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Compare the observation method to any other method

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Introduction

Compare the observation method to any other method. The observation method has many strengths and weaknesses. One of the strengths for a covert observation is that people are in their natural environment and as they don't know that they are being observed they are acting in their natural way, so there are no demand characteristics, unlike the experimental method. The experimental method has a real problem with this as in a laboratory experiment there is no hiding the fact that they are being observed, therefore may act in the way they think the researcher wants them too instead of acting in the way they normally would. ...read more.

Middle

The weaknesses of qualitative data is that it has to be interpreted and this is where you loose validity. Also it can be harder to interpret qualitative data because it is words and people's thoughts on a subject, where as quantitative data is objective and generates statistics like the facts and figures and gives a more specific result. Quantitative data is a lot easier to interpret and takes less time to interpret. This type of research reaches many more people, but the contact with those people is much quicker than it is in qualitative research. The main weakness of participant observation is that it is time consuming. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, controlling the variable is a good idea as it gives you something to compare and then measure. By controlling features of the environments of the subjects the researcher may create too artificial an environment. This means that while the researcher may have accurately understood the "cause" of the subjects' behaviour, the findings only apply under such environment and in non-real world conditions, which means that they have limited use in explaining real-world behaviour. The observation can also have high ecological validity but an experiment can have higher reliability. The observation method has many great strengths just like all methods, but then again it also has it's weaknesses but this doesn't make it any better or any worse than the experimental method. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is a good response that shows the candidate possesses much knowledge about the psychological research methods of observation, experiment, and all their constituent varieties including covert observation, participant observation and lab experiment. There is a fair explanation of both ...

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Response to the question

This is a good response that shows the candidate possesses much knowledge about the psychological research methods of observation, experiment, and all their constituent varieties including covert observation, participant observation and lab experiment. There is a fair explanation of both research methods, and the comparison between the two is consistent though unbalanced in some parts. This isn't such a worry as it first seems, but it does give a slightly haphazard feel to the essay, especially seeing as, towards the end, comparisons of the same point between the two research methods becomes tenuous and rushed.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is good, and is indicative of a B grade for A Level. There is competence shown when evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative data, and also how demand characteristics play a role in lowering the face validity of the dat. However, some analysis is slightly slapdash and whilst accurate, could be made to appear much more succinctly and precisely should the candidate, instead of commenting on whatever comes to mind, concentrate on specific evaluative points like, for example, face validity, ecological validity, demand characteristics or experimenter bias. In some cases this is done (demand characteristics), but in others it appears too loosely and this is what prevents the candidate from achieving the A grade. The candidate must identify the analytical point and then compare how that points features in observational methods and then in experimental methods.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is consistently high and raises no cause for concern with regard to spelling, grammar and/or punctuation. Everything written is clear and precise and the use of psychological terminology is also appropriate and accurate.


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 31/08/2012

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