Research Methods of Psychology
Psychological Research is conducted to obtain factual information about human behavior and mental processes to find out the underlying cause and effect relationship. Here we will discuss two out of five methods of conducting Psychological Research named: 1. Case History Method
2. Survey Method
1. CASE HISTORY/ CASE STUDY/ CLINICAL METHOD
A case study is an in-depth study of one person. Much of Freud's work and theories were developed through individual case studies. Explanation:
It is sometimes very helpful to study one person (or a very small group of people) in great depth to learn as much information as possible. This method is particularly useful in studying rare disorders or circumstances. Examples:
A. Studying the life history of a man who acquired schizophrenia at the age of 20. B. Following one child from conception to adulthood to examine this lifespan development. Types of Case Studies:
Explanatory: Used to do causal investigations.
Exploratory: A case study that is sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses. Descriptive: Involves starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory. Intrinsic: A type of case study in which the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Collective: Involves studying a group of individuals.
Instrumental: Occurs when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers Methods of Case Study:
There are three methods of Case Study:
Case History Method
Day Book Method
I. Case History Method:
Case History is the detailed account of a single individual. This method is often used in Psychotherapy. That’s why it is called clinical method. The person who comes to a clinic to seek solution to his psychological problem of adjustment meets a team of three professionals who want to discover the cause of _ and solution to_ the person’s problem. A Physician who examines the person for physical illness. If the medial reports indicate some physical illness, he cures him. If medical reports show that he is physically fit, the physician hands over the case to the Psychologist. The Psychologist administers different tests of aptitude, attitudes, interests and multiphase personality tests. If he finds any deviation, he prepares the case history of the patient and give him treatment. Social Worker examines the home conditions and the environment of the patient.
II. Day Book Method
Developmental method; or
The record of ongoing developmental behavior of an individual made by a school teacher / psychologist and M.D. of any organization to use the progress in future is called Day Book method. In this method, the record of the daily development state of a child is kept in a diary. For example, when did the child start sitting, crawling, standing, talking or walking for the first time. The psychologists keep not only the record of physical development but also the record of mental, emotional, psychological and social development. The daybook method is very useful to know an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and social development from childhood to adulthood.
III. Biographical Method
Biographical method is used to study the life history of an individual. It is of two types: i. Auto-biography: -
Written by individual himself.
ii. Biography: -
Written about an individual by the other authors. Biography is usually written of the famous personalities. The purpose behind these biographies is that the people may study the different aspects of their personality developed in certain circumstances, they may know how these great people reached the destination of self-actualization...
References: 1. http://www.sparknotes.com/psychology/psych101/researchmethods/section3.rhtml
5. Processes of Psychology and Applied Psychology by Prof. Zarin Bkhari.
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