Psychology students typically hate research methods; conducting hand calculations at the behest of their sadist lecturer, students long for the day when it will all just go away.
I’m of a different breed; I LOVE research methods and statistics. I like to measure pretty much everything around me, from daily rainfall as a child to number of academic emails received over an annual period; the process of data collection and analysis is an enjoyable and rewarding experience (no, I haven’t been smoking crack; it’s true! And I aim to convince you of this, too). Data collection plays a large role in my job, too.
As a cognitive psychologist, I am interested in understanding how the human mind works. This requires generating and testing theories of cognition. Data and—yes, you guessed it—statistics play an integral role in this process: as Sherlock Holmes said, “It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data”. Good research methods allow for the collection of good data; good statistical application to the data allows one to understand the data and how it relates to current theories.
The aim of this blog is to provide an outlet for all things research-related, and to convince you that it’s not all as bad as you currently think it is, tearing your hair out in lecture theatres at the sound of your dusty professor droning on about ANOVA, ANCOVA, SPSS, p-value….yadda yadda yadda. I will be sticking primarily to psychological research methods—there will be instructional videos, articles, statistical tidbits, and a whole-host of other treats; I hope my passion for research methods infects you in the nicest way possible, and that you see research methods for what it is: a way to understand our world.