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Research psychology encompasses the study of behavior for use in academic settings, and contains numerous areas. It contains the areas of abnormal psychology, biological psychology, cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, developmental psychology, personality psychology, social psychology and others. All branches of psychology can have a research component to them. Research psychology is contrasted with applied psychology. Research in psychology is conducted in broad accord with the standards of the scientific method, encompassing both qualitative ethological and quantitative statistical modalities to generate and evaluate explanatory hypotheses with regard to psychological phenomena. Where research ethics and the state of development in a given research domain permits, investigation may be pursued by experimental protocols. The testing of different aspects of psychological function is a significant area of contemporary psychology.
Psychometric and statistical methods predominate, including various well-known standardized tests as well as those created ad hoc as the situation or experiment requires. Academic psychologists may focus purely on research and psychological theory, aiming to further psychological understanding in a particular area, while other psychologists may work in applied psychology to deploy such knowledge for immediate and psychology research paper benefit. However, these approaches are not mutually exclusive and most psychologists will be involved in both researching and applying psychology at some point during their career. When an area of interest requires specific training and specialist knowledge, especially in applied areas, psychological associations normally establish a governing body to manage training requirements. Similarly, requirements may be laid down for university degrees in psychology, so that students acquire an adequate knowledge in a number of areas. Quantitative psychology involves the application of statistical analysis to psychological research, and the development of novel statistical approaches for measuring and explaining human behavior.
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Measurement of these unobservable phenomena is difficult, and much of the research and accumulated knowledge in this discipline has been developed in an attempt to properly define and quantify such phenomena. Back to Table of Contents Psychology is a science, to be approached as such. Experiments should be designed using the scientific method. Psychologists who adopt this approach are mainly concerned with studying what we share with others. This approach tends not to use inferential or descriptive statistics, but rather uses qualitative methods of data gathering such as interviews, diaries, and other written materials, obtained from or provided by the expected or anticipated respondents of a particular research. Psychologists interested in this aspect of experience seek to discover what makes each of us unique.
Both approaches were introduced by Gordon Allport. Although there are many different kinds of research designs in psychology, studies may be categorized into descriptive or qualitative, correlational, and experimental. The method of data collection also varies, with self-report on one end of the spectrum, and naturalistic observation on the other. The Studies that do not test specific relationships between variables are called descriptive studies.
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