Research refers to the systematic process of investigation in which appropriate materials and sources are used to establish facts and make subsequent conclusions. There are many types of research in psychology including behavioural research. Behavioural research is the type of study that focuses on human behaviour. Through behavioural research, scholars can predict, understand and explore human behaviour. Behavioural research includes the application of psychological and behavioural methods to understand response to stimuli by people or animals. Behavioural research has resulted in many theories of behaviour that allow researchers to develop a deeper understanding of behaviour it causes, effects and relationship with other factors (Davis, Campbell, Hildon, Hobbs, & Michie, 2015).
Value of research in explaining behaviour
Behaviour is a complex phenomenon that is dependent on many factors including internal factors as well as environmental factors. Explaining behaviour requires a wider and deeper understanding of all the factors that cause a particular behaviour as well as the effects of these behaviours on people. This information can only be found through extensive research using reliable methods for collecting data. Rather than explain behaviour using perception or wisdom, which are unreliable and less valid, psychologists must rely on research to explain behaviour because research is reliable, valid and trustworthy. Research produces reliable evidence that is back by data thus yielding better results than using subjective perception, wisdom and people’s experiences to explain behaviour.
Scientific versus non scientific methods
Psychologists can either use the scientific and non-scientific approach when conducting research. The scientific approach to research is a standardized approach of making observations, gathering data, developing appropriate theories and making conclusions from the results (Haig, 2019). The fact that the scientific method uses reliable, valid and trustworthy methods means that the research can be replicated by other scholars. The scientific methods results in valid conclusions since the approaches used for data collection are well known, valid and proven to be consistent. Non-scientific explanations on the other hand is based on methods that do not follow the scientific method such as the use of testimonies, talks and personal experiences of people. In most of the cases, these approaches are subjective and less reliable.
Quantitative and qualitative research
Quantitative and qualitative research are the two main domains of research that are commonly used among the scholars (McCusker & Gunaydin, 2015). Qualitative research mainly involve exploratory methods to research that focus on providing additional insights into the problem under research. This information may be used for developing more ideas for quantitative research. Qualitative research often collects categorical data. Quantitative research on the other hand collects numerical data that allows the research problem to be quantified and transformed into useful statistics and information. Quantitative research uses measurable data allowing the results to be quantified to a wider population.
Davis, R., Campbell, R., Hildon, Z., Hobbs, L., & Michie, S. (2015). Theories of behaviour and behaviour change across the social and behavioural sciences: a scoping review. Health psychology review, 9(3), 323-344.
Haig, B. D. (2019). The importance of scientific method for psychological science. Psychology, Crime & Law, 25(6), 527-541.
McCusker, K., & Gunaydin, S. (2015). Research using qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods and choice based on the