1. Research in psychology

This chapter looks at the fundamentals of psychology.  What is psychology and how do psychologists do their job? The focus of this chapter is on research methods.

It is important to understand research methods so that you can evaluate studies in psychology.  You may find yourself referring back to these chapters throughout the course to remind yourself of the strengths and limitations of the research methods.  This will be important not only on Papers 1 and 2, but also on Paper 3 - which is only for HL students.

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Chapter 1.1 Introducing psychology

This chapter looks at the nature of psychology.  The key topics of study are:

  • The scientific nature of psychology
  • What makes a good theory in psychology?
  • What do psychologists do?
  • Whom do psychologists study?
  • Ethical considerations in research
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Chapter 1.2 Quantitative research methods

This chapter focuses on quantitative research methods - experiments and correlational studies.  The key topics of study are:

  • The difference between quantitative and qualitative methods
  • The experimental method
  • The nature of correlational research

Chapter 1.3 Qualitative research methods

This chapter focuses on qualitative research methods - that is, observations, interviews and case studies.  The key topics of study are

  • How observations, interviews and case studies are carried out.
  • How useful are qualitative methods in understanding human behaviour?
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