Advantages of the Scientific Method

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  • Created by: Smodge12
  • Created on: 19-03-14 12:23
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  • Issues in Research: Advantages of the scientific method
    • 1) The scientific method is EMPIRICAL- only directly observable, beliefs are not acceptable data
      • Selye's Rats: he believed that there was a link between the psychological stress and physical illness.
      • When creating the GAS, Selye did a controlled Lab experiment and directly observed the rats reactions to the stressors e.g enlarged adrenal glands.
      • Through the findings he provided evidence to support his beliefs. hypothesis
      • By the scientific method being Empirical, selye was able to provide evidence that his theory was valid and his belief that there was a lonk between psychological stress and physical illness was in fact true
    • 2) The Scientific method is OBJECTIVE: data is collected using a systematic measurement tool; not affected by researchers expectations
      • Maquire wanted to see if taxi-drivers had a larger hippocampus than non-taxi drivers.
      • Maquire used MRI scans to gather this information
        • MRI scans are a systematic measurement tool and can't be seen in a subjective way and so can't be affected by Maquire's expectations
      • With Maquire using a systematic  measurement tool, he was able to ensure that his findings and conclusions are free from bias.
      • It also ensures that his findings and conclusions are valid and accurate
    • 3) The Scientific method allows CONTROL: Researchers directly manipulate an IV to observe effect on DV; They can also eliminate any extraneous variables
      • Bandura conducted a Lab experiment with controlled variables, IV ( Model ; controlled situation). All children are exposed to the same agressive behaviour in one group. But all groups were frustrated so they were equally aroused
      • Allowing control is an advantage of the scientific method as it establishes cause and effect
    • 4) The  Scientific method allows FALSIFIABILITY: Researchers construct testable hypothesis, aim is to reject the null hypothesis rather than merely accept experimental hypothesis
      • Freud's work isn't scientific as it has problems with falsifiability
        • This is due to the fact that he interprets adult personality n terms of repressed desires to fit his theory of Oedipus complex
          • Due to fact that we can't directly observe repressed desires, it can't be falisified
      • With the Scientific method having to be able to be falsified, it ensures that research is free from bias and it ensures that findings and conclusions are valid
      • Falsification allows theories to be modified and developed, thus improving and deepening out understanding
    • 5) The scientific method allows REPLICATION: Standardisation of procedures allow study's to be repeated to asses whether findings can be reproduced consistently
      • Perin and Spencer replicated Asch's study in England with youths on probation and found similar results
      • Replication is an advantage of the scientific method because if you gain consistent findings, it results in the study being reliable and the more reliable the findings are the more valid they are likely to be.


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