Experimental psychology has always been a tricky field to tackle, with some experts saying it can be an effective way to test theories without necessarily understanding their logic or underlying theories.
But, it’s a field that is increasingly challenging.
A new paper from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, however, aims to change that.
The team proposes a new framework for experimental psychology that can help researchers better understand the underlying foundations of their work.
The paper is titled “What Is an Experiment?” and was published online today (Aug. 15) in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
The paper proposes a framework for the study of experimental psychology as a discipline that is “inherently experimental in its structure and conceptual structure.”
In other words, the researchers think the way experimental psychology is conducted could be used to explore some of the most challenging questions in the field.
“Experimental psychology is often called a ‘discovery’ approach, but the fundamental question is why should we make a hypothesis when there are no evidence that the hypothesis is true?,” said lead author Jennifer Fauci, an assistant professor of experimental social psychology and professor of psychology at Stanford.
“In the same way, if there is no evidence to support our hypothesis, then the hypothesis must be invalid.”
Fauci and her colleagues are hoping that this framework will help researchers develop hypotheses and tests that are less reliant on the assumptions that experimental psychologists use to conduct experiments.
“A hypothesis is a hypothesis that is based on a set of assumptions and assumptions about the world that are then tested,” Faucs co-author Alex Linder, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford, said in a statement.
“This is an important step in developing hypotheses and testable hypotheses, which in turn can inform the way we test hypotheses.”
Focuses on the social sciences, the Stanford researchers also point to the success of many of the fields in which they study experimental psychology, like psychology, cognitive science, and sociology.
The Stanford researchers believe that this could be a model for other areas of research.
“We’re going to be able to test hypotheses in a very systematic way, and it will be much more useful to test those hypotheses in other areas like psychology,” Fucci said.
“Experimental approaches are useful for understanding what makes us tick and how our brains work, but they’re also useful to understand what makes our brains tick in general.”
While many of these fields are still in their infancy, the research in experimental psychology could help researchers to better understand how our social world works.
The researchers say that their work could be an important tool for researchers to understand how human behavior is influenced by the way people think, feel, and act.
“The ability to understand these things is what’s important to people.
And we’re trying to build tools to help us understand how those processes work in a more systematic way,” Faucci said in the statement.