method of studying psychology

Topics: Psychology, Behavior, Scientific method Pages: 13 (3226 words) Published: March 15, 2014
After going trough this unit you will be able to

Know about the necessity of adopting different methods used to learn about the individual’s behaviour.

Classify the methods into different types.

Describe each method with its merits and limitations.


Educational psychology is an important branch of psychology. It is a subject which emphasizes the application of psychological principles in the field of education. It deals with the behaviour of an individual in the educational environment. According to the “Encyclopedia of Educational Research”, “Educational psychology is the study of the learner and of the learning-teaching process in its various ramifications (branches) directed towards helping the child come to terms with society with a maximum of security and satisfaction”

On main objective of educational psychology is to help a teacher to understand his student’s behaviour in the educative process. A teacher may face different problems in the classroom as well as outside it. It is important that a teacher understands the significance of individual difference and solves the various problems of the classroom. Therefore, in order to achieve the objective of educational psychology some methods are adopted to collect data to know about a learner’s personality.

The first attempt to adopt a method of educational psychology began in the year 1879 by W. Wundt of Germany. In recent years, with the development of technology, researchers have started using new methods of collecting and analyzing data.


We can see below some of the methods of educational psychology:

2.3.1 Method of Introspection.
2.3.2 Observation Method
2.3.3 Case study Method
2.3.4 Experimental Method.
2.3.5 Interview Method
2.3.6 Differential Method.
2.3.7 Psychoanalysis.

Let us analyse these five methods of educational psychology one by one. Introspection Method
This is the oldest method of educational psychology. The word ‘introspection’ has been derived from two Latin words, ‘intro’ meaning ‘withing’ and ‘spiere’ meaning to ‘look’. Therefore introspection implies ‘self observation’, or in other words, to experience one’s own mental state i.e., to observe, analyze and report one’s own feelings. Now let us turn to two psychologists James and Stout to know what they have said about psychological method in education.

According to William James, “Introspective observation is what we have to rely on first and foremost and always. The word intro-spection needs hardly to be defined - it means, of course, looking into our own minds and recording what we there discover. Everyone agrees that through this method one can discover one’s own states of consciousness. So far as I know, the existence of such states has never been doubted by any critic, however skeptical in other respects he may have been.”

According to Stout, “In introspection we are concerned with the nature of experience itself and with the laws of mental process. The observer in introspection is directed towards the answering of questions of theoretical importance for the advancement of our systematic knowledge of the laws and conditions of mental process.” Introspection examines inner behaviour of an individual and an individual knows about his own feelings or thoughts in a particular situation.

The Introspection method has both merits and demerits.

Merits of Introspection Method: The merits of the introspection method are given below:-

Introspection is the easiest of all methods of educational psychology.

It does not need any tool or laboratory as the subject and the investigator is the same.

It is the most economical method and one which enables us to know about the mental state of an individual, i.e. his emotions and feelings.

Introspection, as a method, has generated a lot of research and is used in almost all experimental students.

Drawbacks of Introspection...
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