Gathering evidence to test hypotheses

In psychological work settings, we often have to summarize research and articles to ensure that the services we provide are aligned with current science and practice. The format in which this information is provided and the way it is utilized varies according to the end-user.

This assessment is designed to help you describe scientific research methods as presented in scholarly literature in the field of psychology. It will also help you differentiate between scholarly and non-scholarly sources.

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In much of the scholarly literature that describes scientific research methods, you will notice a mention about the thesis statement and hypothesis. A thesis statement in an article is the sentence that describes what the paper or presentation intends to prove. It is the overarching main point of the author’s work. This differs from a hypothesis, which is used to predict outcomes in experiments.

Example

Thesis example: Heads-up displays should not be used in cars because they distract drivers from the road.

  • Note: The thesis tells a reader what a paper or article will be about. It lets the reader know right away what the conclusion will be.

Hypothesis example: We predict heads-up displays in cars will distract drivers from the road and cause more accidents.

  • Note: The hypothesis provides a prediction (what happens in the future) that can be tested in an experiment.

Directions

To complete this assessment, do the following:

  1. Read the following two articles:
  2. Complete the Source Analysisinteractive media guide, following the prompts and directions. This media piece will guide your completion of the assessment.
    • In Section 1 of the form, record information from the scholarly article.
    • Then, answer the questions in Section 2 of the form, based on the non-scholarly article.
    • When you have completed the media guide, it will generate a document. Submit this document as your assessment.
    • Use proper APA citations throughout.

    As you prepare to complete this assessment, you may want to think about other related issues to deepen your understanding or broaden your viewpoint. You are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional community. Note that these questions are for your own development and exploration and do not need to be completed or submitted as part of your assessment.

  • What was the hypothesis in the research article?
  • How credible was the popular press article?
  • How do the scholarly article and the popular press article relate to the thesis?

Psychology is often viewed as a career in which the professionals become therapists in order to treat mental health issues. In fact, psychology is a broad and diverse science that offers a wide variety of career options and opportunities. Because psychology is considered a science, learners must understand the concept of systematic behavioral observation and the scientific process.

The goals of psychology are to describe, understand, predict, and change or control behavior. Part of psychology is helping people, families, groups, and social situations make changes for the better. If you think about it, control is essential to functioning in a social and cultural world. Imagine cities with no traffic signals or children being permitted to wander aimlessly around streets. This would be a chaotic and scary world. Thus, we want to be able to manage human behavior in ways that are productive and helpful without being exploitive or damaging.

Because human behavior is so remarkable, psychologists also get to choose to study from a wide variety of specialties. For example, psychologists can specialize in childhood or adult development; learning; biopsychology; clinical, organizational, or health psychology; or many other areas. You name it, psychologists study it. This is both the joy and challenge of our field.

The scientific method consists of six steps:

  1. Observing, which we do all the time.
  2. Defining a problem that we perceive from our observations.
  3. Proposing a hypothesis or an educated guess about why the problem exists.
  4. Gathering evidence to test our hypotheses.
  5. Developing or evaluating theories about behavior based on the research results.
  6. Publishing the results of our research.

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