6 - observational methods

6 - observational methods - Quantitative and Qualitative...

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Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches 21:23 Observational methods can be classified as primarily quantitative or qualitative  Qualitative: Focuses on people behaving in natural settings and describing  their world in their own words o Emphasize collecting in-depth information on a relatively few individuals or  within a very limited setting o Conclusions are based on interpretations drawn by the investigator Quantitative: Focus on specific behaviors that can be easily quantified o Include larger samples  o Conclusions are based upon statistical analysis of data
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Naturalistic Observation 21:23 The researcher makes observations in a particular natural setting over an  extended period of time, using a variety of techniques to collect information  A researcher uses naturalistic observation when he or she wants to describe and  understand how people in a social or cultural setting live, work, and experience  the setting  Description and Interpretation of Data Naturalistic observation demands that researchers immerse themselves in the  situation  o The field researcher observes everything  Goal is to provide a complete and accurate picture o The researcher must keep detailed field notes  Observing people and events Interviewing key “informants” to provide inside information Talking to people about their lives Examining documents produced in the setting  o Researchers usually use audio- and videotape recordings The researcher’s first goal is to describe the setting, events, and persons  observed The second goal is to analyze what was observed  A good naturalistic observation report will support the analysis by using multiple  confirmations 
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6 - observational methods - Quantitative and Qualitative...

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