Observational design


Issues in the design of observations

Structured and unstructured

  • One key influence on the design of any observation is how the researcher intends to record their data
  • The researcher may simply want to write down everything they see, this is unstructured
  • Unstructured produces accounts of behaviour that are rich in detail
  • This method may be appropriate when observations are small in scale and involve few ppts
  • Often there may be too much going on in a sigle observation for the researcher to record it all, therefore it is necessary to simplify the target beh that will become the main focus of the investigation
  • Structured obs allow the researcher to quantify their observations using a pre-determined list of behs and sampling methods

+Structured obs use beh categories, making recording of data easier and more systematic

+Analysis of quantitative data is more straightforward

-Unstructured obs produce qualitative data…


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