Potential problems gathering information by observation

Practice To be used effectively, observation requires great deal of practice. Observer presence Presence of observer will affect behaviours, therefore disturbances must be minimised. Objectivity Difficult to remain objective – therefore ethical – when asking detailed questions to enhance understanding. Element of chance Chance event occurring may be taken as a regular occurrence if observations not taken over prolonged period […]

Collecting Data and Information – Observation Techniques

Interviews and questionnaires valuable ways to gather information. Both reliant on accuracy & honesty of answers relating to persons behaviour and beliefs which is a weakness with both approaches. Observation is alternative technique. Observe behaviours first-hand and analyse by quantitative or qualitative means. Observation used by everyone. Examples: Consumer comparing prices in retail outlets before buying Social planners monitoring traffic […]

Finding out something

Tends to apply to physical sciences involving experimentation and observation. e.g. observing behaviour of a bird to establish how it finds it’s way half-way around the world during migration. Use new technology such as GPS and micro-transponders to tag a bird and map their route. New knowledge as routes were not previously known before the study. Therefore, it is research.