Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Method of Studying Social Behavior

Research is an exacting and exciting endeavor. The process of research
is a lengthy one, beginning with an idea and moving through decisions on
how to test the idea, completion of the actual research, and, finally,
analysis and interpretation of the data. Each of these stages is
important to the final product, which is the answer to some question
about human behavior.

Sources for experimental hypotheses are numerous, ranging from casual
observation to complex hypothetico-deductive systems. Once a question is
formulated, there are many ways to attempt to answers it. Anya question
can be answered by several methods. The social-psychology researcher:
laboratory experiments, field experiments, quasi-experimental research,
field studies, archival research, simulation and role playing, and
surveys and interviews. Each of these methods has certain advantages and

The selection of any one method depends in part on the question being
asked. In the long run, it is important for the investigator to test
each question with a variety of methods, thereby canceling out the
disadvantages of each single method and gaining confidence in the
validity of the research results. Further, different techniques of
statistical analysis are required to test different hypotheses.

Finally, investigators must give careful thought to ethical issues.
Social-psychology research involves people, and the right of these
participants in the research process must be recognized and protected at
all times.
Deaux, Kay. 1984. Social Psychology. Cole Publishing Company

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