Early knowledge is very valuable capital with which to set forth in life. It gives one an advantageous start. If the possession of knowledge has a given value at fifty, it has a much greater value at twenty-five; for there is the use of it for twenty-five of the most important years of your life; and it is worth more than a hundred per cent interest. Indeed, who can estimate the interest of knowledge? Its price is above rubies. -- Winslow.


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Ψ  Psychology & Science
- Research Strategies -

Three research strategies for scientific investigation:

•  Survey                   •  Case study                   •  Experiment


      The survey technique involves the collection of primary data about subjects, usually by selecting a representative sample of the population or universe under study, through the use of a questionnaire. It is a very popular since many different types of information can be collected, including attitudinal, motivational, behavioral & perceptive aspects.

      Disadvantages: How questions are worded & who asks the questions can cause errors.

      Advantages: quick & easy collection of information & gives the ability to identify problems & evaluate treatment programs.

Case Study

A Personal case study, is a.k.a. a testimonial.

      Disadvantages: Only applies to one individual & a great potential for error & bias can occur from;
        the personal beliefs of the person doing the study.
        a self fulfilling prophecy involves having a strong belief or making a statement about a future behavior & then acting, usually unknowingly to fulfill or carry out the behavior.

Advantages: may provide detailed information that allows greater understanding of a particular person's life. Case studies can point the way to other research solutions.


        An experiment is a method for identifying cause & effect relationships by following a set of rules & guidelines that minimize the possibility of error, bias & chance occurrences.

     Disadvantage: Information obtained in one experimental situation or laboratory situation may not apply in other situations.

     Advantage: Identifies cause & effect.

Conducting an experiment: seven rules:

        - Rule 1: ask (hypothesis)
        - Rule 2: identify variables
               - Independent variable (treatment)
               - Dependent variable (resulting behavior)
        - Rule 3: choose subjects (random selection)
        - Rule 4: assign subjects randomly
               - Experimental group
               - Control group
        - Rule 5: manipulate independent variable
               - administer treatment
               - Use double-blind procedure
        - Rule 6: measure resulting behavior (dependent variable)
        - Rule 7: analyze data

General Psychology
Robert C. Gates