What are the advantages and disadvantages of the scientific method, as used in Psychology?


1 Answers

Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
The scientific method is an approach to developing an understanding of the world around us.

It begins by making observations about the world and proposing an explanation for the phenomena being observed (otherwise known as an hypothesis).

This hypothesis will then be tested, and new hypotheses will be developed in light of the knowledge gained.

Eventually, once enough data has been collected, it will be used to construct a theory. The scientific method is concerned with producing valid explanations that are based on repeatable research and which account for all the evidence available.

The Advantages of the Scientific Method
The greatest advantage of the scientific method is in its objectivity. The central idea is that the techniques used to generate and collect the data are replicable, which means that the research can be repeated and that, if it is, it will yield similar results.

Research conducted using the scientific method is controlled, which means that every effort is made to remove all variables, except for those under study. One or more factors is then varied (the independent variables), and the effect that this has on the dependent variable is observed. This allows researchers to establish a causal link (if any) between these two sets of variables.

The Disadvantages of the Scientific Method
One of the key disadvantages of the scientific method is the difficulty of replicating real-world scenarios in the lab. As a result of this, the findings of the study may not be generalisable. The world we live in on a daily basis does not have carefully controlled variables, and other factors can influence our behaviour, which are not present in a lab setting.

This can lead to explanations of behaviour becoming over-simplified. For example, the behaviourist school of thought disregarded all internal mental processes, focusing entirely on observable behaviour instead. However, human beings have complex internal lives that can have a huge impact on their behaviour.

Answer Question