OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES

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Observation
 Nonbehavioral

observation

 Behavioral

observation

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Observation
Nonbehavioral observation  Record analysis  Physical condition analysis  Process or activity analysis

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Observation
Behavioral observation  Nonverbal analysis  Linguistic analysis  Extralinguistic analysis  Spatial analysis

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Advantages of the Observational Method
 Collect

the original data at the time it

occurs  Secure information that participants would ignore because it’s so common it is not seen as relevant  Only method available to collect certain types of data
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Advantages of the Observational Method (cont.)
 Capture

the whole event as it occurs in its natural environment  Participants seem to accept an observational intrusion better than they respond to questioning

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Limitations of the Observational Method
 Observer

or recording equipment must be at the scene of the event when it takes place  Slow process  Expensive process  Most reliable results are restricted to information that can be learned by overt action or surface indicators
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Limitations of the Observational Method (cont.)
 Research

environment is more likely suited to subjective assessment and recording of data than to quantification of events  Limited as a way to learn about the past  Cannot observe rationale for actions, only actions themselves
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Relationship between Observer and Participant
 Direct

or indirect observation  Observer’s presence known or unknown to the participant  Observer is involved or not involved with the participant

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Observation Methods
 Direct  Indirect  Participant  Simple  Systematic

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Guidelines for Selecting Observers
 Ability

to concentrate in a setting full of distractions  Ability to remember details of an experience  Ability to be unobtrusive in the observational situation  Ability to extract the most from an observational study
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Observation Data Collection
 Who  What

• Event Sampling • Time Sampling

 When  How  Where

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