Obeservational and Sampling in Traditional and Cultural Psychology Research

Topics: Scientific method, Observation, Psychology Pages: 6 (1680 words) Published: November 28, 2011
Sir Davi Mbelu

University of Phoenix


In this paper attempt shall be made to compare multicultural and traditional psychology research methods with a view to examining observation and sampling as the variables of interest. However, these variables of interest shall be assessed in respect of how they are applied in cultural and traditional psychological research. In addition, the fundamental problems that may be encountered by the researchers during the implementation of the observation and sampling in cultural and traditional psychological research setting shall be addressed.

The major aim of observational methods as observed by some scholars is to describe behavior. Through the instrumentality of observational methods scientists as wholesomely and as clearly as possible strive to examine and describe human behavior (Shaughnessy, 2003). In a bid to reaching this goal researchers face go through huddles, as a result it becomes closely impossible for researchers to observe an individual’s behavior wholesomely. However, scientists employ and depend more on observing sample of people’s normal behavior. Observation is one good source of hypothesizing individual behavior as such it is seen as the first step in the right direction to unravel why people behave the way they do. For instance, research reports that temperament variations in early childhood are associated to notable adult behavior patterns (Shaughnessy, 2003). Culture reflects another setting in which behavior appear in various dimensions as cultures itself.

Furthermore, scientists noted that in traditional and cross-cultural research, consummated assessment and descriptions of behavior demands that observations be conducted across various situations, time, and place (Shaughnessy, 2005). In situations in which accurate results of behavior is difficult, researchers tend to obtain a representative of behavior. However, external validity, which demonstrates how observation is generalized, is contingent upon how behavior is sampled. It is important to note that when and where observational research is conducted is an essential decision that must be considered by the researcher, for the reason that investigators oftentimes cannot observe all behaviors in most observation studies. Therefore, it is pertinent that results obtained are generalized based on certain behaviors observed to have taken place at a particular time in definite settings and under certain conditions whether in form of traditional or cross-cultural research.The event and situational sampling are essential research tools used to improve the validity of observational studies in both traditional and cross-cultural research.

In most cases researchers essentially employ a combination of situational and time sampling for representative samples identification (Shaughnessy, 2003). Time sampling is deeply associated with time interval. Researchers tend to obtain representative samples by employing different time interval for their observations, through systematic or randomly or both. Time sampling helps to increase the representativeness of behavior sampled. However, time sampling is found less effective method of sampling behavior in situation in which event of interest occurs inconsistently. The implementation of time sampling in an inconsistent concept not only lead to missing the entire events but also losing sight of the essential part of the event, like the events beginning or end.

Event sampling, on the other hand, is used to observe or uncover formally unplanned or unpredictable events, which may include school play, technical or natural disasters, for example, Japan’s earthquake of March, 11 2011, triggering tsunami waves. Event sampling is considered very effective and efficient sampling method when implemented in inconsistent variables or events. However in sampling various situations,...
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