Methods of Psychology, The Importance of Methodology for Science - Fundamentals of General Psychology

Chapter 2. Methods of Psychology

The scientist in his work creates two types of media: some give him the opportunity to anticipate events - theoretical, others help to notice this event when it happens - instrumental. They are always interrelated and, as a rule, have basically the same starting points. Without such research tools, both theoretical and instrumental, the scientist will wander in the dark: he will not know where to look and how to look.

F. Kelly

The importance of methodology for science

A method is a way of scientific investigation or a way of knowing any reality. The methodology literally means the science of the method, but in the broadest sense of the word - the method of cognition and transformation of the world. A greater emphasis is usually placed on the method of cognition, since science is primarily concerned with the accumulation and systematization of knowledge about the world, and the transformation of this world is the task of applied and practical fields. The importance of methodology for any science can not be underestimated.

First, the methodology provides clarity and clarity of the problem (scientific or practical) on the part of both content and form. In other words, on the basis of certain principles and methodological norms, it is possible to correctly formulate a question that requires solution.

For example: "Is it possible to change personal qualities of a person only by persuasion methods?" Or: "Do I need to repeat the phenomena of psychological phenomena to assert their existence?" For example, from the point of view of materialistic methodology it is incorrect to formulate the problem in this way: "What part of the soul does the Divine Spirit occupy?" And from the point of view of idealistic methodology it is ridiculous to raise the question of the materiality of everything.

Secondly, the methodology carries out a worldview interpretation of the results of science. Any discovery, any new facts and findings need to be explained and included in the system already known knowledge.

For example, the discovery of new properties of elementary particles posed a problem: either to try to explain them from the standpoint of the previous methodology, or to reconsider some of the principles of this methodology. An example of psychology is the discovery of paranormal phenomena, for example, & quot; reading & quot; the thoughts of the interlocutor, the guessing of geometric figures depicted on sheets that are hidden in tight closed envelopes, etc. Scientists speak quite differently about similar phenomena. You can try to consider them as a special manifestation of already known phenomena and a unique property inherent in rare individuals who have a particularly low threshold of perception. This allows us to stay within the framework of the previous scientific methodology. You can simply ignore the paranormal phenomena and deny the reality of their existence. You can try to develop new methodological coordinates that would include and explain such phenomena along with all known, but in a new way.

Third, the methodology allows us to develop a strategy for the development of science and practice. Scientists who stand on differing methodological grounds, see further perspectives in various ways. Behavioral psychologists prefer to talk about the future of psychology as an experimental science, in its methods and rigor increasingly approaching the natural sciences, such as physics and mathematics. Existential psychologists argue that psychology should become more and more humanitarian in spirit, it's time to remember your ancestor - philosophy. Therefore, now voices are increasingly heard about the "refilization" psychology. Different ways of development of psychological practice are seen in different ways - again, depending on the initial methodological grounds. For example, some methodologists see the school psychologist in the future as a kind of messiah, opening up new ways of the national school. Others insist on reducing its activities to a clearly limited functional. And still others think that there is no need for such a service. From what methodological position prevails in the scientific world, the further development of theoretical and practical psychology will also largely depend.

Fourth, the methodology stimulates the development of science and practice. Obsolete methodological principles that do not correspond to new scientific data will hinder the development of science. Therefore, there is a change in methodological approaches, since the formulation of new norms and principles allows, as it were, "spread the curtains" For a better vision of the range of possibilities. Awareness of new perspectives, a clear understanding of what is already known and what is not, literally "pushes" researchers and practitioners to action.

Fifth, the methodology provides a certain means for solving the tasks posed. Psychoanalytic methodology offers its own resources for studying the psyche, and for influencing it - interpretation, analysis of dreams, archetypes of the collective unconscious, etc. Behavioral methodology has developed for practitioners completely different methods - negative and positive reinforcement, systematic desensitization, "anchoring" etc. In fact, each methodological approach involves the use of specific specific tools and methods.

Sixthly, the methodology allows to describe and evaluate the activity of the researcher or practice and to develop recommendations and rules, i.e. those norms by which a person must be guided in his activity. It is about analyzing the structure of activity itself, including motivation, goals, tasks, actions, means and methods, and evaluation of results. An appeal to these questions helps to improve the organizational aspect of research of any problems or transformation of the studied objects. Therefore, the methodology helps to look not only at the object, but also on the person himself, studying or transforming this object, and on their interaction. This is especially important for psychology, in which the & quot; object & quot; itself is the & quot; subject & quot ;. After all, the client (or the subject) also always influences the psychologist, and it is necessary to understand and explain from a methodological point of view all aspects of the emerging interaction as a two-way process.

The list of methodology functions can be continued, but the above is enough to understand its importance.

A practitioner who does not take into account the role of methodology in his own activity is simply blind, does not see and does not understand what he himself does when interacting with the client. He is like a ship, not knowing where to swim, any wind for him - passing. The lack of scientific methodology pushes some practical psychologists to use in their work the ideas of Scientologists, Munists or dubious positions of some other, far from scientific psychological directions.

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