The objectives of this course are to set forth the goals and approaches of a psychological study, to boost our comprehension on how a review is carried out and the techniques needed to do it, and to offer us the capacity to communicate effectively the ideas behind the study process. I learned that we do research with four objectives in mind. Besides, these four targets build upon each other, establishing a pyramid for analysts.
The goals are to:
- predict, and
- impact attitude and mental process (Crawford, 2016).
Thus, the underlying objective laying the foundation for all study is to specify a method or event. As above mentioned, this urge to define occurrence is built on our nature as inquisitive beings (Crawford, 2016). This paper will utilize myself as a case study to delve into what I have learned concerning research as it applied to the objectives mentioned above. Also, it offers an assessment of those methods and ideas of the research itself that I will lay against the Biblical perspective.
Goals of a Research
Psychologists conduct their research bearing four goals in mind which include, the description, prediction, explanation in addition to behavior manipulation and mental process, (Crawford, 2016). As such, I have learned that research offers a way to look into what has been identified before. I understand that comprehending how to decipher the study can assist an individual in deciding the authenticity of the study and how to use it. There are many ways to collect data to use to make judgments. Aforesaid, this unit has helped me to understand the value of utilizing the scientific approach. Whereas other methods depend on personal recommendation or emotion, the scientific approach grasps information to a higher doctrine.
The technique looks at ideas logically, to guarantee legitimacy, and interpret the findings. More importantly, I have learned that research has four targets: first it aims to describe the behavior of the subject being studied, it also aims to forecast when that behavior will. It aims to determine the force behind the action being considered, and finally, it aims to expound the reason and comprehend the behavior (Crawford, 2016). A researcher can use basic or applied research to go about attaining these targets. The primary research looks at theoretical issues, whereas applied research looks at the practical ramifications.
The Scientific Method
I have learned that to attain the goals of a psychological study, and I will need to utilize the scientific method. The method offers a guideline for the systematic examination of mental processes and behavior (Crawford, 2016). I have learned the six steps in the scientific approach psychologists utilize when carrying out a study. The measures include problem description, hypothesis formulation, the gathering of data, testing of data, conclusion, and recording of findings.
The first step, problem description, is also referred to as question identification (Crawford, 2016).
I have learned that it entails singling out a subject to study, as well as doing inaugural scrutiny of the available information to determine what initial reviews have been carried out on the subject. Also, I have learned that a hypothesis is a statement concerning the relationship of the variables and as such, it is vital for a researcher to formulate a hypothesis when going through the scientific method (Arthur & Hancock, 2007). Besides, I have learned that this relation concerning variables is used to direct the designing of the experiment or study.
The third step entails the collection of data on a researcher’s subject to test the hypothesis (Crawford, 2016). Thus, I have learned that a researcher should develop an experiment in which the variable of concern can be proved or dismissed. The testing of data, on the other hand, entails the utilization of statistics (Crawford, 2016). Aforesaid, the outcomes of the statistical examinations directs the conclusion. The conclusion step is very crucial. The analysts revisit the hypothesis. At this juncture, the analysts, utilizing the review of the data, will decide on the theory. I have learned that based on the outcomes of the experiment, a researcher will thereupon choose to reject or support the earlier proposition (Crawford, 2016).
More importantly, I have learned that it gives room for a feedback loop in the scientific approach, allowing analysts to get rid of any problems noted along the way. In the last step, reporting of findings, I have learned that as a researcher, I should ensure the information I have learned from my study is conveyed. Therefore, I have learned that I should communicate this in a manner that the study can be replicated implying that the study can be reproduced by utilizing the same methodology I used. It is vital that I communicate the methods and procedure clearly when reporting the findings.
In this unit, I was privileged to acquire more knowledge of variables. I have learned that a variable is a characteristic or event with a minimum of two possible outcomes (Crawford, 2016). Aforesaid, this implies that it can vary. I have also learned that a variable can be independent or dependent. The independent variable is the variable in research shaped by the researcher (Crawford, 2016). It is developed since it is the variable the analyst believes will result in a change in his or her research.
A dependent variable, on the contrary, is the variable within an experiment that is measured or observed (Crawford, 2016). As such, I have learned that it is the variable within the analysis that an investigator believes will be impacted in the research. Typically, any shift noted within this variable is a consequence of the independent variable. It implies that any observable change from the independent variable’s impact will be pointed out in the dependent variable. More importantly, I have learned that how a dependent variable is determined is critical to the success of the study.
Treatment Condition is another unit I was able to acquire more about. I have learned that an independent variable usually has at least two conditions. These conditions are known as the treatment condition. Often, the treatment conditions are the control group and the experimental group. The control faction is the group of respondents not exposed to the independent variable. As such, I have learned that this faction does not get the independent variable, and thus, we do not anticipate to note any observable shift in the respondents. Besides, I have learned that the experimental group, on the other hand, is the group exposed to the independent variable and is the faction where an individual would anticipate to observe a measurable shift happen.
Research from a Biblical Perspective
Ecclesiastes 8.1 says, “Who is like a wise Man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes the appearance. From a biblical perspective, the academic life needs to make us feel comfortable with ourselves, at the same time encouraging us to pursue knowledge (Twiss, 2007). It is important we seek the explanation of things, and as such, the Christian perspective reiterates that research brightens man and changes things since it gives us a better understanding of various situations. In Proverbs 25.2, the scripture says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Aforesaid, as we scrutinize matters that the Lord has hidden, we don’t just learn more concerning our globe, we study more about the creator.
The difficulty in discovery all things, imply the ambition on the part of the creator to keep things hidden. Therefore, the uncovering of things is more prize to those who go after him. For instance, the probe into how the human body and mind work is a way to glorify and honor the creator of all. 1 John 4: 1 says, “Beloved, don’t believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” The scripture emphasizes the importance of researching, and it is to enable us to test what we see or view to be strange to determine whether it is from the creator or not.
In summary, I have learned the four vital goals of research;
- to describe
- to expound
- to predict, and
- to explain why and comprehend the behavior.
Also, I have learned to look at the research to determine its legitimacy impartially. More importantly, I have learned the scientific method used to carry out an analysis. I have also learned how to research ethically. Finally, I hold a view that biblically, research is backed up and encouraged when done correctly.
- Arthur, A., & Hancock, B. (2007). Introduction to the Research Process. Sheffield: The NIHR Research Design Service for Yorkshire & the Humber.
- Cozby, P., & Bates, S. (2011). Methods in Behavioral Research (11th Edition). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
- Crawford, R. (2016). Introduction to Research: Less Fright, More Insight (3rd Edition). Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt Publishing.
- Twiss, D. (2007, March). Biblical perspectives on research. Retrieved from Christian Academic Network: https://christianacademicnetwork.net/newjoomla/index.php/publicaitons/being-a-christian-academic/biblical-perspectives-on-research (accessed July 3, 2019)