RESEARCHING THE REAL WORLD



MAIN MENU

Basics

Orientation Observation In-depth interviews Document analysis and semiology Conversation and discourse analysis Secondary Data Surveys Experiments Ethics Research outcomes
Conclusion

References

Activities

Social Research Glossary

About Researching the Real World

Search

Contact

© Lee Harvey 2012–2019

Page updated 25 January, 2019

Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012–2019, Researching the Real World, available at qualityresearchinternational.com/methodology
All rights belong to author.


 

A Guide to Methodology

3. Observation

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Aspects
3.3 Methodological approaches

3.3.1 Positivism and observation

3.3.1.1 Observation as a descriptive tool
3.3.1.2 Observation as the exploratory stage for further quantitative research

3.3.1.3 Observation for triangulation
3.3.1.4 Observation to refine or evaluate policy interventions
3.3.1.5 Observation as a means of deriving hypotheses, building models or refining theory

3.3.1.3 Observation for triangulation
3.3.1.4 Observation to refine or evaluate policy interventions
3.3.1.5 Observation as a means of deriving hypotheses, building models or refining theory

3.3.2 Phenomenology and observation
3.3.3 Critical social research and observation

3.4 Access
3.5 Recording data
3.6 Analysing observational or ethnographic data
3.7 Summary

3.3 Methodological approaches

3.3.1 Positivism and observation

3.3.1.2 Observation as the exploratory stage for further quantitative research
Some quantitative social research traditions have made use of observation techniques at the initial stage of social survey research. This is known as the exploratory stage, which is used to identify the general areas of the survey and the specific detail around which the questions might be constructed (Barton and Lazarsfeld, 1955).

Brewer (2000, pp. 1645) sees observation techniques as useful when the topic is novel or subtle and there is no initial basis for constructing closed question. Barker and Polson (1999), for example, used observation initially, to determine suitable questionnaire categories in their study of the effectiveness of a consumer health information shop.

Top

Next 3.3.1.3 Observation for triangulation