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Observation As a Research Tool

Observation As a Research Tool


  Introduction
          The observation method is the most commonly used method specially in studies relating to behavioural science. In a way we all observe thing around us, but this sort of observation is not scientific observation.
          Observation becomes a scientific tool and the method of data collection for the researcher, when it serves a formulated research purpose, is systematically planned and recorded and  is subjected to checks and controls on validity and reliability. It is also a process of recording the behavior patterns of people, objects, and occurrences without questioning or communicating with them.
Meaning
  Observation means viewing or seeing. We go on observing some thing or other while we are awake. Most of such observations are just casual and have no specific purpose. But observation as a method of data collection is different from such casual viewing.
Definition
  Langley, P OBSERVATION involves looking and listening very carefully. We all watch other people sometimes, but we don't usually watch them in order to discover particular information about their behavior. This is what observation in social science involves.                                 
  Gorman and Clayton define  observation studies as those that “involve the  systematic recording of observable phenomena or behaviour  in a natural  setting”.

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