Christopher ChenProfessor Veiss CrequePsychology 1A03 January 2018Reflection 1Many types of research methods are used in psychology. Each method has advantagesand disadvantages that make some suitable for certain situations but unsuitable for others. Theyall vary by where the information is drawn from, how the information is taken, and the types oftools that are used to collect this data. Methods also vary by whether they collect qualitative data,quantitative data or both.
When you become familiar with research methods used by an area ofstudy, it allows you to understand it more effectively. Since different types of research methodscan be used, it is especially important for psychology and the study of human growth anddevelopment.With the advancement of contemporary technology, it makes researching so much easier.Everything is just one google search and click away.
Nowadays, most people just use the internetas a way of researching instead of actually experimenting and going out and observingthemselves. People learn about the different types of research methods, such as the scientificmethod, naturalistic observation, surveys, correlational studies, and the experimental method butdo not often apply and actually use them. With contemporary technology, all the research isalready done for you and all you have to do is look it up and you have the information. If youwant to something like “can certain colors improve learning?” then there will conveniently be anarticle with studies and experiments answering the research.Having an understanding of different research methods is important because they are thefoundation for contemporary technology and are often weaved into its very base. For example,with modern technology, scientists create things like atomic bombs and rockets, but Einstein’sage old equation is still necessary to complete the calculations.
In order to gain a betterunderstanding of the technology presented in today’s research, one must understand its roots. Inaddition to this, having a strong foundation creates a better scientist. When given a theory orhypothesis that needs to be tested, it is an advantage to the scientist to have many options, fromold school research to modern technology, available. This can provide more precise results, avariety of procedures, and an increase of adaptability. When given these options, methods can becombined to create the most appropriate experiment to yield the most optimal results. Likewise,because there are a magnitude of factors that may differ one experiment from another, there cannever be just one method that applies or adjusts to all these factors.Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson are psychologists who created their own theories on thenature and development of human beings.
Piaget’s primarily focused on the growth of humansfrom infancy to adulthood and “believed that children actively try to make sense of theirenvironment rather than passively soaking up information about the world. To Piaget, many ofthe “cute” things children say actually reflect their sincere attempts to make sense of their world”(Hockenbury & Hockenbury 386). Piaget’s theory consisted of four stages. They include thesensorimotor stage which starts from birth to age 2; the preoperational stage which begins fromage 2 to age 7; the concrete operational stage which starts from age 7 to age 11; and the formaloperational stage, which beings during adolescence and continues into adulthood.
Every time achild advances to a new stage, his thinking qualitatively changes from the last stage. In otherwords, each stage a child progresses into represents a fundamental shift in how the child thinksand makes sense of the world and the environment around them. Piaget observed that theseprogressions were more of a continuous, gradual shift rather than a sudden change.Like Piaget, Erikson’s mainly focused on the development of humans from infancy toadulthood but his comprised of eight stages.
They include Trust vs. Mistrust from infancy to 18months, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt from 18 months to 3 years, Initiative vs Guilt from 3 to5 years, Industry vs Inferiority from ages 5 to 13, Identity vs Role Confusion from ages 13 to 21,Intimacy vs. Isolation from ages 21 to 39, Generativity vs. Stagnation from ages 40 to 65 andEgo Integrity vs. Despair from ages 65 and up. Erikson believes that during each stage, peopleexperience a psychosocial crisis which could have a positive or negative outcome for personalitydevelopment.Both Piaget and Erikson’s theories can be applied to people around the world, but noteveryone because each individual person is different.
Sociocultural factors have a big impact onthese psychologists’ observations and studies. People’s personalities depends on the environmentthey have grown up in or live in. Someone who lives in the US may behave completelydifferently from someone from a different country because of the differences in culture. Piagetmainly just observed his three children to create his theory.
Each child is brought up and taughtdifferently depending on their parents, environment and culture. In Piaget’s situation, hischildren were raised in Switzerland with a father who was a psychologist and always studiedthem. Not everyone is raised in a similar household so being able to apply these theories topeople around the world is impossible. Theories are just general set of principles, supported byevidence, that explains some aspect of nature. They are not proven facts.Everyone has a different learning style. Contemporary schools do not provide enoughopportunities for all different types of individuals to learn in an effective way. Most schools usestandardized exams and tests to evaluate a student’s capabilities, but given the diversity of talentsin people, not everyone does well on exams because they may not learn well that way.
Somepeople have photographic memories, others are amazing with memorization. Some students canstudy for weeks and not understand anything, some students learn so much better with the handson approach, others do better by simply reading. Not everyone finds it easier to expressthemselves on paper. Some people may perform much better on oral tests and presentations thanwritten exams. Every person is unique in their own way, so how can contemporary schoolsexpect standardized exams to be the best possible indication of an individual’s ability to retainknowledge?Moving on the motivation. Not everyone is motivated by school which gives them noreason to learn and try.
Motivation and learning are greatly related. You need some sort ofmotivation to learn, otherwise there would be no reason to do it. Two types of motivations areworth mentioning; intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is when you do something becauseit is naturally satisfying to you with no external source. This type of motivation arises frominside the individual, as opposed to extrinsic motivation, which originates from outside of theindividual. Extrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by external rewards such asgrades.
If a person is not intrinsically driven to learn or extrinsically motivated by grades thencontemporary schools may not be effective.In conclusion, understanding different types of research methods is important becauseeach are particularly useful in different situations and by using these methods, researchers candescribe different experiences, behaviors, personalities, and events and look for links betweenthem. It is also crucial to note that all psychological theories are not proven facts and eventhough they may be useful and can apply to people around the world, everyone is different andthey may not apply to everyone. Just like psychological theories, contemporary schools do notapply to everyone either. Contemporary schools mainly administer exams to test a students’abilities but everyone prefers a different style of learning.