Data Collection Methods in Educational Psychology

Sun, 02/12/2012 - 00:05 -- Umar Farooq

Educational Psychology and Data Collection Methods

Educational psychology is the branch of psychology, so educational psychology uses all those methods which are used in general psychology to get the maximum data and information about various human behaviors in order to arrive on conclusion. The following are the main data collection methods in educational psychology:

  1. Introspection (Self examination & Observation)
  2. Observation
  3. Experimental Method
  4. The Genetic Method / Developmental Method:
  5. Statistical Method
  6. Cause Study Method
  7. Clinical Method

Introspection (Self Examination / Observation)

Here one recalls his/her own experience, or evaluate own feelings and thinking to get the data about specific behavior and its manifestations. The information taken by this method is called introspective report. But this method is not considered so reliable and is almost abandoned in psychology.


Observation as data collection method in educational psychology is very important method, in which a person behavior is monitored or observed by a trained observer. Data taken from this method has great contribution in developmental psychology. This method covers all the external actions and manifestation of an individual.


This data collection method in educational psychology has some basic advantages

  1. It is natural and normal way of data collection;
  2. It gives sole information through observation; which can’t be done through introspection.
  3. It helps to study mind, in action, in social environment;
  4. It helps to study the mind of abnormal persons.


This data collection method in educational psychology has some basic disadvantages and limitations

  1. It can’t give right data about internal mental processes
  2. Observation can be biased by observer & may not take right data.

Experimental Method

Experimental Method for data collection in educational psychology investigates mental processes by the application of scientific method of study. Here the cause-effect relationship is studied e.g. what causes a person to behave in specific way. That is studied through scientific method of investigation.


  1. It produces mental processes again and again for the purpose of study.
  2. It isolates mental processes form accidental happening & investigates its various parts.
  3. It studies the internal and external processes of mind.
  4. The results are shown in statistical order which is scientific way.

The Genetic Method / Developmental Method

It studies mind from evolutionary point of view. That how mind develops and what factors like hereditary and environment play their due roles. It divides child mental processes in various stages, because mind is in constant change. It studied what is intelligent? What is the role of family biological background in a child mental development? This method is commonly used in child psychology.

Statistical Data Collection Method

To know about various mental processes various pre-planned tests are used to evaluate a person’s mind. Test like aptitude test, personality test, etc are used to know about various traits & capacity of mental processes. And then the data is given in statistical form.

Cause Study Method

It is the intensive investigation of a specific case. It aims to study everything about something. It studies individual life, history, health, record, home environment, social relationship etc. After studying these factors conclusions are made about specific behavior of a person / student.

Clinical Method

Here student’s problems are investigated by well qualified psychologist in clinic. The psychologists use the following method to get data:

  • Clinical Tests
  • Psycho-diagnostic
  • Counseling
  • Interview
  • Auto biographical records etc.

The student’s problems can be emotional disturbance, deficiency in specific subjects, or misbehavior etc. The clinical methods as data collection method in educational psychology are used to get the maximum correct data about an individual behavior. Now it is up to situation and individual that what kind of method can best suit him / her.