The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Naturalistic Observation

850 Words4 Pages
Have you ever found yourself watching how people behave in their environment? If yes then you could have been conducting an observational psychological experiment. Observational studies are a group of studies, of which naturalistic observations are one. Naturalistic observations involve researchers observing how individuals spontaneously behave in their natural environment without intervention. For example, Lynn Hawkins, Pepler and Craig (2001) observed how children in grades 1 to 6 intervene in bullying episodes at school, via a naturalistic observation design. Another group of observational studies are controlled observations. The critical difference is that in controlled observations the researcher dictates a standardised procedure. For example, the Strange Situation (Ainsworth & Bell, 1970) analysed attachment styles using controlled observation. During this study babies were put through a standardised series of episodes in which they were introduced to a new environment and a stranger. During this series of events the baby was left alone with the stranger and the baby’s behaviour when reunited with their mother was analysed. Strange Situation procedure (Clever Prototypes, 2018) There are many advantages and disadvantages associated with observational studies. The most logical advantage of naturalistic observations is the genuine nature of the data collected. As the researchers did not intervene in any way in the bullying study presumably the data collected fully
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