Observation as a research method: tools, technology
Observation as a research method is a focused, developed according to a prepared plan, fixation of the studied phenomena for the purpose of their subsequent analysis and use in practical activities. What is observed, how, using what tools, the sociologist displays in the research program. In addition, it substantiates the hypotheses, the basic concepts, the tactics of the whole.
Observation as a method of sociological research
Famous Russian sociologist Yadov V.A. this concept implies the direct registration of facts, phenomena, events, eyewitness. Scientific observation is different from everyday life. It is one of the most common methods in sociology, psychology and other sciences. In fact, the creation of any work begins with it.
Observation as a research method according to the degree of formalization is divided into:
- Uncontrollable. This is a non-standard structureless process in which the researcher uses only a general principle plan.
- Controlled. The researcher develops the entire procedure in detail and follows the originally prepared plan.
Other variations of the method
In addition, there are differences depending on the position of the researcher who is observing. As a method of research, the theory proposes to distinguish between more participative and simple observation.
It is included, implies adaptation and the entry of the author into the environment that is to be analyzed and studied.
The researcher records events or phenomena from the outside. This and the previous cases allow us to observe in an open way. As a research method, you can use the hidden option and mask.
This species is a variation included. Its difference consists in creating an experimental environment in order to better identify the characteristics of the object under study.
Observation as a research method: primary requirements
1. The formulation of a clear goal and clear research objectives.
2. Planning. The procedure for carrying out the method is considered in advance.
3. Fixing data for the purpose of objectivity and accuracy. Availability of diaries and protocols.
4. The ability to control information on the sustainability and validity.
Observation as a method of psychological research
In psychology, it can exist in two forms:
- self-observation (introspection);
Often, self-observation is an objective component, then it is important for the researcher to direct the individual’s questions not to communicate his emotions and experiences, but to coordinate his actions himself and thus determine patterns that are not recognized by the recipient, which would be the basis of the respective processes.
The advantages of the observation method in psychology
- the possibility of studying mental processes in living conditions;
- display of events in their course;
- obtaining information about the actions of individuals, regardless of their attitudes to the appropriate model of behavior.
Experts say that the observation is still better to use in combination with other scientific research methods for greater reliability and objectivity of the data.