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PSYC FPX 4600 Assessment 1 Literature Review


Capella University

PSYC FPX 4600 Research Methods in Psychology

Prof. Name


Literature Review

Psychology encompasses a wide array of research methods, each tailored to the specific subject and nature of the study (Cherry, 2019). This assessment will focus on various psychological research methods and concepts used to predict human behavior, providing a comprehensive literature review of the research hypothesis.

Psychological Concepts

Psychological research methods vary, with some widely used approaches being naturalistic observation, surveys, experimental methods, and case studies. Naturalistic observation involves observing research subjects in their natural environments, such as workplaces or classrooms (Scribbr, 2022). According to our research hypothesis, the naturalistic approach is suitable for studying grades. Surveys are used to gather data from a large sample of participants randomly selected.

Experimental methods combine surveys and naturalistic observation, with researchers defining a hypothesis to test and identifying dependent and independent variables to generate research results. This widely used approach is grounded in hypothesis development (Verywellmind, 2019). Case studies, on the other hand, focus on specific individuals or groups over a defined period.

In psychological research, several key concepts are essential to consider, including biological, behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, and psychodynamic concepts (Gigerenzer, 2019). Psychological concepts refer to the written or verbal understanding of abstract intangible thoughts and ideas. These concepts assist researchers in understanding human behavior and the factors influencing the mind. Biological concepts focus on human behavior, genetics, and hormonal influences on genetic traits. Analyzing biological concepts helps trace every action and emotion back to its roots.

Behavioral Concepts

Behavioral concepts aid in understanding how individuals learn various behaviors from their environment, including conditioning or reinforcement of desired or undesired behavior (Gigerenzer, 2019). Cognitive concepts play a significant role in human decision-making. Psychodynamic concepts consider how individual internal drives influence behavior (Caputo & Tomai, 2020). For instance, positive or negative childhood experiences can shape an individual’s behavior.

Humanistic concepts involve analyzing an individual’s entire personality rather than specific aspects. In this research, psychological concepts will help prove the hypothesis, which states, “Ethnicity has a significant impact on creating a difference in students’ grades and achievements.” To explore this, psychodynamic and biological concepts can be studied to evaluate the impact of ethnic differences on students’ academic performance.

Predict Human Behavior

In psychology, understanding human behavior often involves observing and applying psychological concepts. To predict human behavior, the use of biological and psychodynamic concepts is necessary for accurate and appropriate results (Parlia, 2020). To focus on ethnic differences, one must consider the childhood experiences of students living in a multicultural society (Parlia, 2020). Analyzing the educational outcomes by comparing and contrasting students’ grades from different ethnic backgrounds can reveal deviations.

Value and Limitations of a Theory

Biological explanations can oversimplify behavior by neglecting the influence of childhood experiences. This reductionist approach does not consider the cultural environment’s impact on human behavior (Harris & McDade, 2018). Biological evaluations should account for cultural and environmental factors influencing behavioral changes. Psychodynamic concepts focus on psychological factors while neglecting the genetic and biological factors influencing behavior (Cherry, 2019). Both these concepts are crucial to consider in researching the hypothesis, as ethnicity and students’ academic performance are interconnected. Studying both biological and psychodynamic concepts can help explain the influence of cultural traits, genetics, and mental capabilities on students’ grades.

Plausible Hypothesis

The research hypothesis states, “Ethnicity has a significant impact on creating a difference in students’ grades and achievements.” Here, ethnicity is the independent variable, and students’ grades and achievements are the dependent variables.

Literature Review Supporting Thesis

Redding (2022) examined the impact of ethnicity on students’ grades, particularly focusing on Latino students. This research analyzed behavioral concepts, finding that assigning students with teachers of the same race led to higher grades. Psychodynamic concepts were evaluated, as students felt more comfortable and connected with teachers who shared similar mindsets and cultural ideas. This fostered strong relationships with teachers, enhancing academic performance. Biological concepts studied in this research included mindset and biological similarities among individuals of the same ethnicity.

Leath et al. (2019) investigated the academic outcomes of ethnic students, considering factors like racial identity beliefs, racial discrimination, and other demographic traits. They found that racial differences negatively influenced academic engagement, resulting in lower performance. Racial beliefs and social identities in schools could hinder students’ academic growth due to the potential of facing racial discrimination and negativity. The research discussed behavioral aspects from psychodynamic concepts in psychology to evaluate the reasons behind the impact of ethnicity on students’ academic performance.


Caputo, A., & Tomai, M. (2020). A systematic review of psychodynamic theories in community psychology: Discovering the unconscious in community work. Journal of Community Psychology, 48(6), 2069–2085.

Cherry, K. (2019, November 27). Perspectives in Modern Psychology.

Gigerenzer, G. (2019). How to explain behavior? Topics in Cognitive Science, 12(4).

PSYC FPX 4600 Assessment 1 Literature Review

Harris, K. M., & McDade, T. W. (2018). The biosocial approach to human development, behavior, and health across the life course. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 4(4), 2–26.

Leath, S., Mathews, C., Harrison, A., & Chavous, T. (2019). Racial identity, racial discrimination, and classroom engagement outcomes among black girls and boys in predominantly black and predominantly white school districts. American Educational Research Journal, 56(4), 1318–1352.

Parlia. (2020, April 7). Psychology can predict human behaviors.

Redding, C. (2019). A teacher like me: A review of the effect of student–teacher racial/ethnic matching on teacher perceptions of students and student academic and behavioral outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 89(4), 499–535.

Redding, C. (2022). Is teacher–student and student–principal racial/ethnic matching related to elementary school grade retention? AERA Open, 8, 233285842110675.

PSYC FPX 4600 Assessment 1 Literature Review

Verywellmind. (2019). How Psychologists Use Different Research in Experiments.

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