Search this site »
As a student of psychology you will undoubtedly be required at some point to conduct an experiment. Like other sciences, psychology utilizes the scientific method by formulating a hypothesis and deducing its consequences. Accomplishing this will require experimental design and execution. The first step is to identify and define the problem.
This can be as simple as observing everyday life with an eye for cause and effect. An observed behavior is chosen and a cause and/or a correlation with another measurable behavior is then postulated. Alternatively, you can search psychology literature on the web, in journals, or books and find a subject of interest.
The goal of this research is to identify what you consider unanswered questions. Having found your question, you must then develop a hypothesis comprising a specific, testable prediction of the expected result. You can predict based on the correlation between the observed behavior and your variable.
For example, a study designed to look at the relationship between a student's marital status and study habits could present a hypothesis that married people have different study habits than their single counterparts. In order to determine if the results of the study are significant, it is essential to also come up with a null hypothesis, and a possible negative result.
The next step in conducting a psychology experiment is to outline an experimental design. The hypothesis must include what the variables are and how they will be measured and interpreted, often a difficult task in the social sciences. It is essential to compare apples to apples or, if you are comparing apples to oranges, to know which is which.
This is particularly important when choosing subjects. They must represent a random sample of a significant number of participants from a group or randomly selected participants from different subsets of the population. These subsets could be based on geographic location, age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, or other criteria.
Finally, data collection can begin using your defined testing procedures and selected participants. When data collection is complete, the next step is to analyze the results of your experiment. Statistical analysis will determine if the results of the study support the original hypothesis. Typically, in the social sciences a Chi-square or ANOVA analysis is carried out. Both determine a p-value (probability) by measuring the correlation between the control and variable(s) defined in your hypothesis. In this simple case, the values will be identical with either method.
In the social sciences significant results should have a p of 0.05 or less. A substantially higher value of p, 0.1 or above supports a null hypothesis. However, to accept the null hypothesis is to suggest that something is true simply because you did not find any evidence to the contrary. This represents a logical fallacy that should be avoided in scientific research.
Finally, after your psychology experiment is finished, it is time to write up your results. A good start is to consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 4th Edition pages 258 - 264 and the web.
Drawing upon our more than 30-year history of granting degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning.
hypothesis of p value psychology sample t test scientific method statistical statistics t test test what is
Click here to rate this company
Helping Psychology maintains an RSS 2.0 Feed. Click the icon to subscribe to this feed.
Optimized by Lead Maverick |
Add Your Content |