Recent Trends In Selection

There are some new methods of selection coming up now:

  1. Selection by Invitation 
  2. Leasing
  3. 360° selection programme 

  1. Selection by Invitation: When the management finds that the key executive of a competitor organization is performing well the management of this particular organization invites that executive by offering attractive salary and benefits.
  2. Leasing or Contract basis: Some organizations employ specialists to take-up highly skilled jobs but since they demand high pay, they are not on regular rolls of the organization. Whenever there is a need for their expertise, the organization employ them on lease from a consultancy firm and pay the required fee to the consultancy firms and in turn the consultancy firms pay the salary to these employees. This is very beneficial to the consultancy, employees on lease and also to the industrial organization. The organization can employ them on less cost and the employees get high pay and benefits because of their freelancing.
  3. 360° selection programme: This is called so because the organization started involving the subordinates and the employees of the same level along with the I supervisors, in administering the employment tests and conductions interviews. They judge the fit between the job and the candidate because; the employees skills, knowledge and performance affect not only superiors but also the subordinates and the workers of the same level.
These days they are some more new methods of selection like e-mail, telephone interviews, etc, where in the person need not be present physically. They send in the bio-data to certain web sites and if the organization needs the personnel they search these websites. If a suitable candidate is found, they can reach him again through his e-mail or call him on the telephone etc. The ultra modem latest trendis the web-cam facility where they can see the candidate on the net provided the candidate also has this facility.

Placement and Induction


Once the employee is found satisfactory, then, the organization gives him/her placement. It may be defined as "the determination of the job to which an accepted candidate is to be assigned. It is matching the person with the job demands, with the strain involved and working conditions and marching the persons qualification with the pay rolls etc. When a person is placed properly, there is less turnover, absenteeism, and accident fates and it improves morale.

In the beginning of the employment, the candidates are put on probation for one or two years and only then he is regularized. During this time of probation his work and behaviour should be found satisfactory. Suppose the candidate is found to be unsatisfactory, he may be asked to quit.

Induction/Orientation or Indoctrination:

Induction is a technique by which a new employee is rehabilitated into the changed surroundings and introduced to the practices, policies and purposes of the organization.

Objectives of induction: when an employee joins the organization he is a stranger to the people, work place and work environment. If he is welcomed in a proper way and given proper information regarding his job details and duties he will feel less anxious. Induction dispels the fears and illusions and he feels more at home and confident.

It also minimizes the reality shock, which might be caused by the incompatibility between what the employee excepts in their new jobs and the realities they are confronted with (promotions etc. experience of the earlier employees)

Finally induction also has the responsibility of introducing the new employee and the organization to each other, to help them become acquainted and to help them accommodate each other.

The new comer is explained as to what is required of them, he is explained the rules, regulations, policies and procedures that affect him.

He is explained as to how his job fits into the overall operation of the organization and to whom he should report.

Induction Procedure: Many organizations develop a formal orientation programmes, which include a tour of the offices or plants, a talk about the history of the organization and a short discussion with the people from personnel department which would describe the organization benefits plans for the employees.

They may be an informal orientation also where in the new recruit is assigned to another senior employee who would introduce him to other workers and show him other things too.

There is no hard and fast rule to an induction procedure but each industry follows a procedure that is more suitable to their needs.

An induction programme should consist of three steps:

  1. General orientation by the staff of the personnel department.
  2. Specific orientation by the job supervisors
  3. Follow-up
1) General orientation builds some pride and interest in the organization. The information provided is here about the pension, health arid welfare plans, and safety programme.

2) Specific: The employee is shown to his department and his place of work. This is to enable the employee to adjust himself to his work and environment.

3) Follow up takes place within one week to six months. To find out whether the employer is reasonably satisfied with him, or has any complaints or difficulties.

Factors Effecting Selection Decisions

The goal of selection is to eliminate those who are found to be unqualified to meet the job and organizational requirement from the large pool of persons who are available and willing to work.

There are a number of factor's, which affect the selection decision:

  1. Profile matching
  2. Organizational and social environment
  3. Successive hurdles
  4. Multiple correlations

1. Profile Matching: A tentative decision as to how a candidate should be i.e. what should be his qualification, how he should score on the tests, what experience he should have etc. should be taken in advance. These would serve as a standard to decide the success or failure of other candidate's at each stage. Care is also taken to match the bio-data of the candidate with the job specification i.e. whether the information that candidate has provided in the bio-data would serve the job specifications e.g. computer knowledge. If the candidate does not possess it and it is an essential specification, then we can reject the candidate.

