FRHD 3070 Observational research.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3070
John Dwyer

FRHD 3070 Observational research Systematic observation - Involves relatively objective measures of behaviour, often along with a systematic procedure for sampling time intervals or other units for observation - Continuum o Unstructured  Open minded methods o Structured  Predefined methods  Go in with checklist  Technology when observer absent Naturalistic observation - Ethologists o Jane goodall o Dian fossey - Observe as it occurs naturally - Appropriate when what is being studied might alter theyre behaviour if they are aware - High external validity - Limitations o May have to wait a long time o Cant make strong casual inferences - Examples o Bowker et al.  Purpose: Examine spectator behaviour at youth hockey game  Methods: record all spectators comments in 1 are of arena  Measures  Type of comments  Target of comments  Intensity of comments  Who made comments  Whether comments varied by age, gender and competition level o Checklist catagories  Positive at team  Positive at specific player  Corrective/instructional  Negative  Neutral Participation observation - Researcher angages in same activities as people being observed - Observe from the inside - Pros o High external validity o Experience same environment as participants o Collect info on factors not observable - Cons o Challenge of maintaining objectivity o Influence participants behaviour o A lot of time o Cannot make strong casual inferences - Example o Brotsky and Gilles  Purpose : examine online pro anorexia support groups  Methods: created bogus profile and pretended to be a member for 2 months  Results  Main reason for joining was supposed to get support  Online support was highly preveleant  Researcher received very supportive and extremely hostile responses Contrived laboratory observation - Observe behaviour in settings arranged specifically for recording and observing behaviour - Manipulates independent variable - Casual inferences - Lose external validity Contrived observation in the real world - Set up situations outside lab - Disguise observation minimizes reactivity effect - Example o Gueguen  Purpose: effect of womens suggestive clothing on mens beh
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