Methods of Educational Psychology

Educational Psychology studies of the human behavior and various problems, under the educational situation. This study is done by one method. Method means the system and way, which helps us in getting a conclusion , after doing the study, analysis and explanation of human behavior. Method is a way of getting facts. Educational psychology also uses the scientific method to solve and study of its various problems. In educational psychology, the study of scientific method could not be used strictly like any other material science because here ,the subject matter is study of the educational behavior of living entity, student. We know this very well , that due to some reason Education and Educational psychology could not be put in the category of pure science(chemistry and physics), because their rules are permanent. Because these sciences are related to the matter where as the education is a human subject and is related to the human behavior and society.
Now educational Psychology has been put in the category of science, it has followed the scientific method for its works by ignoring imagination, guess and superstitions. The meaning of ‘study method’ of scientific language, is the way, by which truth is discovered.

What is scientific method?—This is a method of study, that moves under the scientific rules. Scientific method only could be used for the study of natural and material things, this is an illusion. In scientific method there is not any place for religion, worshiping and imagination in order to get true knowledge related to today’s social events. On the contrary observation, experiments, and classification and the ordered functional is called scientific method. Shri George A.Lundberg has cleared the meaning of scientific method in this way—“Social scientists are committed to the belief that the problems which confront them are to be solved if at all, by judicious and systematic observations verification, classification and interruptions of social phenomenon. This approach in its most rigorous and successful from is broadly designated as the scientific method.”

Essential elements of scientific method—Mr. Martin Dale and Monachesi have said—‘’Science is also a method of consideration. This also rises in the responses of problems like all other consideration. It differs from all other thoughts mainly in method. The quality of scientific method is—(1) that it focuses on inspection. (2) Tries to test behavioral or original concept. (3) Develops the experiments or model situations, which could take test of these concepts. (4) Invents such a new tools that may help in more acute measurement and more realistic observation. (5) And by study it outcasts firmly the self model evaluations of scientists and concentrates at this time that how do events take place in reality, not that ‘why’ it happens or ‘what’ should happen.” We can say in brief, that scientific method is a method of study that moves under the scientific rules.

Educational-Psychology uses the scientific method in his researches and for the study of its problem. There is incredibility, reality, purity, objectivity and impartiality in these methods. In the modern age the measurement of scientification of any subject is its method. The main characteristics of this method are Verifiability, definiteness, Objectivity, Generality, and predictability. In this study, the student delivers the rule, after inspecting the truth by observation and inspection, finding out conclusion relating to the subject.

Methods of Educational Psychology

The methods of Psychological study can be divided between two groups:

(1) Internal or subjective Method—Under this method person analyses and explains his own behavior, as in the introspection and anecdotal method.
(2) Outer and Objective methods—In this method, facts are collected by others. There are many methods under it.

The various methods, of both of these groups, have been described under:

Educational Psychology is closely related to Psychology. Therefore there is affinity in both of these studying methods. The important methods of Educational Psychology are following:
  1. Introspective Method
  2. Observation Method 
  3. Experimental Method
  4. Case History Method
  5. Ancedotal Method 
  6. Development Method
  7. Comparative Method 
  8. Interview Method
  9. Questionnaire Method
  10. Statistical Method
  11. Clinical Method 
  12. Test Method
  13. Psycho-Analytical Method
The summary of above methods are:

(1) Introspective Method—This method was mostly used in ancient time, but today this method is not considered scientific. So it is used less. ‘Introspective means’ To look within or self observation. In this method, person himself, describes analysis and observes his mental process. In introspection, person tries to evaluate his feelings and remembrance of his experiences. A Person can express his experiences through introspection.

According to Scout—“The sequential study of self mental process is called, introspection.” Woodbirth has called it self Observation. When a man expresses his feelings, he has to take the medium of self observation, because mental process are internal. Their direct knowledge could be gained by this method. On the basis of its mental process observation, whatever data he presents, is called introspection data. Two things are found in introspection—(1) Person observes self mental process, and (2) presents discretion related to them.