2. Organization and Social Environment: The candidates specifications must match with, not only the job specification but also with the organization and social environmental requirements, otherwise they may fail to fit into the organization. e.g. Voluntary organization if the candidate is looking for good salary he may not fit here.

3. Successive Hurdles: There are hurdles at every stage, which the candidate must successfully pass at each screening device.

Fig. Successive Hurdles in Selection Process

4) Multiple Correlations: This is based on the assumption that a deficiency in one factor can be counter balanced by an excess amount of another. Therefore after all the examinations are conducted and the scores are obtained a composite test score index is taken to make the final decision.

Steps In Selection Procedure

1) Job analysis, (2) Recruitment, (3) Application Form (4) Written Examination (5) Preliminary Interview (6) Business games, (7) Tests (8) Final interview (9) Medical Examination (10) Reference checks (11)Line Management Decision (12) Employment:

  1. Job analysis: It is analysis of a job as to what it entails. It would provide information on what are the job duties and responsibilities of the incumbent and would provide information on what sort of a candidate would be most suitable for a particular job.
  2. Recruitment: It is a process of searching the prospective employees from both the internal sources and the external source and motivating them to apply for the jobs. It develops the applicant's pool and serves as a base for selection procedure.
  3. Application Blank or Form: This helps in securing information from a prospective applicant. It. provides preliminary information about the applicant, and many companies have their.own style of application blank depending on the kind of information they are looking for. It also depends upon the size of the organization, nature of Business activities, type and level of the job etc. Most often, the applications are made out on a blank paper. The information that can be obtained from the application form is: 1) personal. background information, educational qualifications I attainment (3) work experience (4) salary (5) Personal details (6) reference etc. It also indicates the interests, attitudes and hobbies etc. It is a good means of quickly collecting verifiable data and an accurate, basic historical data from the candidate. Can be used for later reference and can be circulated among important people for discussion.
  4. Written examination: Some organizations conduct written examination after they screen the qualified candidates on the basis of the application blanks. It enables them to measure the candidate's abilities, attitudes; aptitude, reasoning ability, knowledge etc.
  5. Preliminary Interview: This is conducted by an assistant in the personnel department. The main aim is to gain necessary information about the applicant and also assess him in the suitability to the job. The information obtained is matched to the information provided in the application blank. regarding education experience, salary expected, aptitude towards the job, age, physical appearance and other physical requirements etc. here, the undesirable and unsuitable candidate can be eliminated. They are known as stand-up interviews or sizing-up screening interviews. The candidate also gets a more or less clearer picture about the company.
  6. Business Games: Here the participants are placed in hypothetical work situation and are required to play the role that is expected of him in that work. Mostly used for management trainees, executive trainees and managerial personnels. They help to evaluate the applicants in the areas of decision-making, identifying the potentials, handling the situation, problem solving skills, and human relations skills.
  7. Tests: The psychological test is an objective and standardized measure of a candidate's behaviour from which inferences for future behaviour and performance can be drawn. By using a psychological tests all job seekers, will get an equal opportunity without any discrimination against sex, caste, etc. It plays an important role in the selection procedure.
  8. Final Interview: At this stage the person who is at the top of the organization is involved. By now a clear picture of the candidate's personality, ability, suitability has evolved and the decision is more or less made. The short listed candidates are interviewed here for making a final decision on the selection. They may be a Board or Panel of interviewers who are assessing the candidate and give a final opinion.
  9. Medical examination: There is a need of certain-physical qualities for certain jobs like clear vision, perfect hearing, unusual stamina, tolerance for hard working conditions, clear tone, inflections etc. A physical examination reveals these (Military, police etc.).
Purpose is:
  1. To indicate whether the candidate is physically fit for the job or medically suited for certain jobs.
  2. It indicates existing disabilities so that in case of any calamity, the organization is not to be blamed, The psychological attitude likely to interfere with work, efficiency or future attendance.
  3. Prevent employees who suffer from contagious diseases.
  4. Can properly place people who are otherwise employable like physically handicapped for suitable jobs.
  5. The physical measurements like height, weight, chest measurement and abdominal circumferences are taken
  6. All the senses of the candidate are checked. and corrective measures are also suggested like vision, auditory, obesity etc.
  7. Check-up of blood pressure, heart and lungs, laboratory test of urine, blood, x-rays etc are also done.
10) Reference Check: Through this we obtain a great amount of information about the person. This is done after the completion of the interview and medical examination. Here the candidate gives the names of some people who are familiar of his achievements and character etc., or sometime, the previous employers can also write a testimonial on his job performance or even a co-worker can do some peer rating. The  opinion of the previous employees and people who know the candidate for a long time i.e. his family friends, college, university teacher etc. or even friends are a good source of information in getting an appropriate picture about the candidate. It is important as reference includes the length of period of acquaintance and in what capacity the referees know the candidate. The checks on references are made by mail or telephone and sometimes in person (i.e. the candidate at the time of applying or even after the selection is done is bound to give some references along with the complete address and telephone numbers.

