NCERT Class 11 Psychology Methods of Enquiry in Psychology

Read and download NCERT Class 11 Psychology Methods of Enquiry in Psychology chapter in NCERT book for Class 11 Psychology. You can download latest NCERT eBooks chapter wise in PDF format free from This Psychology textbook for Class 11 is designed by NCERT and is very useful for students. Please also refer to the NCERT solutions for Class 11 Psychology to understand the answers of the exercise questions given at the end of this chapter

NCERT Book for Class 11 Psychology Chapter 2 Methods of Enquiry in Psychology

Class 11 Psychology students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter Chapter 2 Methods of Enquiry in Psychology in standard 11. This NCERT Book for Grade 11 Psychology will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks

Chapter 2 Methods of Enquiry in Psychology NCERT Book Class 11

Methods of Enquiry in Psychology


You have read in the first chapter that psychology is the study of experiences, behaviours, and mental processes. You may now be curious to know how psychologists study these phenomena. In other words, what methods are used to study behaviour and mental processes? Like all scientists, psychologists seek to describe, predict, explain and control what they study. For this, psychologists rely on formal, systematic observations to address their questions. It is the methodology that makes psychology a scientific endeavour.

Psychologists use a variety of research methods because questions about human behaviour are numerous and all of them cannot be studied by a single method. Methods such as observation, experimental, correlational research, survey, psychological testing and case study are more frequently used to study the problems of psychology. This chapter will familiarise  you with the goals of psychological enquiry, the nature of information or data thatwe collect in psychological studies, the diverse range of methodological devices available for the study of psychology, and some important issues related to psychological studies.


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.

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