The abundance of knowledge that we now have regular access to did not just appear out of thin air one day. To thank for that, we have people who have spent years training to become experts in their respective fields.
Depending on the field of study one is participating in, there are numerous ways each endeavor can move forth. However, it is important to remember that research is always an essential component. It helps in discovery and learning, as well as in proving lies and supporting the truth.
In the field of psychology, there are two methods utilized. These are unique in their own ways. They may vary in procedures, variables, or tools. There are subtypes that will need the help of volunteers and a controlled environment, and there are others that can be completed with online survey tools.
One of the methods that even children are aware of is the scientific method. Researchers use this to avoid letting their biases affect the result of their studies. It also helps in preventing any repetition from other researchers, making processes more efficient. The other method is known as the descriptive method. Below are some of its subtypes.
The case study is a descriptive technique in which one individual is studied by an expert in great detail. This method is extremely advantageous because it results in highly informative conclusions. However, the findings are not applicable to other circumstances considering how specific they are to the study.
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Field observation is when researchers observe their subjects, either human or animal, in their normal environment. This technique allows the observer to catch their subject in a more realistic setting compared to that of the lab’s. As a result, it is more likely for genuine reactions to be recorded.
It should also be noted that the observer should be hidden in view in order to prevent the observer effect from occurring. This is the tendency of people and animals alike to be more conscious of their actions, and consequently, behave differently when watched.
There are certain circumstances that make it impossible and non-optimal to observe humans or animals in their natural space. This is when researchers then try to replicate the original environment in a more controlled setting.
Lab observation can be extremely beneficial if large equipment needs to be used for the observation. However, as previously mentioned, artificial settings may produce ingenuine reactions from participants as a result of observer effect.
At times, researchers may be in need of more personal information from participants. A way to attain this is by asking questions in a covert manner. Hence, surveys.
Surveys give researchers the opportunity to ask a series of questions pertaining to their studies. They can be conducted in person, over the phone, or on the internet. Additionally, it is possible for answers to remain anonymous. Unfortunately, the answers gathered may not always be the most accurate.
The kind of research method utilized will affect the findings, so researchers should understand the importance of carefully choosing which one they wish to utilize. After all the procedures are done, the findings should be recorded in order to help other researchers in their quest to discover more knowledge.