However, these check are done in a routine manner and are treated casually because it is often felt that no acquaintance of the candidate gives an unfavourable opinion of him. But a good reference check is actually an important source of information if an objective evaluation is to be done.

11) Final Decision by the line manager: However, the line manager is the final decision maker as to whether to select or reject a candidate. His decision is very important because of the economic, behavioural or social implication it would have for selecting a particular candidate. A careless decision of selecting or rejecting a candidate who makes or breaks the organization will effect the morale of the employee i.e. if good candidates are selected, then the other employees are encouraged and if ineffective candidates are selected, the selection procedure is suspected. A proper understanding, between the line managers and personnel managers should be established to make a proper decision.

12) Employment: Thus after the final decision is taken the organization has to intimate their decision to the candidate by sending the appointment order.

Finally the effectiveness of any selection programme will be visible only when the most suitable candidate is chosen from among the prospective applicants and when they are performing their jobs efficiently and sincerely-with commitment.

Selection Process

The selection procedure is concerned with securing the relevant information about the applicant. The main objective of the selection procedure is to see whether the applicant meets the qualifications for a specific job and to choose the one who best fits in. There are various factors effecting selection, decisions and there are a number of steps, which have to be followed for selection right from job analysis to employment. There are certain recent trends which have evolved in the selection procedure. After the selection has been done there is a placement & Induction programme. The various types -of psychological tests, which aid in selection, have also been discussed here. The style of conducting interview, the types of interviews and the kinds of questions to be asked-are discussed.

Selection Process

After the personnel needs of the organization have been identified and the job analysis is conducted the organization will clarify the characteristics of the jobs to be filled and the individual's qualities necessary to do these jobs successfully. The organization now starts the recruitment process, in which it, calls for a pool of qualified applicants. After the applications have bee.p received, they are thoroughly scrutinized on the basis of the job requirements and the people who would fit into them.

All this process of recruitment and selection would be a costly affair and in case the organization does not select the right candidates, they would be wasting huge amounts on the selection procedure and training. Therefore proper selection of employees is a necessary factor for any organization. If the selection procedure is effective it would save the organization a-large expenditure and ensure that the new recruits will serve the organization for a longer period of time.

Thus the selection procedure would not be effective until and unless the following are clearly stated i.e.

  1. After the job analysis is done the requirement of the job to be filled, should be stated i.e. what type of job is available and who should be considered for it.
  2. Employees specifications regarding his physical, mental, social and behavioural aspects should be stated. Whether a physically handicapped can be considered or a mentally challenged borderline cases can be taken, workforce for senior citizen, blind, deaf and dumb etc. should also be specified.
  3. For a selection to take place a sufficient number of candidates should also be attracted.
Therefore for effective selection procedure the necessary prerequisites are a proper development of a job analysis, human resource planning and recruitment. A breakdown in any of these processes will make the selection procedure ineffective.

Essentials of Selection Procedure 

The selection process can be successful if the following requirements are satisfied:

  1. The organization should decide as to how much workforce is required after the analysis of the workload is done for e.g. Part time Lecturers etc.
  2. Comprehensive job description and job specification should be stated. Like what are the necessary jobs that the person must perform' must be specified. Suppose he is a typist what is his job description and other specification should be stated clearly. This will enable the organization to establish some standard against which his performance can be compared.
  3. There must be sufficient number of applicants from which the required number of employees may be selected.

Selection Procedure

Since the selection procedure is concerned with securing relevant information about an applicant, there are a number of steps or stages to secure this 1 information. The main objective of a selection process is to see whether an applicant will meet the qualifications for a specific job and then choose those who are most likely to perform well in that job. Thus they are essentially a series of methods or steps or stages. through which additional information about an applicant is obtained and at each stage, we may gain some information, which may enable us to take a decision about selecting or rejecting an applicant.

