Psychological research includes two major methods of investigation: . In , define these methods, provide an example of a situation where researchers have used each method, and then share a way in which you could personally create both a correlation and an experiment in relation to your own day-to-day life. Be sure to use terminology from within the answer to your assignment to demonstrate your understanding of these terms.
Psychological research encompasses various methods of investigation, each yielding valuable insights into human behavior and cognition. Two major methods commonly employed in psychological research are correlation and experimentation.
Correlation is a statistical method that examines the relationship between two or more variables without manipulating or controlling them. It measures the degree of association or co-variation between variables, allowing researchers to investigate the presence of a potential relationship. For instance, imagine a study investigating the correlation between the amount of time spent on social media and levels of self-esteem among adolescents. Researchers would collect data on both variables and analyze the relationship between them using statistical techniques such as Pearson’s correlation coefficient. If a positive correlation is found, it suggests that as the amount of time spent on social media increases, self-esteem levels also increase, and vice versa. Conversely, a negative correlation would indicate an inverse relationship, where higher social media usage is associated with lower self-esteem levels.
On the other hand, experimentation is a research method that involves manipulating and controlling variables to determine cause-and-effect relationships. It allows researchers to examine the effects of specific variables on outcomes of interest by systematically varying the conditions under which participants are tested. For example, consider a study investigating the impact of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance. In this study, participants would be randomly assigned to one of two groups: a sleep deprivation group and a control group. The sleep deprivation group would be kept awake for a designated period, while the control group would obtain a normal night’s sleep. Subsequently, both groups would be given a cognitive task, and their performance would be compared. If the sleep deprivation group exhibits lower cognitive performance compared to the control group, it suggests that sleep deprivation negatively affects cognitive functioning.
In my day-to-day life, I could personally create both a correlation and an experiment related to my academic performance. To establish a correlation, I could collect data on the number of hours I spend studying each day and my grades in different subjects. By calculating the correlation coefficient, I could determine whether there is a relationship between the amount of studying I do and my academic performance. If a positive correlation exists, it would suggest that as I increase my study hours, my grades also improve. Conversely, a negative correlation would indicate that as my study time decreases, my grades decline.
To conduct an experiment, I could investigate the effects of caffeine on my concentration and focus while studying. I would randomly assign myself to two groups: one receiving a placebo and the other receiving a caffeinated beverage. Each day, I would consume the assigned substance before studying. After each study session, I would assess my concentration and focus levels using a standardized measure. By comparing the performance of the two groups, I could determine whether the presence of caffeine has a significant impact on my cognitive abilities during studying.
In conclusion, psychological research involves the use of various methods, including correlation and experimentation, to investigate relationships between variables and establish cause-and-effect relationships. Correlation examines the associations between variables, while experimentation allows researchers to manipulate variables to determine their effects. By personally applying these methods to my day-to-day life, I could explore relationships between study time and academic performance through correlation and investigate the impact of caffeine on my concentration through experimentation.