Methods of psychology: a brief description

The methods of psychology are certain means and methods by which scientists can obtain reliable and truthful data about a particular mental phenomenon. This information is then used in the development of scientific theory and practical advice.

Typology B. G. Ananyev

There is the most popular classification of methods of psychology for B. G. Ananyev.

The first group includes organizational methods. It is presented as a comparative (different groups are compared according to some selected criterion - gender, age, activity), longitudinal (multiple studies of the same respondents are carried out for a long time) and a complex method (the object is studied by scientists from different scientific fields, different receptions).

psychology methodsThe empirical methods of psychology belong to the second group. They are represented by observation and self-observation, experiment, psychodiagnostic means (tests, questionnaires, interviews, surveys, conversations, sociometry), analysis of activity products and biographical methods.

The third group focuses on methods by which data can be processed. These include quantitative and qualitative methods.

The fourth group is interpretive methods of psychology. The use of genetic (the process of analyzing the object of research from the point of view of its development, the allocation of some phases, stages, etc.) and structural methods (establishing links for the structure between all the features and properties of the individual).


Methods of age psychology include this way of knowing reality. For observation, it is typical to conduct it under normal conditions for the subject, without any impact on him. Everything that the respondent does, says, is fixed in detail, and then amenable to analysis. You can record everything or choose some point. The use of a continuous record is characteristic of the study of the personality as a whole, and selectively for fixing certain manifestations of mental reality. Methods of general psychology are also represented by self-observation.

basic methods of psychologyObservation is characterized by the observance of certain conditions, namely, it is distinguished by purposefulness (a clear definition of the purpose and tasks of the study); naturalness (predominantly observable persons do not knowthat they are examined); the presence of a plan; exact observance of the object and the object; the restriction of elements that are subject to observation; developing stable criteria to evaluate traits; ensuring clarity and reliability.

The survey also represents the methods of psychology. It lies in the fact that the data can be obtained as a result of answers to questions by the most tested. The survey can be conducted orally, in writing or freely.


The main methods of psychology include such a solid technique as an experiment. Advantages of the method is to eliminate side variables that can affect the object of examination and change it. Also, the experimenter can purposefully change the conditions and look at the results of these changes, how they affect the flow of mental processes, human reactions. The experiment can be repeated several times in the same conditions and carried out with a large number of people.

methods of age psychologyOften the methods of age psychology also include an experiment. It can be ascertaining when they reveal certain features of the psyche or personal quality that already exist.Another type — forming — is a special influence on respondents in order to change a specific attribute.

Questioning and Sociometry

These ways of knowing reality are not defined as the main methods of psychology, but they bring a lot of useful information. The questionnaire provides answers to the test questions. In order for the data obtained as a result of such a technique to be reliable and reliable, it is necessary to re-do the survey and monitor the results using other methods.

classification methods of psychologyThe author of sociometry is considered to be JL Moreno. It is used to study the social psychology of small groups. Several questions are formulated that are adequate to a particular group, to which the respondent must answer. For example, which team will you invite to your birthday? Who are you not inviting to your birthday? You can specify one, two, three people, depending on the objectives of the study.


The presented method is intermediate between subjectivity and objectivity of research. Testing also have their own subspecies. For example, test questionnaires, which are mainly used to study personal characteristics.The respondent, consciously or unconsciously, can influence the final result.

general psychology methods

Test tasks are used in the study of intelligence. There are also projective techniques that imply a free interpretation, which is quite dangerous for the reliability and reliability of the data. Such techniques are often used to test children or to measure emotional states (Luscher, Rorschach test, TAT).

Other methods

Psychology, possessing a high level of subjectivism, borrows mathematical methods of data processing so that the results are reliable and valid. Often used to analyze the products of activity, for example, paintings, essays, because in them a person designs his mental reality.

A scientist, depending on the object of study and goals, can select an arsenal of methods and techniques to study the mental phenomenon to the fullest extent.

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