The method then, by giving the researcher control over these variables, allows the researcher to test the hypothesis accurately. This allows the researcher to identify the cause of a happening and measure behavioral changes accurately using these scientific methods. This is important since the experiment shall be about finding out if a change in one of the variables can lead to a change in the other. There also has to be a hypothesis or a reason as to why the experiment is being conducted and what it aims to accomplish.
Factors to be considered when conducting this type of research are the experimental group, the control group, the dependent variable and the independent variable. The research method has demerits like the inhibition of natural behavior in the lab setting. The findings of the research may also not be general to real world situations. The method may also allow room for unethical experiments to be conducted. The research method is however extensive, has credible results and is factual.
2. Correlational research usually means the determination of the existence of a relationship between any variables and if the relationship is strong and the direction its taking. The method has the sole advantage of being able to determine the strength of a relationship. The main disadvantage of this method is that it cannot be used to determine the cause and effect, that is it cannot be used to determine how a third party variable is involved and how variables influence one another.
3. Naturalistic research is conducted by observation. It involves the observation of behavioral changes and patterns while they are in their natural environment. It involves the counting of behavioral patterns like aggressive behavior, number of times one laughs and others. This method has the advantage of not having the behavior compromised by the researcher in any way. The method can also offer better qualitative data and not just quantitative data. The method has the limitation of the researcher altering observations due to his/her personal beliefs. it also has the limitation of precision since the control of multiple subjects and observers requires coordination which is difficult here. The behaviors also must be pre defined to get a concrete result, that is, determining what constitutes what behavior. The presence of the observer also acts as a limitation since the behaviors might change.