AMU Wk 4 Psychological Historical Research Human Behavior Discussion

AMU Wk 4 Psychological Historical Research Human Behavior Discussion

AMU Wk 4 Psychological Historical Research Human Behavior Discussion


Question Description

I’m studying for my Psychology class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?

The study of how ideas developed over time is a type of conceptual or psychological historical research. Complete these tasks:

  • Identify a key concept within the field of psychology and describe in detail the types of primary sources you could use to understand its history, explaining what each source might add to the study.
  • Then, explain why conducting rigorous historical research involves

    more than

    reading historical documents, taking notes, and organizing those notes.
  • Provide two examples to illustrate your point.


Response #1 (150 words +)

As a continuously evolving field of science, psychology has required new research methods to further expand human understanding. While psychology encompasses several aspects of life, human behavior is a key and core component in the field. The central focus of this vital component enabled the establishment of the behavioral psychology subfield and its focus on understanding the motivations of human behavior and action. Most importantly, human behavior encouraged the study of psychology in a way that it can be objectively observed and measured via the scientific method. These accomplishments were due to the influence and work of figures such as John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner and Ivan Pavlov who helped researchers understand and comprehend what shapes human behavior (Cherry, 2020). Given the comprehensive and organized collection of their work, researchers in human behavior can better understand their methods, success, and limitations through firsthand publications of Watson, Skinner and Pavlov. As a result, these publications serve as excellent primary sources of information for study and future research.

While the work of early behavioral scientists continues to be an important topic in psychology, their status as historical research is in part to some considerable advantages. Most of their research was accomplished during the early 20


century when public perception of science was tolerant, especially when compared to previous centuries. Not only was their work free of influence, but it was also documented and disseminated at a quicker rate due to advances in printing and emerging globalization. However, there are some drawbacks to using historical research. First, the research in question may have obtained its findings by utilizing unethical and/or obsolete methods. This may require researchers to seek newer forms of information elsewhere. For example, while Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual development was revolutionary and readily embraced during his era, it has been debunked and discredited due to the methods (or lack of) of obtaining his results.

Secondly, the reliability of historical research comes into question when the material is based off incomplete, fragmentary, or secondhand information. In addition to lacking sufficient and relevant information, what is available may be glossed over, seen in a favorable light, or even condemned due to biases of the content. The Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was condemned by the Church as a heretic for adopting the theory of the Earth revolving around the Sun. For running counter to the Church’s scripture and beliefs, Galileo’s work was banned by the organization and he was forced to spend the rest of his life imprisoned (Van Helden, 2020).

While there are benefits to utilizing historical studies and documentation in research, they must be treated in the similar fashion as references for an assignment. A researcher must evaluate the veracity of the material and whether a significant bias to the scientific method is present. Usually, this results in the researcher examination and testing the argument. This boils down to the essence of research: To comprehend commonly held beliefs and examine them for the truth.



Cherry, K. (2020, Jun 25). The Origins of Psychology.



Van Helden, A. (2020, Mar 11). Galileo.

Encyclopedia Britannica


Response #2

Learning and memory is an interesting field of psychology related to the brain and how humans are able to memorize and therefore learn a subject or activity. Looking at how learning and memory relates to brain disabilities like Dyslexia would call for studies in learning in the brain. For example there are certain parts of the brain that are affected this learning disability and any primary sources from research methods, doctors, learning articles, would all be helpful in the research of dyslexia.

Research requires more than note taking simply because there is more know-how to research. Research can be somewhat of an art to master. Finding the correct sources that are unbiased, correct, fact checked, and so on is the first hard task. Then being able to sort through the information in a way that can benefit your study is also something that can be difficult, which leads to making sure you have a good hypothesis and outline so you know what information is best for your specific study.

An example of a primary source is a study of children with dyslexia and how it affects their learning, memory, and brain. –


Response #3

Hello everyone and Happy Thanksgiving,

Psychology is scientific field that touches on many aspects of our lives, one key concept that I find interesting is the nature vs nurture debate. Nature is the genetic framework that each individual has when they are born. Nurture is the environment in which we grow in and it is a wide and complex debate on how these two relate. Nature can be sequenced and determined yet nurture is intangible and makes it hard to study or even realize its influence without careful consideration. An interesting documentary immediately comes to mind when I think about nature versus nurture. A year or so ago I watched a documentary which told the story of triplets that were intentionally separated at birth so that they could be observed for scientific purposes. Although this experiment did raise extreme ethical violations, it was interesting to see the results of the experiment. Basically, the triplets were adopted out to three families all from varying socioeconomic and education levels. Here is the trailer if anyone is interested

. It’s a pretty interesting watch and certainly indicates that many are interested in studying the idea of nature versus nurture. The documentary is a testament to the power of both nature and nurture. Primary source include published case studies on twin studies and siblings who grew up in similar environment.

A good overview and historical understanding of how scientists have researched this topic and what progress has been established in this topic can be found within historical published articles and notes, recordings. When research is conducted and published there are aspects of the studied topic that may be left out or assumed to be common knowledge and therefore relying only on historical research and published documents may not allow you to know this. An example would be conducting an interview with parents of twins whose case study has been published in journals based on the interesting way their personalities/behavior defer though they share genetics. By interviewing them you get to experience their feelings by observing them and taking that into account as you review their answers. Interviewing or interacting with the researcher may also be a secondary way to incline more on the subject you are studying to know what things they might have left out of their polished articles, notes and materials. This will inform your research methods and practice. -Annbritah

Works Cited

nature-nurture issue. (2006). In G. Davey,

Encyclopaedic dictionary of psychology

. Routledge. Credo Reference: