Features of the scientific method and evaluation

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Research methods revision
Features of the scientific method
Control: in order to establish cause and affect relationships all variables
which could influence the IV must be controlled except the IV.
Replicability: each fact should be able to be obtained if the study occurred
several times. All experiments must be written up so that anyone could
repeat them and get the same results.
Empiricism: evidence gained from direct observation or experiment rather
than through reasoned argument or unfounded beliefs.
Objectivity: all measurements and recordings should be based on
observation and not the observer's personal feeling or beliefs.
Theory construction: the facts that are recorded from the observations and
investigations are used to formulate these. They are a collection of
interrelated ideas.
Scientific research is desirable: people don't believe theories without
Psychology shares the goals of science but most sciences are well
controlled experiments that can be falsified. Just because psychology uses
scientific method it may not be counted as a science.
Lack of objectivity and control: In Psychology the object of the
investigation can react to the investigator which leads to problems such as
demand characteristics and investigator effects.
Are goals of science appropriate?: some psychologists don't see the study
of behaviour as a scientific pursuit. They think that treatment resulting
from research can only be appropriate if psychology takes an idiographic
approach (looking at individual cases) whereas science tends to take a
homothetic approach (tries to generalise human behaviour).
Scientific methods don't always work: treatments that result from
research into mental illnesses aren't always successful which suggests goals
of science aren't always appropriate.
Qualitative approach: some psychologists use subjective qualitative
methods of conducting research. However, these methods are still scientific
as long as they aim to be valid.
Reductionist: complex phenomena are reduced to simple variables in
order to study causal relationships between them.


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