Friday, December 13, 2019

The Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology Free Essays

The Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology Abstract Research and statistics are essential elements within the field of Psychology. Through the evolution of technology, the task of conducting adequate research and statistics methods have become abundant in methodology. Because of such, research collection and experimentation approaches of researchers and Psychologists, greatly vary in specificity. We will write a custom essay sample on The Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology or any similar topic only for you Order Now However, one method reigns true and consistent, and that is the Scientific Method; of which will be further explored. This paper will discuss and make sense of the roles in which both research and statistics play in the field of Psychology, and the procedures in which such methods are conducted will be defined. This will include explanations of the validity, importance, and relevance of the above stated procedures, as such are referenced for study. The Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology Research and statistics play a crucial role in the field of psychology, both of which are used to ascertain and examine informational data. Such methods are used to greatly increase the effectiveness and success of an organization or field of study. Scientific or logical informational data is typically established through the use of the scientific method. Over the course of research history and study, the scientific method has become known to be the most reliable and consistent method of obtaining dependable knowledge. Such knowledge is then kept and utilized by researchers, either for their own study (primary data), or by a secondary party referencing said data (secondary data). Essentially, the field of Psychology is geared towards ascertaining the truth about people, the mental process, and behaviors that follow. The truth can only truly be found through the above methods. The Scientific Method For as long as the human mind has had thought, human beings have, in one way or another, questioned, observed, and analyzed the world we live in and the way we proceed to live within it. These human beings, the thinkers, the observers, the analyzers have always been and still remain the scholars of their time period. The phrase â€Å"method of scholars† is an alternative title for the scientific method, for it is the absolute best set of methods in finding the truth, and of course the scholars would know. It has often been said that the greatest discovery in science was the discovery of the scientific method of discovery†: (Feibleman, 1972). This method is an investigation in which a problem is initially identified. With this, observations, experiments, and other relevant data (provided by research) are then used to create or test hypotheses that lead to conclusions about the original prob lem. The steps involved in this process include: 1) Forming a testable hypothesis. 2) Devising a research plan and method of application. 3) Collecting data and researching. 4) Analyzing the data and reaching possible conclusions about the study. ) Report findings. This research can be characterized as an activity of creative work that is carried out in a systematic way in an effort to increase knowledge and truth. In the field of psychology, this refers to the knowledge of the human mind, human behavior, cultures, and societies. In order to fully understand how researchers, scientists, psychologists, scholars, and students alike reach such conclusions, one needs to recognize the importance of the research process and measures that are applied when conducting the various types of psychological research. With this knowledge, one will not only understand what is involved in reaching conclusions about psychology, but also how to do so oneself. (McLeod, 2008) Primary and Secondary Data. Primary and secondary data are both key components in any piece of information. These two types of data are used within many avenues of life, not just research and science. They can be published or unpublished and in any media presentation, from print to electronic. Therefore, since Primary and secondary data are quite abundant, yet perhaps undistinguishable from the uneducated eye†¦ What exactly are the differences and characteristics of such? The distinct difference between primary and secondary data is the method of research in which the data was found. While primary data is both researched and utilized by the same source, secondary data comes from the research of a combination of external or secondary sources. An accurate example of primary data is that of personal vital statistics records, for such are accounts that have been personally witnessed and recorded by the source, and then kept by public institutions, as well as the source. Specific examples of personal records would include but are not limited to: birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage licenses. Such examples are vital to the functioning of an individual and the organization (country) of which that individual resides. Additionally, such documents can be used in genealogical research, and other research projects related to society, culture, and psychology. One stepped removed from the original source of data, would be data that is secondary. A prime example of such would be information found in textbooks and historical documents, which are comprised of information that was borrowed from multiple primary sources. Case in point, when a history book includes computed data regarding a regions birth and death rates for a specific time period, the birth and death certificates would have originally been considered primary data, but when utilized and calculated by an outside source for the purpose of a study shown in the book, that data