Please Compare And Contrast How The Psychologist As A Detective (a Researcher) Solves A Problem To How A Non-researcher Solves A Problem. Please Be Sure To Discuss The Following Concepts In Your Detailed Discussion: Intuition, Hearsay, Literature Rev?


1 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
When comparing how a researcher and a non-researcher solve a problem there are very few similarities. Both identify a problem, both make a plan, and for the most part the results are shared and reported. But that’s about where it ends. In a professional atmosphere, as presented by the text, “The parallels between conducting psychological research and working on a detective case are striking. The detective has to know the boundaries of the case (the experimenter develops a research question). The detective eliminates suspects (the researcher exercises control over unwanted factors), gathers evidence (the researcher conducts the experiment and makes observations), proposes a solution (the researcher analyzes research results and offers an interpretation), and offers a solution to the jury (researchers share their results and interpretations with their peers).” (Smith, & Davis. 2010) Yet detectives have plenty of leeway when it comes to certain methods by which to elicit information and reporting is done in a different fashion, yet the paper trail is still similar.

“The most important characteristic of a good research idea is that it is testable.” (Smith, & Davis. 2010) This starts with identification of a problem, or rather the detection of a gap in the knowledge base or a specific wondering about a relationship. (Smith, & Davis. 2010) This is common to the psychologist and non-researcher alike, even if the step is not recorded in detail. The bottom line is that you develop a theory stating formally what you would expect to see in your research. How to achieve this is what we look at next.

Sometimes these ideas come from nonsystematic sources which present themselves in an unpredictable manner where a concerted attempt to locate researchable ideas has not been made. (Smith, & Davis. 2010) Situations where a light bulb came on in my head, women’s intuition, stroke of genius, or an epiphany, are how nonsystematic ideas happen.

The opposite type is systematic sources which usually come from thoroughly examined, carefully thought-out sources for research topics. This can include what researchers call a Literature Review, which is where researchers will consult previous reports and studies to find what others have already found. (Smith, & Davis. 2010)  The non-researcher will mostly likely “Google it” so while the there is a base similarity the resources and resulting data can be quite different and vary greatly on reliability. A person must be careful because hearsay is not a valid source. Sources on the web can be written by anyone with a keyboard and internet access and there’s not necessarily any validation to what they say.

From here the researcher will usually generate a Hypothesis, which is “an attempt to organize certain data and specific relations among variables within a specific portion of a larger, more comprehensive theory.” (Smith, & Davis. 2010) This usually consists of two specific types of hypothesis, a research hypothesis which surmises what to expect it the study is true, and a Null hypothesis which is what to expect if the study proves false. From this point on, the non-researcher has pretty much tossed any strict methodology out the window.

Next, the researcher will create a research plan also known as research design which specifies their method by which they will conduct their research. In Psychology this can include the Institutional Review Board (IRB) which is a university committee that is responsible for determining whether a proposed research project conforms to accepted ethical standards.

In doing so the researcher asks himself many questions, what is the best way to perform this research, what am I going to expect, what are the possible outcomes, and what are possible distractions which could affect those outcomes, are just some of the questions which a researcher may ask. “Asking the right question is a key ingredient in a good research project.” (Smith, & Davis. 2010)

Answer Question