Research Methods in Psychology
Next up: A real psychological question
Why do people help?
o 1. Develop a theory a set of related ideas that are supposed to explain and/or
Ex. People help because it makes them happy.
o 2. Operationalize constructs to state exactly how you will measure the
phenomena of interest.
Ex. What do you mean by “help”? What do you mean by “happiness”?
How will you measure happiness?
This is important so that you can evaluate the research.
Reliability: The tendency for a measure to produce the same result
whenever it is used to measure the same thing.
• Measuring the thing correctly.
• Give us the same information on any given day.
• Measuring core construct.
Validity: The tendency for a measure to accurately capture what it intends
• Measuring the correct thing.
• We can test whether it relates to other constructs.
• Always try to build a better test.
o 3. Propose a hypothesis a specific concrete idea to examine.
If your theory cannot be tested, it is not a good theory.
o 4. Test hypothesis Scientific Method: Observational vs. Experimental
o Naturalistic observations
Seeing what occurs in real life.
Tells you about human behavior.
Drawback: It is hard to measure and assume how they feel. You have to
wait for the behavior to occur. Does not tell you if what they are doing