Research in the psychological and behavioral sciences, as in any science involves identifying a relevant research question or hypothesis and designing a study in order to test the hypothesis or answer the question using empirical methods, analyzing the data, and drawing conclusions based on the results of the analysis. The central goal of any scientific endeavor is to reach the most valid and reliable conclusion possible given the constraints of the method used.
Research is more about a way of thinking than it is about particular designs, statistics, or methods. The scientific method provides a tool that can be used to solve problems, understand everyday experiences, or test the effectiveness of some treatment. Research is an engaging process in which there are both predicable outcomes and accidental discoveries.
Research in the psychological and behavioral sciences can have a dramatic impact on our lives and the world in which we live. When you avail yourself of the opportunity become engaged in research in the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences, you will see, learn, and do things that you never imagined.
Through research you develop objectives and work toward clear and well defined goals. But along the way you can acquire insight and acumen for solving both everyday problems and, in some cases, meeting and resolving major challenges confronting us as the human community. This process can lead toward your becoming a student for life. In UWF’s School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences, opportunities abound for students, both undergraduate and graduate, to become involved in many different ways in research with a faculty mentor.
To assist you in pursuing an undergraduate research experience, we have created a frequently asked questions page. Here you will find many answers to questions you might have about picking a topic, finding a faculty mentor, or volunteering for an ongoing project. We have also created a page that gives a very detailed description of an Independent Directed Study which describes how you can pursue research and obtain academic credit.