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Applying the

Scientific Method
Research in Human Development

Once an individual poses a question or issue

to study, the next step is to form a hypothesis.
An hypothesis is an explicit idea to be tested.

Tests may either confirm or refute the hypotheses.

Testing Hypotheses
Four common ways to test hypotheses:

The Experiment
The Survey
The Case Study

Scientific observation is a
method of testing a
Hypothesis by unobtrusively
watching and recording
participants behavior in a
systematic objective manner,
in a natural setting, in a
laboratory or in a searches of
archival data.

The Experiment

Experiment: a research method in which

the researcher tries to determine the
cause-and-effect relationships between
two variables by manipulating one (called
the independent variable) and then
observing and recording the resulting
changes in the other (called the
dependent variable).

The Experiment

independent variable: the variable that is

introduced to see what effect it has on the
dependent variable (Also called experimental
dependent variable: the variable in an
experiment that may change as a result of
whatever new condition or situation the
experimenter ads.
In other words, the dependent variable depends
on the independent variable.

The Experiment

experimental group: is a group of participants

in a research study who experience some
special treatment or condition (the
independent variable).
control group: a group of participants in a
research study who are similar to the
experimental group in all relevant ways but
they do not experience the experimental
condition (the independent variable).

Applying the Scientific Method

A survey is a research method in which

information is collected from a large
number of people by interviews, written
questionnaires, or some other means.

A case study is a research method in

which one individual is studied intensively.

Some Findings from Longitudinal Research


Applying the Scientific Method


Correlation and
Correlation the relationship between
variables, if one is more (or less) likely
occur when the other variable does.
Positive= both variables increase or
Negative= one variable increases while the
other decreases
Zero= if no correlation is evident


Quantity and Quality

Quantitative research provides data
that can be expressed with numbers,
such as ranks or scales.
Qualitative research considers
qualities instead of quantities.
Descriptions of particular conditions
and participants expressed ideas
are often part of qualitative studies.

Ethics in Research
Code of ethics is a set of moral principles
members of a profession or group are
expected to
Meeting ethical standards is very

important, especially when working with



Protection of Research Participants

Researchers must ensure that

participation is voluntary, confidential,

and harmless.
Scientists are obligated to report
research as accurately and complete as
cannot distort the results to support any

political, economic, or cultural position.