`researcher has no control, behaviour occurs naturally, as it would in a playground. Researchers try to become familiar to those they are observing in order to minimise the effect their presence may have,
+ behaviour occurs in its natural setting
+ Observation provides very detailed info
- It can be used as a starting point got further, more controlled research
- the presence of observers could influence the behaviour of those being studied
- it is difficult for observers to be completely objective
- Many variables could affect behaviour so that it is not possible to draw any conclusions.
` is frequently used with children or in social psychology research. They are essentially lab exps because an IV is being tested and control is possible. In order that control can be exerted and so that the behaviour is easier to observe.
+ by controlling some variables, it is possible for the researchers to draw conclusion from their observation.
- the unfamiliar setting may affect pps behaviour, making it less natural.
` the observer becomes one of the groups of ppl that they wish to observe. Observer may tell others they will be observed (overt ob), or may pretend to be one of the group and not inform them that they are being observed (covert ob)
+ allows researchers to observe ppl in a natural setting and gain some understanding of the causes of their behaviour
+ it is particularly useful for studying the way people are in groups
- remembering accurately may be difficult if unable to take notes
- observer may interpret or record info in a biased way
- ethical guidelines such as deception, consent and confidentiality may not be maintained
When psychologists observe, they watch and analyse pps behaviour. It is usual to have more than one observer because behaviour is complex and the observer mat be biased. Behaviour is noted on an observation schedule. Researchers may run a pilot study.