• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

There are several alternatives to the experimental method in pursuing psychological investigation. Describe and discuss two methods (alternatives) that you would favor.

Free essay example:

There are several alternatives to the experimental method in pursuing psychological investigation. Describe and discuss two methods (alternatives) that you would favor.

Psychological investigations or theories can be pursued through various, different techniques. One of the extensively and vital techniques used in psychological researches is the Non–Experimental Method which is an alternative to experimental method. This technique of research comprises of many different methods. These include: Archival Research, Naturalistic Observation, Survey Research, Case Studies and Correlational Research. Any of these methods could be used to investigate and generate psychological theories and phenomena.

From the numerous methods mentioned above, the method which would get my full votes would be Naturalistic Observation. Naturalistic observation is a research method commonly used by psychologists and involves observing subjects in their natural environment/habitats. In other words, naturalistic observation is the type of research in which the experimenter simply observes naturally occurring behavior and does not intervene/interfere in the situation. An imperative point to remember in naturalistic observation is that the investigator is passive and simply records what occurs. Researchers take great care in avoiding making interferences with the behavior they are observing by using inconspicuous methods.

This type of research is often utilized, when conducting lab research is unrealistic, cost prohibitive and unduly affect the subject’s behavior. Hence, a major advantage of naturalistic observation is that it is realistic, affordable and does not affect the behavior of the participant/subject. Another advantage of this type of research is that it allows the experimenter to unswervingly observe participant/subject in a natural setting without any intervention and distortion, thus allows the experimenter to get a sample of what people tend to do in their natural habitat.

I would prefer carrying out this type of research because it is considered to be ethical as there are no manipulative investigations being carried out, as the participants are observed in the natural environment. Another advantage of using naturalistic observation is that it tends to build a relationship based on trust between the experimenter and the subject/participant due to the length of the observation of process, thus enables the investigator acquire richer data than would be available from other methods. This research method can also generate hypotheses for later testing in more controlled conditions and can play the role of an ecological testing ground to validate results from contrived laboratory settings.

Another method of research that I would favor or prefer from the ones mentioned in the first paragraph would be Survey Research. Survey research is a research method in which people are chosen to represent some larger population and are asked a series of questions about their behavior, thoughts or attitudes. Survey and questionnaires are one of the most common methods used in psychological investigation. In this method, a random sample of participants completes a survey, test, or questionnaire that relates to the variable of interest. Random sampling is a vital part of ensuring that the survey results are generalized and more or less a representation of the larger populations’ attributes. The basis of survey research is on the policy which says – “There is no straighter forward way of finding out what people think, feel and do than asking them directly.” For this reason, surveys are an important research method. A survey may focus on opinions or factual information acquired from the people depending on its purpose.

A major advantage of using this type of research method is that it is an efficient way of collecting information from a large number of respondents. This method of research has the possibility of very large samples which is advantageous to generate accurate and precise results. Survey research can also be useful to determine validity, reliability and statistical significance of the findings/output. Another advantage of survey research is that it is cheap and fast. This means that experimenters can collect large amount of data in a relatively short amount of time and by spending less amount of money.

This method of research is more flexible than some other methods, in the sense that a wide range of information can be collected and can be used to study attitudes, values, beliefs and past behaviors. Information obtained through survey research is standardized, thus making it relatively free from several types of errors, and this is one main reason why this research method is one of my favorites. Data collection through survey research is economical as mentioned earlier, in terms of providing standardized questions. This means that only questions of interest to the researcher are asked, recorded, codified and analyzed, thus time and money is not spent on tangential questions.

After outlining the several different advantages of Naturalistic Observation i.e. realistic, affordable, carried out in the natural setting and does not affect the behavior of the subject and of Survey Research i.e. efficient, accurate, economical [cheap and fast], flexible and free from errors in the above article, one can understand why these two methods of research are amongst my favorites when it comes to investigating psychological theories through non-experimental techniques.

Done By:

Priyank Punatar

IB – 1

Psychology HL

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Human Geography section.

(?)
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related GCSE Geography Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related GCSE Human Geography essays

  1. Geography Investigation

    Overall, I think my hypothesis mostly agrees with the fact that there are more pedestrians near high-order shops, which is in the PLVI. Objective 2: This objective is: " To investigate whether the land-use patterns throughout Swanage follow the traditional models of urban land-use."

  2. Windsor Investigation

    Along with facilities and services for tourists the centre should also provide perks for its residents and in most cases these come in form of an advantage card. This card gives residents benefits such as, discounts in local shopping centers and reduced, or in some cases, free entry into certain tourist attractions.

  1. The aim of my coursework, investigating shopping patterns in Brent, is based on answering ...

    transportation > Shopping hierarchy - the order in which shops of different stature as of the goods they sell are placed on a shopping pyramid with the more important ones selling specialist comparison goods at the top and those selling convenience goods at the bottom Methodology I had started preparation

  2. Enquiry: Investigation into Retail.

    To investigate this hypothesis we used a blank map of Rotherham Town Centre and agreed on ten different locations, where we would complete a tally chart to record how many people were found there. Our intention was to see if more people were found near the major stores.

  1. To investigate the characteristics of two contrasting C.B.D's.

    The unemployment count is 57, which is lower than both Faringdon and the national average. House prices for April to June 2003 were lower than Faringdon: Detached �234,722 (198), Semi-detached �141,897 (267), Terraced �121,476 (466), Flat �105,492 (53), All property types �148,943 (984).

  2. Geography Investigation

    To collect my data in a proper way I will use a wide range of different techniques that are relevant to my investigation. Although most of the data capture techniques were planned for me, I have introduced some of my own as to provide a more complete investigation that is relevant to my hypothesis, it is also more original.

  1. US methods in Bangladesh

    This is where the USA controversially got involved. They have first hand experience from the results of flood damage from the Mississippi River (it runs across the length of the country), and while they have now more or less brought under control their floods, they now want to sell on their state of the art technology, and have Bangladesh on their radar.

  2. Case Studies - Population, Settlement, Industry and Environment

    * Camels, Sahara Desert * Fennec Fox, African Deserts * African Elephant * Red Kangaroo, Australia * Desert Toads, African Deserts * Camels, Atacama desert, Chile * Elephants, Lions and Oryx in the Namib desert, Namibia * Locusts, African Desert Vegetation and animals in Tropical Rainforest * Hardwoods * Vines and Climbers * Pioneers (macaranca)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work