In this procedure, the applicant must cross a series of successive hurdles or barriers. They are intended to serve as screens and they are designed to eliminate an unqualified applicant at any point of time. This technique is called as "Successive hurdles technique". This is not necessarily used in all selection process:

Significance of Selection Procedure: This process enables the organization to attain its goals effectively and to develop a dynamic environment. If the right person is selected, the other functions of the personnel manager would become easier. The employee's contributions and commitment will be to the optimum level and the employer  employee relation would be congenial. If a right person is selected he becomes an asset to the organization.

However, before the selection procedure start the line staff executives should discuss as to what kind of candidature is required.

Using selection agencies or consultants there are some private agencies or consultants who perform the recruitment and selection. They advertise, conduct test group discussion and interviews and provide a list of candidates to the organization.

The organization has to be careful as to which agency or consultants they will be using. They should take care that these agencies have:

  1. Good reputation and are effective, sincere and punctual.
  2. The amount of fee that they will charge.
  3. Whether they are objective, fair and just in selection
  4. What sort of selection techniques they are adopting-particularly, the psychological test and other methods like interview, Group discussion, peer rating etc.
  5. The kind of Human Resource-the agency has.
The organization on the other side should provide the following information:

  1. Brief the agency about the requirements, terms and conditions of employment.
  2. Provide the job specification and employee specification.
  3. Check the draft of advertisement.
  4. Ensure that all arrangements are made for conducting tests and interviews.

Definitions of Philosophy: Branches of Philosophy

Man is a rational animal. He cannot live in the chaos of unexplained, isolated events. The whole world then becomes alien to him. Man has instinctively intense desire to reflect upon ultimate truth. The search into the nature of reality has two aspects – understanding and practicing. Philosophy arises from the speculative and critical search of ultimate reality. It gives rational account of the facts, events in this world. Philosophy seeks the explanation of the forces operative in this universe. So theoretically philosophy is a methodical work of thought.
The search into the nature of reality has practical aspect. Human intelligence has practical application. The very existence of man depends upon his ability to apprehend and to respond the world around him. Here arises the need of practical utility of his reasoning. Wisdom, the maturity to judge the external factors is essential in the maintenance of man’s existence. This gives rise to Ethics.

Ethics is concerned with the practical problems of man, initially in the survival and then those in the moral, organized, harmonious life. Man is a rational animal-the animal that lives on a higher plane. He apprehends Truth, realizes Good and creates Beauty. The practical aspect of reason shows the progress in morality. In the longing for higher levels, man has developed from instinctive morality to reflective morality. Man was governed by nature and then by laws. Now he is governed by his own autonomous moral will. The self conscious rational being, feels the urge of the unity of Truth, Beauty and Good. The rational animal, human being is preparing himself to realize the Supreme End.

Definitions of Philosophy: Branches of Philosophy

Philosophy is the methodical work of thoughts. It is an art of life. It tries to understand the meaning and the value of life. It is an attempt to understand the ultimate Reality. Philosophy is the study of the principles which underlie all knowledge. Philosophy tries to discover ultimate truth. It is an attempt of rational interpretation and unification of all our experiences. It tries to give a rational picture of the whole universe. The word `philosophy’ is derived from the Greek word `philosophia’ which means striving after wisdom. Philosophy is love of knowledge and philosopher is a person who seeks knowledge. Philosopher is an impartial spectator of the eternal universe. Initially philosophy was the intellectual movement. It was simply the search of knowledge without any specialization. In India, Philosophy is called ‘Darshan’ which means ‘Vision’ and also the means or instruments of Vision. Indian philosophy arises out of the urge for the direct realization of ultimate Reality. We find the seeds of Indian philosophy in the Upanishads, the sacred books of Hindus. Philosophy arises out of curiosity and wonder. Man is a rational animal. He has the capacity of reasoning. The natural phenomena such as the sun, moon, raining, thunder, were miracles for a primitive man. Man tried to understand these miracles by his rational thinking. Gradually speculation took the place of wonder. So called miracles were explained by one or more basic principles. Philosophy then became speculative and intellectual inquiry. Its object of inquiry shifted from material objects to the principles beyond these objects. Philosophy tried to satisfy the mystical side of human nature too.

