What is naturalistic observation? How does a researcher collect data when conducting naturalistic observation research?

Paper- Exploratory methods

Application of Exploratory Research:
After reviewing the required readings, review and respond to the questions on pages 125-126 in Cozby (2012).

This section discusses observational methods, which are often involved in qualitative research.
Please answer questions in detail and support your answers with scholarly research citations where appropriate.

Length: 5-7 pages (app. 350 words per page)

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

Review Questions

1. What is naturalistic observation? How does a researcher collect data when conducting naturalistic observation research?

2. Why are the data in naturalistic observation research primarily qualitative?

3. Distinguish between participant and nonparticipant observation; between concealed and nonconcealed observation.

4. What is systematic observation? Why are the data from systematic observation primarily quantitative?

5. What is a coding system? What are some important considerations when developing a coding system?
6. What is a case study? When are case studies used? What is a psychobiography?
7. What is archival research? What are the major sources of archival data?

8. What is content analysis?

In this chapter, we will explore a variety of observational methods including observing behavior in natural settings, asking people to describe their behavior (self-report), and examining existing records of behavior, such as census data or hospital records. Because so much research involves surveys using questionnaires or interviews, we cover the topic of survey research separately in Chapter 7. Before we describe these methods in detail, it will be helpful to understand the distinction between quantitative and qualitative methods of describing behavior.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE APPROACHES Observational methods can be broadly classi?ed as primarily quantitative or qualitative. Qualitative research focuses on people behaving in natural settings and describing their world in their own words; quantitative research tends to focus on speci?c behaviors that can be easily quanti?ed (i.e., counted). Qualitative researchers emphasize collecting in-depth information on a relatively few individuals or within a very limited setting; quantitative investigations generally include larger samples. The conclusions of qualitative research are based on interpretations drawn by the investigator; conclusions in quantitative research are based upon statistical analysis of data. To more concretely understand the distinction, imagine that you are interested in describing the ways in which the lives of teenagers are affected by working. You might take a quantitative approach by developing a questionnaire that you would ask a sample of teenagers to complete. You could ask about the number of hours they work, the type of work they do, their levels of stress, their school grades, and their use of drugs. After assigning numerical values to the responses, you could subject the data to a quantitative, statistical analysis. A quantitative description of the results would focus on such things as the percentage of teenagers who work and the way this percentage varies by age. Some of the results of this type of survey are described in Chapter 7. Suppose, instead, that you take a qualitative approach to describing behavior. You might conduct a series of focus groups in which you gather together groups of 8 to 10 teenagers and engage them in a discussion about their perceptions and experiences with the world of work. You would ask them to tell you about the topic using their own words and their own ways of thinking about the world. To record the focus group discussions, you might use a video- or audiotape recorder and have a transcript prepared later, or you might have observers take detailed notes during the discussions. A qualitative description of the ?ndings would focus on the themes that emerge from the discussions and the manner in which the teenagers conceptualized the issues. Such description is qualitative because it is expressed in non-numerical terms using language and images. Other methods, both qualitative and quantitative, could also be used to study teenage employment. For example, a quantitative study

data collected from the state Department of Economic Development; a qualitative researcher might work in a fast-food restaurant as a management trainee. Keep in mind the distinction between quantitative and qualitative approaches to describing behavior as you read about other speci?c observational methods discussed in this chapter. Both approaches are valuable and provide us with different ways of understanding behavior.