Psychology- Unit 2

1) What is a research question? What is a hypothesis?

In any research, it is important to have a research question on which to base arguments. A research question is defined as the problem that the research seeks to answer. It narrows the grid unto which the research should be focused on. A research question gives the research’s meaning and helps identify the methodology to use in the research.

On the other hand, a hypothesis is a statement whose purpose is to explain something or event. A hypothesis must be testable and the research defines methodologies with which to test the hypothesis (Breakwell, 2007). In most researches, a hypothesis is based on past experiences and events. The study of different hypothesis helps researchers in coming up with viable conclusions that define the relationship between variables.

2) Which of the research methodologies from Chapter 2 would you choose to conduct a study? Explain in detail what you like about this type of research. 

The research methodology that I would choose to use in a study is observation. This is because observation is a powerful tool that can easily be used by researchers to collect important data and draw conclusions. The correlation between variables determines the relationship between them (Schacter, et al, 2009). Measurement as a part of the methodology of observation is also appealing as it ensures validity of the data collected.

Measurement helps researchers to define the conclusions they have come up with in a language that can be easily understood by other people. The collection of samples also helps the researcher to have a closer view of what they are studying. As researchers are human, it is important to avoid being bias towards certain people or objects in the study. Although observation requires technique in order to come up with valid results, it is still the easiest methodology to use in any research.

3) What various perspectives on ethical issues using the methodology you chose in Question 2 do you need to identify for a research project?

As a researcher, it is important to follow certain ethics that bind their behavior during research. As mentioned above, I would like to use observation including measurement to conduct the research. One of the ethical issues that I might encounter during the research is that I may be forced by situations to withhold the real purpose of the research from the participants. This is because a participant may change their behavior to fit what the researcher wants. Human subjects are always difficult to deal with since they might require the researcher to disclose information that would jeopardize the research.

Observation poses great ethical difficulties for a researcher especially when dealing with human subjects. However, there are ethical considerations that I would make in my research to ensure that I follow ethics as defined in psychology. First, all participants must be informed of the research and it should only be conducted after they have given their consent. Secondly, it may be impossible to disclose all the information at the beginning of the research. However, it is important to conduct a debriefing exercise after the research is over (Schacter, et al, 2009). This gives the participants the actual purpose of the research and how it affects the participants.  In addition, participants should have the freedom to refuse to participate in any research. As a psychologist conducting research, I would not coerce respondents to do things that they are not willing to do. Another ethical consideration to make when conducting any research is to protect the participants from any harm. Results released from research should not harm the reputation of the participant in any way. If a participant requests to be anonymous, this should remain the case in the conclusions drawn from the research.


4) How do research psychologists come up with conclusions in their studies? 

After the research is complete and all data has been collected, a researcher must make inferences or conclusions that have arisen from the experiments conducted. The process of drawing conclusions is for the purpose of understanding the relationship of different variables. The variables must have been completely manipulated in that all considerations have been made (Schacter, et al, 2009). In order to draw a valid conclusion, the representative variables must have a relationship.

The first process in drawing conclusions is to make sure that a relationship exists and define what kind of relationship it is. In psychology, relationships are defined as causal or not. This is because most studies seek to explain whether a certain variable causes certain behavior in the other variable. Results can only be generalized if the participants were chosen randomly and the situation represents what is happening in the real world (Columbus & Shohov, 2000). This means that research that is meant to define causal relationships must be very specific because generalization may cause invalidity of the conclusions made. In addition, research in psychology should focus on testing theories that have been brought forward by other scholars.

5) If you had the opportunity to conduct a study, what would you want to study? What would you hope to find that could help you personally or professionally? Be specific.

I would like to conduct a study on the relationship of cultural diversity and conflict at the work place. This topic has been on the minds of people for many years. Some people argue that conflict at the workplace is usually a result of cultural diversity. Others say that diversity is important for any workplace to prosper. In this study, I would hope to find data that would help me draw a conclusion on the effect of cultural diversity at the work place.

As a psychologist, I would hope to understand different behaviors in people from different cultures that may result into conflict. At a personal level, this study would help me understand different people, and how they relate to one another especially at the workplace. Professionally, the study would help me cope with a conflict situation at the workplace. In addition, I would be able to make recommendations on how to improve a situation where conflict is common.



Breakwell, G. M. (2007). Research methods in psychology. Los Angeles, Calif: SAGE-Publ.

Columbus, F. H., & Shohov, S. P. (2000). Advances in psychology research. Huntington, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Schacter, D. L., Gilbert, D. T., & Wegner, D. M. (2009). Psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.




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