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Why do psychologists stress the use of the scientific method? Discuss the consequences this has for training and education in a particular field of psychology of your choice.

Why psychologists stress the use of scientific methods

Psychologists are not the individuals who try to understand the behavior of human and resolve social issues. Politicians, Philosophers, and religious leaders also try to understand human behavior. However, psychologists consider research as the appropriate instrument for understanding human and their relations with each other. In place of accepting the statement of a theorist that people do (or do not) have an open will, psychologists would gather facts to test whether or not individuals are capable to vigorously manage their own behavior. In place of accepting a statement of politician or legislator that forming a new mental health center will enhance the lives of individual in the inner city, a psychologist will measure the influences of getting the treatment of mental health on the receiver’s life quality (BC Campus, 2018). The psychologist’s reports are experiential, which reflects that they are dependent on the organized gathering and examination of data. This study is based on analyzing the importance given by the psychologists on the use of the scientific method. Besides this, it will identify the consequences of using scientific methods in the training and education of occupational psychology.

Every scientist (whether he/she is a chemist, sociologist, psychologist, physicist, or biologist) is involved in the fundamental procedure of gathering information and making conclusions related to the information. The methods utilized by the experts have introduced over many years and offer a general outline for emerging, establishing, and sharing info. This scientific method is the set of expectations, instructions, and processes used by scientists to practice research (Kosso, 2011).

In addition to demanding that science be experiential, the scientific method stresses that the processes utilized must be impartial, or free from the personal prejudice or sentiments of the expert. The scientific method proscribes how experts gather and evaluate information, how they make conclusions from the gathered information, and how they collect information with others. These instructions upsurge objectivity by employing information under the examination of other experts or scientist and public at large. Because data or information is stated accurately, other experts know precisely how the expert gathered and analyzed the data. This reflects that there is no need to depend on the own explanation of the scientist; they can make their own, probably diverse conclusions (BC Campus, 2018).

Many of the new research are intended to imitate, add, or modify preceding findings of the research. The scientific method consequently results in a gathering of scientific familiarity through the research reporting and the addition to and alterations of these described findings by new scientists.

Psychological research, like research in different fields, should fulfill some criteria to be called as scientific. It is very important for a Research to be replicable, falsifiable, and precise (BC Campus, 2018).

Replicable – Research becomes replicable at the time when other experts can recap it and get similar conclusions. When psychologists represent what are their findings in the research they also explain thoroughly how they performed their discoveries (Ahmed, 2010). This helps other psychologists to repeat the same research to know whether they can imitate the findings or not. After psychologists perform their research and ensure it is replicable, they create a theory and interpret the theory into a comprehensive hypothesis. A hypothesis is a testable prediction of what can happen in a definite set of situations. Psychologists test a hypothesis by utilizing particular methods of research, like a Case Study, an Experiment, a Survey, and a Naturalistic Observation. If the test does not approve the hypothesis, the experts reread or reject the operative theory.

The essential steps of scientific research

Falsifiable – A good or noble theory or hypothesis should be Falsifiable, means it should be explained in a proper way that makes it conceivable to reject it. Similarly, a hypothesis or theory has to be proved wrong. Hypothesis and theories have to be falsifiable because all investigators can succumb to the Confirmation Bias. Investigators who show Confirmation Bias search for an accept indication that ropes what they want to trust and disregard or reject indication that disproves their theories (Popper, 2011).

A good or noble theory should perform two things i.e. shape numerous observations in a reasonable way and permit investigators to carry predictions in order to check the theory.  

Precise – By declaring hypotheses exactly, psychologists confirm that they can imitate their own and others’ research. In order to make the hypotheses more detailed, psychologists make use of operational definitions to describe the variables they read. Operational Definitions explain precisely how a variable will be evaluated (Flom, 2018).

                                                     

                                                                 Source [(Spark Psychology, 2018)]

The scientific method is a procedure for an investigation that is utilized to discover observations and response questions. Psychologists make use of scientific methods in order to conduct their investigation (Gimbel, 2011). It is a standardized manner of making observations, collecting information, making theories, testing forecasts, and understanding results. Researchers observe to clarify and measure behavior. After perceiving definite events recurrently, investigators bring different theories that elucidate these observations. A theory is said to be an explanation that manages distinct information pieces in a clear way. Investigators normally create a theory after they have gathered a lot of proof and ensure others can reproduce the results of their research (Nola & Sankey, 2014). Some of the steps involved in performing scientific research:

Ask a question: The scientific methods begin when a researcher examines a question related to something that he/she is observing: What, Where, How, Who, Why, When, or which? For a science rational project, certain experts need that the questions be something that can be measured, mostly with a number (Cameron, Craig & Soutee, 2010).

Do background research: In place of initiating from scratch in placing together a strategy for responding the question, the expert must become a well-informed scientist by utilizing internet research and library to support in finding the best possible way to perform things and assure that mistakes should not be repeated from the past.

Create a Hypothesis: A hypothesis is a refined predict about how things operate. It is said to be an attempt to react to the questions with a detailed description that can be verified.

Testing the Hypothesis by performing an Experiment: The experiment tests whether the prediction of the expert is precise and thus the hypothesis is reinforced or not. It is significant for the experiment to be a rational test. A rational test is conducted by ensuring that only one factor is changed at a time while keeping other situations or conditions the same. The expert must replicate its experiment numerous times in order to assure that the first outcome was not an accident (Blystone & Blodgett, 2006).

