Methods of Enquiry In Psychology NCERT Textbook PDF

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Methods of Enquiry In Psychology NCERT Textbook With Solution PDF Free Download


Chapter 2: Methods of Enquiry in Psychology

Like any scientific research, psychological enquiry has the following goals: description, prediction, explanation, and control of behaviour, and application of knowledge so generated, in an objective manner.

Let us try to understand the meaning of these terms. Description : In a psychological study, we attempt to describe a behaviour or a phenomenon as accurately as possible.

 This helps in distinguishing a particular behaviour from other behaviours. For example, the researcher may be interested in observing study habits among students.

Study habits may consist of diverse range of behaviours, such as attending all your classes regularly, submitting assignments on time, planning your study schedule, studying according to the set schedule, revising your work on a daily basis etc.

Within a particular category there may be further minute descriptions.

The researcher needs to describe her/his meaning of study habits. The description requires recording of a particular behaviour which helps in its proper understanding.  Prediction : The second goal of scientific enquiry is prediction of behaviour.

If you are able to understand and describe the behaviour accurately, you come to know the relationship of a particular behaviour with other types of behaviours, events, or phenomena.

You can then forecast that under certain conditions this particular behaviour may occur within a certain margin of error.

 For example, on the basis of study, a researcher is able to establish a positive relationship between the amount of study time and achievement in different subjects.

Later, if you come to know that a particular child devotes more time for study, you can predict that the child is likely to get good marks in the examination.

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.

Psychologists are primarily interested in knowing the factors that make behaviour occur.

Also, what are the conditions under which a particular behaviour does not occur. For example, what makes some children more attentive in the class?

Why  some children devote less time for study as compared to others?

Thus, this goal is concerned with identifying the determinants or antecedent conditions (i.e. conditions that led to the particular behaviour) of the behaviour being studied so that cause-effect relationship between two variables (objects) or events could be established

. Control : If you are able to explain why a particular behaviour occurs, you 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. For example, you can allow the number of hours devoted to study to be the same, or you can reduce them or there may be an increase in the study hours.

The change brought about in behaviour by psychological treatment in terms of therapy in persons, is a good example of control.

Application : The final goal of the scientific enquiry is to bring out positive changes in the lives of people.

Psychological research is conducted to solve problems in various settings. Because of these efforts the quality of life of people is a major concern of psychologists.

Language English
No. of Pages21
PDF Size1.8 MB

NCERT Solutions Class 11 Psychology Chapter 2 Methods of Enquiry in Psychology

Question 1. What are the goals of scientific enquiry?
Answer: There exists diversity in types of researches or studies undertaken by psychologists but they all seem to share some common goals of enquiry, which are as follows-:

  1. Description
    • This helps to define the phenomena and distinguish it from other phenomenas.
    • Description is necessary because any event or behaviour may have many aspects.
    • For example, the idea of entertainment varies from reading books to going to pubs, depending on the individual.
    • The recording of event or behaviour is an integral part of description.
  2. Prediction
    • Prediction means forecasting of events.
    • It establishes relationship between two variables.
    • For example, one might say exercising leads to weight loss.
    • In psychology all predictions are made within a certain margin of error i.e. they are not pin-pointed or exact.
  3. Explanation
    • Explanation involves knowing the cause or the reason behind the behaviour.
    • It also tries to understand the conditions under which a particular behaviour occurs. For example, a child behaves rudely whenever he is disturbed so his disturbances become the cause of his rude behaviour.
  4. Control
    • Control means creating change in the phenomenon or behavior.
    • It refers to making behaviour happen, reduction in it or enhancement in it.
    • The changes produced by psychological treatment in terms of therapy are good examples of control.
  5. Application
    • Psychological researches are often conducted to solve various problems faced by file society.
    • Psychology helps in solving problem at individual, organizational or community level.
    • For example, therapies are provided to individuals and counseling is also there to help them.
    • At file organizational level, various psychological concepts like work motivation are used to enhance performance. At file community level, counseling is provided to help people engage in various , helpful and eco-friendly behaviours.

Question 2. Describe the various steps involved in conducting a scientific enquiry.
Answer:  Scientific research or study is a clearly defined process that goes through a series of steps—

  1. Conceptualising a problem
    • The process begins when a researcher selects a theme or topic for study.
    • Then the research questions or problems for the study are formulated.
    • Problem is based on the review of past researches, observations and personal experiences.
    • Problem indicates the relationship between variables.
      For example, what is the relationship between reward and classroom learning?
    • After formulation of problem, the hypothesis is formed, which is the tentative and testable statement about the relationship between two variables.
      For example, increased amount of reward will lead to betterment in learning.
  2. Collecting data
    • Data collection requires developing a research design or a blueprint of the entire study.
    • Participants of the study are decided, depending on the nature of study, they could be children, adolescents, college students, teachers, workers, elder people etc.
    • Methods of data collection like observation, experimental, correlational method etc are decided.
    • The next decision is taken about the tools to be used, like interview schedule,. questionnaire, survey etc.
    • Procedure for data collection is decided i.e. how the tools need to be administered to collect data i.e. individual to collect data i.e. individual or group administration.
    • This is followed by actual data collection.
  3. Drawing conclusions
    • The next step is to analyse data to understand its meaning.
    • The graphical representation of data is made using, bar diagram, pie chart, histogram, mean, median, mode, standard deviation etc.
    • The purpose of analysis is to verify a hypothesis and draw conclusions accordingly.
  4. Revising research conclusions
    • The research begins with the hypothesis.
    • Then researcher sees whether the conclusions support this hypothesis or not.
    • If conclusions support the hypothesis then it is confirmed.
    • If it is not confirmed researcher revises or states an alternative hypothesis/theory and again tests it and the same process continues.

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