Paul Lazarsfeld

[Vier methodologische Grundregeln der Marienthal-Studie]

Wien, 1933
In all this work certain norms for empirical study were maintained as a matter of course. It would have been unacceptable just to report that x percent of the people did or thought this or that about some topic. The task was to combine diverse findings into a small number of »integrating constructs.« At the same time, it was imperative to explicate as clearly as possible the procedure by which such greater depth was achieved. In a paper written in 1933 summarizing the Austrian experience, the following four rules were singled out and amply exemplified:
a. For any phenomenon one should have objective observations as well as introspective reports.
b. Case studies should be properly combined with statistical information.
c. Contemporary information should be supplemented by information on earlier phases of whatever is being studied.
d. »Natural and experimental data« should be combined. By experimental, I meant mainly questionnaires and solicited reports, while by natural I meant what is now called »unobtrusive measures« – data derived from daily life without interference from the investigator.

Paul F[elix] Lazarsfeld: Foreword to the American edition. Forty years later, in Marie Jahoda / Paul F[elix] Lazarsfeld / Hans Zeisel: Marienthal. The sociography of an unemployed community. Chicago, Ill.–New York, N.Y.: Aldine, Atherton [1971], S. vii-xvi, hier S. xiv.

© Reinhard Müller -- Graz, im Oktober 2006

Otto Bauer als Anreger
methodolog. Grundregeln
inhaltliche Bedeutung
"Zwei Jahre später"
50 Jahre danach
zu "Einstweilen wird es Mittag"