Methods and Techniques of Research
Knowledge acquisition requires research. Because of this, research plays an important role in psychology. This course covers the most important steps for good research. First, the empirical cycle will be explained. Good research starts with a theory, from which hypotheses are made. These hypotheses are tested through experimentation or observations and then applied to the theory: Is the theory supported or should it be adjusted, or even dismissed? Measuring instruments (such as questionnaires or behaviour observations) are also important for conducting research: they need to be reliable and valid, and actually measure what is intended. There are different types of research: you can describe a variable or investigate how two variables relate to each other. This relationship can be represented graphically and you can statistically calculate the strength of the relationship, using correlation or linear regression for example. If you want to know what the cause is and what the effect, you would have to manipulate a variable in an experiment and study the effects. Suppose that the results show that drug users are, on average, more impulsive; does this mean that impulsive people are more inclined to use drugs, or does one become impulsive due to the use of drugs? This course teaches students how to examine such matters. Of course, research should preferably be conducted as regulated as possible, and alternative explanations are barred. To this end, it is important to use a good research design including a control group for example, which is crucial.
Doelstellingen van dit vak
Knowledge about: Kinds of arguments, empirical cycle, scientific theory, research ethics, questionnaires, observational research, selecting participants, reliability and validity, correlations, linear regression, coherence and causality experimental research, between-subjects designs, within-subjects designs, quasi-experimental design, factorial design.
E-reader, textbooks research methods and statistics.