Naturalistic observation is a type of observation in which research subjects in natural settings are studied. Naturalistic observation involves simply documenting what is observed in a particular environment, unlike experimental experiments that include testing hypotheses and monitoring variables. Environmental factors include weather, food, pollution, population density, noise, and light that can impact any study observation. Environmental influences are major behavioral determinants that can also mitigate or hamper the results of any individual’s research experiment or health.
Under this topic of naturalistic observation and environmental factors, a presentation on the elaborate explanation of naturalistic observation and environmental factors is demonstrated. Under naturalistic observation, types of observation method, advantages, and disadvantages of naturalistic observation, and data collection in naturalistic observation is presented with suitable diagrams. Environmental factors will discuss factors influencing measurement results.
Types of Observational Methods
The different types of observation method include:
Controlled Observation: This kind of observation takes place in a controlled setting with every condition under the control of the experimenter. The experimenter decides upon the conditions and their variability. The experimenter decides the duration of the experiment with every step under control.
Naturalistic observation: In naturalistic observation, the experimenter observes the participants in their natural settings. The experimenter observes them from a distance without the knowledge of participants. Since variables are not interfered with, however, and are said to lack power. This lack of control makes testing difficult and observer bias and ethical problems of information leakage are also at risk.
Participant observation: Participant observation is another approach to data collection in the observational process. In this, the experimenter participates in the research with participants. researchers are investigating participant observation. Observation by the participants is somewhat close to naturalistic observation. This is also a qualitative type of study in which the investigator not only studies the subjects in the research but also actively participates in the study participants’ activities.
Non-participant observation: This includes watching participants without participating actively. By joining the group or social structure involved, this choice is used to explain a phenomenon, while remaining separate from the behaviors being studied.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Naturalistic Observation
For naturalistic observation, some advantages include:
Investigators provide significantly higher validity because the investigatorâ€™s expertise directly comes from the real-world study of subjects.
Observing people in the setting can lead to behavioral observations that can never occur in laboratory settings contributing potentially to deeper knowledge.
In a laboratory, the investigator will research things that would be impossible or unlawful to repeat. For instance, while this would be inappropriate to study the way people deal with the effects of violence by manipulating exposure in a laboratory, researchers can gather data on this subject by observing participants in a support network.
In some cases, there can be a range of disadvantages, including:
Generally, naturalistic observation studies need a small number of situations to be studied. As a result, the subjects being tested are restricted to specific genders, races, ethnicities, and perhaps other attributes which means that sample research findings should not be generalized to the community overall.
Investigators seem unable to track different variables, making studies on naturalistic observation less precise and more difficult to imitate.
Usually, naturalistic observation experiments require the observation of a few environments. As a consequence, the subjects being tested are confined to certain ages, races, ethnicities, or other features that suggest that the outcomes of a sample could not be applied to the population as a whole.
Investigators are unable to monitor various factors, making naturalistic observation experiments less accurate and harder to reproduce. The loss of accountability over external variables also makes this difficult to identify the cause of the examiner’s observed behavior
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