Definition of Philosophy 

It is very difficult to give precise definition of philosophy. Let us try to know some of the definitions:

1. Philosophy is the study of Reality underlying phenomenal world. 
Philosophy is the study of ultimate Reality. We know this world with the help of our sense organs. We also know that many a times our sense organs cannot provide the correct information. Philosophy aims at understanding the fundamental nature of reality behind our experiences. It inquires in the nature of such concepts as Matter, Self, God, Space, Time which are not known directly. Philosophy tries to know the essence of the worldly objects. All worldly objects seem to be appearances. They are glimpses of the reality. Philosophy seeks the transcendental, Absolute reality behind these worldly objects. As the light changes the color of the objects too changes. The question arises ‘What is the true color of the objects?’ There must be something which exists, irrespective of all these variations. Philosophy aims at knowing the Reality which is expressed through different experiences. 

2. Philosophy is a synoptic view 
Philosophy is the study of ultimate Reality. It is the most generalized knowledge. Different sciences deal with a specific portion of the universe. For example, Astronomy studies heavenly bodies, physics, and chemistry give knowledge about the compositions of material objects. Psychology deals with human and animal behavior. Philosophy gives a general description of the whole universe. So it inquires into the nature of material objects (matter) as well as mental processes (mind). It studies the nature of matter, the self, the world, God, Space, Time, their interrelations, their meaning and purposes. Will Durant defines philosophy as the study of experience as a whole or a portion of experience in relation to the whole. Philosophy aims at systematization of different elements of this universe. It sketches the rational picture of the universe. 

3. Philosophy is an unusually persistent attempt to think consistently 
This definition is given by Plato. Philosophy is speculative. It does not assume anything. It questions all our experiences. Philosophy is an endless intellectual enquiry in the search of truth. If we go on asking the questions logically, we can arrive at the clear rational concept of the universe. Philosophy is the critical examination of our beliefs. This process eliminates many wrong vague, prejudiced notions. It also gives rise to many questions such as what is knowledge. 

4. Philosophy harmonizes the conclusions of different sciences 
Herbert Spencer believed that philosophy is completely unified knowledge. Philosophy is an organic system. The principles of different sciences can be deduced from this organic, unified system. All the principles of different sciences must be harmonious with one another. Herbert Spencer’s philosophy is called as synthetic philosophy. Philosophy is the universal science which combines the general truths obtained in the special sciences into a self consistent system. 

5. Philosophy is the mother of all sciences. 
Life is a struggle and knowledge is essential for the survival. The search of knowledge resulted in specialization of knowledge. As knowledge of particular field became possible, it developed into a different science. Once, physics (natural philosophy), zoology, astronomy, psychology, all special sciences were included in philosophy. All modern sciences arose out of philosophy. So philosophy is called as the mother of all sciences. Philosophy is also called as the science of sciences. Philosophy is the Queen of Sciences. The whole world is her subject matter. 

6. Philosophy is Conceptual Analysis 
The thinkers of Analytical school of philosophy like A.J. Ayer believe that philosophy has nothing to do with transcendental ideas. It should concentrate on empirical experiences. All philosophical questions are the questions about language. They arise due to ambiguity and vagueness of concepts like Mind, Matter, Truth, Good, Beauty, Nationality, Religion, Friendship, Love etc. However we do not know the precise meaning of these of words. We fail to express these concepts in proper language. When these concepts are interpreted in different ways, even the contrary theories may arise. Aristotle strongly holds the principle of causation where as Hume completely denies the casual relation. 

Even today the concepts of friendship and love are misinterpreted in the society. That is why we read the news of offences against women. Socrates believed that a philosopher should help to reveal the clear, precise and accurate meaning of the concepts. Socrates also believed that all of us are rational beings. A philosopher has to simply uncover the correct knowledge which is already present in our mind. A philosopher does not create anything of his own. It is like a job of midwife who does not create a child but helps the child to enter this world. 

Psychological Errors

An experiment in psychology has three types of variables viz. independent, dependent and intervening variables which we have been dealt with in lesson 3. The independent (stimulus) variable is manipulated or varied to observe its impact on the dependent variable (response). The dependent variable is the change in response or behaviour observed in the subject following or accompanying the changes in the independent variable. In an experiment we study the relationship or connection between the independent and dependent variables. These two variables stimulus and response are observable and measurable. The intervening variable which also exists and influences the results of the experiment in not the focus of attention in the experiment since it is, not seen being present within the subject but it distorts the true relationship between the independent and dependent variables. It is therefore, essential to take account of the intervening variables and control their effects. Failure to control their effects will introduce various errors in the experiment.

