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PSY101: General Psychology (Devane): Home

Tips on reading a research study

Welcome

Welcome to the Research Guide for PSY101, General Psychology. This research guide will assist you in locating resources for your experimental proposal.  Please contact a BCC Librarian at any campus library if you have questions.

What is an Experimental Study?

Scene from "Young Frankenstein" In scientific research, the word “experiment” often denotes the type of study in which the investigator deliberately introduces certain changes into a process and makes observations or measurements in order to evaluate and compare the effects of different changes. These changes are called the treatments. Common examples of treatments are different kinds of stimuli presented to human subjects or animals or different kinds of situations with which the investigator faces them, in order to see how they respond. In exploratory work, the objective may be simply to discover whether the stimuli produce any measurable responses, while at a later stage in research the purpose may be to verify or disprove certain hypotheses that have been put forward about the directions and sizes of the responses to treatments. In applied work, measurement of the size of the response is often important, since this may determine whether a new treatment is practically useful.

Experimental Design. (1968). In D. L. Sills (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Vol. 5, pp. 245-263). New York: Macmillan.

Image Source: Scene from "Young Frankenstein," from an article in Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

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