Methods in Behavioral Research
What is the purpose of each of the sections in a typical research article?
Scott and Hofmeyer (2009) state that research articles are a very vital part of acquiring knowledge in the academic world. This means that intellectuals need to learn the intricacies of research journals. Learning the format of an average article will enable readers learn to derive the important information from the articles. If this happens, researchers will have maximum benefits from the research sources.
The first section of every research article is the title. It should illuminate on the topic discussed as well as the important variables of the subject. The author or authors of the research article are indicated after the title. The abstract is the next part of any typical research article. As in any academic writing, the abstract is a summary of the article. Its word count is usually 100 to 120 (Scott and Hofmeyer 2009). Any person reading the abstract should decide if the article is relevant or not to their research.
Scott and Hofmeyer (2009) indicate that the introduction functions as the body of an article. First, the problem is introduced and broadly discussed in one or two paragraphs. The research question and the hypothesis may also be included in this section. In the same section, they offer background research. These similar studies performed in the past relating to the current topic. The background research provides rationale for the author to test the hypothesis in the article. Naturally, the purpose of the study is formally introduced using the rational already stated and the specifics of the hypothesis or hypotheses established.
The methodology section of the article, Scott and Hofmeyer (2009) state that it follows the introduction. The purpose of this section is to provide a detailed account of how the study was conducted. In this section, the authors indicate the participants or the subjects used for the research. The materials, apparatus, or any physical part of the study is also described. Finally, they provide a detailed account of everything that took place in the study for other academics to replicate their actions if they wish to do so.
The results section of a research article is the statistical reporting section. They report their findings after statistically, analyzing the data collected. Findings that relate to the hypothesis are presented. This section of a research article is however very complicated and may require a specific graduate course for anyone to understand.
The discussion section is the next part. This section reviews, interprets, and evaluates the results of the study. They also state if the results support or contradict the study (Scott and Hofmeyer 2009). It also state similarities and differences of the study performed and those performed in the past. Finally, the last important section is the list of references. This gives credit to other works that the authors may have used or sources that may provide additional material on the topic.
What are the steps to critically evaluate research articles and how does the scientific method help you do this?
Errors may occur while performing studies to be presented in research articles. It is therefore very beneficial for individuals to have the skills to evaluate research articles and establish their validity. The scientific method for investigating studies is very important for evaluating a research paper. Scientific method is vital and reliable. This procedure consists of systemic and precise steps that lead to an exact conclusion at the end of the study (Scott and Hofmeyer 2009). Using this method, problems can always be detected if all steps are followed precisely. As a result, this method is important in evaluating research articles.
First, the research question must be stated clearly. Readers must also be on the lookout for errors that involve logic. Secondly, Scott and Hofmeyer (2009) state that the sample presented for the methodology section must be adequate to represent the said topic. This should be determined by using power analysis. A reader must also look out for variables that may influence the research findings.
A good research article must provide methods to control variables that may come in play. Research designs used must also align with research question for the results to be substantial. Scott and Hofmeyer (2009) contend that Criteria measures should also be employed to prove validity and reliability of the results. In addition, appropriate data analysis tests should be applied regarding the data obtained. Tables presented in this section should be relevant to the topic and well labelled. The discussion and the conclusion should be consistent to the findings of the study as well as the hypothesis presented in the beginning. Ethics should also be met irrespective of the importance of the study.
PART II: What is the importance of research in behavioral sciences?
Kaplan, Spittel, and Spotts (2013) argue that behavior is an important factor in all the world’s leading health concerns. These include heart diseases, lung diseases, obesity, AIDS, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, neurological diseases, among many others. Behavioral research is therefore important to addressing many of the nation’s concern in very any areas. Statistics illustrate that genetics or neuroscience influence behaviors in individuals, which then dictates their actions that result to success or failure in life (Kaplan, Spittel, and Spotts 2013). It means then that society’s greatest issues only chance of being solved is through the study of behavioral sciences.
In the past two decades, psychological scientist has attempted to establish how behavioral and social sciences are related to mental and physical health outcomes. Their findings among others have been used to establish behavioral and social ways of treating mental and physical disorders to avoid critical health problems in the future. Kaplan, Spittel, and Spotts (2013) state that this awareness has also created a platform for individuals to be educated on the prevention of behavioral changes therefore avoiding the impacting consequences.
Other areas of specialty including the biological and pharmaceutical industries are intervening on this desperate attempt to help people develop better social skills to improve their outcomes after decision-making. In conclusion, this study is vital since it provides and understanding of why people act the way they do and an avenue for scientists to find solutions for these problems (Kaplan, Spittel, and Spotts 2013).
What is the relationship between applied research and basic research? Provide an example, from your selected studies, of how each contributes to the body of knowledge.
Both applied and basic researches are empirical to the scientific process. The relationship between the two is that they may both discuss a similar subject but in different depths and goals. A basic research is used to improve the understanding of a certain topic with no regard to its findings application in the real world. Unlike basic research, applied research is aimed at addressing real world problems with the findings being used to improve the society.
Sundsteigen, Eklund, and Dahlin-Ivanoff (2009) in their study on mental health services, they examine the treatment environment of patients with mental health problems and its impact on their future. This paper only examines the basic features of mental treatment with no intention of creating different perspectives on their treatment that could be considered a psychological science breakthrough. This is a basic research. On the other hand, Watanabe et al. (2009) provides a detailed evaluation on assessing patients with mental illnesses providing predictors that may be used by doctors to access the probability of the patient recovering from the illness in the future.
What ethical issues can you identify in the selected articles? How were the issues addressed or neglected?
I identified ethical issues on Watanabe et al. (2009) research paper since the study was performed in a single arm with no control conditions used. In addition, the findings might have been influenced by antidepressants used by the patients. It is therefore important for an authority body to investigate the efficacy of the treatment.
PART III: Identify three possible research topics that you might want to explore further as you go through this course.
The most intriguing research topic that I might want to explore further are mothers living with AIDS in third world countries, post-traumatic stress disorder in the military, as well as history of families with drug addiction illnesses. List appropriate sources, including databases that you might use when exploring these topics.
The most appropriate sources need to be retrieved from very reliable sources. Google scholar is a good beginning to search materials in every topic. In matters of psychology, the Health and Wellness Resource Center, Health Source, and or PubMED are also reputable sources. Databases like Sage Premier, Ebscohost, and Emerald are databases used worldwide to provide information on many topics that I could use for my research.
Scott, C. M., & Hofmeyer, A. T. (2009). Acknowledging complexity: Critically analyzing context to understand interdisciplinary research. Journal Of Interprofessional Care, 21(5), 491-501.
Kaplan, R. M., Spittel, M. L., & Spotts, E. L. (2013). Advancing Scientific Inquiry by Blurring Research Boundaries. American Journal Of Public Health, 103(S1), S4.
Watanabe, N., Furukawa, T. A., Chen, J., Kinoshita, Y., Nakano, Y., Ogawa, S., & Noda, Y. (2010). Change in quality of life and their predictors in the long-term follow-up after group cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder:a prospective cohort study. BMC Psychiatry, 1081-90.
Sundsteigen, B. B., Eklund, K. K., & Dahlin-Ivanoff, S. S. (2009). Patients' experience of groups in outpatient mental health services and its significance for daily occupations. Scandinavian Journal Of Occupational Therapy, 16(3), 172-180.