Essay on research methods and experimentation in psychology

There are two main research methods which can be used to determine the behavior of an individual. These are direct and indirect methods; direct method is where behavior is being observed as it occurs while indirect is when character traits are observed and linked to a person’s behavior (Zechmeister & Shaughnessy 158). My friend wanted to answer his question, “ Can my friend have a positive influence on the friendliness of a conversation?” through observational research method.
In his study, my friend decided to use direct method. He went out and studied people’s behaviors while comparing with his own behaviors to prove his hypothesis. It was so wrong to think this way since he was likely to make observational biasness (Zechmeister & Shaughnessy 47). This is because he was not only observing others and their behaviors but also himself. It is a fact that there is no any scientific way that you can observe yourself without being biased.
According to the research methods, there are many factors which my friend could have considered while proving his hypothesis. These include where the people come from, where are they heading to? What is the mood of the people that day? By observing the rules above, the research could have been conducted in a controlled environment and come up with a precise conclusion (Zechmeister & Shaughnessy 68).
My friend could have included a third person to make the observation while he is interacting with the people to avoid biasness and arrive at the right conclusion. Personally, I would not choose another observational research method but would like to change how he organized the settings of his research. I will have him carry out several tests first as another person observes. He can then say things which can help make the conversation friendly and in this way a good conclusion can be made.


In any research method including observational, there are both positive and negative scientific observation and conclusion which help to come out with an informed result. Depending on any type of research method chosen, bad outcome relies mostly on the person carrying out the research than the method itself (Zechmeister & Shaughnessy 58).

Work Cited

Zechmeister, J., Zechmeister, E., & Shaughnessy, J. Essentials of Research Methods on Psychology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 2001. Print.