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Behavioral Research. Chapter 6-Observing Behavior. Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches . Quantitative  focuses on the numerical or statistical aspects of the study

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Behavioral research

Behavioral Research

Chapter 6-Observing Behavior


Quantitative and qualitative approaches
Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches

  • Quantitative focuses on the numerical or statistical aspects of the study

  • Qualitative focuses on themes that emerge from the study; is usually expressed in non-numerical terms using language and images


Four types of non experimental research
Four Types of Non-Experimental Research:

  • Naturalistic observation observation of events as they occur in natural settings

  • Systematic ObservationThe careful observation of one or more specific behaviors in a particular setting

  • Archival research studying info from already existing records made in natural settings

  • Case studies making extensive observations of a single group or a person


Naturalistic observation
Naturalistic Observation

  • Makes observations in a particular natural setting over an extended period of time, using a variety of techniques.

  • Used when researcher wants to describe and understand how people in a social or cultural setting live, work, and experience the setting.

  • Does not have a hypothesis prior to the observation.

  • Hypothesis are generated to explain the observed data.

  • Qualitative in nature


Description and interpretation of data
Description and Interpretation of Data

  • Goals of the naturalistic observation:

    • Describe the setting, events and persons observed

    • Analyze what was observed  generating hypotheses that help explain the data and make them understandable.


Issues in naturalistic observation
Issues in Naturalistic Observation

  • Participation vs. Concealment

    • Participation

      • They could begin to associate with whatever group they have joined to study

      • Their observation could then be biased and their conclusions will lack objectivity.

      • Reduces the likelihood the observer will influence behavior

  • Concealment

    • ethical standpoint


Limits to naturalistic observation
Limits to Naturalistic Observation

  • Time consuming

  • Expensive

  • Difficult to analyze


Systematic observation
Systematic Observation

  • The researcher is interested in only a few very specific behaviors.

  • The observations are quantifiable.

  • The researcher frequently has developed hypothesis about the behavior.

  • Behavior is observed and coded for analysis


Case studies
Case Studies

  • Case studies usually aren’t carried out in natural environments, but rather in a setting selected by the researcher

  • Case studies typically focus on an individual or case.

  • Case studies look at limited classes of behavior rather than at the context and natural flow of behavior.


Archival research
Archival research

  • Involve using previously compiled info to answer research questions.

  • Statistical Records

  • Survey Achieves

  • Written and Mass Communication Records

  • Content Analysis of Documents


Problems with archival data
Problems with Archival data

  • The desired records may be difficult to obtain.

  • We can never be completely sure of the accuracy or info collected by someone else