Sources of Errors

In any experiment, there are different possible errors that emanate from different sources and also are of different kinds. The possibility of errors in a psychological experiment is much greater because we deal with human subjects and also because of the very nature of the processes being experimented. There are three main sources of errors: 

  1. some errors are a result of factors in the subject participating in the experiment 
  2. some errors may result from the defects in the presentation of the stimulus
  3. a few errors arise from the manner of recording or measuring the response. 
In a psychological experiment the subjects taking part in an experiment vary among themselves in many variables. There are individual differences in abilities, intelligence, motivation, learning, personality etc. These differences are bound to influence the results of the experiment in a predictable and systematic manner for an experiment on the effectiveness of two teaching methods the subjects in the 2 groups cannot be of the same level of intelligence, motivation, learning, comprehensive power etc. but the subjects are bound to be different in these dimensions which will influence their learning and therefore will influence the experimental findings. This influence will change from trial to trial or even day to day. The errors of this type which remain stable, act in a particular direction and are systematic are called constant errors. 

There are also other types of errors which result from momentary variations in the subjects for e.g. students may be tired one day and not the next day, some internal conditions in the subjects like hunger, thirst, fatigue etc. which vary and do not remain stable may also introduce certain errors. Unlike the constant errors they do not remain stable and do not necessarily operate in the same direction. Such errors are called variable errors. In an psychological experiment" both constant and variable errors occur due to the characteristics and conditions of the subjects. IV is easy to estimate and control constant errors through careful selection of subjects. The variable errors are difficult to be eliminated completely. 

Errors resulting from experimental conditions 

In psychological experiments it is not only difficult to eliminate variations among subjects but it is also difficult to maintain identical experimental conditions for all the subjects on all the occasions. In the experiment on the effectiveness of the two teaching methods it is impossible to completely equate the two sets of teachers on their teaching ability, knowledge level etc. and if the experiment is carried out on different days and with different groups of subjects, it is not possible for the teachers to maintain the same level of teaching on all the occasions. Further, it would become much more difficult if a large number of teachers are involved. Similarly, there may be variations in the classroom atmosphere and other aspects. Such variations in the experimental conditions can influence the findings, resulting in errors. These errors may be constant errors or variable errors. For instance, the teacher using the discussion method may have a more effective personality that the teacher using the lecture method. This will result in constant error in favour of the discussion method. On the other hand, variations in the class room atmosphere can produce variable errors. 

Types of Errors

It is apparent from the above discussion that the psychological experiments can be contaminated by errors. When these errors creep in, the reliability, validity and accuracy of the experiment are adversely affected. Errors in psychological measures are of 2 types: Constant Errors and Variable Errors.

Constant Errors are those that occur repeatedly and are constant. They are 'also called systematic errors. 

Variable errors results from factors as the subject's mood, motivation. Then also called random errors because they occur randomly and not in a particular direction. 

The constant errors can be of 2 types Type 'S' & Type 'G' errors. The constant errors arising out of the variations among the subjects are called Type 'S' Errors. 

The constant errors resulting from stable differences in the experimental conditions are called Type 'G' errors. The variable errors resulting from both variations in the subjects and variations in the experimental conditions are called Type 'R' errors. Such errors are also known as 'sampling errors'. 

We need to be aware of the presence of the various types of errors in the experiment. These errors have to be minimized as far as possible by adopting proper methods of experimental control. 


In a psychological experiment, there are different types of errors likely to occur that emanate from different sources and are of different types. these errors may result from certain factors in the subject as well as the experimenter, from the defects in the measuring conditions and defects in the measuring tools. These are broadly classified into constant errors and variable errors. The constant errors may further grouped into type 'S' and type 'G' errors. The variable errors resulting from both the above sources,are called type 'R' errors or sampling errors. These errors should be minimized by establishing methods of experimental control. This will result in accuracy, reliability, and validity of the experiment. 

Scientific Methods

Psychology is a scientific study of behavior. As psychologists we take a scientific approach to understand behavior. Our knowledge about the psychological processes is based on the scientific evidence accumulated through research. As scientists, we rely on the scientific methods, when we conduct psychological research such as specifying the conditions under which we make observations, observing in a systematic or orderly way and accepting or rejecting alternative explanations of behaviors on the basis of what we observe.
The word 'Science' comes from the Latin word "Scientia" which means 'Knowledge'. This has two connotations- content and process. The content of science is what we know such as facts we learn in a psychology subject course. But science is also a process - i.e. an activity in which we gather data, noting the relationships and offering explanations. In other words, science is the scientific gathering of data to provide. In other words, science is the scientific gathering of data to provide descriptions of events taking place under scientific conditions, enabling the researchers to explain, learn, and control events.

