Behavioral Research Behavioral Medicine Communication Criminology Human Development Education Psychology Sociology
Behavioral Research How people perceive the world How people think How people feel How people change over time How people learn How people make decisions How people interact with the world & other people
Behavioral Research Philosophers Religious Leaders Politicians They make Rational arguments based on personal beliefs, faith, and intuition.
Behavioral Research Behavioral Scientists base their statements/arguments via Empiricism. Empiricism – data (information) is gathered in a systematic fashion and is analyzed. Empirical data and results must be physically observable and repeatable.
Everyday “Science” vs. Empirical Research Relying on intuition Hindsight bias Learning through personal correlation observations
The Scientific Method The assumptions, rules, and procedures that scientists use. Empirical – observable & repeatable Objective – free from the personal bias or emotions of the scientist (sometimes difficult)
Limitations in Scientific Research Statements that cannot be objectively measured or objectively determined to be true or false are not within the domain of scientific inquiry.
Values vs. Facts Values – are personal statements such as: “Abortion should not be permitted,” “I will go to heaven when I die,” or “It is important to study behavioral research.” Facts – are objective statements determined to be accurate through empirical study. Examples: “There were over 16,000 homicides in the U.S. in 2002” and “Behavioral research demonstrates that individuals who are exposed to highly stressful situations over long periods of time are particularly likely to develop health problems such as heart disease and cancer.”
Values vs. Facts Because values cannot be considered to be either true or false, science cannot prove or disprove them.
Distinguishing Between Facts & Values Often more difficult in behavioral science vs. natural science/ Many, many operators (variables) effect behavior. Therefore, often, there is great debate over the results from behavioral research.
Values & Facts One of the goals of the scientific method is to be objective, but this does not mean that values do not come into play in science. Thus, the goal of science is not to make everything objective, but rather to make clear which parts of the research process are objective and which parts are not.
Research Report (APA) Title Page Abstract Introduction (relatively subjective) Method (completely objective) Results (completely objective) Discussion (relatively subjective)
Basic & Applied Research The two fundamental types of research that are conducted: Basic Research and Applied Research
Basic Research Primarily for the intellectual satisfaction of knowing something. Answers fundamental questions about behavior. For instance, cognitive psychologists study how different types of practice influence memory for pictures and words, and biological psychologists study how nerves conduct impulses from the receptors in the skin to the brain. There is no particular reason to study such things except to acquire a better knowledge of how these processes occur.
Applied Research Primarily for the purpose of gaining practical knowledge about a particular social issue or problem. Investigates issues that have implications for everyday life and provide solution to everyday problems.
Three Goals for Studying Research Methods Learn how to evaluate research reports Learn how to conduct research Learn how to think critically about research
The Three Primary Research Designs Descriptive Research Correlation Research Experimental Research
Descriptive Research (Assessing the Current State of Affairs) Provides a snapshot of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors at a given place or time. Surveys & Interviews Naturalistic Observation Qualitative or Quantitative