Luis Carlos Romero Reyes
Pedagogical Research I
English Program Night
Naturalistic observation is a research method
commonly used by psychologists and other
This type of research is often utilized in situations
outside the lab.
Naturalistic observation differs from structured
observation in that it involves looking at a behavior
as it occurs in its natural setting with no attempts at
intervention on the part of the researcher.
ADVANTAGES OF NATURALISTIC
One of the advantages of this type of
research is that it allows the researcher
to directly observe the subject in a
It allows researchers to study things that
cannot be manipulated in a lab due to ethical
It can help support the external validity of
actually observe those findings actually
occurring in a natural setting.
DISADVANTAGES OF NATURALISTIC
People may behave differently when they know
they are being watched.
People may try to behave in a certain way in order
to conform with what they think the researcher
expects to see.
Different observers may draw different
conclusions from the same witnessed behavior.
DATA COLLECTION METHODS
Tally counts: The observer writes down when
and how many times certain behaviors occurred.
Observer narratives: The observer may take
notes during the session and then go back later
to try to collect data and discern behavior
patterns from these notes.
Audio or video recordings: Depending upon the
type of behavior being observed, the researchers
might also decide to make actual audio or videotaped recordings of each observation session.
In principle, one can conduct naturalistic
observation nearly anywhere.
Humans also make good subjects for naturalistic
Naturalistic observation is probably the best
method around for the process of formulating new
Researchers are always going to bring preconceived
ideas to a naturalistic-observation episode.
So, naturalistic observation is a good first step in
research; it is good for formulating hypotheses, but
care needs to be used to control for bias.
Researchers often use sampling to gather information
through naturalistic observation. The goal is to make
sure that this sample of data is representative of the
subject's overall behavior.
Time sampling: Involves taking samples as different
intervals of time, which may be random or systematic.
Situation sampling: Involves observing a behavior in a
variety of different situations and settings.
GROUNDED THEORY, CASE OF
Grounded Theory method is a way of thinking
about and conceptualizing data.
The propose is to discover processes that occur as
individuals interact with other social context.
Human beings act toward things on the basis of the
meanings that the things have for us.
Naturalistic researchers must identify and
gain entry to the site they want to
study, determine the role they will
take, what and how they will observe, who
they will interview and what they will ask.
and how to record the information and
1. Goodwin, C.J. (2004). Research in Psychology:
Methods and Design. Wiley.
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