JavaScript Methods and this Keyword

In JavaScript, objects can also contain functions. For example,

// object containing method
const person = {
    name: 'John',
    greet: function() { console.log('hello'); }
};

In the above example, a person object has two keys (name and greet), which have a string value and a function value, respectively.

Hence basically, the JavaScript method is an object property that has a function value.


Accessing Object Methods

You can access an object method using a dot notation. The syntax is:

objectName.methodKey()

You can access property by calling an objectName and a key. You can access a method by calling an objectName and a key for that method along with (). For example,

// accessing method and property
const person = {
    name: 'John',
    greet: function() { console.log('hello'); }
};

// accessing property
person.name; // John

// accessing method
person.greet(); // hello

Here, the greet method is accessed as person.greet() instead of person.greet.

If you try to access the method with only person.greet, it will give you a function definition.

person.greet; // ƒ () { console.log('hello'); }

JavaScript Built-In Methods

In JavaScript, there are many built-in methods. For example,

let number = '23.32';
let result = parseInt(number);

console.log(result); // 23

Here, the parseInt() method of Number object is used to convert numeric string value to an integer value.

To learn more about built-in methods, visit JavaScript Built-In Methods.


Adding a Method to a JavaScript Object

You can also add a method in an object. For example,

// creating an object
let student = { };

// adding a property
student.name = 'John';

// adding a method
student.greet = function() {
    console.log('hello');
}

// accessing a method
student.greet(); // hello

In the above example, an empty student object is created. Then, the name property is added. Similarly, the greet method is also added. In this way, you can add a method as well as property to an object.


JavaScript this Keyword

To access a property of an object from within a method of the same object, you need to use the this keyword. Let's consider an example.

const person = {
    name: 'John',
    age: 30,

    // accessing name property by using this.name
    greet: function() { console.log('The name is' + ' ' + this.name); }
};

person.greet();

Output

The name is John

In the above example, a person object is created. It contains properties (name and age) and a method greet.

In the method greet, while accessing a property of an object, this keyword is used.

In order to access the properties of an object, this keyword is used following by . and key.

Note: In JavaScript, this keyword when used with the object's method refers to the object. this is bound to an object.


However, the function inside of an object can access it's variable in a similar way as a normal function would. For example,

const person = {
    name: 'John',
    age: 30,
    greet: function() {
        let surname = 'Doe';
        console.log('The name is' + ' ' + this.name + ' ' + surname); }
};

person.greet();

Output

The name is John Doe

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