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Naturalistic observation

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Naturalistic observation is an aspect of field research, anobservation method, commonly used by psychologists, behavioral scientists and social scientists, that involves observing subjects in their natural habitats. Researchers take great care in avoiding making interferences with the behaviour they are observing by using unobtrusive methods. Objectively, studying events as they occur naturally, without intervention. (Manoli, Frank, 2007)

They can be overt (the participants are aware they are being observed) or covert (the participants do not know they are being observed) There are obviously more ethical guidelines to take into consideration when a covert observation is being carried out.

It is the oldest of data collection methods and is widely used, particularly in ethology, ethnomethodology and developemntal and child psychology


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