then becomes secondary. (McLeod, 2008) Statistics in Research. Statistics are a crucial part of research. Without, statistics, it is nearly impossible to attain a definitive conclusion and/or compute data in any research study. Being that the study of statistics is the science of collecting, analyzing, and making inferences from data, it quite literally communicates research findings in an effort to give credibility to the research itself. Obviously, it is imperative that researchers understand statistics, however, it is also important that the general population has at least a basic understanding of such. For not only researchers, but the entire population is bombarded by statistics every day, and in one way or another, everyone performs research. Whether the research is nominal, such as comparing prices, or significant, such as proving a ground breaking psychological theory, the point remains that it is all research and all research is comprised of statistics (Aron Coups, 2009). Conclusion. Arthur Schopenhauer once said, â€Å"Just as the largest library, badly arranged, is not so useful as a very moderate one that is well arranged, so the greatest amount of knowledge, if not elaborated by our own thoughts, is worth much less than a far smaller volume that has been abundantly and repeatedly thought over. Schopenhauer’s quote is an excellent representation of the importance of research, the scientific method, primary data, secondary data, and the role of statistics in research. Essentially, an abundance of information is only influential and valuable when it has been analyzed and brought to purposeful point. Through the understanding and proper use of the above explored topics, one can surely make a positive impact up on the field of Psychology and research alike. References Aron, A. , Aron, E. N. , Coups, E. J. (2009). Statistics for psychology (5th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Darwin, Charles. (1859). On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, 428. Retrieved from http://todayinsci. com/QuotationsCategories/P_Cat/Psychology-Quotations. htm Feibleman, Dr. James. (1972). The Scientific Method. Retrieved from http://www. scientificmethod. com/index2. html McLeod, S. A. (2008). Psychology as a Science. Retrieved from http://www. simplypsychology. org/science-psychology. html Reiff, Harwood, Phillipson. (2002). â€Å"A scientific method based upon research scientists’ conceptions of scientific inquiry. (Presentation). Presented at the Annual International Conference of the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science. Retrieved from http://cires. colorado. edu/education/outreach/rescipe/collection/inquirystandards. html Sage, Nicole. (2001). â€Å"Steps of the Scientific Method†. Introduction to Research. Retrieved from http://finntrack. co. uk/learners/research. htm Figures The S cientific Method based on Research Scientists’ Conceptions of Scientific Inquiry (Reiff, Harwood, Phillipson , 2002) Standard Steps of the Scientific Method (Sage, 2001) How to cite The Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology, Essays The Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology Free Essays John B. Watson work on classical behaviorism that paved the way for B. F. We will write a custom essay sample on The Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology or any similar topic only for you Order Now Skinner’s radical or operant behaviorism which has had a large impact on educational systems. Watson was one of the influential psychologists of the twentieth century. His material is still used in most psychology and educational psychology texts. Watson helped with defining the study of behavior anticipated Skinner’s emphasis on operant conditioning and the importance of learning and environmental influences in human development. Watson’s criticized of Sigmund Freud has been given credit for helping to disseminate principles of Freudian psychoanalysis. Watson is known for the Little Albert study and his dozen healthy infants quote. Watson is given credit for popularizing the term behaviorism with the publication of his seminal 1913 article â€Å"Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It. † In the article, Watson argued that psychology had failed in its quest to become a natural science, largely due to a focus on consciousness and other unseen phenomena. Rather than study these unverifiable ideas, Watson urged the careful scientific study of observable behavior. His view of behaviorism was a reaction to introspection, where each researcher served as their own research subject. The study of consciousness by Freud and Watson believed to be subjective and unscientific. Watson believed that controlled laboratory studies were the most effective way to study learning. In approach manipulation of the learner’s environment was the key to fostering development. The approach stands in contrast to techniques that placed the emphasis for learning in the mind of the learner. The 1913 article gives credit for the founding of behaviorism but it had a minor impact after its publication. Watson prepared psychologists and educators for the highly influential work of Skinner and other radical behaviorists in subsequent decades. B. F. Skinner was one of the most influential theorists in modern psychology. His work was very important and has been studied by many for years. His theories have helped mankind in many ways. He studied the behavior patterns of many living organisms. His most important work was the study of behaviorism. John B. Watson, behaviorism is one of the most widely studied theories today; Influence in Psychology. B. F. Skinner was one of the most famous of the American psychologists. Skinner was responsible for experiments such as the â€Å"Skinner box†. He wrote some very famous books. One of them was â€Å"The Behavior of Organisms†. This book describes the basic