Psychological Research MethodsAlyssa Roberge Rowan Cabarrus Community CollegeJanuary 16, 2018 As part of this assignment, an online psychologicalresearch study named, “The Pet Effect” was examined.
Studies or surveys are research methods used to aska large group of people about their beliefs or behaviors. (Pastorino& Doyle-Portillo, 2013, p.24 or 1-4c) This research is being investigated by Michelle Fernandes, anundergraduate psychology student at Nottingham Trent University. The study involvesanswering survey questions and is estimated to take 30 minutes to complete. This study was an example of positive psychology, examining the relationship between pet ownership, pet attachment,social support and its mediating effects on empathy, self-compassion andwellbeing with a specific focus on depressive symptoms.” (Nottingham Trent University, 2018).
The survey is open to anyone between the agesof 18 and 30. The researchers top priority is to maintain the participants’anonymity and confidentiality by notsharing any personal information (Pastorino & Doyle-Portillo, 2013, 1-5a). Beforebeginning the study, the researcher uses informed consent by providinginformation about the possible risks before the participant consents to theiranswers being recorded (Pastorino & Doyle-Portillo, 2013, 1-5a).The survey included a range of questions about owningpets and ability to express emotions, which could possibly be altered by theownership of a pet. The survey took about 20 minutes to complete from start tofinish.
Demographic based questions like age, ethnicity, and country ofresidence, native language and relationship status. (Nottingham University, 2018).When wanting to conduct research, psychologists willuse the scientific method to test theirproposed hypotheses (Pastorino & Doyle-Portillo, 2013, 1-4a). There are avariety of methods of research they can utilize when collecting their data.Those methods are: case studies, naturalistic observation, surveys,correlational studies, and experiments.
Case studies are an in-depth observation of oneparticular participant. It is difficult to take the results of a case study andimply that those results apply to everyone (Pastorino & Doyle-Portillo,2013, 1-4c). Naturalistic observation would be observing behaviors in theenvironment they would normally occur. Naturalistic studies are predominantlyused to achieve the goals of prediction and description (Pastorino -Portillo, 2013, 1-4c) Surveys ask a large group of participants about theirbeliefs and or behaviors which could be an effective form of research as longas the questions are worded correctly. A survey can be a hit or miss and it alldepends on the researchers choice of wording.
Correlational studies observe therelationship between two or more variables. Correlation studies allowresearchers to make predictions about behavior but they do not aid them indrawing cause-and-effect conclusions. Experiments test casual hypothesis. Experimentscan be conducted in many different ways. Researchers can conduct an experimentwhere they manipulate the variable in order to produce different results (Pastorino& Doyle-Portillo, 2013, 1-4c).
There are many advantages for researchers tocollect their data from participants over the Internet yet there are somedisadvantages. The main advantage to collecting research data online would bethe ability to obtain a large and diverse sample. A disadvantage would beparticipants taking the survey multiple times so the results would not becompletely reliable. There are definitely more advantages that outweigh anydisadvantage. The main ethical principles as discussed in thetextbook include respect for participants’ dignity and welfare, informedconsent and confidentiality.
The InstitutionalReview Board reviewsproposed research studies to ensure they meet ethical guidelines. Researchersmust keep data received confidential and be given informed consent to let theparticipants know they can withdraw from the study at any time. Thereis a need to replicate research studies because when a study is replicated, theresults can be checked for reliability. Replicating a study is crucial forresearchers to see if the results from a one time study are reliable or if theywere just a fluke. If I were to replicate the study I took, I would definitely changethe age range.
I would not have it be limited to thirty years old because thereis definitely a lot to be told about the psychological benefits pets have onpeople especially ones that are elderly, which are not represented in thisstudy.