The methods used in social psychology for obtaining empirical data are used as well in such sciences as, for example, sociology, pedagogics, psychology. Such methods are divided into two groups: influences and researches. The first treat specific area which is called "influence psychology". And as for research methods, them exists only two. They consist of collection of information and its processing.
Methods of practical social psychology
There is a set of other typifications of methods of a social and psychological research. For example, there are three groups of the main methods in social psychology:
- administrative and educational;
- empirical research;
Distinguish such from methods of collection of information: observation, studying documents, holding polls, tests and experiments.
Observation method in social psychology
Such method is "oldest". What does it mean? This purposeful, deliberate and systematic perception of the phenomena which main goal is studying their specific changes in certain conditions. Also the method is applied to find the meaning of these phenomena. If it is possible to obtain data on open behavior, then this method is very important. The main problem arising when using a method is that it is hard to record certain classes of characteristics so that further other researcher could understand the protocol of observation.
Studying documents – important process as with its help it is possible to carry out the analysis of human activity. Here too there can be a problem interpreting the document – the researcher having the specific psychological features. That is, it is very important to understand the text.
To avoid such problem, it is possible to use the special reception which is called "content analysis" - the analysis of the document when in the text the concrete words are selected then the frequency of their use in the text is counted. Such method is applied in case the researcher has to work with the large volume of numerous texts.
Other methods of collection of information Poll is method when to the person set a number of questions, and he answers them.
The test is a certain test where the examinee should perform or specially developed task, or to give answers to questions which have no anything similar to questions of an interview or questionnaires. Questions which are set asked in tests are indirect.
And here, as for an experiment, this method is considered one of the main researches. What does the essence of such method consist in? During the experiment purposefully create in advance thought over and carefully planned artificial situation in which the studied phenomenon is allocated, proves and allows to estimate it best of all. That is, in an experiment create imitation of daily processes.
Methods of psychology of social interaction help as it is possible to study a certain phenomenon better.
It should be noted some main objectives at which use social psychology. For example, it is applied when studying the mass mental phenomena. Not to do also without studying behavior of people in certain situations. Also very often conduct researches of behavior of the person in collective.