Observation can be the overall method of a study but it can also be used as a technique for collecting data in a study. For example, Piliavin's field experiment.
Key terms of an observation:
Participant observation - the observer acts as part of the group being observed.
Non-participant observation - the experimenter does not become part of the group being observed.
Naturalistic observation - observations take place in a natural situation
Controlled observation - observations can take place where some variables are controlled and manipulated by the experimenter
Covert observation - under cover, participants are not aware of being observed
Overt observation - open observation, participants are aware of being observed
Structured observation - behaviours to be observed are determined
Unstructured observation - observer records everything that happens
Time sampling - observations may be made at regular time intervals and coded
Event sampling - Observer keeps a tally chart of each time a behaviour occurs.
3 KEY ISSUES…