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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - Types of Research

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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Stephanie Mullen

Oct. 23, 2013 Two Types of Observational Research  (1) Direct Observation  In order to avoid a situation where subjects alter their behavior because they know they are being observed, the research has 2 options:  (1a) To conduct research covertly  (1b) Overtly – try to blend in by taking few notes  For structured observation, use an “observation schedule,” which is a  …  (2) Participant Observation  The research becomes part of the community that they are observing.  Can be either covert or overt  Advantage of participant over direct observation is that it allows for greater understanding of context  There are some subgroups that can only be accessed through covert participant observation – drug smuggling – other examples??  Context driven & less structured than direct observation, making it useful for descriptive & explanatory research.  Field notes are detailed descriptions of events & their subjective meaning. They are examined for emerging groups, categories or patterns. What to Observe? Categories:  Appearance  Verbal behavior and interactions  Physical behavior and gestures  Personal space  Human traffic  People who stand out Using Observational Research before Other Research Methods  Participant observation may be done prior to other data collection, as well as simultaneously with other methods and during data analysis.  For example, researchers might follow up on mention of a neighborhood with a high immigra
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