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Research Methods

Research Methods

Sample Answer 

Research Methods

Different types of research methods are used in psychology. Notably, these methods are broadly classified into descriptive and experimental studies (Straub, 2014). However, other research methods, namely epidemiological studies and meta-analysis, have been devised to meet additional psychological research needs.

Descriptive studies utilize the method of observation of the behavior of research subjects in their natural environment. Detailed descriptions of these observed behaviors are recorded about the participants for subsequent use. Typically, the findings of descriptive studies lay the foundation for additional research about the subjects based on the hypotheses drawn (Straub, 2014). A descriptive study is, therefore, a foundational research method.

On the other hand, experimental studies examine and identify causal associations in the behaviors of research participants. In essence, an experimental study tests the hypotheses that are generated from the findings of descriptive studies. This research method utilizes scientific methods such as the manipulation of causes (independent variable) and effects (dependent variable) (Straub, 2014). Experimental studies, therefore, provide more actionable findings.

An epidemiological study is a statistically-oriented research method that involves collecting and synthesizing information about the number of new and prevailing cases of a disease condition at a given time and the origin, morbidity and mortality associated with the condition. Epidemiological research increases the understanding of sub-group differences in the impact of health problems. The method can also be used to examine the impact of interventions (Straub, 2014). Epidemiological research principles have since been expanded beyond the scope of disease research.

Meta-analysis is a quantitative secondary research method that consolidates the findings of existing studies investigating the same topic or phenomenon. This method involves reviewing multiple existing studies, examining their consistency, and consolidating the evidence (Straub, 2014). A meta-analysis, therefore, involves integrating evidence.

In order to examine the connection between nicotine use and related diseases, the epidemiological study method would be appropriate. In such a study, nicotine users would be enrolled in a study to investigate the incidence and prevalence of related diseases among users (prospective study). Alternatively, individuals with nicotine-related disorders can be studied retrospectively to pinpoint exposure to nicotine as a risk factor for the disorder.


Straub, R. O. (2014). Health psychology. Macmillan.


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Research Methods

Near the beginning of chapter 2, the text describes several research methods used in health psychology.

  1. Descriptive study
  2. Experimental Study
  3. Epidemiological studies
  4. Meta-analysis

    Research Methods

    Research Methods

Explain each method and describe the difference between the methods.
Choose one that would be the most effective to conduct research regarding the connection between nicotine use and related diseases, including tobacco use disorder.
Health Psychology by Straub, Richard O. (2014)

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