Early Psychological Research On Cognitive And The Nature Of Psychological Studies Essay

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Early psychological research emphasized observable and objectively measureable outcomes. However, the idea of cognitions eventually become more popular, and the nature of psychological research (i.e., to understand both behavior and internal processes) was adapted to inquire about participants’ internal experiences (e.g., thoughts and emotions). Knowledge of these experiences is typically assessed via self-report questionnaires. Despite self-report being the most common method of personality assessment (Paulhus & Vazire, 2007), there are frequent discussions about its limitations. To address some of these limitations, such as those outlined by Nisbett and Wilson (1977), many researchers are turning to ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Implemented with smart devices (e.g., phones, tablets), EMA allows researchers to ask participants questions about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors multiple times a day for days and weeks at a time. Due to its nature of in-the-moment assessment, EMA can address many of the limitations of traditional self-report, such as reducing the reliance on memory recall and integrating both introspective and behavioral measurements. However, old limitations still exist, such as biased reporting, as well as new limitations, such as awareness biases. In their summary of the causes of inaccurate self-reporting, Nisbett and Wilson (1977) refer to the removal of time, saying that, “perhaps chief among the circumstances that should decrease accuracy
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