Chapter 2 – The Research Enterprise in Psychology
The Scientific Approach to Behavior
Goals of the Scientific Enterprise
Psychologists and scientists share 3 goals:
Measurement and description
– develop measurement techniques to describe behavior.
Understanding and prediction
– able to explain the reason why something happened, using
(uncertain statement about the relationship b/n variables) and
conditions, events, characteristics, or behaviors that are controlled or observed in the study).
– info gathered are used to help/improve/treat the community.
Theory (a logical network of explanatory ideas)
Hypotheses (specific predictions derived from theory)
Empirical Research (conduct study to test hypotheses):
Findings support H
Increase in confidence of the theory
Findings don’t support H
decrease in confidence of the theory
revise or discard theory
Steps in a Scientific Investigation
Formulate a Testable Hypothesis – formulate H + define V through
(describes action/operation that will be used to measure/control variable).
Select the Research Method and Design the Study – research methods [such as experiments,
case studies, surveys, naturalistic observation, etc] depends on the nature of question under the
study, which is the most appropriate and practical. Then make detailed plans [what kind of
experiment, who are the participants, how many, where].
persons/animals whose behavior is systematically observed in a study.
Collect the Data – procedures for making empirical observations and measurements.
Analyze the Data and Draw Conclusions – observation results are converted to numbers, use
statistics to analyze data, decide whether H is supported or not.
Report the Findings – write a concise summary of the study and its findings, submit the report to
(publishes technical and scholarly material) for publication.
Advantages of the Scientific Approach
CLARITY and PRECISION
; scientific approach allows communication about important ideas.
RELATIVE INTOLERANCE OF ERROR
; yields more accurate and dependable info.
(strategies for conducting studies)
approaches to the observation,
measurement, manipulation, and control of variables in empirical studies.