Reliability is an essential element of test quality. An instrument for measurement is reliable if it provides consistent results. But a reliable instrument need not be valid. For example, if a clock shows time nonstop then it is reliable, but that does not mean it is showing the correct time. Reliability deals with consistency, or reproducibility of similar results in a test by the test subject, if a test is administered on two occasions; the same conclusions are reached both times. While a test with poor reliability will have remarkably different scores each time with the same test and same examinee.
If a test is then it has to be reliable, but the vice versa is not true. Although, reliability might is not as valuable as validity, but nonetheless reliability it is easier to assess than validity for a test. Reliability has two key aspects: stability and equivalence. The degree of stability can be located comparing the results of repeated measurements with the same candidate and the same instrument. Equivalence means the probability of the amount of errors getting introduced by various investigators or different sample items being studied during the repetition of the test. The best way to test for reliability of a test is that two investigators should compare their observations of the same events. Reliability can be improved in the following ways:
(i) By standardizing the measurement conditions to reduce external factors such as boredom, fatigue, etc. which leads to achievement of stability.
(ii) By detailed directions for measurement which can be generalized and used by trained and motivated persons to conduct research and also by increasing the purview of the sample of items used, this lead to equivalence.
Once the problem is formulated, a brief summary of it should be written down. It is compulsory for a research worker writing a thesis for a Ph.D. degree to write a synopsis of the topic and submit it to the necessary Committee or the Research Board for approval. At this juncture the researcher should undertake extensive literature survey connected with the problem. For this purpose, the abstracting and indexing journals and published or unpublished bibliographies are the first place to go to. Academic journals, conference proceedings, government reports, books etc., must be tapped depending on the nature of the problem. In this process, it should be remembered that one source will lead to another. The earlier studies, if any, which are similar to the study in hand, should be carefully studied. A good library will be a great help to the researcher at this stage.
Research is an academic activity and therefore the term should be used in a technical sense. Research comprises of defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions, collecting, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions, and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis. Research is also defined as the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of an art. Research is, thus, an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for its advancement. It is the pursuit of truth with the help of study, observation, comparison and experiment. In short, the search for knowledge through the objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem is research. It is the systematic approach concerning the generalization and formulation of a theory. Overall, research is enunciating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting facts or data, analyzing the facts and reaching certain conclusions, either in the form of solution(s) towards the concerned problem or in certain generalizations for some theoretical formulation.
The ability to write and communicate well is an important skill for psychology students. There are several specific types of papers that you might be required to write at some point during your academic studies. Learn more about different types of psychology papers and find tips for planning, writing and editing your papers.
Types of Psychology Papers
1. Lab reports describe the events and outcomes of a research project or experiment and have the same Â Â Â Â Â structure as a scholarly journal article. The purpose of the report is to explain how and why you Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â performed the experiment, the results of your experiment and your interpretation of the results. Sections Â Â Â of a lab report include a title page, abstract, introduction, methods, results, references and discussion.
2. Essays in psychology are similar to essays in other subject areas; the purpose of the essay is to clearly Â Â Â Â and concisely summarize a topic. A good essay will utilize logical arguments and will have an Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
3. A research paper explores a specific theory, concept or topic in depth. The first section should Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â summarize the goals of the paper, while the second section presents and summarizes the issues, topics, Â Â Â or arguments. The final section should critically analyze the information and research that has been Â Â Â Â Â Â presented and offer a conclusion.
4. A literature review should evaluate and summarize research that is related to a particular concept, Â Â Â Â Â Â Â theory or topic. These papers are critical in nature and should present an overview of the field of Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â research and a specific thesis. Arguments for the thesis should be presented in the main section of the Â Â Â Â paper.