  1. The greatest qualities of this method is this, man is able to understand himself, after getting knowledge of his mental process and stages. The direct study of man’s mental process is made possible by Introspection. As how does he feel in weal-woe, it can be responded by introspection.
  2. This method can be used at any time and anywhere. In this method any laboratory, tool and implement, is not needed. Ross has said—“Psychologist’s own brain is his laboratory, because it lives within him, so he can inspect any time according to his own desire.’’ 
  3. Person’s thinking power grows by using this method again and again. By the study of this method others mental activities can be studied. The experiences that different people have felt in relation of mental process, those experiences can also be comparatively studied here.
  4. The scientific study of Psychology has been started by introspection method. Therefore this method has given important contribution in making Psychology a science. Although the scope of this method is limited, many Psychological problems have been studied by using this method. Introspection method is an important method of Psychology.


  1. It is impossible to do the observation of mental process, because they are unclear, fickle, unsteady. The changes that take place in them are sooner. Mental process as emotional expression, feelings, thoughts etc, cannot make us stable, because as soon as we try to concentrate, they go away from our mind. A person cannot live every moment in the same condition, so his attention goes towards the other things. 
  2. The another fault of this method is, that, the same person is observer and councilor of his own self. He has to perform both of the acts. And this work is opposite to each other, because here the observer and councilor is same. This is not worthy. The inspection of mind by mind is impossible. As Ross has said—“spectator and sight both are the same, because mind is the place and equipment of inspection.” He cannot observe all the experiences honestly. Often man does not want to express his feelings due to hesitation. Sometimes our mental feelings come to an end on paying more attention to them. As soon as when a person ruminates, he wants to study that rumination by introspection, then it is often seen at that time, the mental process of that person comes to end.
  3. This method is not possibly used for all kinds of human being. This method can be used only for the study of adolescence, because it is depended on the thinking power. It cannot be used on young one and mentally ill. It can only be used on the common person.
  4. This is also a vice of this method, that we cannot express our feelings by language, As often we do not express our feelings of psychologically and mentally suffering, weal –woe in proper words. According to the Psychologists, this fault is not of this method, but only of language, because we do introspection, but indirectly the limitation of this language is also affected on introspection. The question arises, if we cannot express our introspection feeling, how will its Psychological study be possible. The Psychological method should be such as, by which psychological study could be completed in spite of having mistakes in language.
  5. The knowledge obtained by this method is subjective. The mental condition of a person can be known by it. The equipment, obtained by it, is differing from the equipment, got from the introspection of other person. So neither they can be compared, nor their truth can be inspected. So on the basis of the knowledge, obtained by it, scientific rules cannot be prepared. 
(2) Observation Method—In this method , student observes human behavior and activities on the basis of his pre experiences. Whatever is seen clearly from outwardly, that is inspected, and on the basis of that, the knowledge of his mental condition is gained. After inspecting attentively the responses, activities and human behavior, his mental condition is traced. As seeing the smile on someone’s face we come to know that he is pleasant. And understand him unhappy to see him in tears. By outer observation the human behavior, happening in natural situation is studied. Practically psychologists have given special importance to this method. They have considered behavior to the subject of Psychology in place of feeling, And outer observation method considers the Psychological method in place of introspection. According to them feelings are subjective and objective. On the contrary external behavior of person can easily be seen or understood. Seeing his behavior, his mental condition is known. According to them, the conclusion obtained on the basis of study of human behavior will be more scientific, because behavior is seen in the physical activities of a person, an external observer, observing the physical activities of person, delivers the general psychological rules on the basis of them. Observation method has following steps

(a) Direct observing to other’s behavior and finding out their mental condition—this is the main fact of this method. It is essential to notice carefully all the facts by observation.
(b) Explain and analyze the behavior—Under it student explains and analyses the other’s behavior on the basis of his mental observation, seeing the tears of anybody , on the basis of our pre-experience, we think of his unhappiness.

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