Psychology: Human Mental Processes and Behavior

Introduction

Psychology involves the scientific probing of human mental behavior and processes. This entails observing and experimenting on human biological characteristics, psychological functioning and experience, as well as the historical and cultural characteristics of that person (James, 2011). This however, presents a paradox of whether man’s actions are made of free will or determination. A related issue is whether students with lower reading skills do so on purpose or there is an underlying universal reason they lag behind others.

Research Question

Which activities and interventions help students with lower reading scores significantly increase their reading scores?

In researching the interventions to help students improve their reading scores, psychological researchers would have to ask the research question that would guide the study then make observations on repeated basis to describe and measure the reading behavior among learners. After the useful information is collected, they would have to come up with a hypothesis to explain the observations. The hypothesis is then tested through experimentation and data gathered is analyzed for conclusions. After conclusions, the researcher communicates the results for use by academicians, future researchers and other education stakeholders.

Research Hypothesis

The activities and interventions that can be made to ensure students improve their reading scores include structured specialized training through tuition to enable the student to can gain access to explicit, structured and systematic targeted teaching. This requires the teacher to realize that a significant change is needed for success climate that enables all students to learn and reach age-appropriate targets when taught in the right manner.

Research Methods

The researcher would use observations and experiments to arrive at conclusions on the activities and interventions that would assist students to improve their reading scores. Observations would allow the researcher to utilize his senses in examining the students in a natural setting and record findings as time progresses (Erickson, 2012). Moreover, observation would provide self-conscious notations with room for tactical and methodical improvisation being made to create a full comprehension of the learning setting. Observations are useful in providing an in-depth understanding of a phenomenon as well as the participants’ behavior. Moreover, this method provides rapport and open communication with the participants (Bryman, 2012). However, observations cannot be approached statistically and generalization cannot be made on a large population.

Experimentation would involve manipulation of variables, controls and measures to record any changes in other variables (Erickson, 2012). The researcher would set aside a control group who take an ordinary class teaching to help note the progress of the students using the structured specialized training with one effect tested at a time. Experiments are useful in allowing the researcher to draw cause and effect conclusions (Bryman, 2012). However, the results derived from experiments may fail to generalize to real-life situations. Moreover, experiments are time consuming, expensive and cannot be used under ethical considerations. 

Ethical Issues

The psychological researcher should conduct the study in an ethical manner, by letting the students know that the purpose of the observation is to document their activities (Bryman, 2012). First the researcher should explain to the student the purpose of being present while they are reading. Moreover, the researcher should share sufficient information with the students about the research topic, thereby introducing themselves as researchers (Erickson, 2012). The research should ensure that the anonymity of the students is protected and preserved in the final write-up as well as the field notes to ensure that their identity is protected, in case the field notes are subpoenaed for inspection. The students’ identities should be described in a manner that no one can identify them. Copies of the research should also be given to the participants and their teachers for future reference. 

 

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