Slides in this set
Types of Observation
There are several different types of observation.
Non participant:- researcher simply observes group or event
without taking part.
Participant observation:- researcher actually takes part in the event
or the everyday life of the group while observing it.
Overt observation:- researcher makes their true identity known to
those being studied, open about what their doing.
Covert:- undercover study, where the researchers identity
is kept secret from group being studied.…read more
Interpretivists: Favour unstructured participant observation
because it achieves their main goal of validity.
· Observations give the researcher a true picture of what people
do rather than what they say they do.
· Participation in the group
gives the researcher first hand
insight to the participants
Positivists: Favour structured non participant observation
because it achieves their main goals of reliability, generalisabilty
and representiveness. They use;
· Standardised behaviour categories that produce reliable data
because other researchers can replicate the observation.
· Pre determined list of the types of behaviour allow data to be
quantified and establish cause and effect relationships.
· Structured observations take less time than unstructured, so
larger more representative sample can be studied.…read more
There are 2 main problems when conducting a p's
· Getting in, staying in, and getting out of the group being studied.
· Whether to use covert or overt observation.
· Getting in We must find entry into the group, this maybe
easier for some groups than others e.g. Joining a football crowd
easier than joining a criminal gang.
· Staying in once accepted the researcher needs to stay in group
and complete the study.…read more
· Making contact - making the initial contact with the group may
depend on personal skills, having the right connections, or even
· Acceptance to gain entry to a group, the researcher will have
to win their trust and acceptance. It may help to make friends with
a key individual. Sometimes though the researchers age, gender
and ethnicity may prove an obstacle when doing so.
· Observers role the researcher should be the one that does not
disrupt the groups normal patters. And offer good vantage point
from which to make observations.…read more