Research Methods

Where Do Research Ideas Come From?

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The Researcher's Ideas Based on Observations, Interests, etc.

Example: Kitty Genovese was murdered in front of three dozen witnesses, none of whom took any steps to help her. A researcher may wonder why this happened?

A Problem in Need of a Solution

Example: It is clear that not everybody wears a seatbelt while driving or riding in a car. What can we do to increase the likelihood that people will buckle up?

Some Questions are Answered, but New Questions Arise

Example: We know that sex education in schools helps students. What kinds of sex education programs will work best?

A Theory Predicts that Some Behavior Will Occur

Example: Behaviorism predicted that an appropriate scheme of reinforcement and/or punishment could be used to eliminate stuttering.

How Does Theory Affect Research?

Source: Spear, J. H. (2007). Prominent schools or other active specialties? A fresh look at some trends in psychology. Review of General Psychology, 11, 363-380. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.11.4.363. Copyright American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.


What Affects the Methodology You Use in Your Research?

Does It Matter What Questions You Ask?

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Last modified: August 7, 2012