Role of Research and Statistics Essay

Pages: 2 (787 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology

Research is the study of a particular field or phenomenon with the intent of learning something new, either from the perspective of the individual doing the research (like a student doing a term paper) or a researcher using the scientific method to answer an open-ended question still perplexing the scientific community, such as the best way to treat various types of cancer. The scientific method is one way of doing research, and usually involves several definite steps (Research: The scientific method, 2008, SIEM HI Research). The first of step of the scientific method is to define a problem that can be asked in the form of a specific question that can be observed or measured in some fashion. To define the problem usually involves preliminary research to look for explanations or solutions to the initial question. The preliminary research must narrow the field of inquiry, so it is not too broad or too abstract to be measured by an experiment.

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Then, a hypothesis is constructed, and the hypothesis is tested in the form of a measurable experiment that has the potential to validate or invalidate the hypothesis. After the results are assessed, the experimenter retries the experiment to reduce the possibility of error. The scientific method therefore exhibits two different kinds of research, the accumulation of primary and secondary data. Primary data is data that is directly observed and measured by the researcher over the course of an experiment. It is the data used to prove or disprove the initial hypothesis. In contrast, secondary data is the previously conducted research that is used to construct the initial hypothesis or to confirm that the conclusions drawn from the experimental, observational research are not anomalous.

TOPIC: Essay on Role of Research and Statistics in the Assignment

While statistics are used in both the natural and social sciences, in the field of psychology psychologists use two kinds of statistics, descriptive and inferential. "Descriptive statistics simply give a general picture of the scores in a given group. They include the measures of central tendency and the measures of variability. Central tendency involves different kinds of averages: the mean, median, and mode. Variability involves the standard deviation, which indicates how far scores in a group are likely to be from the average" ("Statistics in psychology,"2008, Encyclopedia of Psychology). An experiment using descriptive statistics would involve a hypothesis about collected… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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