The modern science is based on certain assumptions and concepts which me scientific and accurate. We make use of these assumptions and concepts in searching the unknown in a systematic manner. This course of action is known as the Scientific Method.

Broadly speaking, scientific method means scientific orientation. It is perspective to look at things or phenomena as if they are facts. The way we arrive at the goals is the method and its operationalization results in various techniques. The techniques are the means and tools we use in collecting facts.

Principles of the Scientific Method

The various major principles involved in the scientific method are as follows: 

  • Scientific method is used for a purpose such as to verify old theory or find out new knowledge. 
  • Scientific method is related to a theory. This is in two ways:
    • Every scientific method is operationalized on some theoretical bases 
    • Every scientific method through its research activity gives rise to a new theory or modifies the ole one. It may come up with a new hypothesis rejecting the old one. 
  • Every scientific activity aims at validating or revalidating the established truth. 

Characteristics or Elements of Scientific Method

The scientific approach has certain key distinguishing characteristics which it shares with modern science. The elements of the scientific method refer to those aspects of the scientific method on which practical design of inquiry is prepared. These are: 

Empirical: In a scientific endeavour, the data are gathered by experimentation and observation. It does not rely on intuition, belief or opinion. 

Systematic: The data or observations are made in a systematic or orderly comprehensive manner. By systematically following the path from observations to principles to observations we are continuously formulating, modifying and extending the principles to accord observations to make observations and then formulate principles (Deduction) or we may tentatively set up some principles to make observations (Induction). 

Quantifiable: One important characteristic of science is measurement, which means quantifying the events or behavior according to generally accepted rules. The generalizations can be translated into quantitative and numerical terms. The concepts can be defined in measurable and observable terms. This enables comparison of observations directly. 

Publicizing results: The results of science are communicated to others through publications in professional journals, conferences, meetings etc. The continuous exchange of information about the current research work is vital to the scientific process. This helps in stimulating repetition or replication of research under similar and different conditions by others. 

Scientific methodology: All psychologists use scientific techniques to accurately collect and evaluate psychological data. The major tools used are empirical experimentation, surveys, clinical methods etc. whether the data comes from laboratory experiments, real life situations, psychological testing or therapy situations. 

Objectivity: Objectivity is essential in all phases of the scientific process. There should be no personal feelings or expectations that influence later what is being recorded or observed. The scientific method is free form subjective or personal biases of the observer. Objectivity involves providing the definitions that are precise and fully understandable in the same way to any appropriately, trained person as well as making observations that accurately reflect what exists in real (objective) world. Objectivity is introduced to eliminate observer's personal biases, preconceptions and convictions which could easily distort or blur the event or the object being observed. The findings and observations are consistent and do not depend on the subjective biases of the observer in the scientific method. 

Falsification: The scientific approach is falsifiable that means it can challenge the existing explanations and theory by testing the hypothesis that follow logically from it. If the test shows that the hypothesis is false then it can be. modified in the light of the new findings demonstrating that the hypotheses is false. It can prove the hypothesis false if the results indicate so. 

Replication: This is another important part of the scientific approach. The observations are repeatable and verifiable, since the collection and interpretation of data is systematic, objective and rational, it is not possible to repeat the observations and verify the results expected to appear under certain situations. 

Theory as a research tool: A theory is a scientific short hand way of summarizing the observations by stating laws or principles to guide the researcher and predict accurately what can be expected to occur under certain conditions. 

Statistical precision and accuracy: Statistical techniques are used for analyzing, classifying, organizing, interpreting and verifying data to enhance precision and accuracy. 

Thus the aim of the scientific method is to provide new and useful information in the form of verifiable data; the data obtained under conditions such that other qualified people can repeat the observations and obtain the same results: This require orderliness and precision in investigating relationships and in communicating them to others. 


  • Our knowledge about psychological processes is based on scientific evidence from research and as scientists we rely on the scientific methodology when we conduct psychological research. The common sense psychology is non-scientific and subject to many kinds of errors. The scientific method shares certain distinguishing characteristics of modern science. It is empirical systematic, repeatable, verifiable, falsifiable, objective, communicative to others, uses theory as a research tool and employs scientific and statistical techniques for collecting and evaluating data. 
  • Psychology is scientific study of behavior. In order to understand, explain, control and predict behavior, psychologists take a scientific approach. They rely on scientific methods for making observations. Observing in a systematically or orderly way and accepting, rejecting alternative explanations of behavior on the basis of what they observe. 

