observational techniques

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  • Observational techniques
    • Naturalistic observation - Behaviour is studied in a natural situation where everything has been left  as it is normally.
    • Controlled observation - Some variables are controlled by the researcher reducing the “naturalness” of behaviour being studied. P’s are likely to know they are being studied and the study may be conducted in a lab.
    • Evaluation - A naturalistic observation gives a realistic picture of natural behaviour as it is based on a real life event - is easy to generalise the findings to other real life settings and situations.  lack of control over other things that are happening, reducing the internal validity. The opposite is true of a controlled       Observation.
    • Overt observation - The participant is aware they are being observed.
    • Covert observation - The participant is unaware they are being observed  before or during the study, however they may be informed afterwards.
    • Evaluation - An advantage of covert observations is that p’s behaviour is likely to be more natural because they are unaware that they are being observed. However, there are ethical issues in relation to privacy.


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