Chapter 2 - 1Chapter 2: How Psychologists Do Research...

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1Chapter 2: How Psychologists Do Research Interactive Lectures 1. What Makes Psychological Research Scientific? Research methods provide a way for psychologists to separate well-supported conclusions from unfounded belief. An understanding of these methods can also help people think critically about psychological issues and become astute consumers of psychological findings and programs. The ideal scientist states hypotheses and predictions precisely, is skeptical of claims that rest solely on faith or authority, relies on empirical evidence, resists the confirmation bias and complies with the principle of falsifiability , and is open about methods and results so that findings can be replicated. In contrast, pseudoscientists ignore these requirements. The public nature of science gives it a built-in system of checks and balances. Descriptive Studies: Establishing the Facts Descriptive methods allow psychologists to describe and predict behavior but not necessarily to choose one explanation over others. Such methods include case studies, observational studies, psychological tests, and surveys, as well as correlational methods. Case studies are detailed descriptions of individuals. They are often used by clinicians, and they can be valuable in exploring new research topics and addressing questions that would otherwise be difficult to study. But because the person under study may not be representative of people in general, case studies are typically sources rather than tests of hypotheses. In
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Chapter 2 - 1Chapter 2: How Psychologists Do Research...

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