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Chapter 6

PSYB01 Textbook Notes Chapter 6

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Nussbaum

Chapter 6: Observational Methods Non-Experimental Research o Behaviour observed or measured • Many different methods used: − Naturalistic Observation − Systematic Observation − Case Studies − Archival Research Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches o Qualitative approaches describe behavior or findings based on themes that emerge from the data. • Data are non-numerical and expressed in language and images • Psych’s interested in generating hypotheses. Via qualitative approach o Quantitative approaches assign numerical value to responses and measures • Data’s subjected to quantitative statistical analyses • Generated in naturalistic obs and created systematically Naturalistic Observation o Naturalistic observation is sometimes called field work or field observations. • Researcher makes observations in a natural setting, over a period of time, using a variety of techniques to collect information • Used to describe and understand how people or animals in a social or cultural setting live, work, and experience • The setting − Usually qualitative data − Researcher must interpret what occurred − Generate hypotheses that help explain the data − Final report of results organized around a structure developed by the researcher o Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNUlpDLuYUI&feature=related • one may interpret the whale kissing dog • objectively we see a whale bobbing up and down, and a dog barking at it. o Issues in naturalistic observation: 1. Participation − Nonparticipant observer does not become an active part of the setting (outsider) − Participant observer assumes an active role (insider) − Problem: Objectivity 2. Concealment − Concealed observation may be preferable to minimize reactivity − Nonconcealed observation may be pre
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