Are Psychology Studies All That Worth It?

I’d like to cover my back here and state that I do think psychological studies can show very unique things and can have a big impact on society and our knowledge of the brain etc. It’s the past few months however that I’ve started to question how much this research is actually used in the real world. Unfortunately finding research backing up this subject can be tough, but I don’t think that’s a reason not to do this blog as ultimately, shouldn’t the main aim of research be to find new information and to inform the general public about it so it can be used?

                For example, Jesse Martin’s research project this year for us second years is a way to take psychological research and finding a way to take it into education as currently there’s psychology research and educational research and never shall the two mix it seems! Whilst I am obviously not involved in research, it appears that psychologists spend a lot of time on research, ensuring it’s accurate and their results are well written up and potentially published. This is an amazing feet, I cannot knock that, but it seems that once the work is written it, it stays as a book on a shelf or as an online article for undergraduates to cite in their own research projects or essays.

                There are many options which could be implemented, or improved if already in place. One options is that a faculty is set up in order to integrate the latest research and to inform the general population about it. Whether that be liaising with education boards, producing information books/leaflets or setting up conferences with senior staff in businesses for example. I think it does go too far to expect it to be the job of the researcher to do this, but I do think their research papers could be more user friendly in order to be understood by those outside of psychology and the scientific community.

                Ultimately, I think psychology is almost a very cut off aspect of science. Whilst it has grown leaps and bounds and improved vastly in its research, this is not being used in the real world as it should be and therefore in a way, so far, current research is merely stocking up and of little use.


6 thoughts on “Are Psychology Studies All That Worth It?

  1. Finally a blog that’s not on qualitaitve and quanititave data! 🙂
    This is a question I often contemplate myself. Research is fascinating, and could often have so many uses but apart from us lot that seem to have our modules arranged around the newly researched teaching methods i.e. small groups, they don’t really seem to get much further and if they do, it takes forever. Yet how many times do you pick up a newspaper and find some strange, pratically useless, research being reported yet the stuff that is useful is overlooked. I do think if the media for one took more of a role in promoting research the rest of the world would slowly follow suit.
    Yet research is often funded so someone must want it for something. This is the reason I quite enjoy reviews of research after a few decades at it often talks about some o the ways research has been implicated.
    But I think as psychology is new, and is still by many not consdered a ‘real’ science, then this is the reason research often appears to sit on a shelf. Plus as psychology would tell you people don’t like to change their ways even if the outcome will be more benficial.
    So not an evaluative comment, will probably bring my average down, but your blog envoked a lot of discussion in me. Probably going to go away and think of ways to get research being used more often – possible topic for next semster’s blogs 🙂 But at least by being a psychology student now hopefully I will keep a keen intrest int eh subject even if I don’t end up with a career in it and can thus implement new research into my job and day-to-day life a I see fit. Tis a start anyway!

  2. i agree that sometimes it feels like no one uses psychology research in the real world and that its only seen by undergrads despereatly trying to find anything to back up their own work. I think its important to remind ourselves that there are pleanty of government advisors who probably read journals to see if theres any new discoveries that the government should know about. Only then does it enter public consciousness.

    Also, i think psychology does seem to be cut off from the rest of science, although i would attribute this to the fact that psychology has only really became its own subject in the past 100-150 years, so is quite young compared to the other sciences.

  3. I do agree that i often read some studies and wonder how that has benefitted the real world. There are thousands to research studies always studies a different aspect of previous research and although i do sometimes think that it just seems like the same study is being repeated hundreds of times i suppose the findings may suggest something entirely different.
    I am however quite glad that there is a lot of research done on practically everything as it alllows us to find information on topics that we have to study. Also if there is all these research studies sat waiting in journals to be found then maybe one day they will get mensioned wereas if they have to been carried out in the first place then nobody would know the answers to some of the research questions.
    Lets just hope that when we carry out studies our studies will be as important as Banduras 1963 study on agression or milgrams 1963 study of obedience!

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  5. I totally agree that research reports should be made more accessible and user-friendly. Apart from consumer psychology very little research actually seems to make it out into the real world and I do think that part of this might be because research reports are often difficult to read and are written in such a way as to be nearly incomprehensible to a layperson (this might also contribute to why research is often misinterpreted or misrepresented in the media).
    It would be useful to develop a better system for applying and publicising research. A report on group decision making might not gain much public interest, but companies would probably be very interested in a report on how valuable the much used brainstorming technique really is (that might ruin a few management training courses though).

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