Class Notes (806,627)
Canada (492,361)
Psychology (7,609)
PSYB01H3 (260)
Anna Nagy (133)

Chapter notes

6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Scarborough
Anna Nagy

Chapter 6: Observing Behavior Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches Observational methods can be broadly classified as primarily quantitative or qualitative. Qualitative research focuses on people behaving in natural settings and describing their world in their own words; quantitative research tends to focus on specific behaviors that can be easily quantified. Qualitative researchers emphasize collecting in depth information on a relatively few individuals or within a very limited setting; quantitative investigations generally include larger samples. The conclusions of qualitative research are based on interpretation drawn by the investigator; conclusions in quantitative research are based upon statistical analysis of data. Naturalistic Observation Naturalistic observation is sometimes called fieldwork or simply field observation. In a naturalistic observation study, the researcher makes observations in a particular natural setting over an extended period of time, using a variety of techniques to collect information. The report includes these observations and the researchers interpretations of the findings. A researcher uses naturalistic observation when he or she wants to describe and understand how people in a social or cultural setting live, work and experience the setting. If you want to know how people persuade or influence others, for example, you can get a job as a car salesperson or take an encyclopedia sales training course. Description and Interpretation of Data Naturalistic observation demands that researchers immerse themselves in the situation. The goal is to provide a complete and accurate picture rather than to test hypotheses formed prior to the study. To achieve this goal, the researcher must keep detailed field notes that is, write or dictate on a regular basis everything that has happened. Field researchers use a variety of techniques to gather information: observing people and events, interviewing key informants to provide inside information, talking to people about their lives, and examining documents produced in the setting, such as newspapers, newsletters, or memos. In addition to taking detailed field notes, researchers conducting naturalistic observation usually use audio and videotape recordings. The researchers first goal is to describe the settings, events, and persons observed. The second, equally important goal is to analyze what was observed. The researcher must interpret what occurred; essentially generating hypotheses that help explain the data and make them understandable. The final report while sensitive to chronological order of events is usually organized around the structure developed by the researcher.
More Less

Related notes for PSYB01H3

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.