Observational research VS. Focus groups.......This essay focuses on observational research.

Essay by lolliegagindeUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2004

download word file, 1 pages 3.7

Downloaded 46 times

Observational research has proved to be a very valuable tool for researchers. With observational research, they are able to see people in their natural state. When people are observed doing something they naturally do, researchers are able to use this information more efficiently than using focus groups or surveys. With focus groups, people tend to hide or hold back and researchers may not get the most accurate information available. Also, as mentioned in the text, some people may dominate the discussion.

However, with observational research there are several drawbacks. With observational research people may be taped without consent, which could be considered unethical. To avoid this, consent forms could be forced, which could ruin the observation. When people know they are being watched, it is not as natural as if they were not informed. As mentioned previously, people tend to take care of themselves in front of the public eye.

To overcome these drawbacks in observational research, researchers could enforce the consent forms and take the chance of participants "sugarcoating" their experiences, observe first then ask for consent, which would still pose the ethical problem, or take the risk of observing without the consent. With focus groups, researchers could stand in to eliminate overbearing participants.