Will big data make psychological research obsolete?
So the disadvantage with big data in general is that it tends to be correlational. So, we watch what millions of people do, we then find correlation between behaviour and psychology and then we assume that that’s telling us something useful.
I think the best way to use big data is as, sort of, in combination with more traditional approaches that is still used in psychology. So experimental approaches where you are putting people into groups, and one group is control group and one group got some experimental effect and then you will see what effect that has on people.
So then you have got the big data is telling you, well, here is what millions of people are doing day-to-day and then the experiment is telling you that this is the cause and result, this actually means something psychologically, this affects what people do.