METHODS OF RESEARCH

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METHODS OF
RESEARCH
HOW PSYCHOLOGISTS ANSWER THE
“WHY” OF ANIMAL AND HUMAN
BEHAVIOR
NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION
 DEFINITION:

secret observation of the subjects-animal or
human-in daily activity, recording their behavior.
ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES
 ADVANTAGE
 Creatures will behave
normally because they
don’t know anyone is
watching them.
DISADVANTAGES
Since researchers
can’t talk to
subject they may
misinterpret
behavior.
EXAMPLE OF NATURALISTIC
OBSERVATION
 Jane Goodall’s
research with the
chimpanzees
 Charles Darwin-sea
journey
INTERVIEWS
 Definition:
Research method
for studying people
face to face and
asking questions.
Advantages:
 Researcher can obtain personal, detailed
information.
Disadvantages
 Researcher biases can influence behavior.
 How?

People have prejudices against certain types of people,
certain age groups, etc. These factors could influence our
questions as well as our interpretations of the answers
 Subject’s responses may not be completely
honest.
CASE STUDY METHOD
 Definition:
Research that
collects lengthy,
detailed
information about a
person’s
background,
usually for
psychological
treatment.
CASE STUDY METHOD
 **The goal is to
find out as much as
possible about how
the individual’s
personality has
evolved from early
years in order to
shed light on their
present-day
problems. (This is
an advantage to
this method)
Disadvantage:
 Subject may not be honest.
 Researcher bias can influence behavior
 **Caution: You can’t generalize from your
findings—it may not be true of others.
PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS:
.
 Definition: objective
methods for
observation and
measurement of
subjects in various
areas, such as IQ or
personality
PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS
 Advantages: Accurate, objective
information-little chance of distorting the
results.
 Disadvantages: Tests are limited in the
amount of info. they can obtain.
 Definition: a method of research that
studies the same group of people over an
extended period of time. ( years)
 Advantages: good for certain types of
research like studies on development
 Disadvantages: expensive and timeconsuming
 Representative sample
 Definition: method of research that looks at
different age groups at the same time in order
to understand changes that occur during
lifetime.
CROSS-SECTIONAL METHOD
 Example: Does intelligence notably decline
with age? Researchers took samples from
each age group and compared them.
 Advantages: Samples used are usually
representative of population as a whole.
 Less expensive and time- consuming than
longitudinal
 Disadvantages: Not appropriate for some
types of research.
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