What makes a research finding important, is whether the knowledge we have gained can influence positive changes in society. For example, the discovery that one psychological therapy is much more effective than others of it’s kind, might cause us to administer that therapy to more patients, improving more people’s quality of life.
A key example is that of Albert Bandura’s famous Bobo doll study. The study found that children would act more aggressively and violently towards a blow up doll, after they had seen a video of an adult behave the same way than if they had seen an adult play with the doll in a non aggressive way. The overall findings of this study were that children had a strong tendency to imitate what they saw, especially if the adult was of the same sex as them. These findings sparked the beginnings of more research into the effects on violent media on children, and increased public awareness of susceptibility of children to what they are exposed to, and may have prevented many violent crimes from happening. Therefore Bandura’s study was vastly important, for both furthering our knowledge of human behaviour, and making changes in society.
In a way, all research findings are important, it is important to further our knowledge of human behaviour, even if there are no implications. Therefore, maybe the least important research findings are those that prove something that has already been proven. Although in some ways they are useful in strengthening a theory, they have little to offer us, as psychologists, and the wider society.