The basic methods of psychological research

Concept of methods of research. Value of introduction of laboratory experiment and measurement in psychology. Supervision and experiment, their features. Methods of processing and interpretation of results of experiments. Rules of the conversation.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
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Язык английский
Дата добавления 31.10.2011
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Methods of research

Methods of research - these are techniques and methods by which researchers obtain reliable information used for further construction of scientific theories and develop practical recommendations. Through the use of methods of natural and physical sciences, psychology, since the second half of last century, evolved into an independent science and has been actively developed. Until then, psychological knowledge obtained mainly through introspection (introspection), speculative considerations, monitoring the behavior of others. However, the subjectivity of these methods, their lack of reliability and complexity are the reason that psychology has long been filosofstvuyuchoyu, neeksperymentalnoyu science, able to assume, but do not prove cause-effect relationships that exist between the mental and other phenomena. However, due to over-expressed theorizing she was actually divorced from practice. The intention to make psychology more or less accurate, practically useful science that not only describes but also explains the phenomenon was associated with the introduction of laboratory experiment and measurement. Since the late 80 pp. XIX century. in psychology were established and the application of special technical devices and machines for laboratory experimental research. A pioneer in this was the scientist W. Wundt, who organized the work in Leipzig the first psychological laboratory. Technical devices allow the researcher to conduct controlled and controlled scientific experiment. At the mathematization and technicalization research in psychology and has not lost its importance traditional methods of collecting scientific information, including such as observation, introspection and questioning. However, these observations and, especially, introspection, almost always need to check the accuracy and reliability. Where possible, these data should be controlled by other, more objective methods, including mathematical calculations.


experiment psychology method

Observations - the most common method in the sciences and one of the two main methods in psychology. It is the oldest method of knowledge of the psyche, which is used not only in science but also in life. This method is studied mental activity of children and adults, which is manifested in the movements and actions, utterances and actions of others. The method - direct, systematic and sustained perception. Of course, directly observe the psyche can not. Only in the activities, actions and deeds in the broad sense (and when to abstain from certain actions in terms of psychology is regarded as a specific act, a kind act) expressed personality of man, his psyche. The method involves monitoring the knowledge of individual features of the human psyche by studying its behavior. In other words, the objective, externally marked parameters (action, actions, speech, appearance), psychologist concludes individual characteristics of flow of mental processes (perception, memory, thinking, imagination), the mental state of man, the features of its personality, temperament, character. The peculiarity of the method of observation is that the study of the external manifestations of the human psyche is in the natural living conditions. Psychological monitoring should be targeted: the observer must visualize and understand what he was going to watch and why, otherwise the observation is converted into random fixation, secondary facts. It follows that psychological observation necessarily conducted under a special plan, scheme or program that provides the observer is studying the issues and facts, which he pre-allocated. Without a plan or program lost baseline observation, causing you to lose the most important and significant in mental activity. Monitoring should be conducted systematically, because psychological observation, usually requires more or less long time. The longer the observation, the more facts can gain observer, the easier it will separate the typical accidental, the deeper and more reliable will be its conclusions. Continuous monitoring is used, for example, when studying the age characteristics of children, in particular features of their speech and thinking, emotional expressions, interests, character traits and abilities. The results of this long observation recorded in his diary, which analyzes the mental development of children (often several years) or execute in the form of psychological characteristics. Types of observations:

1. Direct - the researcher observes phenomena and processes under normal conditions. a) researcher - participant - for example, conducts a lesson with educational work, b) the researcher - a witness - not included in the activities c) the researcher - the organizer, observer - indirect observation;

2. Open - held among the population to be studied;

3. Pho - performed by cameras;

4. Continuous - made from beginning to end;

5. Discrete - carried out intermittently.

By 20 years of the twentieth century was the dominant method of observation. But over time he began to refuse because people are always trying to prove themselves on better side. The downside of this method lies in its empirical. You can trace only the external manifestations of conduct and progress of ideas, inspiration remain closed from the observer. Observers should always be checked by other methods. Method of observation: · Outcomes - defining goals and objectives · Drawing up the plan, timing, object and subject, · Establish a program of observation: - Questions to find out - Technique of fixation events (entries in his diary, on tape). Requirements of observation:

1. Commitment - there are concrete manifestations of personality in various activities;

2. Smoothness;

3. Independence - Observation - independent tasks, rather than accompanying activities;

4. Naturalness - carried out under normal conditions, without the intervention of the researcher;

5. Systematic;

6. Objectivity - fixing the real facts

7. Fixation is carried out during the observation, not after it.


The experiment relates to empirical research methods. There is a comprehensive method of study and involves the use of a number of other methods. This method of gathering evidence in a specially designed environment. By creating conditions, the researcher must know the factors that acted during those events that have been studied. He has the opportunity to observe how certain conditions affect the course of events. This is achieved by changing one condition for invariance of the other. The experiment is the source of the scientific facts. Features: § Identification of the facts; § Checking the reliability of results; § Test the hypothesis. Types of experiment: · Laboratory (primary); · Natural. Laboratory The first psychological laboratory was opened in 1886 in Leybtsyzkomu University, W. Wundt.

