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Can someone explain to me the difference between the structure of an empirical study in psychology and its conception?

My interpretation is so far that structure means the test arrangement and conception the basic concept of how the study is designed. Would you agree?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about psychology or neuroscience. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Jul 31 '18 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ Since this is part of a question posed by my professor in educational psychology, I need to contradict. Please remark the specific reference on empirical studies in psychology. $\endgroup$
    – Rico1990
    Jul 31 '18 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Your professor could also ask how the weather is going to be this weekend - that doesn't relate it to psychology. You are asking about words in English and your particular professor's interpretation of those words. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Jul 31 '18 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not asking about words in English. I ask about these two words in the context of psychology since their use and definition might differ from the normal every day or general scientific use. $\endgroup$
    – Rico1990
    Jul 31 '18 at 16:51
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As has been touched on in the comments to this answer, "structure" and "conception" are not precisely defined terms in psychology. They do have meaning, but researchers will differ in how they conceptualise them. This would be my interpretation

Structure of a psychological study

The structure of a study sounds broadly synonymous with the "method". I.e., all the details of how data was collected and potentially how it was analyzed. That said, "structure" does suggest something more general. I.e., often we think of the structure as the broad elements on which the details sit. From this perspective, the design of the study and possibly the measures hint more at structure. For example, is it longitudinal or cross-sectional? If it is an experiment, how many between and within subjects factors are there? Was there random allocation to groups, etc.? What was the order of measures? These are all features that you might use to describe the broad structure of a study.

Conception of a psychological study

Conception, in this context, generally refers to the process by which a study comes into existence. I.e., how does the research go from having no study to have a study.

There are many ways of doing this. One approach is to read the literature, identify a gap or topic of importance, come up with a research questions, and consider practical and useful study design that might contribute knowledge about that research question.

Other times, you might be working in an established paradigm, and the methodology itself might be tightly linked to the research questions that you choose to explore.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok, thank you for your answer. That was a good explanation. $\endgroup$
    – Rico1990
    Aug 2 '18 at 10:35

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