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Social Sci LibreTexts

1: The Science of Psychology

  • Page ID
    40628
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    • 1.1: Psychology as a Science
      Despite the differences in their interests, areas of study, and approaches, all psychologists have one thing in common: They rely on scientific methods. Research psychologists use scientific methods to create new knowledge about the causes of behavior, whereas psychologist-practitioners, such as clinical, counseling, industrial-organizational, and school psychologists, use existing research to enhance the everyday life of others.
    • 1.2: The Evolution of Psychology- History, Approaches, and Questions
    • 1.3: Psychologists Use the Scientific Method to Guide Their Research
      Philosophers, religious leaders, and politicians, among others, also strive to provide explanations for human behavior. But psychologists believe that research is the best tool for understanding human beings and their relationships with others. Rather than accepting the claim of a philosopher that people do (or do not) have free will, a psychologist would collect data to empirically test whether or not people are able to actively control their own behavior.
    • 1.4: Psychologists Use Descriptive, Correlational, and Experimental Research Designs to Understand Behavior
      Psychologists agree that if their ideas and theories about human behavior are to be taken seriously, they must be backed up by data. However, the research of different psychologists is designed with different goals in mind, and the different goals require different approaches. These varying approaches are known as research designs. A research design is the specific method a researcher uses to collect, analyze, and interpret data.
    • 1.5: You Can Be an Informed Consumer of Psychological Research
      Good research is valid research. When research is valid, the conclusions drawn by the researcher are legitimate. Unfortunately, there are many threats to the validity of research, and these threats may sometimes lead to unwarranted conclusions. Often, and despite researchers’ best intentions, some of the research reported on websites as well as in newspapers, magazines, and even scientific journals is invalid.
    • 1.6: Psychological Science (Summary)
    • 1.S: Introducing Psychology (Summary)