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Primary Data Collection - Observations

Advantages and Disadvantages of Conducting Observational Research

❶These three articles report on ethnographic research.

What is observation?

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Conducting Observational Research. The following table provides an evaluation of observation as a research method. A key advantage of conducting observations is that you can observe what people actually do or say, rather than what they say they do.

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As with most research methods, observational research works best in tandem with other methods. A focus group, for instance, could outline thoughts and opinions, while observation showcases actual behavior in real-life situations.

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Disadvantages of Observational Method: The major problem with observational methods is that the investigator has little control over the situation he is interested to observe. In the natural setting, too many extraneous factors influence the phenomenon. Advantages of Observational Research. The biggest advantage of observational research has already been noted: it enables businesses to observe potential customers in a natural setting, which can reveal penetrating insights unavailable through other methods such as focus groups and surveys.

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Advantages of Observation: (1) Simplest Method: Observation is probably the most common and the simplest method of data collection. It does not require much technical knowledge. Although scientific controlled observation requires some technical skill of the researcher, still it is easier than other methods. There are different types of observational research so I’ve assumed you mean participant observation. Advantages Being physically there means you don’t have to rely on people reporting events or behaviour, you can see it directly.