Psy 300

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Understanding the Research Process

Resources: Ch. 1, 2, and & 7 of Psychology

This assignment will provide you with the opportunity to practice and hone your research skills.  It has been designed to help you think scientifically about real world problems and issues and to apply your knowledge of the research process to various topics in Psychology.  This assignment accomplishes that goal by challenging you to:

• Differentiate between the common use of the word research and the use of the word research in the social and behavioral sciences.

• Identify the major steps in the research process using a classic study in Psychology as an example.

Part I: Defining Research

The word research is used in many different ways. Consider the following examples:

• Your friend tells you that he intends to research different hair products before deciding on one to buy.

• A real estate agent advises you to research home values in your neighborhood before putting your house on the market.

• A police officer reports that she is doing ‘some research’ on possible motives for a crime that was committed.

• A writer states that he does ‘extensive research’ before beginning his fictional works.

Answer the questions below:

1. How is research defined in the social and behavioral sciences?

Behaviorists (or behavioral) perspective also called behaviorism, focuses on the way objects or events in the environment (stimuli) come to control behavior through learning. Thus, the behaviorist perspective focuses on the relation between external (environmental) events and observable behaviors (Kowalski & Westen) 2011 while social science researchers require an acknowledgement of how individuals relate with society; studies the human society and individual relationships in the interior and to society.

2. What makes scientific research different from the examples provided above? In your response, be sure to...