Advantages of Covert Observation - Research Methods


Outline the advantages of using covert observation in sociological research.

Covert observation involves a researcher observing a group of people's behaviour without the research group being aware. This method is usually favoured by interpretivist as the data is qualitative.
One advantage of using covert observation in sociological research is that the Hawthorne effect is less relevant since the group being studied are unaware. This allows more validity in the research as behaviour is likely to be genuine. For example, if bullying in schools was being studied, children would not bully each other in the presence of a researcher if they knew they were being watched.


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