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DATA COLLECTION METHODS: OBSERVATION

Definition of observation
The planned watching, recoding, analysis and interpretation of
behavior, actions, or events.

Purpose of observation
Control(are the observation conducted in an artificial or in a
natural setting)
Whether the observer is the member of the group that is
observed or not
Structure (to what extent the observation is focused,
predetermined systematic and quantitative in nature.
Concealment of observation (are the members of the social
group under study they are being studied or not)

KEY DIMENSIONS
These are the key dimensions that characterize the types of
observation
Controlled observation
Is the observations made under the influence of some of the
external forces and such observations rarely lead to
improvement in the precision of the research results. But these
observations can be very effective in the working if these are
made to work in the coordination with mechanical
synchronizing devices, film recording etc.
Uncontrolled observation
Uncontrolled observations are made in the natural
environment and reverse to the controlled observation these
observations involve no influence or guidance of any type of
external force.
Participant observation

The researcher gather data by participating in the daily life


of the group or organization under study.
In participant observation, the degree of the participation is
largely affected by the nature of the study and it also
depends on the type of the situation and also on its
demands.
Non participant observation
It involves Observing participants without actively
participating. The researcher is never directly involved in the
action of the actors, but observes them from outside the
actors visual horizon for instance via a one way mirror or a
camera.
Concealment observation
In this the researcher does not reveal their search purpose.
Relates to whether the members of the social group under
study are told that they are not being observed.
Un-concealment observation
In this the researcher aware the participants that are being
observed. Unconcealed observation is more obtrusive,
perhaps, upsetting the authenticity of the behavior under
study.
Structured observation
Studies in which the researcher observes and notes specific
activities and behavior that have been clearly delineated as
important factors for observation, before the
commencement of the study.
Un-structured observation
In such observation, observer has the freedom to note down
what he or she feels is correct and relevant to the point of
study and also this approach of observation is very suitable
in the case of exploratory research.

APPROACHES TO OBSERVATION
There are two main important approaches to observation
Participants observation
The researcher gathers data by participating in the daily life of
the group or organization under study.
Aspects
The participatory aspects of participants observation
Participants observation combines the process of participation
and observation. Participant observation should be distinguished
from both pure observation (seeks to remove the researcher from
the observed actions and behaviors) and pure participation (the
researcher becomes so involved with the group under study.

Features of participants observation


Complete participation the researcher lives or work with the
subject under study, researcher concealed that she is an
observer, behaving as naturally as possible as seeking to an
acceptable member of the social group.
Moderate participation
The researcher assumes an intermediate position between
being a complete insider and being a complete outsider.
Active participation
The researcher is not satisfied with the role of bystander this
allows the researcher to not only observe the everyday
activities of the subjects(workers, managers, consumers) but

also to engage in those activities and thrust to put them into


practice.
The observation aspect of participant observation while
participating the researcher should observe and record and
at a later stage analyze behavior, action, interaction, events
and the likes.
These include
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Choosing a site
Getting permission
Becoming an acceptable member of the social group
Choosing an acceptable person who can act as a sponsor
Establishing a rapport

Structured Observation
Is focused in nature, as it looks selectively at pre determine
phenomena, the focus of structured observation is fragmented
into small and manageable piece of information such as
information on behaviors, actions interactions or events.
Use of coding schemes in structured observation
The development of coding scheme is crucial aspect of structured
observation. Standard coding scheme may help you to develop
your own coding scheme allowing you to provide youre an
answer to your question. The following consideration should be
taken into accounts
Focus: form the coding scheme it should be clear what is to
be observed.
Objective: the coding scheme and categories should require
little inference or interpretation from the researcher.
Ease of use: a good coding scheme is easy to use.
Mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive: categories in
coding scheme should be mutually exclusive and collectively
exhaustive.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF OBSERVATION


Advantages
One the main advantage of observation is its directness.
Another advantage of observation is that is possible to
observe certain groups of individuals e.g. very young
children and extremely busy executives.
Does not rely on the people ability to provide the
information.
Disadvantages
Reactivity could be a major threat to the validity of the
results of observational studies because those who are
observed may behave differently during the period of study.
A practical problem of observation is that it is time
consuming.it takes many months and years. This is the
reason this method is very slow.
It can be very expensive as compare to other data collection
methods.

ASSIGNMENT ON
DATA COLLECTION METHOD: OBSERVATION
SUBMITTED TO
MAAM NOOR-UL-AIN

SUBMITTED BY
AMNA RASHID

ROLL NO 985

SHUMAILA SAMAD

roll no 937

SIDRA BASHIR

roll no 903

FASIHA ALWAZ

roll no 1003

5TH SEMESTER (A)


MORNING
BBA (HONS)

UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION MULTAN CAMPUS