Behavioral Science and Psychology: Analysis and Comparison of Research Methods

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It is hard to argue that how research is organized and carried out defines its results and credibility. In the context of research in behavioral science and psychology, or, to be more specific, in sociology and anthropology, the wrong choice of a research method can turn the entire project into a mess; and, on the contrary, with a good research method and a strong theoretical basis, one can obtain rather peculiar and very important research results.

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The first research method to be considered is the sociological method of sampling. One of the most commonly used methods, the given means of research involves collecting necessary information that will be further on used for the research with the help of various questionnaires, opinion polls, etc. Typically referred to as a quantitative method of conducting sociological research, the given research strategy allows for more or less accurate statistical information. Another research method that is often used in sociological research is a method of structured observation, which is defined as a process during which “a nonparticipant observer systematically notes the occurrence of certain aspects of the behavior of individuals according to a predetermined schedule” (Rosenberg, 1983).

The philosophical justification of sampling is that with its help, one can gather a large amount of data within a relatively short amount of time. Moreover, surveys and other types of sampling must allow for more objectivity in research. Finally, statistical data helps evaluate the scale of a specific problem. Therefore, if the research is carried out carefully enough, the sampling technique can offer rather graphic illustrations of specific problems in the selected area and even help develop efficient solutions.

Like any other social science, anthropology also offers such methods as surveys for research purposes. However, some of its research methods are very unique. Among the most peculiar ones, cross-cultural comparison and archival research must be mentioned. As one must have already guessed, cross-cultural research presupposes analyzing a specific phenomenon or object from the perspective of two or more cultures (Barnard & Spencer, 2003). In cultural anthropology, cross-cultural research can help identify similarities and differences in the development of two or more different cultures and spot the points at which these cultures crossed or the moment when one culture branched from another, etc. In its turn, archival research presupposes that all the sources of data should be carefully analyzed to detect the source of a specific misconception (Bernard & Bernard, 2006). For instance, in cultural anthropology, the context of a certain event that changed the culture the way its adepts know it can be identified with the help of archival research.

The philosophical justifications for cross-cultural research as a research method mostly revolve around the fact that a cross-cultural study allows evaluating the data objectively (Lewellen, 2003). A cross-cultural study helps see a certain phenomenon in a different light, which helps assess the issue in question more accurately.

It seems that both sociological and anthropological research methods help obtain credible and objective data. Both anthropology and sociology use a compare-and-contrast technique in research. Sociology, however, tends to use the evidence-based on the results of numerous surveys and questionnaires, while anthropology research methods do not have to involve opinion polls and other forms of surveys.

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Reference List

Barnard, A. & Spencer, J. (2003). Encyclopedia of social and cultural anthropology. New York, NY: Routledge.

Bernard, H. R. & Bernard, H. R. (2006). Research methods in anthropology: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Lanham, MD: Rowman Altamira.

Lewellen, T. C. (2003). Political anthropology: An introduction. Westport, CN: ABC-CLIO.

Rosenberg, M. (1983). An introduction to sociology. New York, NY: Routledge.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, April 29). Behavioral Science and Psychology: Analysis and Comparison of Research Methods. Retrieved from https://psychologywriting.com/behavioral-science-and-psychology-analysis-and-comparison-of-research-methods/

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PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Behavioral Science and Psychology: Analysis and Comparison of Research Methods'. 29 April.

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PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Behavioral Science and Psychology: Analysis and Comparison of Research Methods." April 29, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/behavioral-science-and-psychology-analysis-and-comparison-of-research-methods/.

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