Training of Logical Thinking

Mental power of child develops only with the help of reasoning and thinking. Therefore in education for thinking-process it is important to develop logical-power. Following things to be consider for logical thinking-power of children:

  1. Present the Proper Problem: For logical thinking expected problem should present to him by considering his past experience, mental and educational level. 
  2. Development of Concentration, Attachment and Research: Teacher should avail required opportunities for the development of these tendencies. Logical thinking cannot be made in the absence of these tendencies.
  3. Present the Practical Problems: The problems present in front of students should be related to their current practical life and should be useful.
  4. Use of Proper Teaching-Techniques: in the development of logical thinking power problem based activities such as, project-activities, question-answer-process and Speech competition, debate competition, discussion programs are very helpful. Reasoning power is used in these and required opportunity for the development of imagining power and conceptual thinking are available.
  5. Principle of Innovation: To encourage the interest for a problem within children new problems should be presented. They should avail the opportunities to ‘learn by doing’ and learn by experience’ and they should be motivated for it.
  6. Deep Study of Subject: Children should be motivated for the deep study of the related subjects according to the situation and requirement. It helps in the development of logical-thinking.
  7. Use of Inductive Process: Teacher should use inductive process for teaching syllabus. Teachers should not put the solution of a problem, infect should ask to the students for solution. This process develops the maximum logical-thinking.
  8. Scientific use of Reasoning and Problem-Solution: Teacher should teach about the scientific-process of reasoning. Students themselves can consider a principle with the help of this process. 

Meaning of Problem-Solving

Problem-solution is an important part of reasoning. It has been cleared that the aim of reasoning/argument is the solution of a problem. Stanley Grey has defined problem-solution as: “Problem-solving is a process of overcoming difficulties that appear to interfere with the attainment of a goal.

D.V. have explained about five reasoning situations and reasoning is called as logical-thinking. It is explained earlier. Problem is solved only with the help of logical thinking. 

Methods of Problem Solving

Problem solving has following methods:

  1. Solution of problem without learning and by nature/behavior: the species of lower section use this kind of method to solve their problem. For example, snake and Honey Bee are always ready to sting for their protection.
  2. Trial and error Method: Tharndike used a cat and confirmed that animals solve their problem by trial and error. Similarly when men try to solve a problem at that time a process of trial and error runs in the mind of men in the form of thinking which is problem related, out of which any one solution solve his problem. 
  3. Perception Method: problem can be solved by this process. In this relation the experiment made by Koehler on chimpanzee is remarkable.
  4. Scientific Method: today scientific method is used for problem-solution in every field. In this work is done in a well managed manner from the beginning to the end. In this first of all the problem related facts are collected by actual inspection, after that grouping of the facts made according their similarities and finally a conclusion is brought out by analyzing it.
At the end we can say that training of logical thinking should be given in education. Teacher should be well trained in scientific method of problem-solving and it should be used for every subject and levels as per the requirement. 


  • Thinking-process has an important role in the development of the world. Human being is considered as the best amongst all the species only because of thinking-power. It is a thinker by nature. This power is a god gift to him. According to the psychology thinking is a mental process in which sensation, obviousness, concentration, memory and imagining are involved. 
  • The mental process, in which we use the conclusions of our past experience to face new situations and to solve a problem, is called ‘thinking’.
  • Thinking is a cognitive process. It includes conceptual and imaginary knowledge. In other words, thinking or thoughts is involved in every mental activity of a person. It is the mental process of a person that makes us ready to face a new situation. Because of the thinking a person can think of a possible event or draw a picture in mind and tries to adjust according to the situation. Animals solve their problems by trying and mistake. But human beings complete this process at ideational level. Symbols or language is used to solve the problem at the time of thinking. 
  • Psychologist said about the following types of thinking: Obvious thinking, imaginary thinking, conceptual thinking, and logical thinking.
  • In the field of education thinking is the important activity of human mind. Thinking has the highest post in mental development. It is very important to develop thinking power for the smooth functioning of educational activities. 
  • Reasoning is the best form of thinking. Reasoning is a process of thinking, the concepts earned in it are used to define a situation and for solution. When a problem arises then a person needs to consider about it. In this situation of reasoning-thinking arises.
  • Getting a conclusion is the major element of reasoning. To reach on a conclusion it is important to have a well organized mental activity and managed reasonable thinking process.
  • Mental power of child develops only with the help of reasoning and thinking. Therefore in education for thinking-process it is important to develop logical-power.
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