Psychologists study a wide range of topics, such as language development in
children and the effects of sensory deprivation on behavior. They use scientifically
testable models and methods to conduct their research.
Scientists use the following terms to describe their research:
Variables: the events, characteristics, behaviors, or
conditions that researchers measure and study.
Subject or participant: an individual person
or animal a researcher studies.
Sample: a collection of subjects researchers study.
Researchers use samples because they cannot study the entire population.
Population: the collection of people or animals from
which researchers draw a sample. Researchers study the sample and generalize
their results to the population.
The Purpose of Research
Psychologists have three main goals when doing research:
- To find ways to measure and describe behavior
- To understand why, when, and how events occur
- To apply this knowledge to solving real-world problems