Conducting Psychology Research in the Real World – PSYC 100_ Principles of Psychology F21.pdf

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12/1/21, 12:21 PMConducting Psychology Research in the Real World – PSYC 100: Principles of Psychology F211/237. Conducting PsychologyResearch in the Real WorldOriginal chapter by Matthias R. Mehl adapted by theQueen’s University Psychology DepartmentThis Open Access chapter was originally written for the NOBA project.Information on the NOBA project can be found below.We encourage students to use the “Three-Step Method” for support in theirlearning. Please ±nd our version of the Three-Step Method, created in collabo-ration with Queen’s Student Academic Success Services, at the following link:Because of its ability to determine cause-and-effect relationships, the labora-
12/1/21, 12:21 PMConducting Psychology Research in the Real World – PSYC 100: Principles of Psychology F212/23tory experiment is traditionally considered the method of choice for psycho-logical science. One downside, however, is that as it carefully controls condi-tions and their effects, it can yield ±ndings that are out of touch with realityand have limited use when trying to understand real-world behavior. Thismodule highlights the importance of also conducting research outside thepsychology laboratory, within participants’ natural, everyday environments,and reviews existing methodologies for studying daily lifeLearning ObjectivesIdentify limitations of the traditional laboratory experiment.Explain ways in which daily life research can further psychological science.Know what methods exist for conducting psychological research in thereal world.IntroductionThe laboratory experiment is traditionally considered the “gold standard” inpsychology research. This is because only laboratory experiments can clearlyseparate cause from effect and therefore establish causality. Despite thisunique strength, it is also clear that a scienti±c ±eld that is mainly based oncontrolled laboratory studies ends up lopsided. Speci±cally, it accumulates alot of knowledge on whatcanhappen—under carefully isolated and con-trolled circumstances—but it has little to say about what actuallydoeshappenunder the circumstances that people actually encounter in their daily lives.For example, imagine you are a participant in an experiment that looks at theeffect of being in a good mood on generosity, a topic that may have a gooddeal of practical application. Researchers create an internally-valid, carefully-controlled experiment where they randomly assign you to watch either ahappy movie or a neutral movie, and then you are given the opportunity tohelp the researcher out by staying longer and participating in another study. Ifpeople in a good mood are more willing to stay and help out, the researchers

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Term
Winter
Professor
NoProfessor
Tags
Psychology, Principles of Psychology

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