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Fundamentals of Research Methodology Paper

Essay by   •  June 9, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,235 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,980 Views

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Fundamentals of Research Methodology Paper

Throughout the history of human thought, academics and the great thinkers have been on a journey to figure out how the human mind operates. In the beginning it was philosophy that dominated the landscape and even overshadowed psychology in its infancy. Psychology was first seen as more philosophical than scientific. The fact that psychology doesn't always provide concrete answers had something to do with this. Today psychology is one of the most important subjects of study and has become very popular amongst the sciences. I find it interesting how psychology came to be and how the old psychology has in some way merged itself into all aspects of the new psychology.

"Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt, the son of an Evangelical pastor, was born near Manheim, Germany, on 16 August 1832. He was from an academic family with members who were scientists, professors, government officials and physicians" ( Wundt, 99). Wundt's was said to have been a bit of a daydreamer who often drifted off into space during class instructions. His teachers labeled him as inattentive and aloof. His inattention in school was so bad that he actually failed in his first school year and was subsequently sent to live with family in the province of Heidelberg. The change in location was good for Wundt's and he excelled and eventually graduated by the time he was 19 years old. Wundt's later decided to attend medical school and pursue a career in medicine. He again excelled at this and then decided to focus on physiology and more specifically, he wanted to focus on the academic side of physiology and he became a lecturer. Though he loved lecturing, Wundt's was paid a very low salary so to subsidize his life he began to teach students privately right out of his home. The very first course that he taught was a course in experimental physiology and he only had 3 or 4 students in attendance. Wundt's figured that it would be best to continue to teach both privately and formally as most of his work was closely connected to the studies of astronomy and philosophy. Actually it was astronomy and philosophy that were the early precursors to what we now call psychology. After several experiments Wundt's decided to intertwine physiology and philosophy and created psychology. He is known primarily for his work with experimental psychology although he did from two different branches himself. Wundt's used his life's experiences and those as a philosopher in regards to the mind. He also used his vast experience in the study of physiology in regards to the human physic and created a different line of study. Wundt's thought that there was a definite connection between the mind and body and that they could be studied in relation to each other. He also felt that by controlling the conditions of an experiment, new ideas could be brought forth and either verified or dismissed.

The scientific method actually has 4 separate and different steps. The first step would be the observation phase. This is the phase where a description is detailed of a research group or a subject of study. The second phase is the place where the hypothesis is formulated to try to explain the subject matter. Sometimes the hypothesis can be a mathematical calculation or be mechanical. The third phase is where we use the hypothesis to try and make a prediction regarding outcomes. The fourth phase is the performance phase. Here is where the experiments take place and is the place where several different and qualifying tests can be performed. "Psychologists develop theories and conduct psychological research to answer questions about behavior and mental processes; these answers can impact individuals and society. The scientific method, a means to gain knowledge, refers to the ways in which questions are asked and the logic and methods used to gain answers. Two important characteristics of the scientific

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