Role of Research and Statistics Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Assessing descriptive statistics in the form of raw data is often a critical component of primary research when constructing an experiment, where the experimenter then can have control over the various variables affecting the specific phenomena that is being studied. the, in the actual experiment, the tendency of other information to influence statistical results can be restricted or taken into consideration, and a control, or unaffected group can be included to see what the population resembles without the experimental variable. Descriptive statistics, in short, can be useful, but many variables can affect their results, so they cannot always be relied upon.

In contrast, "inferential statistics are used to help psychologists draw inferences, or conclusions, from the data obtained from their research" ("Statistics in psychology," 2008, Encyclopedia of Psychology). For example, inferential statistics are collected when researchers test if watching a particularly violent film makes a group of subjects more apt to agree that violence is a valid response when asked questions about their behavior in various situations afterwards. Their responses to researchers' questions can be statistically compared with the responses of individuals who watched a non-violent film who were asked the same questions ("Statistics in psychology," 2008, Encyclopedia of Psychology).

Although psychology attempts to study the human mind, and some approaches to psychology in the past, like psychoanalysis' construction of the human mind into the divisions of the ego, id, and superego, cannot be objectively tested, many famous scientific experiments have been created that use statistics. For example, Stanley Milgram's famous electric shock experiments discovered that people given instructions to commit horrific acts were more compliant with authority when instructions were given in certain formats, versus other formats (Milgram Experiment, 2008, New Life). The ability to yield objective data and validate a hypothesis has enabled statistics to play a critical role in making psychology accepted as a science. Statistics are an invaluable tool in creating a rigorous approach to psychology that is genuinely based upon scientific, 'hard' data.

Works Cited

Research: The scientific method. (2008). SIEM HI Research Retrieved 15 Oct 2008 at http://islands.unep.ch/siemh1.htm

The Milgram Experiment. (2008). New Life. Retrieved 15 Oct 2008 at http://www.new-life.net/milgram.htm

Statistics in psychology. (2008). Encyclopedia of Psychology. FindArticles.com.

15 Oct. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2699/is_0003/ai_2699000331

Statistics

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Research: The scientific method. (2008). SIEM HI Research Retrieved 15 Oct 2008 at http://islands.unep.ch/siemh1.htm

The Milgram Experiment. (2008). New Life. Retrieved 15 Oct 2008 at http://www.new-life.net/milgram.htm

Statistics in psychology. (2008). Encyclopedia of Psychology. FindArticles.com.

15 Oct. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2699/is_0003/ai_2699000331

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