Research Methods and Statistics Teaching observational research in introductory psychology: Computerized and lecture-based methods
Instructors report that two of their most important goals in the introductory psychology course are to engage students in scientific inquiry of psychological processes and to convince students that psychology is a science (Miller & Gentile, 1998). Having students conduct their own observations can be an effective way to use active and collaborative methods to meet these goals. In this article, we describe a study conducted in our introductory psychology classes using observational research as a technique to foster learning about the scientific method. We compared teaching observational research using a standard lecture format and using an interactive software program that we originally developed for the basic research methods class.