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University of Phoenix Material
Understanding the Research Process

Resources: Ch. 1, 2, and
& 7 of Psychology

This required Portfolio
assignment will provide you with the opportunity to practice and hone your
research skills. It has been designed to help you think scientifically
about real world problems and issues and to apply your knowledge of the
research process to various topics in Psychology. This assignment
accomplishes that goal by challenging you to:

Differentiate between the common use of the word research and the use of the word research in the social and behavioral
Identify the major steps in the research process using a
classic study in Psychology as an example.

Part I: Defining Research
The word research is used in many different ways. Consider the following examples:
Your friend tells you that he intends to
research different hair products before deciding on one to buy.
A real estate agent advises you to research
home values in your neighborhood before putting your house on the market.
A police officer reports that she is doing
‘some research’ on possible motives for a crime that was committed.
A writer states that he does ‘extensive
research’ before beginning his fictional works.

Answer the questions below:

How is research defined in the social and behavioral sciences?

What makes scientific research different from the examples provided
above? In your response, be sure to
address the characteristics of ‘good’ psychological research.

Part II: Understanding the
research process
Researchers in Psychology follow a systematic process of
investigation. Carefully read Chapter 2 of your textbook, paying special
attention to the section on Experimental Research. Then go to Chapter 7 in your textbook and
read the following section: Research In-Depth: Counterfactuals and “If Only…”
Thinking. Answer the questions below,
using Medvec & colleagues’ first
study as an example:
What hypothesis did Medvec & colleagues
set out to test in their first study of the ‘near miss’ phenomenon? Describe the theory associated with this

Identify the variables in the study and
describe how they were measured. How did
the researchers operationalize (test or measure) affective response upon
winning a bronze or silver medal?

Who were the participants in the study and
what did they do?

Describe the data that were collected and

Describe the results of the study. What did the researchers conclude?

If you were to design a follow-up experiment
on this subject, what might it be?

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