Naturalistic Observation

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Naturalistic observation is a research method that has the researchers watch and take notes of the subject in a natural, "real world" setting. This method helps to determine how the subject would react in a particular situation and it would give the researcher an insight into their behaviors in the "real world" or their daily life. I believe that naturalistic observation is important because it is a great way to eliminate bias in a study. It offers a clear image of the results of a study without any manipulation.
In this study of naturalistic observation, you would be able to watch how the other pedestrians react to the man being pushed over from the bike rider. The researcher would be able to watch the type of behaviors that the other people are exhibiting because it was in public. This study would be very high in external validity because the study would be taking place in a real-world setting and the results would be reflected on the true behaviors of the subjects.
I am curious how the researcher would know if the subjects were acting with bias or not. What if the subject was aware that they were part of a naturalistic observation study? It would seem that the entire study would contain false information. How do you keep the subject from knowing that they're part of a study? How could you become part of the scene as a researcher without interrupting the situation for naturalistic observation?

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Very good questions! If you take the psychological research methods course, some of your questions should be addressed in that class.

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This page contains a single entry by bind0082 published on September 27, 2011 2:54 PM.

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