During participant observation, which is used in social science studies, the researchers actively become part of the group being investigated. This first-hand, embedded method of collecting information often leads to copious, rich data. However, researchers have opportunities to interfere with the process, and this has the potential to skew results.Know More
When functioning fully inside a setting, participant observers have access to much more material than researchers who are making observations from outside a situation. Individuals within the study often share their lives more freely with someone inside their circle. In addition, the presence of an outside observer sometimes leads to an "observer effect." Participants do not always act naturally when they know they are being watched.
Participant observation also has disadvantages. Data is collected and interpreted through the lenses of the observer. If the researcher has biases and expectations, they potentially affect this process. Researchers are able to overcome the effects of these preconceptions by being aware they exist and looking out for them.
"Reactivity" is another potential issue for participant observers. They relate to the individuals in the study, feel sympathetic and become overly involved. The data is no longer studied with critical and scientific eyes. The observer has the ability to affect the outcome by influencing others. By becoming too personally involved, the observer alters the original circumstances.Learn more about Social Sciences
Positive control in an experiment is a control group that researchers use to show that an experiment is working as intended by using conditions that guarantee a positive result. Control groups are not required for all experiments and are typically used in experiments with complex conditions.Full Answer >
A manipulation check is defined as a measure used to determined whether an independent variable in a social science study varies in ways researchers expect, according to McGraw-Hill. For instance, participants can be tested on their recall abilities by asking them questions about some important aspect of the experiment they witnessed. Another way to check for manipulation is to put questions in a survey that mark whether someone pays attention.Full Answer >
Qualitative research usually entails fieldwork in which researchers focus on processes rather than on outcomes; this type of research does not need a hypothesis. Some examples of qualitative research are researchers studying children in school, conducting shopper interviews, doing focus groups and immersing themselves into an experience or group.Full Answer >
The two types of observation that are used in the scientific method are controlled and uncontrolled observation situations. In controlled situations, humans set up the situation, while in uncontrolled, the situation is determined entirely by nature.Full Answer >