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    • researchers watching and recording behaviour
    • controlled observation
      • aspects of environment maintained, usually in lab setting
      • reliable due to standardised procedures
      • artificial, hard to generalise to real world
      • reduces effects of extraneous variables
    • naturalistic
      • takes place in real setting
      • external validity, generalisable
      • low internal validity due to extraneous variables
      • show more natural behaviour, realistic
    • overt
      • participants know they are in a study, can see researcher
      • ethical, use of informed consent
      • demand characteristics, social desirability bias
    • covert
      • participants not aware they are being observed
      • less likely to show social desirability bias/demand characteristics
      • unethical, no informed consent
    • participant
      • researcher involved in group they are studing
      • more comfort and natural behaviour
      • lose objectivity, bias as they only see from participants perspective; "going native"
    • non-participant
      • researcher separate from group they are observing
      • maintain objectivity
      • lack of trust, participants may not behave naturally
    • observational design
      • choice of behaviours to observe and how they are measured
      • operationalised behavioural categories
        • behaviours clearly identifiable and measurable
      • time sampling
        • researcher records behaviour at specific intervals
        • more flexibility for unexpected types of behaviour
        • miss behaviour outside recording intervals
      • event sampling
        • researcher records everytime behaviour is observed from the pre-determined behavioural categories
        • able to record all behaviour observed
        • may miss relevant behaviour not included in pre-determined list
    • assessing reliablility
      • inter-observer reliability
        • two or more trained observers conduct the same observation
          • 1. agree and use same behavioural categories
          • 2. experiment conducted separately by each observer
          • 3. compare data sets


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