Laboratory experiments used to study the individual states. Stimulating material may be rows of numbers, words, images. His conduct in a specially organized and somewhat artificial conditions, it requires special equipment and sometimes the use of technical devices. Often, though not always, it is performed in specially equipped for this purpose rooms (laboratories) using sophisticated equipment. Laboratory experiments allow for recording devices accurately measure the time course of mental processes, such as rate of human reactions, the rate of development of the education and labor skills. It is used in cases where necessary to obtain accurate and reliable flow rates of mental phenomena in strictly defined circumstances. An example can serve as a laboratory experiment studying the process of identification with a special setting that allows the screen (like television) gradually produce a different number of experimental visual information (from the smallest item of information to display in all its details) to determine where stage one recognizes the subject depicted. Laboratory experiments promotes a deep and comprehensive study of mental activity of people. The success of modern scientific psychology would have been impossible without the use of this method.


1. Minimizing the random factors influencing the result;

2. Net branch of experimental factors;

3. Ability to control all factors in the experimental situation;

4. Possibility of directional control persons participating in the experiment;

5. Gives you the ability to penetrate deeply into the nature of the relationship between phenomena. Disadvantages:

1. The significance of setting the experimenter to study; 2. Under real conditions, subjects behave differently; 3. The presence of the experimenter, focus on his authority affects the objectivity of the study of behavior; 4. We study the existing business. Unable to explore the process of its formation. Disadvantages of laboratory experiment is largely eliminated in the organization of natural experiment. There remains the natural conditions of observation and accuracy of the experiment is introduced. The natural experiment is constructed so that experimental unaware that they are psychological research - it provides a natural behavior.

The organization of the natural experiment

The organization of the natural experiment also may use technical means (but if the examinee does not know about it). For the correct and successful natural experiment to observe all those requirements, which are submitted to the laboratory experiment. According to the research goals experimenter selects the following conditions which provide the most vivid manifestation of certain sides of mental activity. Methods of survey interview, questionnaire, interview Very often there is a need for data that can not be obtained by observation and experiment. These data provide methods of questioning. Methods of survey are divided into: · Optic survey - interviews; · Part survey - questionnaires. These methods are used after the formation of hypotheses and a plan of study. Interviews are used, usually after questioning, and they both used after the experiment. Interview in psychology is the way to a social and psychological information through verbal questioning. In the history of the interview as a psychological method can distinguish three main stages of development: 1) first interview was used in psychotherapy and psycho, in turn, this contributed to the emergence of psychological consultation; 2) the use of interviews in sociological and social-psychological research, where he first emerged on the validity of methods of organizing and conducting interviews and accuracy of the information obtained; 3) the current stage of psychological research is characterized by the coordination of practical, theoretical and methodological problems of the interview in order to use it as a special method of obtaining information through verbal communication. Types of interviews: 1. Free - no regulated subject and form of conversation, not standardized. Provides pre-formulation, which can be changed in the survey. The researcher can follow the general plan of the interview, it may hold in a free form. Advantage - provides a more natural response, deeper understanding of the phenomenon. Disadvantage - the difficulty of quantitative information processing 2. Standardized - in form it is close to a questionnaire with closed questions. Characterized by well thought-through questions that are put to all respondents in the same wording and order. Questions and their order can not be changed. Advantage - easy to compare results and quantifiable treatment. Disadvantage - the lack of flexibility in setting questions. 3. Napivstandartyzovane - compensating for the shortcomings of both types of interviews to include mandatory questions and variables. Required are all respondents and variables - depending on the depth of their answers. However, the boundaries between these types of interviews are mobile and depend on the complexity of the problem, objectives and the research phase. The degree of freedom is due to interview the participants list and the form of questions, the notional level of information received - richness and complexity of responses. During the conversation may obtain different situations on the position of the interviewer: a) the respondent knows why he acted or should act, and not otherwise; b) the respondent is not enough information about the reasons of their own actions; c) the interviewer aims to get symptomatic information although the respondent did not evaluate it as such. Or that the situation involves the use of different methods of interviewing. In the first case is sufficient to use an orderly, well-directed series of questions. In two other situations require methods that involve the cooperation of the respondent in the process of finding relevant information. Examples of such methods is the clinical interview and diagnostic interviews. Diagnostic interviews - a method of obtaining information about individual properties used in the early stages of psychotherapy. This method serves as a special means of establishing close personal contact with the interlocutor. In many situations, clinical work, he is an important way to penetrate the patient's inner world and understanding of its difficulties. There are: 1) controlled - from fully programmed (by type of questionnaire - unchanging and unchangeable strategy tactics) to completely free (constant strategy and tactics is free); 2) uncontrolled, "confessional" where the initiative belongs to the patient. In clinical practice, fully standardized diagnostic interview is used very rarely. Clinical interviews - a method of therapeutic conversations in the case of psychological help. In psychiatry, psychoanalysis and medical psychology, this method is used to help the patient understand its internal difficulties, conflicts, hidden motives. The clinical interview is the most free form of conversation, in conversations of this type of psychologist is interested not only direct patient response content (facts, opinions, feelings, verbal number - Dictionary, association of ideas, etc.), but his behavior (tone, gestures, movements etc...) An important prerequisite for successful implementation of the method is to establish positive personal relationships between members of the conversation, which requires the psychologist to be patient, resourceful, to adapt to the interests of the patient. In some cases, the method may have a direct effect of psychotherapy, with the patient not only understands the reasons for their difficulties, but also identifies ways to overcome them. The overall strategy and progress of the method are based on preliminary data and so the diagnosis.

