Advantages and Disadvantages of Naturalist Observation

Topics: Scientific method, Research, Nature Pages: 3 (649 words) Published: May 1, 2011
Appendix B

Research Methods Matrix

A psychologist is planning to conduct a study that would examine pathological liars and the quality of their romantic relationships. You have been asked to provide the psychologist with a recommendation for which research method should be used to gather data on the pathological liars and their spouses.

Using the table below list each research method and its advantages and disadvantages for use in this study. Research MethodAdvantagesDisadvantages
Naturalist Observation
Allows the behavior to be observed in a natural environment.A naturalistic observation is going to provide firsthand information on behavioral issues. Being observed in the natural settings will allow for better accuracy with more natural responses. It would provide a natural setting that would keep the patient from feeling uncomfortable allowing them to show the real person they are.If someone is there observing it may make the person's behavior change. The observer's recording of the patient's behavior may reflect a preexisting bias. It is still unclear if the observation can be generalized to other people and settings. This would also be true in the study on pathological liars. Case Studies

The behavior of one person or a few people can be studied in depth. Case studies yield a great deal of detailed descriptive information. They are useful for forming hypotheses. A study on a pathological liar would give a large amount of detailed information. The case(s) studied may not be a representative sample. Can be time consuming and expensive. Observer bias is a potential problem, and it would be difficult to use for a larger group. Surveys

A large number of participants are asked a standard set of questions.Surveys enable an immense amount of data to be gathered quickly and inexpensively. Sampling biases can skew results. Poorly constructed questions can result in answers that are ambiguous, so data is not clear. Accuracy depends on...
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