Repetition is our way of learning knowledge. This short video provides an excellent overview of observational research, including the history of this method, its common uses, and the common methods used in observational research. Observation Methods , published 2015 Observation watching what people do would seem to be an obvious method of carrying out research in psychology. This suggested that the participants harbored subtle forms of prejudice against Arab-Americans, despite their assertions that this was not the case Jenkins et al. One of the primary benefits of structured observation is that it is far more efficient than naturalistic and participant observation. Three Approaches to Descriptive Research. Handbook of qualitative research 2nd ed.
List of Pros of Naturalistic Observation 1. This technique involves observing subjects in their natural environment. Precise specification of the sampling process in this way makes data collection manageable for the observers, and it also provides some control over important extraneous variables. The categories on the schedule are coded so that the data collected can be easily counted and turned into statistics. Obviously, when they focus their attention on a very small number of people, they can gain a tremendous amount of insight into those cases.
As a result of these demand characteristics, participants may alter their behavior in order to go along with what they think the researchers want. After all, the world is changing and their environment is surely changing. Researchers are expected to demonstrate the interrater reliability of their coding procedure by having multiple raters code the same behaviors independently and then showing that the different observers are in close agreement. As described previously, observational research is non-experimental because nothing is manipulated or controlled, and as such we cannot arrive at causal conclusions using this approach. For instance, you may act much differently in a bar if you know that someone is observing you and recording your behaviors and this would invalidate the study. As with naturalistic observation, measurement can be more or less straightforward when working with archival data. He finds that length of marriage correlates with baldness.
This allows the researcher to have a very deep understanding of the individuals and the particular phenomenon being studied. A scientist cannot simply develop a real, scientific theory without evidence to build it. Research participants must also be willing to continue their participation for an extended period of time, and this can be problematic. However, some people might not be comfortable with being observed at worship. Surveys are lists of questions to be answered by research participants, and can be delivered as paper-and-pencil questionnaires, administered electronically, or conducted verbally. There are a variety of reasons that observational research is chosen as the most appropriate method of collecting data for a particular research question. Most incoming sensory information is sent through the thalamus before reaching higher regions of the cerebral cortex for processing.
In contrast with undisguised participant observation, the researchers become a part of the group they are studying and they disclose their true identity as researchers to the group under investigation. Participant Observation Participant observation is a variant of the above natural observations but here the researcher joins in and becomes part of the group they are studying to get a deeper insight into their lives. This is very similar to the phenomenon mentioned earlier in this chapter: many individuals do not feel comfortable answering a question honestly. Although this is considered to be the most realistic type of research method, there are also those who are skeptical about this. The staff and other patients were unaware of their true identities as researchers. The second set of issues involves ethical and legal concerns, specifically those that arise from the right of people to know that they are being observed.
But is it the most useful king of research method? Second Observation Our second example of naturalistic observation is that of a geologist interested in the chemical contents of water in a particular set of caves. . The advantage of this type of method is that the study is reproducible and therefore, can be tested for reliability. These were given to a separate group of raters who rated each explanation in terms of three separate dimensions of optimism-pessimism. Although a researcher can get a natural reaction and a real one, this can take time since the subject needs to be observed over and over again to identify a pattern of behavior and this is time consuming.
For instance, interviews, naturalistic observation, structured observation, psychological testing e. As such, they will also have different burdens of informed consent. Lesson Summary Naturalistic observation is the research practice of studying human, nonhuman, and nonliving subjects in their natural environments. So many approaches exist because psychologists are interested in a wide range of topics. Both approaches create new data, while archival research involves the that already exist. Great care may be taken in the design of these studies, but the situations are to some degree uncommon.
Among the methods used for collecting data, naturalistic observation is the least invasive and least likely to change a study subject's behavior. The Strange Situation is a procedure used to evaluate attachment styles that exist between an infant and caregiver. Expectations can and do influence your behavior even if you are a researcher. The term observational research is used to refer to several different types of non-experimental studies in which behavior is systematically observed and recorded. The disadvantages of this method are that the observations usually take place on a small scale with a small sample size and the participants may not truly be representative of the larger population. Naturalistic observation is often used by ethnographers examining cultural behavior, organizational development researchers, and program evalu-ators.
Many researchers are unable to commit the resources necessary to see a longitudinal project through to the end. Your friend has become increasingly interested in how dogs normally communicate and interact with each other, and is thinking of visiting a local veterinary clinic to see how dogs interact in the waiting room. The anthropologist Jane Goodall, for example, spent nearly five decades observing the behavior of chimpanzees in Africa. The researcher tests under two conditions. Indeed, some scientists spend their entire careers studying just 10—20 individuals. Like many observational research methods, case studies tend to be more qualitative in nature.