What is experimental psychology

What is experimental psychology

The experimental psychology is the scientific discipline which is engaged in studying methods of a psychological research. The main directions of experimental psychology are: description and classification of methods of a psychological research, stages of carrying out research, ethical problems and role of the researcher.


To the middle of the 19th century the psychology developed in a philosophy bosom, it had no uniform methods and rules of carrying out researches, at that time it represented set of various descriptions, assumptions and hypotheses. For further development of this field of knowledge it was necessary to elaborate uniform criteria and rules of carrying out researches. So, need of compliance of psychology to the main requirements imposed on science pushed V. Vund to make psychology science experimental. It also allowed psychology to turn into independent science.


The experimental psychology is branch of psychology which is engaged in the description, classification of psychological methods and assessment of their efficiency. The main contribution to development of this discipline was made: To Bina, Pavlov, Sechenov. Buger, Weber, Fekhner, Helmholtz, Bekhterev. Their research experience in other scientific areas helped to make the significant contribution to development of this direction. Active development of behaviorism played a big role in formation of experimental psychology.

Classification and methodology

The main sections of experimental psychology are the principles of scientific research, investigation phases and classification of methods. The principles of methodology describe the basic rules by which each researcher has to be guided: principles of objectivity, determinism, falsifiability. The main stages of carrying out any psychological research are: problem statement or definition of a subject, theoretical review, definition of an experimental hypothesis, choice of the experimental tool and experimental conditions, planning, formation of sample, statistical processing, interpretation of results and formation of conclusions, fixing of a research. The classification of methods offered by B.G. Ananyev is the most popular, all methods he divided into organizational, empirical, ways of data processing and interpretative. Further its classification was improved scientists. Also much attention in experimental psychology is paid to ethical problems and a role of the researcher.

Mathematical apparatus

One of the most perspective directions of development of experimental psychology is application of mathematical methods. The analysis and statistics allow to speak about the maximum objectivity of conclusions and the conclusions with confidence. But despite this, now, there is a large number of controversial issues and not studied areas which are dictated by a difficult way of scientific formation of social disciplines.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team