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Methods of Research and Corresponding Examples

1. Experimental Method: A. "The Milgram Experiment" - Stanley Milgram, a

psychologist at Yale University, conducted an experiment focusing on the conflict between
obedience to authority and personal conscience. He examined justifications for acts of
genocide offered by those accused at the World War II, Nuremberg War Criminal trials. Their
defense often was based on "obedience" - that they were just following orders of their
B. "Lotus and Palmer's Car Crash Study" - Psychologist
Elizabeth Loftus has been particularly concerned with how subsequent information can
affect an eyewitnesss account of an event. Her main focus has been on the influence of
(mis) leading information in terms of both visual imagery and wording of questions in
relation to eyewitness testimony.
C. "Hofling's Hospital Study in Obedience" - Hofling (1966)
created a more realistic study of obedience than Milgrams by carrying out field studies on
nurses who were unaware that they were involved in an experiment. Hofling demonstrated
that people are very unwilling to question supposed authority, even when they might have
good reason to.

2. Quasi-Experimental Method: A. "Impact of Intelligence on Personality Traits" Dr. Jones is a personality expert who studies the impact that personality traits have on
intelligence. For the purposes of her current research project she is interested in examining
the IQ scores of people who score highly in each of the five 'Big Five' personality factors.
Each of the five personality factors is a quasi-independent variable. Personality traits are
inherent to each person, so random assignment cannot be used. Participants would initially
be assigned to groups based on their personality assessment score across each of the five
personality factor.
B. "Racial Effects on Academic Dishonesty" - Dr. Lloyd is
a multicultural expert and is interested in the effect that race has on academic dishonesty.
People cannot be randomly assigned to different race categories, so a quasi-experimental
design is used.
C. "Identical Twins Study" - The identical twins study has
been used for a long time, to study the effects of environment and genetics on human
development.Some studies haventried to determine how genetics and environmental
factors contribute to intelligence, aggression or substance addictions.

3. Correlational Method:


that married people have a better chance of surviving cancer than do singles means that
the unmarried might be good targets for cancer prevention programs. Married people with
cancer had a 23% higher overall survival rate than the unmarried.

B. "Isolation Increases with Internet use" - Psychologist Robert

Kraut and hiscolleagues report that greater use of the Internet leads to shrinking social
support and happiness, and increases in depression depressionand lonelinessAnd the and
lonelinessAnd the findings were unexpected, Kraut says, given that most people use the
Internet for chat lines and e -mail, not just to isolate themselves in mothemselves in
C. "Revenge of the Beaker Bunch - Researchers find that
scientists live longer
If it were a movie, it would probably be called "Nerds: The Ultimate Revenge. A study
spanning nearly 70 years suggests that, all else being equal, scientists live longer than
non-scientists According to Friedman's study, nonscientists are 26 percent more likely to
die at any given age than scientists. In a sample of 600 men born around 1912, Friedman's
group found that only 67% of non scientists were still alive by age 70, compared to 72% of
the scientists.

4. Case Study Method - A. "Genie (feral child)" - At the time Genie was discovered,

hypotheses proposed by Noam Chomsky and Eric Lenneberg about the innateness and
acquisition of language were being widely discussed in both lay and academic circles. In
the 1950s Chomsky had argued that language was what separated humans from all other
animals, and that the ability to learn language was innate to humans. In 1964, Lenneberg
proposed that humans have a critical period for language acquisition, defining the end of
this period as the onset of puberty. Despite the interest in these hypotheses, prior to
Genie's discovery there had been no way to test them. Though ancient and medieval texts
made several references to language deprivation experiments, modern researchers labeled
such ideas "The Forbidden Experiment", impossible to carry out for ethical reasons.
B. " Jean Piaget" - Piaget wanted to research in environments that
would allow children to connect with some existing aspects of the world. The idea was to
change the approach described in his book The Childs Conception of the World and move
away from the vague questioning interviews. This new approach was described in his book
The Childs Conception of Physical Causality, where children were presented with dilemmas
and had to think of possible solutions on their own. Later, after carefully analyzing previous
methods, Piaget developed a combination of naturalistic observation with clinical
interviewing in his book Judgment and Reasoning in the Child, where a child's intellect was
tested with questions and close monitoring. Piaget was convinced he had found a way to
analyze and access a childs thoughts about the world in a very effective way. (Mayer,
2005) Piagets research provided a combination of theoretical and practical research
methods and it has offered a crucial contribution to the field of developmental psychology
(Beilin, 1992).
C. "Dissociative Identity Disorder" - Dissociative identity
disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder (MPD), is a mental
disorder on the dissociative spectrum characterized by at least two distinct and relatively
enduring identities or dissociated personality states that alternately control a person's
behavior, and is accompanied by memory impairment for important information not
explained by ordinary forgetfulness. These symptoms are not accounted for by substance
abuse, seizures, other medical conditions, nor by imaginative play in children. Diagnosis is
often difficult as there is considerable comorbidity with other mental disorders. Malingering
should be considered if there is possible financial or forensic gain, as well as factitious
disorder if help-seeking behavior is prominent

#28, Allen Joseph I. Llanita, 1B-PH
General Psychology