Naturalistic ObservationObserving behavior in a “natural”environmentOften involves countingbehaviors, such as number ofaggressive acts, number ofsmiles, etc.
AdvantagesBehavior is naturally occurringand is not manipulated by aresearcherCan offer qualitative data, not justquantitative information
Limitations The presence of someone observingcan cause those being observed toalter behavior. Researcher’s beliefs can also altertheir observations Difficult to coordinate multipleobservers since observed behaviormust be operationally defined (e.g.what constitutes an aggressive act)
Case StudyFollowing a single case, typicallyover an extended period of time.This can involve naturalisticobservations, and includepsychological testing, interviews,and the application of atreatment.
AdvantagesCan gather extensive information,both qualitative and quantitativeCan be helpful in betterunderstanding rare cases or veryspecific interventions.
LimitationsOnly one case is involved, severelylimiting the generalization to the rest of thepopulation.Can be very time consuming and caninvolve other problems specific to thetechniques used, including researcherbias
SurveyQuestionnaires are often used to gatheropinions.
AdvantagesCan gather large amounts of informationin a relatively short time, especially nowwith many surveys being conducted online
LimitationsPeople may not be truthful or accurate onsurveys or questionnaires.
Correlational StudiesCorrelation means relationship, so thepurpose of a correlational study is todetermine if a relationship exists, whatdirection the relationship is, and howstrong it is. For example: Is there arelationship between amount of timededicated to studying and overall GPA?
AdvantagesCan assess the strength of a relationshipIs popular with lay population because it isrelatively easy to explain and understand
LimitationsCannot make any assumptions of causeand effectCannot explain how a third variable can beinvolvedCannot explain how the variables caninfluence each other
Psychological TestingUtilizing testing to gather informationabout a group or individual
AdvantagesMost tests are normed and standardized,which means they have very reliable andvalid results.Popular with businesses looking for dataon employeesPopular with psychologists working withdifficult or specific therapy cases
LimitationsTests which are not rigorously normed andstandardized can easily result ininaccurate results.