Experimental Methods in Psychology

By Gustav Levine; Stanley Parkinson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
The Logic of Experimental Psychology: The Problems Encountered in Theorizing About Internal Events

Experimental psychology could be described as the study of the basic processes of psychological functioning. Examples would include the details of how people think, solve problems, make decisions, convert impacting stimuli into perceptions, and store experiences in memory and then retrieve them. Psychologists develop explanations of how such things as thinking, problem solving, learning, and remembering take place and test their explanations. The major purpose of this chapter is to explain the logic that underlies much of contemporary research in experimental psychology and to offer examples of such research.

The chapter begins with definitions of some important words whose meanings are not always clear. This is followed by some examples of research by experimental psychologists. These examples are then used in a discussion of some logical difficulties that are often encountered in drawing conclusions from experiments.


HYPOTHESES AND THEORIES

The explanations of psychological phenomena that are developed by psychologists are sometimes called hypotheses, and sometimes

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