The Methods of Psychology
Kasi (2009) defines a research question as “a statement which identifies the problem that the research is going to address,” (p.46). It defines the objectives of the study in a concise and precise manner relaying to the reader what exactly will be achieved and the manner in which it will be achieved. A hypothesis on the other hand is defined as an assessable forecast postulated by a theory. Additionally, a hypothesis must be definite in nature. A theory on the other hand is defined as a proposed premise that seeks to explain the manner and reasons why a given incident occurs. A theory defines the contributory association that occurs in two or more elements. Consequently, a hypothesis is constructed from a theory for testing purposes. A hypothesis therefore includes a research analyst’s prediction as to the outcome of the research question. Hypothesis formulation should therefore be computed with regard to other related studies.
Amongst the various methods used in psychological studies, the case study method possesses a larger appeal from a subjective point of view. The technique involves achieving a focus on a given number of individuals with an aim of acquiring a deeper insight into a given phenomenon. A sample is viewed as a representative study in cases where a research investigator wants to capture a larger group commonly referred to as the population (Breakwell, 2006). For instance, a researcher may conduct a study that encompasses the American nation with regard to the relationship between substance abuse and psychological illnesses. It is evidently impossible to get a response from the American populace, as this would be very tedious, expensive, and time consuming. Additionally, people have their own daily schedules that would be an active inhibitor in the study. Acquiring a sample (case study) makes the study more achievable as a specific number of states chosen randomly would act as a representative of the larger population. A case study therefore as a method of psychological study reduces the time span, monetary requirement, and effort required in scientific investigations.
The case study method employs various data gathering techniques and questionnaires are one of the best information gathering resources that may be used. Psychology deals with the study of human behavior or brain functions and this ultimately instills the human element as the focus in such studies. Humans unlike objects have feelings, perceptions, and evaluative power that make human study an intricate element (Breakwell, 2006). Human beings are highly diverse and what may be considered as inoffensive by a given individual may not necessarily be as so to another. This is the variability of human study. Additionally, human beings tend to react differently to various events. Ethical considerations are thereby of notable importance in psychological studies. Privacy is an ethical consideration with the participants entitled to an observation of the same, especially in sensitive topics. Questionnaires as opposed to interviews accord a sense of discreteness in the study and this enhances the practice of privacy. Interviews tend to be tricky, as participants may not feel comfortable in revealing their challenges as an aversion of being judged. However, questionnaires are a more private technique as the individual communicates with an inanimate element that fosters a feeling of privacy.
Participants are also exempted from including some personal information as names in the questionnaires as a protective measure. Gender and age may however be used to capture the required information (Kasi, 2009). Participants are entitled to an informed consent that explains the aim of the study for an individual to make an informed and uncoerced participation in the research. When a participant decides to pull out of the research after taking a part in it, then in ethical terms the investigator should free them. Concerning the study, various secondary sources are used in the literature review section to build a strong argument for or against the given research. Writers should therefore avoid plagiarism by attributing all borrowed ideas to their original authors as a good ethical practice. Once the analysis and result section has been completed, the participants should be informed of the outcome and its implication on the larger populace. This is referred to as debriefing.
Psychological conclusions are drawn from various measures. The initial measure used concerns the research variables where the quantifiable elements are accorded. This leads to the creation of study equations that can be fed with different numerals to measure the specific behavior of the equation. Varying the number in the equation leads to a series of various results that are then used for analysis in term of correlation (Kasi, 2009). If perfect correlation is noted, then a consistent pattern of positive or negative relationships is noted by either decreasing or increasing elements in the equation. This would serve as a credible method for qualifying the conclusions noted in a study. Frequency distribution applies the use of measure like mode, range, mean, and median to explain research results and the conclusion that can be drawn from the study. Such measures are mainly acquired from computations in the normal distribution curves.
Given the opportunity, I would conduct a study on the reasons that have led to the high level of education dropouts especially in high school level. The current generation serves as the main futuristic pillars in leadership positions and the labor function for enhanced economic welfare. However, dropouts tend to lack the educational base required to shape good leaders and a skilled working nation and this acts a constituent for a bad economic welfare. I would hope to come up with credible reasons as to why the dropout levels have escalated in the nation and find pragmatic solutions to the problem within a good period. Personally, as a student, this would act as an informative tool in determining the root reason to a dropout and the possible preventive measure. In college, the study would also point out the factors leading to premature educational exits and the preventive framework. Professionally, it would enable me to acquire insight on challenges in teenage/youth schooling that may force the students from learning institutions and the best handling practices.
Breakwell, G. M. (2006). Research methods in psychology. Teller Road, CA: Sage Publications.
Kasi, P. (2009). Research: What, Why and How?: A Treatise from Researchers to Researchers. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.