Methods of Psychology || Introduction to Psychology || Bcis Notes

Methods of Psychology || Introduction to Psychology || Bcis Notes

Methods of Psychology:

  • Descriptive Method
  • Prediction
  • Experimental Method

Descriptive Method:

The simplest methods of psychology which naturally describes the organisms. Checklist, cameras, questionnaires, tape recorders, etc can be used. The case study, survey and naturalistic observations are important descriptive techniques. They are described below:

  1. Case study

The psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud discovered this theory from the case study. It is based on the idea that the more we know about individuals, the better we will understand and help them. It can be done at home, school or anywhere.


  • It consumes more time, effort and money.
  • The subjectivity of the researcher may hamper the report that is needed.
  • No set of rules are followed in collecting information.


  • It is very beneficial to know about the social behavioral patterns of individuals in depth.
  • Enables researchers to trace out the relationship of the individual inner self with social forces.

2. Survey

It has larger samples where an investigator with many printed questions ask people to report their behavior or opinions. Usually mailed, telephoned or directly interviewed. It facilitates to collect a large amount of data with little effort.


  • Doesn’t provide direct observation of individual since overt behavior is one of the true feelings.
  • Some folks don’t complete questionnaires.


  • Saves money, time and takes less effort.
  • New issues can be updated easily.

3. Naturalistic Observation(Objective observation / Systematic observation)

The collection of data by careful observation of events in their natural settings is called naturalistic observation. It can be done by participating in an event called participatory and it’s vice-versa non-participatory. It is called structural observation when the standard, systematic process of reducing the observed information is used properly. Steps of this concept are as follows:

  • Observation of behavior
  • Noting of observed behavior
  • Interpretation and analysis of the behavior
  • Generalization


  • Influence of personal interest and bias.
  • Only overt behavior is studied.


Correlation is a statistical measure which helps in the prediction of behavior. Examples; knowing how much aptitude test score correlate with school grades tells us how well the score predict grades in the final exam.

  • Positive Correlation

It is a measure that presents between 0 and 1 that indicates a direct relationship meaning that two things together increases or decreases. Examples; the amount of violence viewed on TV correlates about 0.3 with aggressive social behavior.

  • Negative Correlation

It indicates an inverse relationship i.e. as one increases, the other decreases thus it is equally predictive. Examples; the person who scores low on self-esteem tend to score high on depression as well.

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