How Do Researchers Study Psychology

The Basics of Psychology Research

Reseearching psychology
Matt Lincoln / Cultura Exclusive / Getty Images

In this lesson, we will focus more on how researchers investigate the human mind and behavior. Whether you are just taking a psychology course to fulfill a general education credit or planning to earn a degree in the subject, gaining a solid understanding of psychology research methods is essential.

For this lesson, focus on building a solid understanding of the basics psychology research methods, the terminology and the different types of research.

How Do Researchers Study the Mind and Behavior?

As you have seen, there are many different topics studied by psychologists. But how exactly are these issues studied? In order to fully understand how various psychological theories have formed, you must first learn more the scientific processes that are used to research the human mind and behavior.

Explore the major steps in psychology research as well as the scientific processes and methods used by psychology researchers, including:

  • The basics of research methods
  • The scientific method
  • Simple experimental designs
  • Correlational research
  • Conducting an experiment
  • Research methods quiz

Psychology Research: The Basics

Psychology experiments can vary considerably in terms of complexity. As you begin to learn more about this topic, it is essential to grasp some of the basic terms and concepts. Start by learning more about the different types of research, relationships between variables and the basics of designing an experiment.

Get started by reading this introduction to research methods.

The Scientific Method

Psychology research is carried out using the scientific method. This process starts with identifying a hypothesis and continues through the final step of sharing the results with the scientific community. Read this article to learn more about the basic steps in the scientific method .

Finding Cause-and-Effect

While psychology experiments are often quite complex, beginners should start by learning about the simplest form. The simple experiment is fairly basic but does allow researchers to determine cause-and-effect relationships between variables. Most simple experiments use a control group (those who do not receive a treatment) and an experimental group (those who do receive the treatment). Continue reading to learn more about simple experiments.

Relationships Between Variables

Correlational studies are another commonly used type of psychology research. While they do not allow researchers to determine cause-and-effect, they do make it possible to spot relationships between different variables and to measure the strength of those relationships. Learn more about this type of research in this overview of correlational studies.

Planning an Experiment

Now that you have a better understanding of the research process, you might want to start thinking about how you would conduct a psychology experiment.

In fact, many introductory psychology courses require students to design their own experiments. Check out this article for a walk-through of how to conduct a psychology experiment.

Test Your Knowledge

Now that you've learned more about the important terms, the different types of research and the scientific method, it is time to put your knowledge to the test. Remember, there are no grades, due dates or homework in this self-learning course. If you are not satisfied with your score on the quiz, take some time to go back and review the information. If you do well on the quiz, feel free to move on to the next lesson. Click the following link to take the psychology research methods quiz.

Final Thoughts

Psychology research methods can be incredibly complex, so you might want to spend a few days studying and reviewing this basic information. Only move on to the next lesson in the course when you feel that you are ready. I suggest taking a brief break before coming to review the information from lesson two before moving on to lesson three.

If you find it difficult to recall the information, consider checking out our study tips for psychology students. You can also find advice on how to study for a psychology exam and how to take good psychology notes.

Next: Lesson 3

Continue Reading