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# Observational method

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### Observational method

1. 1. Research Methods and Techniques The Observational MethodL/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3)Starter:Complete the worksheet on hypotheses. Identify the IV and DV in the different hypotheses.
2. 2. L/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3)The Observational Method ME Doesn’t all research begin with some form of observation? Yes. YOU But it is also a research method in its own right.
3. 3. L/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3)The Observational Method- Involves systematically watching and recording what people say and do.- Naturally occurring behaviours are observed = no attempt to manipulate variables. We can get natural behaviour, unchanged by researcher presence or the research environment.
4. 4. L/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3)Observation as a method Observation as aParticipant observation: the techniqueresearcher is directly involved. - Not the same as thee.g. in a sports team observation method.observing group behaviour. - This refers to how observation can be used to gather dataNon-participant observation: in many researchthe researcher is not directly methods.involved. e.g. observing reactionse.g. observing how children to a violentplay. video.
5. 5. L/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3)The Observational Method ME This seems easy enough! YOU Ok. You try it!
6. 6. L/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3)Take a slip and 3 minutes,to yourself. For keep it try to create a rhyme/method for remembering the three research designs withinLook at the details of the small-scale research laboratory experiment:(pilot study) using the observational method. • Repeated Measures • Independent Groups • Matched PairsFor the next 3 minutes you are the researcher. Soget observing and recording!
7. 7. L/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3)You have just completed a non-participantobservation (you were not involved).How did you find it?What was easy/problematic in observingand recording? OPERATIONALISING?
8. 8. L/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3)Behavioural categories: in order to observe abehaviour we need to operationalise it which oftenresults in behavioural categories. Could you categorise the behaviour you were observing?2 ways of sampling observed behavioursTime sampling: making observations and recordingsfor short intervals in a period of time e.g. every 3 minsof 15 mins.Event sampling: To record only as events occur.
9. 9. L/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3) Difficulties in observational research?Observer bias: observer interprets what they seeaccording to their individual feelings, beliefs.Controls? 1. behaviour is fully operationalised so thecategories require least interpretation. 2. check observerreliability – called inter-rater reliability – for consistency. How many times did I lift my left hand? How many times did the nearest boy fiddle with his pen? Did we have inter-rater reliability?
10. 10. L/O: to be able to describe observation as a research method and the associated key terms (AO3)Strengths Weaknesses• High ecological • Observer bias risk. validity. • Replication is• Behaviour can be difficult. observed that cannot • Tend to be small-scale be in the laboratory. so not easily• Few demand generalisable. characteristics.
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