Many students, including myself, are unaware how important statistics can be to the research process in Psychology. In this report, I will discuss the method used to perform researches as well as the forms of data used through statistic in Psychology. This will include the advantages and disadvantages of each form used. Introduction Many studying Psychology might be shocked that statistics is a requirement. It is vital to understand statistics and how it relates when performing research. Many methods have been developed when researching a subject, most commonly known and used is the scientific method.
The scientific method is a four-step process to ensure accuracy in the representation of the conclusion. Many forms of data are incorporated to prove or disprove a theory or hypothesis. These data are then classified as primary data or secondary data. Statistics is a vital form of data that can be used when forming your conclusion and it forms as mathematical proof. The Scientific Method To better understand the Scientific Method we must first understand that this method was developed to minimize the influence of bias materials and thoughts within the experimenter when testing their own or others theories and hypothesis. (Appendix E, year unknown)
Using the scientific method, we are able to collect reliable and valuable data. Statistics are the tools for researcher to collect additional data to better statistics as a whole. (Conolley, 2012) This method has been broken down to four basic steps to ensure the research is constructed accurately and remain reliable. (Appendix E, year unknown) First step is to observe the happenings as well as describe what is being observed. This step begins the research method and leaves the experimenter with questions and thoughts on how to lead the experiment because they can etter understand the subject. Secondly, the experimenter will formulate their thoughts and create their hypothesis to explain their views on the happenings. Throughout the experiment they will be trying to focus on their hypothesis to either prove or disprove their feelings on the happenings.
In the third step, their hypothesis is applied to the thoughts of the happenings and a prediction of a possible conclusion is made. This helps focus the study on a particular outcome. Lastly, the hypothesis is put to the test and experiments are performed. Appendix E, year unknown) It is vital to not only come to a conclusion but also to document your research. The results of your research need to interpret to form your conclusion. This will lead to the decision of whether your hypothesis is supported or disproved. (Conolley, 2012) Once a conclusion is made based on the experiments, proof of the hypothesis being correct will lead to being considered a theory or law of nature. If a conclusion disproves the hypothesis then it will be rejected or modified to continue research. (Appendix E, year unknown)
Forms of Data Introduced Data that is used throughout research is classified as either primary data or secondary data. Both sets of data have positives and negatives. Classification is important to ensure credibility and reliability of the sources. It is often recommended to use both forms of data. When deciding on data source, time efficient, cost, and practicability are important factors to consider. (Hossain, 2012) Primary Data Primary data is collected directly from the source and I considered first hand information. This form of data focuses on the purpose of the study.
Forms of primary data include surveys, direct observations, logs, and interviews. Most widely used in Psychology are surveys. Unfortunately, surveys relay on the honesty of the subjects and skills of the surveyors. Some advantages are having control over the collection of data in which the researcher can choice the process of collecting data. Also, Primary data focuses on the specific objective of the study at hand, it hold high accuracy level, additional carefulness is not required, and it represents the scenario as properly as possible.
In some cases, primary data is the only form of data available. On the other hand, primary data requires additional time so time management is vital. Also, a large amount of resources are required, a high amount of labor is also required, and often collecting primary data can be cumbersome requiring some amount of skills. Primary data is a good source due to its reliability, focus, and significant amount of control of information. (Hossain, 2012) Secondary Data Secondary data is collected from various sources and not collected directly from the researcher.
Some examples of secondary data are books, magazines, websites, journals, and government publications. It is important to consider that since this data is collected from other sources that the focus may be swayed and may fail to meet all objectives in the current study. Secondary data is helpful due to the fewer resources required as well as being more time efficient. Having many resources also provide reliability and assist in comparing and understanding the data. It is more difficult to ensure the accuracy of the data collected as well as difficult to find information related to the current study.
Additional carefulness is required to ensure the characteristics match the current study. (Hossain, 2012) Conclusion Each research should have a basis on how the process is performed to ensure that the conclusion and information learned is accurate and appropriate. The scientific method does give a structural form to research which assist in the performance and reliability of how research is conducted. Data that is collected can be first hand or from other studies which is classified into primary and secondary data. Both forms of data are recommended to ensure accuracy of the conclusion.