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Pychology

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Text Preview Studying Human Behavior:
Research, Learning, Ideological Orientation and Clinical Practice

Psychology Final
Mr. Neep
20130507

Introduction
There are several methods of studying human behavior, and the practice of psychology employs all of them in different cases. These methods include the case study, correlational research, naturalistic observation, the experimental method and survey research (Rathus, 2012). A case study typically involves a descriptive analysis of a single person or small group that is of interest to the researcher. Correlational research involves testing two or more variables to see if and how they relate to each other. Naturalistic observation involves observing a phenomenon in a natural setting, rather than in a laboratory. The experimental method, which is the only type of research that can determine causation, involves manipulating variables to see what happens. Survey research is exactly what its name implies; it involves the use of surveys to gather data and may be a part of the design of almost any other research method.

These methods are each especially suited to different topics and types of studies. For example, if a researcher were to design a study to investigate the relationship between alcohol use and violence, they may want to use a correlational study. The relationship between alcohol use and violence is likely not directly causational, since not everyone who drinks alcohol becomes violent, so the tendency of alcohol to induce violence would be best measured using a correlational study. They may also conduct survey research in the course of this study, as it is likely that a survey will be used at some point to more easily obtain demographics and frequency of behaviors, such as drinking alcohol, that are relevant to the study. Such a study would have the weakness of not being able to determine causation, and also may be subject to social desirability bias, which is when participants lie or exaggerate in order to... Show More

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