Observation

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  • Created by: Steff06
  • Created on: 10-05-16 10:30
Describe observations
Investigations where the researcher observes a situation and records what happens. Independent variable is not manipulated.
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What are strengths of observations?
Participants often unaware they are involved, so less demand characteristics, high in ecological validity, get to see how participants behave naturally.
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What are weaknesses of observations?
Hard to replicate. Do not provide participants own feelings. Little/no control over extraneous variables so cannot establish cause and effect. Observer bias. Ethical issues - lack of informed consent and invasion of privacy. Time consuming, training.
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What is a non-participant observation?
Where researcher does not join in with the activity being observed.
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What is a participant observation? (covert)
Observer is also a participant in the activity being studied.
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Give 1 strength and weakness of participant observation.
Strength is that it provides more insights about behaviour and so is useful. Weakness is that observed may lose objectivity.
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What is an undisclosed observation? (covert)
Where participants are not fully aware they are being studied. Researchers may use one way mirrors to ensure participants remain unaware.
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What is a structured observation?
Researcher designs a coding scheme to record participant's behaviour. Quantitative data collected.
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What are coding schemes?
A way of categorising behaviour so you can code what you observe in terms of how often a behaviour appears.
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What is an unstructured observation?
Researchers record behaviour that they can see, providing rich, qualitative data.
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What are the weaknesses of unstructured observation?
Can be difficult without recording equipment. Difficult to analyse. May only notice most eye-catching behaviours and so miss some behaviours.
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What is a controlled observation?
Researcher controls some variables. May be carried out in laboratory or natural situations.
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What is event sampling?
Researchers record an behaviour every time it happens.
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What is a strength of event sampling?
Behaviours should not be missed as everything that is seen is recorded.
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What is a weakness of event sampling?
If too many observations happen at once, it may be difficult to record everything.
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What is time sampling?
Researcher decides on a time e.g. every 5 minutes and records behaviour occurring at that time at regular time intervals.
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What is an issue with time sampling?
Behaviours may be missed when not being recorded at the regular time intervals, so the observation may not be representative.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What are strengths of observations?

Back

Participants often unaware they are involved, so less demand characteristics, high in ecological validity, get to see how participants behave naturally.

Card 3

Front

What are weaknesses of observations?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is a non-participant observation?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is a participant observation? (covert)

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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