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The Research Process by Mind Map: The Research Process
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The Research Process

Counseling Psychology Doctorate Candidate - UNL TOPICS: How do we acquire new knowledge about behavior? How to be a “producer” of psyc knowledge -- a researcher How do we evaluate the new “knowledge” about behavior that others claim to have found? How to be a “consumer” of psyc knowledge -- a practitioner



Briefly describe each of the sources of new knowledge. What is the accepted role of each source of knowledge in modern scientific psychological research?


Contrast "proof" vs. "evidence." Which is preferred, what keeps us from obtaining it, and what do we do instead? What do we do to convince ourselves that our new knowledge is correct?


Describe the research loop (be sure to briefly describe each stage). Tell the (3) different ways that it is applied and what we learn from that each type of application.


Briefly describe the kinds of validity we want our research to have and the dependent nature among them.


What is required to have a “truly random sample”? Is this often accomplished? When you are told that a sample is "random," what has usually been done?


Compare and contrast IVs & confounds. Respond to the statement, “You only have to worry about confounds when you are testing a causal research hypothesis.”


Describe the variables that exist “before the study begins” and “after the study is completed” and how they are related. What determines what variables exist after the study is completed?


Distinguish between participant selection and participant assignment and tell the specific type of validity associated with each. Tell how “randomization” is applied to each and whether or not it is considered necessary.


Describe the two different characterizations of the relationship between internal validity and external validity. Which do you prefer and why? (You are free to prefer either characterization -- points are awarded based on the quality and completeness of you description of why you prefer that characterization. Be sure you articulately defend the opinion you state!)


Can all causal research hypotheses be studied? Why or why not? (Be sure to give examples to support your answer!)


Respond to each of these statements. “Unless you run a true experiment there is no way you can causally interpret your results.” “Running a true experiment guarantees your results will be causally interpretable.”


Suppose a colleague said to you, “Why even bother running non-experiments? We can’t get any useful information from them!” What seems to be the type of information this colleague thinks is the only useful kind? How should you respond to this statement?


Describe the key steps in the research process, briefly describing the type(s) of validity “at stake” during the completion of each. (Be sure to identify those steps that are particularly necessary for testing causal research hypotheses).


Identify the attributes of a research study that do and do not directly influence the causal interpretability of the results. Also, tell the attributes of a study that can make it harder to maintain ongoing equivalence, and so, casual interpretability.




All four are accepted “sources of hypotheses” • Intuition is often considered a reasonable source of research hypotheses -- especially when it is the intuition of a well know researcher or theoretician who “knows what is known” (i.e., Intuition by an Authority with a history of good intuition) • Rational Induction is often used to form “new hypotheses” by logically combining the empirical findings from separate areas of research • Prior empirical research findings are perhaps the most common source of new research hypotheses, especially when carefully combined using rational induction Only scientific empiricism is an accepted “source of scientific psychological knowledge” Only scientific empiricism is an accepted “source of scientific psychological knowledge”


3 Types of Knowledge about behavior Descriptive Knowledge Predictive Knowledge (Causal) Understanding