NCERT Solutions for Class 11th: Ch 2 Methods of Enquiry in Psychology 

Page No: 42

Review Questions

1. What are the goals of scientific enquiry?


The goals of scientific enquiry are:

→ Description: It is important in scientific enquiry to describe a behaviour or a phenomenon as accurately as possible which helps in its proper understanding.

→ Prediction: The second goal of scientific enquiry is understanding of a particular behaviour in relationship to other behaviours, events or phenomena. It tries to predict their occurrences under certain conditions with a margin of error. Prediction becomes more accurate with the increase in the number of persons observed.

→ Explanation: The third goal of psychological enquiry is to know the causal factors or determinants of behaviour and the conditions where the behaviour does not occur.

→ Control: If a person able to explain why a particular behaviour occurs, person can control that behaviour by making changes in its antecedent conditions. Control refers to three things: making a particular behaviour happen, reducing it, or enhancing it.

→ Application: The final goal of the scientific enquiry is to bring out positive changes in the lives of people through application of a particular behaviour.

2. Describe the various steps involved in conducting a scientific enquiry.


The various steps involved in conducting a scientific enquiry are: 

→ Conceptualising a Problem: The researcher have to select a theme or topic for study. Then narrows down the focus and develops specific research questions or problems for the study. This is done on the basis of review of past research, observations, and personal experiences. Next, they have to prepare a hypothesis or a tentative solution of the problem.

→ Collecting Data: The second step in scientific research is to collect data. Data collection requires developing a research design or a blueprint of the entire study. It requires taking decisions about the following four aspects: participants in the study, methods of data collection, tools to be used in research, and procedure for data collection.

→ Drawing Conclusions : The next step is to analyse data so collected through the use of statistical procedures to understand what the data mean. This can be achieved through graphical representations such as preparation of pie-chart, bar-diagram, etc. and by the use of different statistical methods.It helps to verify the hypothesis and draw conclusions by putting them into an appropriate context.

→ Revising Research Conclusions:The existing hypothesis is finally confirmed on the basis of revision of data else, a new hypothesis is stated and tested by new data. The research may also be revised by other researchers, hence making it a continuous process.

3. Explain the nature of psychological data.


The nature of psychological data are:
→ These are approximate the reality to some extent and provide an opportunity to verify or falsify our ideas, hunches, notions, etc.
→ These are are not independent of the physical or social context, the persons involved, and the time when the behaviour occurs.
→ The method of data collection such as survey, interview, experiment, etc. used and the characteristics of respondents such as, individual or group, young or old, male or female, rural or urban, etc. also influence the nature and quality of data.

4. How do experimental and control groups differ? Explain with the help of an example.


Experimental groups differ from control groups as independent variable manipulation occurs in an experimental group whereas it is absent in a control group. For example, in the study by Latane and Darley, there were two experimental groups and one control group. The participants in the study were sent to three types of rooms.
In one room no one was present (control group). In the other two rooms, two persons were already seated (experimental groups).
The independent variable, in this study, was the absence or presence of other persons sitting in the room. The remaining factors in the experiment were the same for both kinds of groups. In experimental groups, two persons were present with the real participant while in the control group, participant was alone. Therefore, it can be said that the manipulated variable is absent in control group.

5. A researcher is studying the relationship between speed of cycling and the presence of people. Formulate a relevant hypothesis and identify the independent and dependent variables.


A study of relationship between speed of cycling and the presence of people.
Hypothesis As the speed of cycling increases people tend to move away fast.
Field experimentTwo market places
A boy is asked to ride a bicycle with different speeds in the market.
Market 1It is observed that when the boy passes through the market street with high speed on the bicycle, people surrounding him will get away quickly in order to protect themselves from getting hit by the cycle.
Market 2It is observed that when the boy passes through the market street with normal speed on the bicycle people around him will get away normally and slowly to give him the way as compared to the people of market 1.
Conclusion When the speed of the cycle is high people move away from it quickly and when the speed of cycle is normal people will move away slowly in comparison.
Revision of research conclusionThe conclusion has matched the hypothesis. Therefore, the hypothesis is correct.
Independent variableSpeed of cycle
Dependent variableMovement of people

6. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of experimental method as a method of enquiry.