The criteria for scientific research in psychology

Analyzing the data and making a conclusion: Once the experiment is finished, expert need to gather the measurements and evaluate them to observe whether they support the hypothesis or not. Scientists mostly find that their anticipations were not precise and their hypothesis was not reinforced, and in such situations, they communicate the experiment outcomes, then go back, and create a fresh hypothesis and forecast depending on the information learned at the time of the experiment (Luis, 2012). This again starts most of the procedure of the scientific method.

Communicating the results - In order to complete the science fair project, the expert needs to communicate the experiment results to others on the display board or in the concluding report. Proficient scientists do almost precisely the similar thing by issuing their concluding report in a scientific journal or by representing their outcomes at a scientific meeting or on a poster. In a science fair, juries are interested in the expert findings irrespective of whether or not they support the unusual hypothesis (Feibleman, 2012).

Psychology is said to be a science of behavior and mind, comprising conscious and unconscious portents, along with thoughts and feeling. It is one of the academic disciplines of vast space and varied interest that, when considered together, pursue an understanding of developing properties of brains, and all the range of epiphenomena they manifest (Colman, 2016). Being a social science it is focused towards understanding groups and individuals by introducing common principles and investigating precise cases. Occupational psychology is the part of psychological science in the workplace. Occupational psychologists make use of psychological approaches and theories to provide tangible assistance by refining the competence of organizations and evolving the presentation, enthusiasm, and comfort of people at the place of work (Zibarras & Lewis, 2013).

Use of scientific methods in occupational psychology helps researchers in studying diverse phases of how people in the organization thing, learn and behave. It is very important in an organization to understand human behavior in order to provide responsibilities, and training to manage the work. The scientific method is comprised of creating a hypothesis in order to predict how things operate. It is said to be an attempt to react to the questions with a detailed description that can be verified. Scientists are involved in understanding and explaining how people learn in an organization with the help of different strategies that are tested with the help of generating the hypothesis that is falsifiable and testable. Theories and strategies of training that stand up in the test are engaged and refined, while those that do not stand up modified or discarded. In this manner, research allows experts to the distinct fact from simple opinion. With the worthy information from research, assist in making wise decisions at all the management levels in the organization. However, on the other side, it is very difficult to take decisions through research and hypothesis test within the organization because the mind of the employee is not observable, which is very important for a scientist while researching something.

The impact of scientific method on education and training

Training is one of the essential aspects of the success and development of the organization. It is productive for the personnel as well as the employers in the company. While providing training it is very important to consider what methods and approaches are being used to enhance the knowledge of the employees. Therefore, scientists apply different experiments to analyze the effectiveness of the strategies and theories used for training. The hypothesis test is used in scientific methods to know whether a theory or strategy will properly train the employees in the organization. Moreover, scientific methods are based on proof and verification that helps in understanding the behavior of the employees towards particular training season provided within an organization. The scientific method is operative because it is dependent on fact. It is dependent on the empirical evidence and is consistent at finding the truth (Mallick, 2018). However, science cannot be free from fault and nothing has complete information about the world. For these cases, not all the things that science performs are the full truth.  

Psychology, unlike science is subjective. This reflects that outcomes of the experiments could be skewed because of spectator bias. In conclusion, science is not suitable for psychology. Human Behaviour and Human beings are unpredictable and infinite, unlike quantifiable scientific components like atoms and time. However, it is required for psychology to be known as a science due to the trust of people. Then, if psychology is really a science, it means the actions of a human being because of a just single cause, which is unsuitable because humans beings possess diverse environmental and biological upbringings, which means there are numerous diverse justifications for behavior, therefore diverse psychological approaches.

References:

Ahmed, J.U. (2010). Documentary Research Method: New Dimensions. Indus Journal of Management & Social Sciences, 4(1), 1-14.

BC Campus. (2018). Psychologists Use the Scientific Method to Guide Their Research. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/introductiontopsychology/chapter/2-1-psychologists-use-the-scientific-method-to-guide-their-research/

Blystone, R.V., & Blodgett, K. (2006). The scientific method. Journal of Life Sciences Education, 5(2006), 7-11.

Cameron, S., Craig, C., & Soutee, S. (2010). Scientific Method Investigation: A Step-by-Step Guide for Middle-School Students 2nd ed. U.S: Mark Twain Media.

Colman, A. (2016). What is Psychology? 3rd ed. U.S: Routledge.

Feibleman, J.K. (2012). Scientific Method: The Hypothetico-Experimental Laboratory Procedure of the Physical Sciences 2nd ed. Germany: Springer Science & Business Media.

Flom, P. (2018). Five Characteristics of the Scientific Method. Retrieved from https://sciencing.com/five-characteristics-scientific-method-10010518.html

Gimbel, S. (2011). Exploring the Scientific Method: Cases and Questions 1st ed. U.S: University of Chicago Press.

Kosso, P. (2011). A Summary of Scientific Method 1st ed. Germany: Springer Science & Business Media.

Luis, M. (2012). Scientific research methodologies and techniques. Retrieved from https://www.uninova.pt/cam/teaching/SRMT/SRMTunit2.pdf

Mallick, H. (2018). What are the Merits and Demerits of the Scientific Method of Teaching Science? Retrieved from https://www.preservearticles.com/2012041330422/what-are-the-merits-and-demerits-of-scientific-method-of-teaching-science.html

Nola, R., & Sankey, H. (2014). Theories of Scientific Method: an Introduction 2nd ed. U.S: Routledge.

Popper, K. (2011). Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge 2nd ed. U.S: Routledge.

Spark Psychology. (2018). The Scientific Method. Retrieved from https://www.sparknotes.com/psychology/psych101/researchmethods/section2/page/2/

Zibarras, L., & Lewis, R. (2013). Work and Occupational Psychology: Integrating Theory and Practice 1st ed. U.K: SAGE.

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