Psychology, like most other sciences, has its own set of tools to investigate the important research questions of its field. Unlike other sciences, psychology is a relatively new field with methods and practices that are evolving at a rapid rate. With this textbook, we introduce students to the fundamental principles of what it is like to think like a psychology researcher. We also hope to connect with the Canadian audience to show them the fantastic research being generated in Canada as well as provide them with an accurate picture of the Canadian context for ethical human research.
In recent years, the conversation in psychology has shifted to an introspective one, re-examining the knowledge that we consider foundational. As many introspective conversations do, this one caused a crisis of faith. Psychologists are questioning if we really know what we thought we knew or if we simply got lucky. We are struggling with understanding our publication biases and the training that we provide our students. Instead of shying away from this controversy, this textbook invites the reader to step right into the middle of it.
With every step of the way, the research process in psychology is fraught with decisions, trade-offs, and uncertainty. It is not an easy route to traverse, but we hope this textbook will be a road map that can inspire the direction if not give absolute instructions. As the field grapples with its identity, we will use better tools, more transparent practices, and more open conversations to improve our understanding of human behaviour.