Humans are complex organisms, and psychology provides a rich, interdisciplinary understanding of the study of mental life, experience, and behavior. Through this course, students develop an appreciation for these complexities by focusing on individual and social behavior, as well as the physiological and neurological processes underlying them. Central to this course is an understanding of the diverse methods, experimental designs, foundational theories, and research used to inform the various subdisciplines in psychology. Topics frequently covered in this survey course include: research methods, sensation and perception, learning and memory, developmental, personality, abnormal, and social psychology.
According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology to be 'empirical' research is "1. derived from or denoting experimentation or systematic observations as the basis for conclusion or determination, as opposed to speculative, theoretical, or exclusively reason-based approaches. 2. based on experience."
Refers to the process that a scholarly book or journal article goes through when an authors research and writing is evaluated by experts in their discipline or field. In the case of a journal article, peers review articles to determine if they'll be accepted and published in a specific journal. In the case of psychology journals expert peers are evaluating and checking the accuracy and originality of the research being reported on.
Primary Sources: Are original materials based on first-hand accounts of research conducted by the author(s). They are usually written at the time the research is occurring or shortly after the research is complete, and they present new information or discoveries.
Secondary Sources: Describe, analyze or interpret information from a primary source or event. They are removed from the original research, and are often written after-the-fact generally by someone other than the original researcher. Secondary sources often are finding tools, like literature reviews, that point to the primary sources.
Why is this important? In order for research to have credibility it needs to be founded on empirical evidence. Interpretations are important, but in order to trust research peers need to see the original evidence or specific data that a study is based on.
Are original materials based on first-hand accounts of research conducted by the author(s). They are usually written at the time the research is occurring or shortly after the research is complete, and they present new information or discoveries.
Primary sources in psychology:
Research 101 is an interactive online tutorial for students who want an introduction to research skills. The tutorial covers how to select a topic and develop research questions, as well as how to select, search for, find, and evaluate information sources.