Chapter 2. Psychological Research

Chapter 2. Personal Application Questions

  • Consider a situation where you are trying to make a personal decision based on information from a research study, such as choosing a particular therapy or adopting a specific study habit. What are some potential pitfalls or biases that you should be aware of when interpreting the results of a single study? How might you seek additional information or perspectives to make a more informed decision?
  • As a college student, you are no doubt concerned about the grades that you earn while completing your coursework. If you wanted to know how overall grade point average (GPA) is related to success in life after college, how would you choose to approach this question and what kind of resources would you need to conduct this research?
  • Take a few minutes to think about all of the advancements that our society has achieved as a function of research involving animal subjects. How have you, a friend, or a family member benefited directly from this kind of research?
  • Imagine you are conducting a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project in your community to address a social justice issue. Describe the issue and the steps you would take to ensure effective collaboration with community members and academic researchers, and how you would implement the findings to bring about positive change. Refer to the Morris Justice Project as an example.
  • Reflect on your own experiences with surveys or questionnaires in your life. Based on these experiences, identify potential sources of bias or limitations in self-report measures and discuss strategies you would employ to mitigate these issues if you were to design your own research study.
  • Consider the influence of personal biases and expectations on the interpretation of research findings that you might read about in the news or on social media. How might your own beliefs, values, or preconceived notions about a topic influence how you interpret research studies? What strategies can you employ to minimize the impact of bias and approach research findings with a more objective mindset?
  • Reflect on the ethical considerations associated with research studies involving human participants. Why is it important to be aware of the ethical guidelines and practices in research, even as a consumer of research findings? How might your awareness of ethical issues influence your support for or skepticism towards certain research studies or practices?


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Introduction to Psychology (A critical approach) Copyright © 2021 by Jill Grose-Fifer; Rose M. Spielman; Kathryn Dumper; William Jenkins; Arlene Lacombe; Marilyn Lovett; and Marion Perlmutter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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