Value of description

Value of description. Stress that description is a legitimate goal of psychology and therefore correlational methods are perfectly acceptable. Specifically, emphasize that

  1. Early investigations in any science focus on descriptive research (e.g., biology, medical science, astronomy);

  2. Description facilitates prediction because past behavior is often a good predictor of future behavior; and

  3. Description facilitates explanation because once we know what happens, we may take steps to find out why it happens. (To demonstrate this fact, have students generate causal hypotheses based on the correlational research findings described in Table 7.1).

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