Business Research Methods, 9th ed.Chapter 11


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William G. Zikmund, Barry J. Babin, Jon C. Carr, Mitch Griffin

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Business Research Methods, 9th ed.Chapter 11

  1. 1. Business Research Methods William G. Zikmund Chapter 11: Observation Methods
  2. 2. “YOU SEE, BUT YOU DO NOT OBSERVE.” Sherlock Holmes Scientific Observation Is Systematic
  3. 3. What Can Be Observed? • Physical actions • Verbal behavior • Expressive behavior • Spatial relations and locations • Temporal patterns • Verbal and pictorial records
  4. 4. Phenomena Example Human behavior or physical Shoppers movement action pattern in a store Verbal behavior Statements made by airline travelers who wait in line Expressive behavior Facial expressions, tone of voice, and other form of body language What Can Be Observed
  5. 5. Phenomena Example Spatial relations How close visitors at an and locations art museum stand to paintings Temporal patterns How long fast-food customers wait for their order to be served Physical objects What brand name items are stored in consumers’ pantries Verbal and Pictorial Bar codes on product packages Records What Can Be Observed
  6. 6. Categories of Observation • Human versus mechanical • Visible versus hidden • Direct • Contrived
  7. 7. Observation of Human Behavior Benefits • Communication with respondent is not necessary • Data without distortions due to self-report (e.g.: without social desirability) Bias • No need to rely on respondents memory • Nonverbal behavior data may be obtained
  8. 8. Observation of Human Behavior Benefits • Certain data may be obtained more quickly • Environmental conditions may be recorded • May be combined with survey to provide supplemental evidence
  9. 9. Observation of Human Behavior Limitations • Cognitive phenomena cannot be observed • Interpretation of data may be a problem • Not all activity can be recorded • Only short periods can be observed • Observer bias possible • Possible invasion of privacy
  10. 10. Observation of Physical Objects • Physical-trace evidence • Wear and tear of a book indicates how often it has been read
  11. 11. Scientifically Contrived Observation • The creation of an artificial environment to test a hypothesis
  12. 12. Response Latency • Recording the decision time necessary to make a choice between two alternatives • It is presumed to indicate the strength of preference between alternatives.
  13. 13. Content Analysis • Obtains data by observing and analyzing the content of advertisements, letters, articles, etc. • Deals with the study of the message itself • Measures the extent of emphasis or omission
  14. 14. Mechanical Observation • Traffic Counters • Web Traffic • Scanners • Peoplemeter • Physiological Measures
  15. 15. Monitoring Web Site Traffic • Hits and page views • Jupiter Media Metrics • Nielsen//NetRatings
  16. 16. Physiological Reactions • Eye tracking • Pupilometer • Psychogalvanometer • Voice pitch
  17. 17. Eye Tracking Monitors • Record how the subject actually reads or views an advertisement • Measure unconscious eye movements
  18. 18. Pupilometer • This device observes and records changes in the diameter of the subject’s pupils.
  19. 19. Psychogalvanometer • Measures galvanic skin response • Involuntary changes in the electrical resistance of the skin • Assumption: physiological changes accompany emotional reactions
  20. 20. Voice Pitch Analysis • Measures emotional reactions through physiological changes in a person’s voice