Video:Tips for Conducting a Psychology Experimentwith Dr. Robert Reiner
Conducting a psychological research experiment involves research, design, and standardized procedures. Learn about the 10 steps of setting up a psychology research experiment in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:Tips for Conducting a Psychology Experiment
This is Dr. Robert Reiner from Behavioral Associates in New York City. I'm here to talk about how to construct a research project for About.com.
How to Set Up a Psychology Research Experiment
There are ten steps to typically go in to designing a study. The first step necessary is to actually pick a subject. In this case it was how to use bio-feedback and virtual reality to cure symptoms of fear of flying or public speaking anxiety.
The second step necessary is defining variables. Now there are two types of variables: an independent variable is what your treatment is and a dependent variable is how you measure it. In our case the treatment variable was using bio-feedback and virtual reality to cure symptoms of public speaking anxiety and fear of flying. The dependent variable is how you measure it. In this case we used two measures: one of them was patient report - in other words can a patient get on a plane, were they able to fly without nearly as much discomfort. The other was biological measures. We used bio-feedback equipment to measure drops in anxiety.
The third piece in a research study involves putting together a hypothesis.
The fourth important piece is doing a literature review and find out what's been done in the field before.
How to Design and Implement a Psychology Research Experiment
The fifth step in scientific research involves constructing a design. In this case, according to our design, we believe that taking patients who have anxieties about flying or anxieties about public speaking would improve significantly by giving them treatment options which included virtual reality and bio-feedback: which is exactly what happened.
The sixth important point in conducting a research study is standardized procedure. All of the subjects had to receive exactly the same type of treatment, the same length of treatment, etc.
The seventh important consideration is how you pick your subjects. In this case we wanted to make sure that we were dealing with a population who all complained that they felt too anxious about either boarding a jet plane or giving a speech in public. Another consideration is making sure that the institution, in this case an internal review board, is ok with the procedures and methods that you are going to conduct your research with.
The next step involves actually providing statistical tests that you've picked out before to analyze the data.
After that, the final step is writing up your research and getting it published. Basically sharing it not just with the scientific community but with the community at large.
This has been Dr. Robert Reiner from Behavioral Associates in New York City talking to you about how to conduct a research experiment for About.com. Thank you.