Statistics and research are very important elements of psychological studies. The two disciplines make up the psychology field of science as they are involved in building logic about natural perception of human behavior. Statistics and research methods are used to collect information, analyze, evaluate and draw conclusions about psychological theories. Al these are about providing evidence to support or dispute the perceived theories of psychology, all the information about the human behavior is due to scientific research methods which assist in determining whether the findings are valid, logical and/or relevant based on probability concept.
Research and Scientific Methods The field of psychology is usually dominated by research because it is exploratory and therefore the understanding of research and scientific research methods is very essential. Research is defined as the methodical investigation that encompasses research development otherwise called the pilot test formulated to develop and contribute to the generalized information.
The generalizable knowledge is any scientifically collected information which is meant to be dispersed beyond the institution surroundings and may be realistically generalized further than the research model (Gauch 2003). The human subject as an aspect of research is defined as the person who acts as a participant on whom the investigator obtains information or data from. Research practical are formulated to give the students a chance to practice different research methods.
The comprise of observations, interviews, survey, measurement and evaluation of data (Gauch 2003) Scientific methods are used by psychologists to carry out their studies in the research ventures to collect, quantify and evaluate data. The scientific methods are standardized methods of making data collection, observation, postulating theories, testing predictions and interpreting the outcomes (Chow 2002). The purpose of any research is to uncover and produce new information about some features.
There are several scientific methods used in research though the classification differs and the differences may not be distinct ones. The most understandable classification categorizes the scientific methods into three models; exploratory research- this formulates and discover new problems; constructive research- this builds up knowledge and make an effort to create solutions to the problems; and empirical research- it tests the practicability of a resolution using experimental verification(Arthur et al 2005).
The steps involved in scientific research are as follows; the first step of is mere observation and explanation of a phenomenon or collection of phenomena; hypothesis formulation is the second step; this is an explanation of the phenomenon and may take mathematical quantification.
It is a statement that summarizes the theory; thirdly, the hypothesis is used to forecast the existence of the phenomenon or to quantify the outcome of the investigation based on the data collected; performing investigational tests is the final step, predictions can be derived by use of numerous independent investigators and experiments that are correctly carried out (Arthur et al 2005). Characteristics of Primary Ands Secondary Data
Data collection is a very important aspect of research, and there are two broad classes of data sources. Primary date is the direct collection of new information by the investigator from the respondent or participant while secondary data is obtained from existing sources that are already documented as a result of earlier research and findings (Chow 2002). Therefore primary data is collected by interviews, surveys, observation and questionnaires while secondary data is obtained from readings books, journals and other documents.
Both sources are very important for research though the relevance of the information may differ, in primary data collecting, the investigator knows what he is looking for while secondary data could have been collected for a different purpose and different circumstances by the original investigator hence translating to current situation (Arthur et al 2005). Primary data is very costly to obtain and could consume a lot of time and other resources, however secondary data is cheaper and time saving as data collection, analysis, evaluation and conclusion are already done.
The Role of Statistics in Research Statistics is very important element of research as it provides the quantification of the data collected so that it can be used for analysis and draw logical conclusions. The aim of research is to validate or dispute theories by use of statistical methods (Chow 2002). The researcher can establish the method’s was accuracy, logical or sensibility. Conclusion Research and statistics in psychological studies has been very essential in giving supporting evidence of certain human behavior while some have enabled to dispute false perceptions.
Scientific methods as a discipline of statistics involve human investigation that permeates the present era on several heights. The approach seems to be simple and reasonable in explanation, there is complicated issues of how the conclusions are drawn from scientific investigation is systematic and some elements have been added to cut down individual influence and social bias in scientific results.