points of his system. Another was Walden Two. This book describes a utopian society that functions on positive reinforcement. Behaviorism is a school of thought in psychology that is interested in observable behavior. Skinner said, â€Å"Behaviorism is not the science of human behavior; it is the philosophy of that science. † There are various types of behavior, such as innate behavior. Innate behaviors are certain behaviors. B. F. Skinner, in his novel Walden Two, presents many arguments about how he foresees a positive change in the world through manipulation of behavior on the personal level. B. F. Skinner’s entire system is based on operant conditioning. This organism is the process of operating on the environment. This operating the organism encounters a special kind of stimulus called a reinforcing stimulus or reinforcer. The special stimulus have the effect of increasing the operant which is the behavior occurring. Operant conditioning the behavior is followed by a consequence or the nature of the consequence modifies the organisms’ tendency to repeat the behavior in the future. Example; you have a cat and the cat just playing around with a ball and when you throw the ball at the cat and the cat catches it and you give him a treat. The cat is starts to catch the ball as you throw it in the air . The operant is the behavior prior to. The cat will stop the trick which you’re were enjoying. This is called extinction of the operant behavior. If you were to start showing the dog treats then likely the cat with start doing the tricks again and more quickly than the cat learned at first. This is because the return of the reinforcer takes place in a reinforcement history that goes all the way back to the first time the cat was reinforced for doing the tricks. Freud and Skinner agree that human behavior is the result of outside barriers that hinder the ideal of free ill. Skinner believes that humans in good environment can live happy while Freud understands that humans are design to live in some degree of anguish or discontent. Skinner uses the example of Walden Two to illustrate his ideas of how human behavior should be formed. Skinner’s argues on how to eliminate what he knows as problematic rests on his prescription of dismissing the notion of individual freedom. Ski nner does not only say that the ideal of individual freedom is farce. He takes further and states that the search for it is where society has gone wrong. He wants no part in the quest for individual freedom. If we give up this illusion, says Skinner, we can condition everyone to act in acceptable ways. Skinner has a specific prescription for creating this utopian society. He believe that all that is necessary is to change the conditions which surround man. He believe that by controlling what a person’s environment is it is possible to craft a man to behave in any way. Skinner wants to use this notion to create a world without pain and suffering. In Walden Two, he describes what conditions are necessary to create a world of happiness. Skinner proposes that to create his perfect society one need only to come up with the characteristics of what man should be. Edward Chace Tolman was a modern cognitive psychology. He showed that animals in learning mazes acquire organized spatial and temporal information about the maze and about the consequences of various alternative behaviors. He was combating the dominant views of his time which emphasized the acquisition of conditioned reflexes rather than knowledge about environmental events. Although several short biographies or reviews of Tolman’s contributions are (Crutchfield, 1961; Crutchfield et al. 1960; Hilgard, 1980; Innes, 1999, 2000; McFarland, 1993; Ritchie, 1964; Tolman, 1952), it is appropriate that one be included in an encyclopedia of learning and memory because workers in this field today are using ideas that were initiated and developed by Tolman. Tolman’s findings and ideal have helped to shape modern understanding of learning, memory and cogniti on. Tolman was similar to the behaviorists in his ideals on objectivity and measurement. He did not believe reinforcement was necessary for learning to occur. Tolman (1932) proposed five types of learning: pproach learning, escape learning, avoidance learning, choice-point learning, and latent learning. All forms of learning depend upon means-end readiness, goal-oriented behavior, mediated by expectations, perceptions, representations, and other internal or environmental variables But the problems with his work were that he poorly defined many terms that he used in his fundamental theories, and that is difficult to make predictions from a point of view because of lack of determining the nature and strength of expectations before hand and when or how expectations may change. There are different ways to think about humans and their behaviors. In modern psychology provide researchers a way to approach problems and find ways to explain and predict human behavior. Develop new treatment for problem with behaviors. All three men contributes to psychology even to psychologist are still using their methods in studies. Several area of the human’s behavior is accomplished by Skinner, Watson and Tolman that stand today in modern psychology. These men did not agree on every thing but made a caramel ground in studying the human behavior. Also they was studied of animal compare with the human’s behavior which many theory still exist today. These three men remain widely accepted, but all have contributed tremendously to our understanding of human thought and behaviors. The field of psychology has come a long way and these are three men that help paved the way for modern psychology for researchers and student who studied field pertaining to psychology. How to cite The Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology, Essays

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