The strengths of experimental method as a method of enquiry are:
→ It makes possible to determine whether changes in the independent variable cause subsequent changes in the dependent variable.
→ The extraneous variables can be minimised.
→ It is used to minimise the sequence effect with the help of counter-balancing technique.
→ It eliminates any potential systematic differences between groups through random assignment of participants to different groups

The weaknesss of experimental method as a method of enquiry are:
→ A highly controlled laboratory only simulate situations that exist in the outside world.
→ The experiments may produce results that do not generalise well, or apply to real situations.
→ It is not always feasible to study a particular problem experimentally.
→ It is difficult to know and control all the relevant variables.

7. Dr. Krishnan is going to observe and record children’s play behaviour at a nursery school without attempting to influence or control the behaviour. Which method of research is involved? Explain the process and discuss its merits and demerits.


Non-participant observation method is involved in research of Dr. Krishnan here. He can install a video camera to record children’s play behaviour at a nursery school or sit in a corner of the class without interfering or participating in their everyday activities and then analyse and conclude it.

• Merits: The researcher study people and their behaviour in a naturalistic situation, as it occurs.

• Demerits: This method is labour intensive, time consuming, and is susceptible to the observer’s bias. Our observation is influenced by our values and beliefs about the person or the event.

8. Give two examples of the situations where survey method can be used. What are the limitations of this method?


Two Examples of the situations where survey method can be used are:
→ The attitude of people towards family planning.
→ The attitude towards giving powers to the panchayati raj institutions for running programmes related to health, education, sanitation etc.

The limitations of this method are:
→ People may give inaccurate information because of memory lapses or they may not want to let the researcher know what they really believe about a particular issue.
→ People sometimes offer responses they think the researcher wants to hear.

9. Differentiate between an interview and a questionnaire.


Interview Questionnaire
It is a form of interaction in which questions are asked directly to the respondents. It is a framework in which questions of scientific enquiry are written.
Its questions may vary in their sequence according to the need of the situation. It consists of a predetermined set of questions.
Researcher and respondents are in face-to-face contact. Researcher and respondents are not required to be in face-to-face contact.
Number of questions can be increased or decreased. Number of questions cannot be changed.

10. Explain the characteristics of a standardised test.


The characteristics of a standardised test are:

• Reliability: It refers to the consistency of scores obtained by an individual on the same test on two different occasions. Test-retest indicates temporal stability and split-half indicates internal consistency of the test.

• Validity: The test has to be devised to measure what it claims to measure in order to be held as valid and usable.

• Norms: The test needs to devise norms or the average performance of the group. It helps in comparison and interpretation of an individual's performance in relation to the overall standards of the group.

11. Describe the limitations of psychological enquiry.


The limitations of psychological enquiry are:

• Lack of True Zero Point: Psychological measurements do not have a true zero point. For example, no person in this world has zero intelligence.The scores given to an individual in psychological studies, are not absolute in nature; rather, they have relative value.

• Relative Nature of Psychological Tools: Psychological tests are developed keeping in view the salient features of a particular context. For example, a test developed for urban children is not suitable and cannot be applied on tribal children.

• Subjective Interpretation of Qualitative Data: Data from qualitative studies are largely subjective since they involve interpretation on the part of the researcher as well as the person providing data. The interpretations may vary from one individual to the other.

12. What are the ethical guidelines that a psychologist needs to follow while conducting a psychological enquiry?


The ethical guidelines that a psychologist needs to follow while conducting a psychological enquiry are:

• Voluntary Participation : This principle states that the persons on whom researcher want to conduct the study should have the choice to decide whether to participate or not to participate in the study.

• Informed Consent : It is essential that the participants in a study should understand what will happen to them during the study.

• Debriefing : Once the study is over, the participants are provided with necessary information to complete their understanding of research.

• Sharing the Results of the Study : In psychological research, after collecting information from the participants, we come back to our places of work, analyse the data and draw conclusions. It is obligatory for the researcher to go back to the participants and share the results of the study with them.
• Confidentiality of Data Source : The participants in a study have the right to privacy. The researcher must safeguard their privacy by keeping the information provided by them in strict confidence.

Go To Chapters
Previous Post Next Post