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research methods
There are two types of observations: naturalistic and controlled. Controlled
observations are when the observer manipulates the situation, naturalistic is when the
situation is not manipulated or when you observe what is already around you.
Before an observation is conducted a behavioral checklist must be created. these will
include any physical behaviour such as crying but not emotions such as sadness. after
this a pilot study must be conducted to check if you have enough behavioural
categories and that those categories are clearly defined (well understood) and check
if the two observers are reliable by correlating the results and seeing if the results
are the same.
In the observation more than one observer is needed to insure no behaviours are
missed out, ideally two observers should be used
There are some problems with observations such as with overt observations (when
participants know they are being watched) as this puts them at risk of demand
characteristics (when a participant changes their behaviour as they know they are
being watched) meaning the results will be invalid. also observations on there own
can't establish cause and effect relationships unless they are being used alongside an
experiment because no variables are controlled in an observation.


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