Three Psychological Research Methods Essay

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Methods used in psychological research are used to obtain quantitative or qualitative data. Quantitative data is more often than not derived from methods such as experiments and statistics analysing data using surveys, questionnaires and interviews. Qualitative data tends not to be aimed at finding exact measurements in its findings, but is more concerned with evidence collection and analysis through practices such as observation and ethnography (using observations through involvement in activities over a period of time) (Brownlow 2011).

Psychologists look for explanations for human behaviour; they reach conclusions through research processes which attempt to explain or even predict said behaviour. Researchers strive to obtain facts
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Therefore, the study indicated that individuals with a strict upbringing by pushy parents were most likely to develop an authoritarian personality. It was believed that this was because the individual was not able to express hostility towards their parents (for being strict and critical). Consequently, the person would then displace their hostility to other people, namely those who are in a minority. Adorno et al. concluded that people with authoritarian traits, as identified by the F-Scale, were predisposed to having 'fascistic' characteristics such as ethnocentrism (the tendency to favour one's own ethnic group), respect for authority figures and obsession with power (McAvoy 2010).
This method of collecting data proves that the authoritarian personality exists and the data collected may help to explain why some people are more resistant to changing their prejudiced views. Here, this method of psychological research proves to be reliable to a certain point as the validity of the data collected measures what it is supposed to measure, although the participants were not given a ‘neutral response’ option on the scale (McAvoy 2010). The main advantages of using questionnaires for psychological research are that they can be practical, quick, cost-effective, and objective and can also be collected from a large number of people relatively easily. Questionnaires can
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