Observation Method: An Overview

Observation Method


The observation technique is the most typically used technique, particularly in studies regarding behavioral sciences. In a method we tend to all observe things around us; however, this type of observation isn’t scientific observation. Observation becomes a scientific tool and therefore the technique of data collection for the researcher, once it serves a developed research purpose, is consistently planned and recorded and is subjected to checks and controls on validity and responsibility. Under the observation technique, the data is sought-after by the method of the investigator’s own direct observation while not asking from the respondent. As an example, in a study regarding client behavior, the investigator rather than asking the whole gliding joint watch employed by the respondent, could explore the watch.

 The most advantage of this technique is that subjective bias is eliminated if the observation is completed accurately. Secondly, the data obtained underneath this technique relates to what’s presently happening; it’s not difficult by either the past behavior or future intentions or attitudes. Thirdly, this technique is independent of respondents’ temperament to retort and intrinsically is comparatively less hard of active cooperation on the part of respondents as happens to be the case within the interview or the form technique. This technique is especially appropriate in studies that wear down subjects (i.e., respondents) who aren’t capable of giving verbal reports of their feelings for one reason or the opposite but, the observation technique has numerous limitations. Firstly, it’s a rich technique. Secondly, the data provided by this technique is extremely restricted. Thirdly, typically unforeseen factors could interfere with the data-based task. At times, the very fact that some individuals are seldom accessible to direct observation creates obstacles for this technique to gather data effectively.

Observation, because the name implies, may be a method of assembling data through observation. Observation data collection technique is classed as a democratic study, as a result of the researcher has got to immerse herself within the setting wherever her respondents are, whereas taking notes and/or recording.

Observations as an information collection technique are often structured or unstructured. In structured or systematic observation, data collection is conducted exploitation of specific variables and in keeping with a pre-defined schedule. Unstructured observation, on the opposite hand, is conducted in an open and free manner in the sense that there would be no pre-determined variables or objectives.

Advantages of observation data collection technique hold direct access to research phenomena, high levels of elasticity in terms of application, and generating a permanent record of phenomena to be cited later. At the identical time, the observation technique is underprivileged with longer time necessities, high levels of observer bias, and impact of observer on primary data, in a method, that presence of an observer could influence the behavior of sample cluster parts.

It is vital to notice that the observation data collection technique could also be related to sure moral problems. Absolutely consent of research participant(s) is one of all the fundamental moral issues to be adhered to by researchers. At the same time, the behavior of sample cluster members could amendment with negative implications on the amount of research validity if they’re notified concerning the presence of the observer.

While using this technique, the researcher ought to detain mind things like What ought to be observed?

How the observations ought to be recorded? Or however, the accuracy of observation is often ensured? in case the observation is characterized by a careful definition of the units to be discovered, the fashion of recording the discovered data, standardized conditions of observation, and therefore the choice of pertinent data of observation, then the observation is termed as a structured observation. However once the observation is to require place while not these characteristics to be thought of ahead, identical is termed as an unstructured observation. Structured observation is taken into account applicable in descriptive studies, whereas in an explorative study the data-based procedure is presumably to be comparatively unstructured.

We often remark participant and non-participant sorts of observation within the context of studies, particularly of social sciences. This distinction depends upon the observer’s sharing or not sharing the lifetime of the cluster he’s observant. If the observer observes by creating himself, a lot of or less, a member of the cluster he’s observant in order that he will expertise what the members of the cluster expertise, the observation is termed because of the participant observation. however once the observer observes as a detached envoy with none try on his half to expertise through participation what others feel, the observation of this sort is usually termed as a non-participant observation. (When the observer is observant in such a way that his presence could also be unknown to the individuals he’s observant, such an observation is delineated as a disguised observation.)

There are many deserves of the participant kind of observation: (i) the researcher am enabled to record the natural behavior of the cluster. (ii) The scientist will even gather data that couldn’t simply be obtained if he observes it in a very fair fashion. (iii) The researcher will even verify the reality of statements created by informants within the context of a form or a schedule. However there are sure demerits of this sort of observation viz., the observer could lose the judgment to the extent he participates emotionally; the matter of observation-control isn’t solved, and it should narrow down the researcher’s vary of expertise.

Sometimes we tend to mouth-controlled and uncontrolled observation. If the observation takes place within the natural setting, it should be termed as uncontrolled observation, however, once observation takes place in keeping with definite pre-arranged plans, involving procedure, the identical is then termed controlled observation. In non-controlled observation, no try is formed to use exactness instruments.

The major aim of this sort of observation is to induce a spontaneous image of life and persons. It’s an inclination to provide naturalness and completeness of behavior, permitting comfortable time for observant it. However, in controlled observation, we have a tendency to use mechanical (or precision) instruments as aids to accuracy and standardization. Such observation contains a tendency to provide formalized information upon that generalization is often designed with a point of assurance. The most pitfall of non-controlled observation is that of subjective interpretation. There’s conjointly the danger of getting the sensation that we all know a lot of concerning the determined phenomena than we have a tendency to truly do. Generally, controlled observation takes place in varied experiments that are carried out in a laboratory or underneath controlled conditions, whereas uncontrolled observation is resorted to just in the case of exploratory researches.

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