Writing a psychology research paper
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Psychology is one of the basic sciences about man. It originated in ancient Greece, at the turn of the 7th-6th centuries when people first started asking questions about the meaning of the soul, about the differences in the souls of animals and humans, and about the functions and abilities of the soul.
We all live among people and must understand, take into account the psychology of people, and consider their individual characteristics of the psyche and personality.
Psychology has gone a long way of development, there has been a change in the understanding of the object, the subject, and the goals of psychology.
This psychology research paper defines psychology as a scientific study of behavior and internal mental processes and the practical application of the acquired knowledge.
Psychology as a science
- Mental processes
- Mental states
- Mental properties of the individual
In all times, mankind was interested in questions about what a person is: what determines the causes and patterns of his actions, the laws of behavior in society, the inner world. The intriguing task was to understand how mental images arise, what is consciousness, thinking, creativity, what are their mechanisms. These and many other questions are addressed by psychology, which has been balancing between science, art, and faith since its inception. What are the difficulties of its formation?
- First, it is the science of the most complex of all that is known to mankind.
- Secondly, in psychology, a person acts simultaneously both as an object and as a subject of cognition. There is a unique phenomenon – the scientific consciousness of a person becomes a scientific self-consciousness.
- Third, in the psychological research, a problem of the objectivity of scientific knowledge is particularly acute, which is a difficult and ambiguously solved. Many scholars refused to recognize psychology as an objective scientific discipline, arguing that it is impossible to objectively study the subjective inner world of a person who is directly open to cognition only to him alone.
Methods of research in psychology
Methods of research in psychology research paper are those methods and means by which psychologists receive reliable information used to construct scientific theories and develop practical recommendations. The strength of science depends to a large extent on the perfection of research methods, how they are valid and reliable, how quickly this branch of knowledge is able to perceive and use in itself all the newest, advanced that appears in the methods of other sciences. Where this can be done, there is usually a noticeable breakthrough in the knowledge of the world.
All that has been said also applies to psychology. Thanks to the application of methods of natural and exact sciences, psychology, starting from the second half of the last century, separated into an independent science and began to develop actively. Up to this point, psychological knowledge has been obtained mainly through self-observation (introspection), speculative reasoning, observation of the behavior of other people. The analysis of the facts obtained by such methods served as the basis for constructing the first scientific theories explaining the essence of psychological phenomena and human behavior. However, the subjectivism of these methods, their inadequate reliability, was the reason why psychology for a long time remained a non-experimental science, ripped from practice, capable of assuming, but not proving, the causal relationships existing between psychic and other phenomena.
Methodological means in psychology
In science, there are general requirements to the objectivity of scientific psychological research. The principle of objective psychological research in a psychology research paper is realized by various methodological means.
- Psychic, consciousness is studied in the unity of internal and external manifestations. However, the relationship between the external process and its internal nature is not always adequate. The common task of all methods of objective psychological research is to adequately reveal this relationship – by the external course of the act to determine its internal psychological nature.
- Our psychology affirms the unity of the mental and physical, so psychological research often involves the physiological analysis of psychological processes. For example, it is hardly possible to study emotional processes without analyzing their physiological components. Psychological research cannot study psychic phenomena in isolation from their psycho-physiological mechanisms.
- The material basis of the psyche is not reduced to its organic foundations, the way of thinking of people is determined by the way of their life, the consciousness of people – by public practice. Therefore, the methodology of psychological research should be based on an analysis of human activities.
- Psychological patterns are revealed in the development process. The study of development is not only a special field, but also a specific method of psychological research. The essence is not to fix the various levels of development, but to study the driving forces of this process.
- Organizational methods include: comparative-genetic method (comparison of different species groups according to psychological indicators), method of transverse sections (comparison of the selected same psychological indicators in different groups of subjects), longitudinal method – the method of longitudinal sections (multiple surveys of the same individuals for a long time), a complex method (representatives of various sciences participate in the study, while, as a rule, one object is studied by different means). Studies of this kind make allow establishing connections and dependencies between phenomena of different types, for example between the physiological, psychological, and social development of the personality.
- Empirical methods. They include: observation and introspection, experimental methods (laboratory, natural, formative), psychodiagnostic methods (tests, questionnaires, questionnaires, sociometry, interviews, conversation), analysis of products of activity, and biographical methods.
- Correction methods: auto-training, group training, the methods of psychotherapeutic treatment, training.
- Methods of data processing, including: a quantitative method (statistical), a qualitative method (differentiation of the material into groups, analysis).
Subject and basic principles of psychology
The specificity of scientific knowledge is given by the subject of scientific research and its corresponding methods, which allow disclosing the laws of the phenomena studied. What constitutes the subject of scientific knowledge in psychology? Probably, this is one of the most difficult questions. Throughout the history of the development of psychological thought, positions on it have undergone serious changes, there is no uniform opinion on this subject among modern scholars. In the most general form, a subject of psychology as an independent scientific discipline can be phenomena, facts, and patterns of a person’s mental life.
Psychic phenomena is the inner, subjective experience of man. The fundamental property of this experience is direct representation to the subject. This means that mental processes not only occur in us, but also directly open to us: we not only see, feel, wish and think, but we also know what we see, feel, wish and think.
- Acts of behavior
- Unconscious mental processes
- Psychosomatic relations
- Other psychological facts in which the psyche openly reveals its properties, which allows us to study the mechanisms and patterns of its functioning
- The principle of determinism. According to this principle, everything that exists appears, changes and ceases to exist naturally. In psychological research, this means that the psyche is conditioned by the way of life and changes with the changing external conditions of existence.
- The principle of unity of consciousness and activity. Consciousness and activity are in continuous unity, but they are not identical to each other. Consciousness is formed in activity, in turn, to influence this activity, forming its internal plan; principle of development. A psychic can be correctly understood only if it is viewed in continuous development as a process and result of activity. The study of any psychic phenomenon should include a description of its characteristics at a given moment, the history of occurrence and formation, and the prospects for development.
The uniqueness of psychological science is conditioned both by the subject of scientific cognition and by methods that allow not only to describe the phenomena under study, but also explain them, discover the underlying laws, and predict their further development.
The purpose and objectives of the study on psychology
- Study of the psychic phenomenon
- Description of the psychological phenomenon
- Study of the structure of the mental phenomenon
- Identification of psychological differences in subjects belonging to different groups
- Identification of the relationship of mental phenomena in the same subjects
- Studying the dynamics of the age development of certain mental processes, properties, and states
- Study of changes in the mental phenomenon under certain conditions
- Generalization, classification, and typology of any data
- Development and approbation (or adaptation) of the methodology of scientific research
- Development or adaptation to new conditions of a psychodiagnostic procedure
- Development or adaptation to new conditions of the methodology of counseling, correctional or developing psychological work
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