Using Mixed Methods

Since both observation and self-report come with inherent weaknesses, psychologists commonly adopt a mixed methods approach to studying a phenomenon.

As discussed earlier, therapists commonly use both self-report and observation to get a better understanding of their client’s mental state. But they also rely on past medical and therapy records, school transcripts and report cards, interviews with client’s family and friends, personality tests, social media postings, and diaries. All of these methods of data collection provide a unique piece of information that will help the therapist gain insight into the client.

MIxed methods allow the psychologist to “fill in the gaps” that relying solely on one method of data collection might result in. Further, when the disparate sources of data all point to the same result, we can be more confident in our conclusion.

Assignment: (Note: You should have at least five different methods for each response)

1) You are a psychologist studying driving behavior. What would be all the different methods that you could use to measure someone’s driving behavior?

2) You are a psychologist studying social media use. What would be all the different methods that you could use to meausre someone’s social media use?

Note: You should have AT LEAST five different methods for each response.


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