Paul F. Lazarsfeld
Über die vier
methodologischen Grundregeln der Marienthal-Studie
Paul F[elix] Lazarsfeld
(1901–1976): Foreword to the American edition. Forty years later, in
Marie Jahoda & Paul F. Lazarsfeld &
Hans Zeisel: Marienthal. The
sociography of an unemployed community.
Ill.-New York, N.Y.: Aldine, Atherton , S. vii–xvi, hier S. xiv.
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:
For any phenomenon one should have objective observations as well as
Case studies should be properly combined with statistical information.
Contemporary information should be supplemented by information on
earlier phases of whatever is being studied.
»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.