Research methodologies are founded on fundamental concepts as keys to data interpretation. A research methodology portrays the utilization of key instruments and tools to reach a respondent, who can provide an answer to a particular identified phenomenon. Various methods have been used for study over the years, and every method yields distinct results in answering research questions. A variety of designs has also been subjected to distinct target population types to yield different results.
A research methodology employs various data collection and analytical tools, depending on the ethics of data collection field. The scientific method is mainly used to conduct research in many areas, which utilizes scientific data as well as making scientific interpretations. Data in research methodology is presented in form of images, words, pictures, as well as numbers that are measurable. Data that can be measured is usually presented quantitatively in contrast to immeasurable data that is presented qualitatively.
The science of psychology is commonly studied using the scientific methods as well as scientific data presentations. However, scientific methods are used to test theories and hypothesis proposed about a situation in question. Thus, the construction of scientific theories as well as testing them is part of research that scientists get involved (Schutt and Nestor, 2011).
The discussion in this paper seeks to investigate into fundamental concepts of research methodology in the psychological field. To support this, it is important to establish the scientific method as well as explain what the science of psychology is. More over, it will study the distinctions between the qualitative and quantitative data in addition to the process of psychological theory construction and testing.
Fundamental concepts of research methodology
Research methodologies are facilitated by the presence of fundamental concepts. First, variables are long-term concepts: independent and dependent variables. The result that addresses the basic answer to a research objective is an independent variable. Dependent variables are the main responses to research topics, which mainly address identified phenomena.
All independent variables in a research are constituents of a dependent variable. For instance, a topic addressing challenges of project implementation as a dependent variable will have poor communication, inadequate commitment, and poor leadership etc, and acting as independent variables that address the main issue (Schutt and Nestor, 2011).
Additionally, experimenter cues act as basic concepts in research. This explains the act of an experimenter making predictions and assumptions in order to determine the research subjects within the matter. Some understated and unintended cues are often made with an intention of determining the subject of a particular group to be researched on. Every research conducted must involve experimental cues before the real products are obtained.
The experimenter is also grouped as a basic concept, since the conduction of an experiment is his role to obtain variables of essence. Experimental procedures are crucial in the research methodology, since they aid in the determination of the subject of a group.
Single-blind procedures are those in which the researcher is aware of the subject groups are in, while double-blind procedures illustrate a situation in which neither the researcher nor the subject is aware of group’s subjects. This calls for research that is more intensive where the researcher has to definitely draw some cues prior to confirmation.
Furthermore, a placebo effect must always take pre-eminence in research methodologies. This factor drives many scientists to conduct experiments in roof of some question. It encompasses the feeling that an experimenter carries within himself, believing that particular things work even though they do not actually work.
All along, no scientist has seemed to retreat his work because it does not seem to work. The results that are obtained are always accepted, whether negative or positive in the scientific methods, the basis for a placebo effect (Schutt and Nestor, 2011).
Science of psychology
The study of behavior in a particular setting is done via the utilization of psychological research methodologies. Developmental, biological, cognitive, personal, social, as well as comparative environments can form a suitable ground for conduction of psychological studies within the psychological science context. Behaviour of items or subjects that a researcher is interested in provides results for psychological scientific studies.
Psychological science encompasses the utilization of qualitative and quantitative data in order to draw conclusions concerning a particular phenomenon. Distinct psychological functions of different aspects are often tested via standardized tests to yield placebo impacts of a phenomenon. Recent research has been intensively conducted in the field of psychology, which has drawn considerable enthusiasm in the recent years. Scientific methods are applied in the study of scientific psychological phenomena (Schutt and Nestor, 2011).
The employment of scientific theories, concepts, as well as facts is in indication of a scientific method in research. The finding of a response or an explanation by scientists from destined respondents to provide an answer to an event is called a scientific method. This seeks o provide a solution to a problem or a challenge, especially when answering forthright queries from a specific subject matter. It entails first asking a certain question with an intention of gathering information.
The information gathered helps one hypothesize and propose a solution to the problem. Experimental cues are drawn to develop ample methods of hypothesis testing and experiments are conducted to examine the anticipated solutions. Lastly, the evaluation and reporting of the results is done by the researcher, making appropriate conclusions and proposing appropriate recommendations to address the challenge in future (Heffernan, 2005).
Difference between qualitative and quantitive data
Data is one of the most important components in research methodologies utilized by scientists. A research methodology whose center of attention is figures and frequencies represents quantitative research, thereby using quantitative data. On the other hand, qualitative data focuses on obtaining meaning and experience in the data collection process.
Additionally, a researcher who sought to use qualitative data utilizes qualitative data collection instruments, which include; diaries, interview guides, case studies in addition to personal attention. However, quantitative data is collected using quantitative instruments like; questionnaires, psychometric tests as well as conduction of experiments.
Inferential as well as descriptive statistics are utilized in executing quantitative research while content analysis is used to describe qualitative data. More so, observations are duly made by the researcher via the respondents physical impressions during data collection while such opportunities are not available for quantitative data.
Time consuming are qualitative methods of data collection as compared to quantitative data. Pictures, words, and objects are usually the results of qualitative data, in contrast to numbers for quantitative data. Furthermore, qualitative data immerses the researcher subjectively to the matter of the subject, while the quantitative data acts as tools of separation of the researcher from the matter of the subject (Heffernan, 2005).
The process of scientific theory construction and testing
Every theory that is constructed must be tested, the fact that contributes to research conduction. Theory construction entails the explanation of particular observed phenomena. Placebo effect enables scientists to test a particular theory. Theories that have been put forward are tested using experiments. First, the theory to be tested is identified. A hypothesis is drawn from the proposed theory, which forms the basis of research.
A written proposal is presented which represents the objectives of the study and related literature. Development of suitable hypothesis testing instruments is done, which are used to collect data from the certain field. An appropriate research design is utilized, e.g descriptive and inferential statistics. In addition, appropriate analysis tools are used to draw conclusions from the observations made by the researcher (Heffernan, 2005).
Research methodologies are founded on fundamental concepts as keys to data interpretation. The research methodologies that are utilized on all phenomena utilize the scientific method, which seeks to collect information and comprehensively evaluate it. Data collected in research can be measurable (quantitative) or immeasurable (qualitative).
The science of psychology therefore can be effectively established via the utilization of effective research methodologies. However, more empirical and theoretical research should be conducted in order to establish better psychological research methods.
Heffernan, T. (2005). A student’s guide to studying psychology. NY: Psychology Press.
Schutt, R. and Nestor, P. (2011). Research Methods in Psychology: Investigating Human Behavior. LA: Sage publishers.