Questionnaire - a method of psychosocial research by using structural and organized questions, each of which is associated with the purposes and objectives of research - questionnaires. Depending on the nature of the necessary information and ways to obtain various types of questionnaire: - Solid (covered by large groups of people); - Sample (covered by a specific group of participants); - Oral (by type of interview); - Writing (work with blank questionnaires); - Individual and group; - Full-time (by direct interaction); - Correspondence (mail, telephone, media, etc.). The process of drawing up the questionnaire - the translation of basic hypotheses persuasion questions. This procedure requires knowledge of types of questions, ability to formulate them in sequence.

Types of questions: 1. Those who find the facts. Put the end of the questionnaire; 2. Those facts show that the behavior, acts of the respondent; 3. Those who find the attitude of the respondent to objects, objects, and its possible actions and their causes. In a separate group of distinguished projective questions when respondent offered a set of situations that can happen with him. Interrogator calls his behavior. These questions are intended to penetrate into the motivation of the respondent to reveal his intentions, thoughts. Questions may be: · Open - the nature, shape, type of advance is not provided; · Closed - with options of possible answers. Chosen only one; · Semiclosed - chosen one or more answers, the respondents should express their opinion. The structure of the questionnaire: 1. Introduction - appeal to the respondent, which indicates who conducted the survey and how the results will be used. Emphasizing the importance of the answers, guaranteed anonymity, specified rules. 2. The main part - Issues relating to research. First are those that are interested in questioning; then - the most complex, designed to clarify thoughts, estimates at the end - the most personal, test questions (specification information). 3. The demographic part - questions about the objective status of individuals (sex, age, education, etc.). Principles of Form: - Fixing of the most significant questions; - The wording of questions should be clear to all respondents according to their level of knowledge; - Questions should be formulated so that they could answer in principle; - Should facilitate complete information; - Should cause a positive reaction, a desire to answer. Application should provide such a response that is true and on surveys and problems, which is the subject of study. Questionnaire is based on theoretical ideas about the nature of the subject of study, according to this grading scale chosen, the types of questions to determine the number and order of questions that are treated. Also in a case study selected the most adequate procedure of questioning with regard to all the circumstances of the situation of cognitive act. Each separate type of survey provides a research situation, and the structure of the questionnaire, including the consistency and richness of emotional issues, means of processing and analyzing data. Conversation - the method of establishing mental features in the process of direct communication. Helps identify the particular character, motives, attitudes. Widely used in various fields of psychology: social, medical, pediatric, and others. In some cases, the conversation is the main means of obtaining factual information is also used as input in guinea situation of psychological experimentation: of clear instructions to communicate freely in the psychotherapy situation.

