New Approaches

The existing social and technological conditions often determine the development of psychological assessment methods in two ways. On the one hand, the content of research is often oriented toward questions relevant to current society and its sociotechnological conditions, and suitable methods of assessment must be developed or adapted. For instance, the necessity for researching driver aggression in traffic made it essential to find valid measures of driver behavior (e.g., Boyce & Geller, 2002). On the other hand, the research instrument itself depends heavily on the tools or other forms of aid that are available in the particular sociotechnological context. For instance, the ever increasing technological possibilities of monitoring brain activity have led not only to increased and sometimes inflationary use of imaging methods but also to the differentiation of several techniques for applying and interpreting these methods (Zald & Curtis, chap. 13, this volume). In the following we would like to demonstrate how Types 4 and 5 nonreactive measures have developed with the changing sociotechnological conditions. As a reminder, Types 4 and 5 measures (Table 14.1) are those that build on data that is not originally recorded or data that is not perceived as being recorded for research purposes. To do this, we focus exemplarily on nonreactive online research in the Internet.

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