Archive | February 2012

Should psychology be written for the layman or should science be exclusively for scientists?

As psychology involves a lot of statistics and complex ways of data collecting, when a report is written up on a piece of research it can be quite a difficult read for someone who has no knowledge in the field. However, the report does not have to be complex it could be written up quite straight forward without all of the complicated statistical and psychological terms. In my opinion this is how a report should be written up, in the simplest way possible for anyone to be able to read it and understand what went on during the research.

There are so many psychological researches that take place, from looking at improving the understanding of how the human brain works e.g. bilingualism, or working along side parents e.g. to improve their relationship with their child. Psychologists research a very wide range of topics and therefore will be interesting and relevant to a vast amount of people. If psychologists research into so many different fields they should write up their reports for people who are related to these fields to be able to understand. An example of this would be the research into bilingualism by Renata and Allport (1999). A person who is bilingual may find the research interesting and want to read the report written up about the research.

Over the years psychologists have argued whether psychology is a science. A paper written by Finkelman (1978) discusses the issues about psychology and science. People will still argue this debate for many more years to come however my opinion is if psychology was known as science they should still write their papers for everybody to be able to understand not just scientists.

Another reason for why psychologists should keep their papers written in the simplest form is because for some researches to be conducted the lab need money, and a way of getting this money is sometimes through a government grant. If this were the case surely the government would like to read the paper that will have been written at the end of the research to see what their money was spent on along with other things such as improvements they have helped by funding the research. If the paper is written in the best scientific form they are not going to understand it without experience in the psychological field. An example of wanting government funding for research was when psychologists wanted to see what effects video games and internet had on cognitive and social development (Rabasca, 2000).    

To conclude, I believe that psychologists should keep their papers and reports written in the simplest form as it is much more enjoyable for people to read plus it also gives everyone the option to read it. If they write their papers up all scientific they are cutting down the amount of people who can read their paper. If I wrote a paper and it was published I would like to know that who ever that wanted to read it could.  

 

References

Finkelman, D. (1978). Science and psychology. American Journal of Psychology. 91, 179-199

Rabasca, L. (2000). Psychologists seek government funding to study interactive technology’s affects. American Psychological Association. 31. Retrieved on February 11 2012, from http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep00/techstudy.aspx

Meuter, R. F. I., & Allport, A. (1999). Biligual language switching in naming: Asymmetrical costs of language selection. Journal of Memory and Language. 40, 25-40

Are blogs useful as a learning and/or teaching tool

This is a very controversial topic, as many people will say that blogs are a useful learning and teaching tool however I disagree with them. To begin with, blogs are a way of putting your opinion across to other people who read them; therefore blogs need to be powerful to get the reader to agree with you. When someone writes in such a powerful way their opinion is going to be strong and therefore they are not going to write with two sides of the argument or topic. When someone then goes on to read this they are not learning anything, as all they are reading is one person’s opinion on something. If the blog is used as a teaching tool the same thing goes, it is just someone who has a strong opinion about something trying to get the reader to agree with them.

 In the above paragraph I described what happens when someone writes a blog, however there is an opposite effect when someone writes a blog but they don’t really want to be writing one, for example if it was part of a statistics and research methods module on a psychology degree. When someone is writing a blog and they don’t really want to be writing one firstly they will be writing about something that they don’t really have a strong opinion on. When a reader goes on to read a blog like this they are again reading what seems like someone’s opinion but is it really someone’s opinion or is it just someone who is writing just so they could get a grade at the end of it. Also when writing like this the blogger could just be throwing all sorts of information in just to get the blog done and out the way. This is the problem about blogs, you don’t know who has written them or where they are from, therefore how can the content of a blog be trusted as a learning and/or teaching tool.

To conclude, blogs should not be used as a learning or teaching tool because of the reliability issue. Blogs can be written by anyone all over the world and most of the time (when they are not written as part of a statistics module) it is someone’s opinion that is being put across and people should not be fooled by this. There are many other useful learning and/or teaching tools out there therefore stay away from the blogs as they are not reliable.