Rules of the conversation:

1. Opening the discussion, you must select the topic that is pleasant and fun for the respondent. This helps to create mutual understanding;

2. What is important is the timing and venue;

3. Questions biographical nature are not put at the beginning of the conversation because they tire;

4. Language researcher and content of his questions should be accessible and understandable;

5. Conversation should be compiled taking into account age and individual characteristics of the respondent;

6. If necessary clarification should not be prompt and ask suggestive questions;

7. Questions should be formulated in a neutral manner;

8. The researcher must be attentive and flexible, prefer indirect questions;

9. Better to ask a few brief questions than one major;

10. Questions are deployed to provide answers;

11. It is impossible to establish contact, switch to slang patient;

12. The most important questions are repeated but in another form.

During the conversation, the researcher receives no objective facts, and thoughts of a man who tries to meet expectations. Diagnostic methods - tests Diagnosis - one of the important problems of the use of psychological knowledge in various fields to study the man best use of its capabilities. Psychodiagnostic methods are used almost everywhere. Without them it is impossible to monitor the effect rozvyvayuchym training, receive data valid, talk about the effectiveness of other methods. The main method is the method of psychodiagnostic tests, introduced in psychology by F. Galton. Test - a special kind of experimental research, which is a special task or system problems. Guinea performs the task, the performance of which usually take into account. Tests are used not only for any new psychological data and patterns, but more often to assess the level of development of any psychological quality of human compared to the average level (established norm or standard). Tests used in study skills, cognitive development level, skills, level of learning, as well as the study of individual characteristics of flow of mental processes. Test study differs relatively simple procedure, short-term it, is done without complex technical devices requires the simplest equipment (often just a form with text problems). The result of solving the test involves quantitative expression and thus opens the possibility of mathematical processing. Testing as a method of diagnosis, were widely used in the twentieth century., Most are used in education, medicine, and industrial production. This contributed to the emergence of psychology in a particular industry - testolohiyi, which is developing various kinds of tests. Group test: 1. Tests of intelligence - are used to study the level of intellectual development. The most common group tetsiv. In Western countries they are used for the selection of mentally retarded children and children with differentiation abilities. The most common - White, Stentforda, Vexler, Eysenck, in Ukraine - Vexler tests. First they measure verbal-logical thinking, and sometimes - the subject-actors and obrazne.okremi tests consist of tasks that do not require verbal responses

Galton believed that intelligence is transmitted genetically. But until now there is no definition of "intelligence" There are different approaches to understanding intelligence: - Intelligence - is the ability to learn; - Intelligence - is the ability to operate abstract concepts (Thorndike, Peterson, Termen); - Intelligence - ability to adapt to new conditions (Piaget). 2. Tests of success - are used to determine the level of knowledge / skills acquired in certain areas of professional activity or training. Typically a group. 3. Tests skills - predicting levels of knowledge tv. Skills that a person can achieve, under certain conditions of study or work. Evaluated on the number of correctly performed tasks. The content is divided into: - General skills - skills that are in all cases the activity; - Special abilities - artistic, mathematical, engineering and so on. 4. Personality tests - designed to assess emotional and volitional components of mental activity, relationships, motives, interests, emotional and volitional, behavioral characteristics. Forms of psychological testing: · Individual - Interaction researcher and study alone. Advantages of-opportunity observation gestures, facial expressions, statements of the respondent; change tests. Disadvantages - requires a lot of time ineffective. · Group - working with many people simultaneously. Advantage - uniformity of conditions. Disadvantage - the impossibility of establishing mutual understanding of the clinical trial. Methods of testing can be divided into three stages: 1) selection of the test (due to testing and the degree of accuracy and reliability of the test); 2) it is held (subject to a manual test); 3) interpretation of results (determined by a system of theoretical assumptions concerning the subject of testing). In conclusion we can say that a scientific knowledge of such a complex phenomenon that is the psyche, largely depends on the researcher to approach the object of knowledge. This approach is defined by a system of methodological principles, or principles. Psychology has a broad arsenal of methods of active research, knowledge and influence on the human psyche to help her in difficult conditions present tense dynamic life. In psychological research used four groups of methods that meet certain stages of research: organizational, empirical, methods of data processing, interpretation methods. Each group has its purpose for the organization and conduct of search activity and their use in combination provides the goals and objectives of psychological research. During data collection the most widely used empirical methods such as observation, discussion, questioning, testing, psychological experiment. Usually associated with them an understanding of methodological foundations of psychology, but very important to the methods of processing and interpretation of results that provide a logical and semantic content for the information collect.

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