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Chapter 6

by: Gabriela Saint-Louis

Chapter 6 Psych 2101

Marketplace > Psychlogy > Psych 2101 > Chapter 6
Gabriela Saint-Louis
GPA 3.04
Research Methods
Prof. Rutz

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Research Methods
Prof. Rutz
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gabriela Saint-Louis on Friday March 13, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 2101 at a university taught by Prof. Rutz in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 174 views.


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Date Created: 03/13/15
Chapter 6 Observational Methods oz compare quantitative and qualitative methods of describing behaviors oz describe naturalistic observation and discuss methodological issues such as participant and concealment oz describe systematic observation and discuss methodological issues such as the use of equipment reactivity reliability and sampling oz describe the features of a case study oz describe archival research and the sources of archival data statistical records survey archives and written records Quantitative and Qualitative approaches Qualitative research 0 focuses on people behaving in natural settings and describing their world in their own words 0 emphasize collecting indepth information on a relatively few individuals or within a very limited setting 0 conclusions based on interpretations drawn by the investigator Quantitative research 0 tends to focus on speci c behaviors that can be easily quanti ed ie counted 0 generally include larger samples 0 conclusions based upon statistical analysis of data Mturalistic Observation sometimes called eld work or eld observation the researcher makes observations of individuals in their natural environments the eld ex Sylvia Scribner39s 1997 research on quotpractical thinking is a good example of naturalistic observation research in psychology 0 studies ways that peple in a variety of occupations make decisions and solve problems another naturalistic research may examine a narrower range of behaviors 0 Graham and her colleagues observed instances of aggression that occurred in bars in a large city late on weekend nights researchers did not attempt to in uence what occurred in the settings Description and interpretation of data goal of naturalistic observation is to provide a complete and accurate picture of what occurred in the setting rather than to test hypotheses formed prior to the study in addition to taking detailed eld notes researchers conducting naturalistic observation usually use audio or video recordings 1 rst goal is to describe the setting events and persons observed Second to analyze what was observed interpret what occurred essentially generating hypotheses that help explain the data and make them understandable data in naturalistic observation studies are primarily qualitative in nature 0 They are the descriptions of the observations themselves rather than quantitative statistical summaries Participation and Concealment Limits two related issues facing the researcher 0 whether to be a participant or nonparticipant int eh social setting 0 Whether t conceal his or her purposes from the other people in the setting do you become an active participant in the group or do you observe from the outside do you conceal your purposes or even your presence or do you openly let people know what you are doing Because Participant observation allows the researcher to observe the settting from the inside he or she may be able to experience events int eh same way as natural participants 0 potential problem observer may lose the objectivity necessary to conduct scienti c observation naturalistic observation requires accurate description and objective interpretation with no prior hypothesis Concealed observation may be preferable because the presence of the observer may in uence and alter the behavior of those being observed concealed observation is less reactive than non concealed observation because people are not aware their behavior is being observed and recorded decision to conceal one s purpose or presence depends n both ethical concerns and the nature of the particular group and setting being studied Informed consent 0 in nonconcealed observation informed consent may be given verbally or in written form of naturalistic observation most useful when investigating complex social settings both to understand the settings and to develop theories based on the observations less useful for studying wellde ned hypotheses under precisely speci ed conditions or phenomena that are not directly observable by a researcher in a natural setting eld research is very dif cult to do time consuming in naturalistic observation research there is an everchanging pattern of events some important and some unimportant the researcher must record them all and remain exible in order to adjust to them as research progress the process of analysis that follows he completion of the research is not simple o researcher must repeatedly sort through the data to develop hypotheses to explain the data and then make sure all data are consistent with the hypothesis Systematic Observation refers to the careful observation f one or more speci c behaviors in a particular setting 0 much less global than naturalistic observation research Researcher is interested in only a few very speci c behaviors the observations are quanti able and the researcher frequently has developed prior hypotheses about the behaviors Coding systems researcher must decide which behaviors are of interest choose a setting in which the behaviors can be observed and develop a coding system Methodolooical lssues Equipment 0 you can directly observe behavior and code it at the same time 0 paper and pencil measures 0 more common to sue video and audio recording equipment a sthey provide a permanent record of behavior and can be coded later reactivity o possibility that the presence of the observer will affect people39s behaviors 0 can be reduced by concealed observations small cameras and microphones allowing time for people to become used to the observer and equipment reliability 0 when conducting systematic observation tow or more raters are usually used to code behavior sampling 0 for many research questions samples of behavior taken over an extended period provide more accurate and useful data than single short observations Case Studies an observational method that provides a description of an individual usually a person but may also be a setting such as a business school or neighborhood case studies do no necessarily involve naturalistic observation 0 may be a description of a patient by a clinicial psychologist or a historical account of an event such as a model school that failed psychobiography 0 type of case study in which a researcher applies psychological theory to explain the life of an individual susually an important historical gure depending on the purpose of the investigation the case study may present the individual39s history symptoms characteristic behaviors reactions to situations or responses to treatment 0 typically done when an individual possesses a particularly rare unusual or noteworthy condition Archival Research involves using previously compiled information to answer research questions 0 researcher does not collect the original data just analyzes existing data such as statistics that area part of public records reports of anthropologists etc Statistical records


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