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The Fundamentals of Research Methodology

The Fundamentals of Research Methodology


The Fundamentals of Research Methodology
Jonathan S. Carlson
University of Phoenix

The Fundamentals of Research Methodology
In today’s internet age, research has taken on new developments. Electronic data bases full of journals and search engines allow an individual to peruse millions of pages of written material for specific information in a matter of minutes. Despite the growing ability to sift through information, the scientific method is still the premier method for doing science. The purpose of this paper is to give a brief explanation of psychology as a science, illustrate the scientific method, briefly distinguish between quantitative and qualitative data collection, and illustrate the process of scientific theory construction and testing.
The science of psychology and the scientific method
Psychology is defined as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes (Santrock, 2005). As a scientific discipline, psychology uses the same methods as physicists, biologists, or other scientists. Specifically, psychology uses the scientific method as a process of uncovering new findings about mental processes and behavior. Human thought and behavior are influenced by many factors including genetics, the environment, and socio-cultural influences. The role of the psychologist in research is to ask questions about the influences on thought and behavior and make an effort to determine a correlation between competing influences. For example, psychologists might ask: how does the neurotransmitter dopamine affect the level of depression within an individual? Or how does behavioral undercontrol and impulsivity contribute to alcoholism? In addition, psychologists aim to uncover the etiology of behavior.
Answering questions about various influences on thought and behavior involve research, observation, and experimentation. Psychologist, as with other scientific disciplines, would form a theory and...

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