Advantages And Disadvantages of observational research?

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Emily Smith Profile
Emily Smith answered
Advantages:
1. What people say they do is often different from what they actually do so observations may be more valid than questionaires or interviews
2. It gives a more realistic picture of spontaneous behaviour. It is likely to have high ecological validity (basically it has high realism unlike lab experiments where participants are likely to have demand characteristics affecting their behaviour, alternating it so it's not natural)
3. It provides measures of conducting preliminary investigations in a new area of research, to produce hypotheses for future investigations

Disadvantages:
1. There can be little of no control of extraneous variables which may mean that something unknown to the observer may account for the bahaviour observed
2. The observer may "see" what they expect to see. This is called observer bias. This bias may mean that different observers "see" different things, which leads to low interobserver reliability (basically whether or not two different observers can agree on what they "saw")
3. If participants don't know they are being observed there are ethical problems such as deception and invasion of privacy. If participants do know they're being observed it may alter their behaviour to not be natural.

Hope that helped. It's taken from my psychology notes I made in class.
abhi khan Profile
abhi khan answered
The main  advantage of observation research is that often the respondant or consumer is unaware that they are being observed, allowing their behaviour to be observed naturally.

The Disadvantages of Qualitative Observational Research

1).Can enter into data collection.
3)Sources or subjects may not all be equally credible.
4)Some subjects may be previously influenced and affect the outcome of the study.
5)Background information may be missing.
6)Study group may not be representative of the larger population.

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