Flashcards in RESEARCH METHODS: Observational techniques Deck (11):
Overt observations refer to the researcher being open about their intentions in the field and ensuring all members of the social group are aware of what is happening.
Covert observations involve the researcher not informing members of the group the reason for their presence; keeping their true intentions secret
the observer decides in advance that observation will take place only during specified time periods (e.g. 10 minutes every hour, 1 hour per day) and records the occurrence of the specified behavior during that period only.
the observer decides in advance what types of behavior (events) she is interested in and records all occurrences. All other types of behavior are ignored.
controlled observations (usually a structured observation) are likely to be carried out in a psychology laboratory.
Naturalistic observation (i.e. unstructured observation) involves studying the spontaneous behavior of participants in natural surroundings. The researcher simply records what they see in whatever way they can
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.
overt observation advantage and disadvantage
1. no ethical implications
2. demand characteristics
covert observation advanatage and disadvantage
1. demand characterisitcs
2. ethical implications
naturalistc observation advanatage and disadvantage
1. high ecological validity
2. Natural observations are less reliable as other variables cannot be controlled. This makes it difficult for another researcher to repeat the study in exactly the same way.