Psychology: From the Standpoint of a Behaviorist

By John B. Watson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
PSYCHOLOGICAL METHODS
Introduction. --In the preceding chapter we referred several times to psychological methods and procedure. It remains to give a somewhat more extended discussion of objective methods as employed in human psychology. In the end we will find that this preliminary survey of methods will assist us in understanding the results which have been obtained in the field of psychology. Psychological methods in detail are very numerous. When we come to look them over, however, we find that most of them fall within the following general classification:
I. Observation, with and without instrumental control.
II. The conditioned reflex methods.
i. Methods employed in obtaining conditioned secretion reflexes.
ii. Methods employed in obtaining conditioned motor reflexes.
III. The verbal report method.
IV. Methods of testing.

These various methods are not completely independent, but the reasons for such a classification will appear after a careful consideration of the text.

____________________
1

The Instructor is advised at this point to give at least two demonstration lectures on the simple forms of apparatus employed in psychology, and upon the method of treating the results. We suggest some demonstration of the expressive methods, showing how respiration, vasomotor changes, can be recorded and timed; upon the way of administering the word- association test, both with a simple stop-watch and with better timing devices; of the method of recording and timing eye movements by photography as the eye moves in reading, etc. The student should be put through some test such as the Trabue language test, the army alpha test, the range of information test, etc. If time permits, the apparatus and methods used in the study of "memory" and the conditioned reflex should be given. Some familiarity with sense organ experimentation is also advised.

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