Observational researchBecause distortion can be a serious limitation of surveys, observational research involves directly observing subjects' reactions, either in a laboratory (called laboratory observation) or in a natural setting (called naturalistic observation). Observational research reduces the possibility that subjects will not give totally honest accounts of the experiences, not take the study seriously, fail to remember, or feel embarrassed. Observational research has limitations, however. Subject bias is common, because volunteer subjects may not be representative of the general public. Individuals who agree to observation and monitoring may function differently than those who do not. They may also function differently in a laboratory setting than they do in other settings.
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