Research methods in psychology

Research methods in psychology is about how research methods can be utilized in psychological related research.


Psychology is a science. Psychological research involves a process of systematic investigation to enhance knowledge and understanding of human behaviour and experience (Willig, 2019).

A useful distinction is made between research which is:

Arguably, the approaches represent two sides of the same coin. Or, as Karl Marx wrote:

Though predating the term "qualitative research", early pioneers such as Freud, Jung, and Piaget utilised such methods in their early work (e.g., case studies), and by doing so provided the foundation for modern psychology (del Rio Carral & Tseliou, 2019).

Nevertheless, since the first experimental psychology laboratory was established in 1879 by Wundt, psychological research become highly quantitative during the 20th century. During the 21st century, the methods and foci of psychological research have expanded and diversified (Nelson, 2015).

Each research method has strengths and weaknesses, so the selection of which method(s) to use should depend on the aims and nature of the research question.

Research methodsEdit

Many different research methods are used in psychological research, including:

See alsoEdit

  Search for Research methods on Wikipedia.


del Rio Carrall, M., & Tseliou, E. (2019). Mapping qualitative research in psychology across Europe: Contemporary trends. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 16(3), 325–335.

Nelson, K. (2015). Quantitative and qualitative research in psychological science. Biological Theory, 10(3), 263–272.

Willig, C. (2019). What can qualitative psychology contribute to psychological knowledge? Psychological Methods, 24(6), 796–804.

External linksEdit