1)Identify the problem and formulate hypothetical cause and effect relations among
2)Design the experiment.
3)Perform the experiment.
4)Evaluate the hypothesis by examining the data from the study.
5)Communicate the results.
Identifying the Problem: Getting an idea for research
Hypothesis is a tentative statement about a cause and effect relation between two or more
A theory is a set of statements that describes and explains known facts, proposes relations
among variables, and makes new predictions. In a sense, a theory is an elaborate form of
Naturalistic and clinical observations as sources of hypotheses and theories
Much of what we know about behaviour comes from ordinary experience: observing other
people, listening to their stories, watching films, and reading novels. In effect we perform
naturalistic observations throughout our lives.
Naturalists are people who carefully observe animals in their natural environment,
disturbing them as little as possible. Naturalistic observations are then what naturalists
see and record.
Much can be learned through careful observation of animals in their natural
environment. The results of such observations often suggest hypotheses to be
tested by subsequent studies.
Clinical observations: in the course of diagnosis or treatment, clinical psychologists can
often observe important patterns of behaviour. They often report the results of their
observations in detailed descriptions known as case studies. As with naturalistic
observations, these could form the basis of hypotheses about the causes of behaviour.
Unlike a naturalist, however, a clinical psychologist most likely does not remain
in the background, because the object of therapy is to change the patient`s
behaviour and to solve problems.
Survey study: a study of people`s responses to standardized questions.