Methods in Psychological Research

Chow, Siu L. (2002) Methods in Psychological Research.

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Psychologists collect empirical data with various methods for different reasons. These diverse methods have their strengths as well as weaknesses. Nonetheless, it is possible to rank them in terms of different critieria. For example, the experimental method is used to obtain the least ambiguous conclusion. Hence, it is the best suited to corroborate conceptual, explanatory hypotheses. The interview method, on the other hand, gives the research participants a kind of emphatic experience that may be important to them. It is for the reason the best method to use in a clinical setting. All non-experimental methods owe their origin to the interview method. Quasi-experiments are suited for answering practical questions when ecological validity is importan

Item Type:Other
Keywords:causation, control, correlation, deduction, experiment, induction, measurement, non-experiment, quasi-experiment, objectivity, prediction, psychometrics, random sampling distribution, reductionism, research design, regression, relativism, reliability, sampling, statistics, substantive impact, theoretical prescription, validity, variables
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
ID Code:2643
Deposited By: Chow, Dr. Siu L.
Deposited On:11 Dec 2002
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

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Boring E.G. (1954). The nature and history of experimental control. American Journal of Psychology 67, 573-589. [This is one of the few attempts to show explicitly the technical meanings of "control" and their inductive foundation. Much of the contemporary misunderstanding of psychological research could have been avoided had textbooks not neglected Boring's contribution.]

Campbell D.T. and Stanley J.C. (1966). Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research, 84 pp. Chicago: Rand McNally. [This is a non-technical introduction to the inductive basis of empirical research.]

Chow S.L. (1992). Research Methods in Psychology: A Primer, 320 pp. Calgary: Detselig. [This textbook gives an overview of commonly used research methods to a greater depth than most introductory textbooks. It also presents a more critical look at some commonly held belief about research methods such as the social psychological psychology of the psychological experiment.]

Manicas P.T. and Secord P.F. (1983). Implications for psychology of the new philosophy of science. American Psychologist 38, 399-413. [Apart providing a good alternative to positivistic behaviorism, they present a convincing case as to why the logic of explanation is not modus ponens, but the juxtaposition of modus tollens (for the rejection of an untenable explanation) and the indeterminate affirming of the consequent (for the tentative retention of the tenable explanation, albeit tentative).]

Meehl P.E. (1967). Theory testing in psychology and in physics: A methodological paradox. Philosophy of Science 34, 103-115. [This is one of the first articles that remind psychologists not to conflate the statistical hypothesis with the substantive hypothesis. By implication, readers will learn that making the statistical hypothesis is not corroborating the substantive hypothesis.]

Popper K.R. (1968). Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, 417 pp. New York: Harper & Row. [Chapter 2 is a less technical introduction to Popper's hypothetico-deductive view of science. Much of the dissatisfaction with Popper's argument is based on his critics' neglect of Popper's emphasis on "growth."]

Turner M.B. (1968). Psychology and the Philosophy of Science, 240 pp. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. []

Wilkinson L. and Task Force on Statistical Inference (1999). Statistical methods in psychology journals: Guidelines and explanations. American Psychologist 54, 594-604. [This report is an advocacy document, in which a set of research agenda is set forth. Despite the Task Force's disavowal, much of what the report says is about research methods in general, and psychologists' putative departure from good research practice in particular. The report sets in high relief the importance of the philosophical and methodological issues raised in the present article.]


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