What is the observation method?

Observation method refers to the method, that researchers use their own senses or with the aid of instrument equipment to observe the behavior and activities of those respondents, thus to get market information. Marshall and Rossman (1989) define observation as "the systematic description of events, behaviors, and artifacts in the social setting chosen for study". Observations enable the researcher to describe existing situations using the five senses, providing a "written photograph" of the situation under study (Erlandson, Harris, Skipper, & Allen, 1993). The biggest characteristic of observation method is that respondents are in natural state during the investigation; which means the respondents do not feel they are surveyed when in an observation. Because the observation method is not like interview method; in the interview method, investigators and respondents meet directly through the conversation or questionnaire, and the respondents will be asked to answer the questions, so the respondents obviously feel they are surveyed. In observation method, investigators are judged by their visual feelings or use video recorder or other types of recording equipment to inspect respondents’ activities, so respondents don't feel are investigated. For example, a factory want to look into what customer favorite shampoo’s brand, performance, price, then send the researcher to the store to observe how customers choose and buy shampoo with behavior status. At the mean time, customers obviously do not realize that they are surveyed. Observation method requires the investigation is taking in the natural state. On the other hand, the observation method is not just looking around; the very important feature of observation method is to investigate with targets, plans the understanding of the phenomenon of market activities. The advantages and disadvantages of Observation method (a) The advantages of Observation method 1. It has a direct view of the targets and the reliability, it can collect the primary data more objectively, direct recording the facts and the activities from the respondents; and the results are more close to the actual status. 2. Basically, observation method a unilateral activities from the researchers, especially of the participant observation; it generally does not depend on the language communication, no interpersonal communication required during the investigation. Therefore, it takes the advantageous to eliminate misunderstanding and interference that possibly appeared in all sorts of language or interpersonal communication. 3. Observation method is simple, easy, and strong mobility, can be done anywhere and anytime. (2) The disadvantages of Observation method 1. Observation method can provide a more objective and accurate data, but it cannot explain the causes and motivation. 2. It may be requires a large number of observers to the site for a long time of observation. The survey time is longer, and the cost will be higher. Therefore,

investigators better have a certain format of record paper or other data equipment. Fifth. How to use observation method properly First of all. Newbury Park. the observation result must be practical. or even distort the truth. otherwise. cannot affect result with the subjectively bias. G. it needs to do long-term repeated observation. the necessary knowledge of psychology. sometimes in order to observe the process of a developing objective. and to be observed in the most appropriate time. & Allen. Third. & Rossman. behavior and feelings of the respondents. Otherwise.. CA: Sage. the content of state secrets and personal privacy should not be observed.observation method has its limit often by time. E. realistic. the investigators are binding with by relevant legislations and moral standards. B. B. unless they get the permissions from relevant departments or personnel. Second. Skipper. the result will not be able to show the natural reaction. sociology and operating skills of operating machines. Newbury Park.. . Marshall. It requires higher skill level of the investigators. in order to make observation result representative. (1989) Designing qualitative research. objectively and fairly. the respondents should not have notice during the observation activities. Erlandson. good memory. whom should have keen insight.. to take as much detail as possible with the relevant factors. 3. C. the target should be a typical object. Fourth. (1993) Doing naturalistic inquiry: a guide to methods. D. they will not be eligible to do the job perfectly. Therefore. S. space and funds of implement. D. CA: Sage. L. L. Harris. A.

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