Chapter 8
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Chapter 8. Observation Studies. Learning Objectives. Understand . . . When observation studies are most useful. Distinctions between monitoring. nonbehavioral and behavioral activities Strengths of the observation approach in research design.

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Chapter 8

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Chapter 8

Observation Studies


Learning Objectives

Understand . . .

  • When observation studies are most useful.

  • Distinctions between monitoring. nonbehavioral and behavioral activities

  • Strengths of the observation approach in research design.

  • Weaknesses of the observation approach in research design.


Learning Objectives

Understand . . .

  • Three perspectives from which the observer-participant relationship may be viewed.

  • Various designs of observation studies.


PulsePoint: Research Revelation

101

The number, in millions, of adult Internet users who will bank online by 2011.


RFID Changes Monitoring

“We can certainly understand and appreciate

consumer concern about privacy. That’s why we

want our customers to know that RFID tags will

not contain nor collect any additional data about

our customers. In fact in the foreseeable future,

there won’t even be any RFID readers on our

stores’ main sales floors.”

Linda Dillman, EVP & Chief Information Officer,

Wal-Mart


Observation and the Research Process


Selecting the Data Collection Method


Selecting an Observation Data Collection Approach


Who?

Where?

What?

(event or time)

How?

When?

Research Design

Task Details


Observation Location


Content of Observation


Watching

Listening

Touching

Smelling

Reading

Data Collection


Using Observation

Systematic planning

Properly controlled

Consistently dependable

Accurate account of events


Nonbehavioral

Physical condition analysis

Process or Activity analysis

Record analysis

Behavioral

Nonverbal

Linguistic

Extralinguistic

Spatial

Observation Classification


Selecting an Observation Data Collection Approach . . .Nonbehavioral


Nonbehavioral Observation

Record

Analysis

Physical Condition

Analysis

Physical Process

Analysis


Wal-Mart Implements Use of RFID Labels


Selecting an Observation Data Collection Approach…Behavioral


Behavioral Observation

  • “We noticed people scraping the toppings off our pizza crusts. We thought at first there was something wrong, but they said, ‘We love it, we just don’t eat the crust anymore.”

    • Tom Santor, Donatos Pizza


Standardized procedures

Structured

Trained observers

Encoding observation information

Recording schedules

Systematic Observation

Systematic


Flowchart for Checklist Design


Video camera

Pupilometer

Audio recorder

Tachistoscope

Eye camera

Galvanometer

Mechanical/ Digital Behavioral Observation

Devices


SizeUSA

Body Measurement System


Portable People Meters


Observer-Participant Relationship

Direct or indirect

observation

Presence is known

or unknown

Observer involved or

not involved in events


Extralinguistic Observation

Vocal

Temporal

Interaction

Verbal Stylistic


Desired Characteristics for Observers

Concentration

Detail-oriented

Unobtrusive

Experience level


Errors Introduced by Observers

Halo Effect

Observer Drift


Strengths

Securing information that is otherwise unavailable

Avoiding participant filtering/ forgetting

Securing environmental context

Optimizing naturalness

Reducing obtrusiveness

Weaknesses

Enduring long periods

Incurring higher expenses

Having lower reliability of inferences

Quantifying data

Keeping large records

Being limited on knowledge of cognitive processes

Evaluation of Behavioral Observation


Concealment

Event sampling

Halo effect

Observation

Direct

Extralinguistic

Indirect

Linguistic

Nonverbal

Participant

Simple

Spatial

systematic

Key Terms


Observation checklist

Observer drift

Physical condition analysis

Physical trace

Process (activity) analysis

Reactivity response

Record analysis

Spatial Relationships

Time sampling

Unobtrusive measures

Key Terms


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