EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY


How can psychological experiments add to what we already know by common sense?

***Experimental research involves manipulating the independent variable in some type of controlled situation (preferably a laboratory) so that precise measurements can be taken. It is used to advance our knowledge to give us a better understanding of behavior. Psychological experiments do not discover, prove, or disprove cause-effect relationships. Psychological experiments are used to test hypotheses. If by common sense we believe something is true, we can use psychological experiments to test and retest those hunches. If the results can be replicated, we become more confident about what we believe to be true. In other words, psychological experiments can tell us how accurate our beliefs are.***

Duke University in Durham, North Carolina gives a brief description of research methods in psychological science.
Professor William N. Singleton from Bridgewater State College states "The experimental method is the most persuasive means that human beings have developed for establishing that a change in X truly generates a change in Y."
Serendip provides a thorough history of "The Rise of Experimental Psychology" as it occurred between the mind/world relationship and the nervous system.

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cxp220@email.psu.edu

12-10-96